LEEDS, Ala.—Penske’s Will Power will start from the pole for the second time this season after turning in the fastest lap in qualifying for the IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park Saturday morning.
Power lapped the 2.3-mile, 17-turn facility in 115.878, .455 seconds faster than teammate Ryan Briscoe. Target-Ganassi’s Scott Dixon qualified third with a lap of 115.188.
After winning the pole here last year, Power finished fourth after losing the lead on an early pit stop. The Australian driver was determined to make up for that error in 2011.
“We are really focused n winning this race—I really want to win it,” Power said after qualifying. “I thought we had a really good car last year, better than we have this year, but we just made a bad call on strategy. I just want to make it work; I really want to win.
Being on the pole is a huge advantage at Barber, where IndyCars generally have a hard time passing. The twisting, hilly course lacks long straights where drivers can set up passes under braking. What Barber does have corners like Turn Four, where drivers can’t see the road ahead and have to set up for the corner on memory and instinct.
Power said the course suited him.
“This track is all about little details—it’s really about commitment. That’s where you make up big time on people. It’s a very technical circuit—that’s why I like it."
Coverage of the IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama begins at 3:45 p.m. on Versus.