Power To Start Third Saturday in Miami Title Finale
October 1, 2010
Power recorded the third-fastest two-lap qualifying run of the day on Friday - 50.2964 seconds (212.580 mph) - in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda. That means he'll start one row behind Dario Franchitti, who continues to pursue Power for the championship and picked up an additional bonus point for winning the pole position.
There are a number of championship scenarios on Saturday for Power, who now leads Franchitti by 11 points in the standings entering the 200-lap Cafes do Brasil Indy 300. Basically, Power needs to finish in front of Franchitti or at least stay within one position of his rival at the end of the race to win the championship - unless Franchitti wins and scores another two bonus points for leading the most laps in the race.
"We just weren't quite fast enough to get pole and that definitely helps Dario, scoring the bonus point," said Power. "We're starting from the second row and we will work tonight on getting the most out of the Verizon car for Saturday night's race. We will do our absolute best to bring home the championship for Team Penske."
Power's Team Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe will start alongside him in the second row, while Helio Castroneves will start in the fifth row. Briscoe was clocked at 212.158 mph in the No. 6 Team Penske machine, while Castroneves recorded a two-lap run of 211.240 mph.
"The Team Penske car was good, but not quite as fast as we hoped it would be in qualifying," said Briscoe, who qualified fourth, but led the Friday night practice at Homestead. "We do have a good starting position and we have a great race car. We just didn't quite squeeze everything out of it today, but we should be in great shape for the race tomorrow. We'll be working hard to win it and help bring home a championship for Will and Team Penske."
Castroneves, who won the previous two IndyCar Series races, at Japan and Kentucky, said the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Honda experienced some oversteer during his qualifying run.
"It was a little difficult out there," said Castroneves, who will line up 10th for the start of the race. "The Team Penske car was loose, especially in Turns 1 and 2. I had to move my line around a little bit, and that cost us some speed. We took a chance on our setup. Now we can focus on the race and try to end the season with a good finish."
Though Power will only make his second career start at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday while Franchitti has much more experience competing on the South Florida oval and won the title at the venue last season, the Verizon Team Penske pilot knows he's capable of doing what he needs to win the crown.
"This is the moment of truth," said Power. "It's all about the championship. If Dario happens to have led the most laps in the race, then I'll be doing everything I can to win it."
Live television coverage of Saturday's race begins at 6 p.m. ET on Versus.