Power breaks Gateway track record, earns 50th career pole

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MADISON, Illinois – Will Power joined the elite club of 50-time pole winners in Indy car history by winning the Verizon P1 Award for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline.

Power’s two-lap average speed of 189.642 mph on the Gateway Motorsports Park oval included a record lap of 189.709 mph (23.7206 seconds), breaking the 20-year-old track record set by Raul Boesel in 1997 (24.324 seconds, 187.963 mph).

BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500: Unofficial qualifying results

Power, who won last week’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, collected his sixth pole position of the season 50th of his 13-year Indy car career. It tied the 36-year-old Australian with Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves for third place on the all-time list. The teammates trail only Mario Andretti (67) and A.J. Foyt (53).

Alexander RossiPower has now win six or more pole positions in four seasons (eight each in 2010 and ’11, six in 2015).

Team Penske locked down the first four spots in qualifying. Following Power in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet were: points leader Josef Newgarden, who was second the No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Chevrolet (188.316 mph); Helio Castroneves, third in the No. 3 Shell Fuel Rewards Chevrolet (187.457 mph); and Simon Pagenaud, fourth in the No. 1 Menards Chevrolet (186.747 mph).

Team Penske has won 10 of the 15 poles to date in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series. It is also the 255th Indy car pole in team history.

Team owner/driver Ed Carpenter was the top non-Penske qualifier, ranking fifth in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing (184.528 mph). Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato was sixth in the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda (184.186 mph).

With three races remaining in the 2017 season, Newgarden holds an 18-point lead over Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, who qualified seventh. Castroneves trails Newgarden by 22 points, Pagenaud is 26 points back and Power, with the point earned for winning the pole, is 41 points behind the leader.

The 21-car field returns for a final 60-minute practice at 10 p.m. ET today. Pit stop practice/competition takes place at 8:15 p.m. Saturday. Both of those sessions will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.

Live race coverage begins at 9 p.m. Saturday on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

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