Power goes out last, ends up first in Iowa Corn 300 qualifying

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NEWTON, Iowa – Will Power took advantage of being the last Verizon IndyCar Series driver to make a qualifying attempt today for the Iowa Corn 300 and easily claimed the Verizon P1 Award and pole position for Sunday’s race at Iowa Speedway.

The 21st and final driver to make his two-lap attempt, Power drove the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet to an average speed of 185.210 mph to capture the pole by 1.4 mph over Ed Carpenter Racing’s JR Hildebrand. It is the third straight year for a Team Penske driver to win the pole at Iowa.

IOWA CORN 300: Unofficial qualifying results

For Power, it is the fourth pole of 2017 and 48th of his Indy car career, moving the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion within one of tying Bobby Unser for fourth on the all-time list. Of those 48 poles, eight have come on ovals. Power also won the pole on Iowa’s 0.894-mile oval in 2010, but no Iowa pole winner has gone on to win the race in the 10 previous events here.

Hildebrand, in the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, notched the first front-row qualifying effort of his Indy car career with two laps at 183.811 mph. The effort came after Hildebrand crashed in morning practice and the 29-year-old Californian nearly repeated the incident on his first qualifying lap, but was able to save the car and complete the run.

As with Row 1, the second row for Sunday’s 300-lap race will consist of drivers from Team Penske and Ed Carpenter Racing. Helio Castroneves qualified third in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet (183.712 mph), with team owner/driver Ed Carpenter fourth in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet (183.503 mph).

Takuma Sato, winner of May’s 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, qualified fifth and was the top Honda with an average speed of 182.653 mph in the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda.

AJ Foyt Racing’s Carlos Munoz did not complete his qualifying run after spinning in Turn 2 and making light SAFER Barrier contact with the rear of the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet on his first lap. Munoz will start last in Sunday’s race, the 11th of 17 on the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.

Points leader Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske drivers Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud suffered from being the first three drivers in the qualifying order. Pagenaud qualified 11th, Newgarden 16th after leading opening practice and Dixon 17th.

A final practice is slated for 7:15 p.m. ET today to give drivers a chance to run in race-like conditions. The 30-minute session will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.

The 11th annual Verizon IndyCar Series race from Iowa Speedway kicks off with live coverage on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network starting at 5 p.m. ET Sunday.

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