Will Power scores 64th IndyCar pole; Dixon, Castroneves qualify poorly for GMR Grand Prix

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INDIANAPOLIS — Will Power grabbed his 64th career IndyCar pole position, going a little under a tenth of a second faster than Alex Palou just as time expired in the final round of qualifying for Saturday's GMR Grand Prix. Power's lap of 1:09.7664 gives him his first pole of the season and an excellent shot at scoring another GMR Grand Prix win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Power, one the most successful drivers at the Indianapolis road course in an Indy car, leads all other drivers with 5 poles and 5 wins.

"It's been a while since I've gotten a pole on a road course," said Power in the press conference. "Super stoked to get that one."

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Power lamented how difficult it has become in the series to get poles and wins. This pole moves him closer to breaking Mario Andretti's record of 67 career series pole positions, something he didn't think he could reach.

"There's a different guy each week that gets it all together, so it's hard to get more than two (poles) a year," Power said.

Noblesville native Conor Daly scored his best starting position of the year and will start 4th on Saturday. Daly qualified 6th for last year's race, but did not finish after contact.

Some big names were eliminated in the first two rounds of qualifying. Simon Pagenaud, a 3-time GMR Grand Prix winner, will start in 20th place, one spot behind teammate Helio Castroneves. Scott Dixon, the 2020 winner, will start behind Castroneves and Pagenaud in 21st.

The 2021 race winner Rinus VeeKay, and 2021 pole sitter Romain Grosjean, also did not make the final round of qualifying. Grosjean will start 10th, just two positions ahead of Graham Rahal in 12th, whom he tangled with two weeks ago at Barber.

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VeeKay was eliminated after the first round of qualifying and will start 15th. Last year's winner struggled to find the same speed showed by teammate Daly.

Rookies Callum Ilott and Christian Lundgaard, both graduates from the Formula 2 circuit in Europe, will start 7th and 8th respectively and are the two highest qualifying rookies.

Jimmie Johnson, who will make his first career attempt at the Indianapolis 500 in two weeks, qualified for his second GMR Grand Prix 27th, in last place. Johnson finished 24th last season.

IndyCar qualifying results

1. (12) Will Power, D/C/F, 01:09.7664 (125.854 mph).

2. (10) Alex Palou, D/H/F, 01:09.8090 (125.777).

3. (2) Josef Newgarden, D/C/F, 01:09.8343 (125.732).

4. (20) Conor Daly, D/C/F, 01:09.9063 (125.602).

5. (5) Pato O'Ward, D/C/F, 01:10.0546 (125.337).

6. (7) Felix Rosenqvist, D/C/F, 01:10.0605 (125.326).

7. (77) Callum Ilott, D/C/F, 01:09.6530 (126.059).

8. (30) Christian Lundgaard, D/H/F, 01:09.6594 (126.048).

9. (45) Jack Harvey, D/H/F, 01:09.6899 (125.992).

10. (28) Romain Grosjean, D/H/F, 01:09.7100 (125.956).

11. (3) Scott McLaughlin, D/C/F, 01:09.7847 (125.821).

12. (15) Graham Rahal, D/H/F, 01:10.2950 (124.908).

13. (51) Takuma Sato, D/H/F, 01:09.8239 (125.751).

14. (26) Colton Herta, D/H/F, 01:09.8527 (125.699).

15. (21) Rinus VeeKay, D/C/F, 01:09.9550 (125.515).

16. (27) Alexander Rossi, D/H/F, 01:09.9178 (125.582).

17. (29) Devlin DeFrancesco, D/H/F, 01:10.1306 (125.201).

18. (8) Marcus Ericsson, D/H/F, 01:09.9294 (125.561).

19. (6) Helio Castroneves, D/H/F, 01:10.1417 (125.181).

20. (60) Simon Pagenaud, D/H/F, 01:09.9717 (125.485).

21. (9) Scott Dixon, D/H/F, 01:10.1694 (125.131).

22. (14) Kyle Kirkwood, D/C/F, 01:10.1954 (125.085).

23. (6) Juan Pablo Montoya, D/C/F, 01:10.7610 (124.085).

24. (18) David Malukas, D/H/F, 01:10.4755 (124.588).

25. (11) Tatiana Calderon, D/C/F, 01:11.0020 (123.664).

26. (4) Dalton Kellett, D/C/F, 01:10.7187 (124.16).

27. (48) Jimmie Johnson, D/H/F, 01:11.4599 (122.872).

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: IndyCar: Will Power scores 64th pole; Dixon, Castroneves struggle