Will Power puts Chevrolet on Pole at Mid-Ohio

Team Chevy Photo

Will Power claimed his fourth NTT P1 Award at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and 57th of his career to lead three Chevrolet drivers qualifying on the first two rows for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

Power posted a quick lap of 1 minute, 5.1569 seconds (124.757 mph) on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course in the Firestone Fast Six session in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Power will start on the front row for the fourth consecutive year for the 90-lap race. He’s finished on the podium the past three races at the track.

Team Chevy drivers have secured the NTT P1 Award in seven of the eight races at the track – and 90 poles overall in 131 races — since the Bowtie brand’s return to NTT IndyCar Series manufacturer competition in 2012. Chevrolet has won the pole seven times, including the past three, in 13 races this season.

“So happy to get the pole. It’s great for confidence for me and for my guys,” said Power, who trails only Mario Andretti’s 67 in Indy car all-time poles. “I feel so bad for my guys. I’ve made some mistakes, so it was good to pay those guys back with some positive energy. I really want to win a race now.”
Power delivered the 270th pole for Team Penske in Indy car competition.
Team Penske teammates Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud – the past two race winners — will start from Row 2. Newgarden, the NTT IndyCar Series championship points leader driving the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, qualified third at 1:05.7885. Pagenaud, driver of the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, recorded a best lap of 1:05.8958 in the final session.

Pagenaud has registered five top-five finishes at the track since 2012 — including a victory from the pole in his 2016 NTT IndyCar Series championship season. Newgarden won at the track in 2017 during his run to the driver title.

Other Team Chevy qualifiers:13th – Spencer Pigot, No. 21 Autogeek Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet16th – Max Chilton, No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet18th – Ed Jones, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Cheverolet21st – Matheus Leist, No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet22nd – RC Enerson, No. 31 Lucas Oil School Carlin Chevrolet23rd- Tony Kanaan, No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet
NBC will telecast the 90-lap/203.2-mile race live at 4 p.m. ET July 28.

An interview with WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET (NTT P1 Award winner with lap of 1:05.1569 in Firestone Fast Six; fourth pole at Mid-Ohio, third of season and 57th of career)

:THAT LAST LAP WAS ‘TAKE THAT’“It’s been such a bad year; so disappointing, but I have such a fire burning in me when I do a lap like that. It just beats you down when you have these bad runs. So happy to get the pole. So happy.”

HOW MUCH DOES THIS RESTORE YOUR CONFIDENCE FOR THE RACE?“It’s great for confidence for my guys. I feel so bad for my guys. I’ve made some mistakes, so it was good to pay those guys back with some positive energy. And for our supporters as well for all the effort they put in. It’s been a tough year. I had a lot of energy to get pole today. I really want to win a race now. The things that haven’t gone our way. It just starts to wear on you. For me, it just makes me faster and more aggressive that leads to mistakes. That was just a really neat, hard lap to put in. Not a sector was wrong. I studied all the data I could all week long to understand how to do every sector as perfect as possible.”

THAT’S THE MOST EXCITED WE’VE SEEN YOU ALL SEASON. THE BIG ONE STILL COMES TOMORROW.“Just after the year we’ve had, even the last couple of weeks we’ve had, it’s been bloody terrible. Couple mistakes by me. Very determined to get pole here. I’m equally so to win the race. But, yeah, just happy. I think it beats you down a bit when you have constant bad runs, things just don’t flow your way. Mistakes by myself, that sort of thing, so… There’s always a turning point. That’s the good news. When you have a bad race, the good news is there’s a good chance the next one will be good. If that’s no good, the next one will be good. If 10 of them, like mine, haven’t been good, the next one is definitely going to be good.”

YOU SAY IT’S A LAW OF AVERAGES YOU HAD TO HAVE A GOOD RACE.“Just going to have to be with the speed we got. At one point where God just says, Let him have it.”

IS THERE A KEY PART OF THE RACETRACK?“Yeah, there is actually. It’s everywhere. It was like everywhere. I literally nailed every sector. Yeah, wasn’t a sector … I’d be surprised if there was a sector that I wasn’t P1 in. If there is, I’d be really disappointed.”

GIVEN YOUR PACE ON BLACKS, IS THIS A RACE YOU MIGHT JUST GO DESTROY THE COMPETITION?“No, it’s very difficult in IndyCar because they have a rule where the back marks are allowed to race you, which I think is terrible.”

WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO HAVE A CAR THAT WAS GOOD IN EVERY SECTOR?“Yeah, when I started, the lap, when I get in that zone, usually I nail it. There’s a zone I get to, which is usually only in the Fast Six, that I don’t get to any other time of the whole weekend, and it’s quite difficult to get to. When you get to that area, it’s usually just perfect. It just is. It’s really difficult to understand how you get there, but I get to a zone that’s like no other. Very rewarding.”

YOU’RE STILL COUNTIONG DOWN CLOSER TO MARIO WITH YOUR NUMBER OF POLES.“I’m aware of that. I need to average about four a year to get him, so… I’m up to three this year. That’s good. Still a few races to go, too. See what we can do. It would be very cool to be up there with such a legend, and to actually surpass him would be amazing. That is absolutely a goal because it’s close enough to be one now.”

ROSSI DID THIS RACE LAST YEAR IN TWO STOPS. WOULD YOU RATHER BE THE RABBIT AND GO FAST, THREE STOPS, OR SAVE FUEL?“Yeah, we’re planning on three, going pretty hard. That’s our plan.”

YOU TALKED ABOUT PUTTING PRESSURE ON YOURSELF. IS THE PRESSURE OFF OR ALLEVIATED?“It’s just typical of me. I just want to win. I just think you can’t think about winning, honestly. That may have been my mistake the last few races. You get a bit desperate to get a win. You just got to take what it gives you simply. You just can’t make those little mistakes at the end of races like I have the last two weeks.”

Inside Track Communications PR

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