IndyCar Firestone GP Qualifying: Will Power takes pole after timing chaos.

image courtesy of IndyCar

Will Power took his ninth pole position on the streets of St Petersburg in the final qualifying of the season. Today’s achievement takes him to 62 career poles, now five behind Mario Andretti’s all-time record of 67.

A hectic session ensued in which multiple drivers had their times deleted due to various infringements, including Chip Ganassi’s Felix Rosenqvist who was relegated to 22nd for blocking Alex Palou. This caused a massive delay to the ‘Fast 12’ while IndyCar figured out the official classification.

Four Honda drivers, associated with Andretti finished inside the top five. Andretti Autosports’ Alexander Rossi lines up alongside Will Power in second place while Andretti Harding Steinbrenner driver Colton Herta continues his brilliant run of form starting in third.

Andretti Autosports’ James Hinchliffe will start in fourth in front of Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey in fifth who had one of their best qualifying performances of the season.

Of the six who made it through to the final Firestone Fast Six, Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward was the slowest.

A.J. Foyt Enterprises’ Sebastien Bourdais qualified in seventh place ahead of only realistic championship contender remaining, Penske’s Josef Newgarden in eighth. The two-time champion must win the race tomorrow to stand any chance of snatching the championship from Scott Dixon.

Originally qualifying in ninth place, he was bumped up to eighth after teammate Simon Pagenaud was dropped from eighth to 12th due to a penalty.

image courtesy of IndyCar

Rookies Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing and Oliver Askew of Arrow McLaren SP are set to round out the top ten in ninth and tenth place respectively. VeeKay is certain to win the coveted ‘Rookie of the Year’ title by starting the race tomorrow.

Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon starts in eleventh for tomorrow’s race and is assured his sixth championship title if he finishes in the same position. If Dixon finishes the race in eleventh, Newgarden can not mathematically win the title even if he wins the race.

image courtesy of IndyCar

IndyCar also welcomed Australian Supercar Champion Scott McLaughlin for his debut with team Penske. However, the Kiwi had some trouble getting used to the car and missed out on advancing to the second stage of qualifying, making contact with a wall in the process.

Here is the full starting lineup for the 2020 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the streets of St. Petersburg, with all penalties factored in.

Starting Lineup
1st – Will Power
2nd – Alexander Rossi
3rd – Colton Herta
4th – James Hinchcliffe
5th – Jack Harvey
6th – Pato O’Ward
7th – Sebastien Bourdais
8th – Josef Newgarden
9th – Rinus VeeKay
10th – Oliver Askew
11th – Scott Dixon
12th – Simon Pagenaud
13th – Takuma Sato
14th – Conor Daly
15th – Marcus Ericsson
16th – Alex Palou
17th – Graham Rahal
18th – Santino Ferrucci
19th – Ryan Hunter-Reay
20th – Charlie Kimball
21st – Scott McLaughlin
22nd – Felix Rosenqvist
23rd – Marco Andretti
24th – Max Chilton

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