Will Power wins pole for Iowa Corn 250
Team Penske continues to dominate IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying in 2010, with Will Power dominant in his four-lap run Saturday at Iowa Speedway to claim his fourth pole of the season. It's the seventh pole in eight races this season for the Team Penske trio, with Power also qualifying fastest at the St. Petersburg, Barber and Long Beach road courses, Ryan Briscoe taking the pole at the 1.5-mile Kansas and Texas ovals; and Helio Castroneves' pole run in qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.
Although a Penske driver once again took the pole here, four other teams - Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Andretti Autosport, FAZZT Racing and KV Racing Technology - claimed positions in the top seven starting positions, as the IZOD IndyCar Series' only visit to a short oval in 2010 produced a tight grid, with the top 10 cars separated by less than 0.5 mph.
Sunday's 250-lap race starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on Versus.
Will Power (#12 Team Penske Honda) pole qualifier, 4th pole of 2010, 6th career IndyCar pole, 7th Team Penske pole in 8 IndyCar races this season: "Well, pole is always the best spot to start the race! But tomorrow is going be a long day. This is a tight track, with a lot of traffic expected in the race. We haven't won on an oval yet this year, but we've been really quick and have been in a position to win, so everything's going to fall together for us sooner or later. Hopefully it will be on Sunday."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske, Peak Performance Pole Award Winner): I am very happy to get my first pole on an oval. We have been right there the past few races, but I have had some funny things go wrong and a little bit of bad luck. I am very happy with the Verizon car today and our run was solid. We will have a long day tomorrow and the race will be tough on the short track.
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): It wasn't a bad day for us. We mostly concentrated on race setup this morning and we did qualifications setup at the second practice session. It is going to be a tough day tomorrow with a short track and the rain if it hits us. In qualifying we did very well sitting in P2 and the four laps average was so close to Will Power. We barely missed it. We will try to improve even more for tomorrow and hopefully get some points for the championship, but I am very happy with today.
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom Energy): "We have to be happy to have the Venom car starting third. It'd be nice to have a pole trophy after today but that's my competitive side talking. We're in a good position for tomorrow and it can definitely be done from third. After our practice runs I did have hopes that we could take the pole. I think in choosing our set-up we missed something so we had a decent amount of understeer - end of the day I'm pretty happy considering the run I had."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske): "Great job for Team Penske and for Will winning his first oval pole. We were good enough in qualifying to start on the second row and I think the No. 3 Team Penske car should be good in the race. I am sure Ryan will do well in race trim tomorrow also. Now, we all have to work together as a team so that we can go out there tomorrow and accomplish our goal of getting the first win for Team Penske in Iowa."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): "The balance was a touch conservative. If we're starting somewhere close to the front, I think we've got a shot. The car has been good in race trim."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske): "We had a solid qualifying result and most importantly we feel we have a good car for the race. I think we steered the car away a bit from our optimum qualifying setup. I think we're in good shape for tomorrow. Now we just need to see what happens with the weather, but we feel good about getting a solid result for Team Penske."
DANICA PATRICK (No. 27 Team Go Daddy): "I'm happy with the way qualifying went today. I was flat out the last two laps of the run, and I haven't been able to get flat all day. We still have some work to do, but I have a better understanding on what we need to do to improve the GoDaddy car for tomorrow's race."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 37 Ethanol USA-Team IZOD): "We're not starting where we'd like to be, but the Ethanol USA-Team IZOD car is really good in race trim. We're going to be flying by some of these guys that are starting in front of us. As I've said before, these guys always give me great race cars and I'll take that any day over a top-notch qualifying car. It's just fun to be back here in Iowa with the Ethanol colors on the side of the car. You can really feel the support out here and I think that will really help us tomorrow."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven): "Qualifying was not what we expected. I really don't have any idea what happened. I'm disappointed. The race car is good, but I'm really surprised by our lack of speed in qualifying. The 7-Eleven car was really good this morning and we didn't change anything, so I'm not sure what happened."
VITOR MEIRA (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing): "Taking everything into consideration with the way we practiced, we could have qualified better but with everything that happened, it was an okay qualifying effortâ€”a much better effort from the team than myself. The mistake in the last session didn't help us. The car is very good underneath me, I was on the bottom and everything was fine. We definitely could have trimmed it out much more but I'm not too worried about that because I know in the race, the car is good. That's the car we had all practice long and qualifying so we will most likely race with it. I'm very encouraged for the race because you can pass here if you have a good car and that's what we have."
RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 HP de Ferran Dragon Racing): "This has been a tough weekend. Last year, we unfortunately didn't finish the race, and we haven't tested here, so we didn't come here with a lot of data. With cold tires, I had to lift on my first lap over the bump in Turn 1, which hurt my effort. The other laps were consistent, but I lost a lot of time in the first lap. We're just going to focus on the race tomorrow - good laps, clean pit stops - and we're going to fight hard for a good finish."
HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 06 Formula Dream/Panasonic): "Right now we are struggling. We spent both sessions trying to find more rear grip. We are going to keep working hard to improve the car."
DAN WHELDON (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing): "I was a little surprised honestly about the speed because I thought we would be quicker than that, but we've got a great racecar that we worked really hard today. The car was really stable, and our racecar is much better than the position we qualified. Everything we do is all about the races and we're well prepared and continue to work hard and the guys have made some brilliant pit stops this year, so we'll move up. This was a disappointing reflection of how hard the National Guard Panther Racing boys have been working, and we'll certainly take a look at this and move on. As I said in race trim the car was incredibly good, and we're all excited and we're going to try and break into victory lane. It's a long race, a physical race, and as always you can never count out the No. 4 National Guard car."
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