Power Takes Pole, Penske Sweeps St. Pete Qualifying

By Chris Jasurek, Epoch Times
March 12, 2016 9:24 pm Last Updated: March 12, 2016 9:25 pm

Will Power scored pole for the Verizon IndyCar Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Saturday afternoon, setting a new course record with a lap of 1:00.0658 at 107.882 mph. It was the Australian driver’s 43rd IndyCar series pole and his sixth at St. Pete.

Power set fastest lap despite having a severe stomach disorder; after qualifying he was barely able to stand long enough accept the Verizon P1 pole award.

“Unfortunately, I’ve been feeling pretty ill all day,” Power said in a statement after the session. “It was a struggle to get through qualifying honestly. … The car was great today and a big credit to the guys for doing a terrific job in qualifying.”

Despite being ill, Penske's Will Power won the pole for the 2016 IndyCar St. Pete Grand Prix with a new track record. (Chris Jasurek/Epoch Times)
Despite being ill, Penske’s Will Power won the pole for the 2016 IndyCar St. Pete Grand Prix with a new track record. (Chris Jasurek/Epoch Times)

Power led a Team Penske sweep of the first four grid positions; in fact, Penske Racing duplicated the front of the 2015 St. Pete Grand Prix, with Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castroneves, and Juan Montoya scoring spots two the four.

Target/Chip Ganassi driver Scott Dixon qualified fifth, giving Chevrolet a lock on the top five. Andretti Autosports driver Ryan Hunter-Reay in sixth had the first Honda-powered car on the grid.

The Verizon IndyCar Grand Prix of St. Petersburg starts at 12:50 p.m. on Sunday, March 13. Tickets are available through the St. Pete GP website.

The race will be televised on ABC. Live timing and scoring is available on IndyCar.com.