FORT WORTH, Texas (June 7, 2013) – Team Penske driver Will Power posted a pair of blistering laps that averaged nearly two miles per hour faster than his nearest competitor to easily capture the pole position during Friday’s qualifying for the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Power recorded a two-lap average qualifying speed of 219.182 mph (47.796 seconds) in his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet to easily outpace Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti (No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet), who qualified second at 217.553 mph. The margin between the two front-row starters was 1.629 mph and 0.357 of a second.
The pole was Power’s second of the season – the other came in the season opener at St. Petersburg – and 31st of his Indy-car career. It also moved him into a tie with Sebastian Bourdais and Dario Franchitti for seventh place all-time for pole positions. The pole also marks his best qualifying effort at Texas Motor Speedway, easily topping his previous best of third on three occasions.
For Andretti, the outside front row starting position is his best qualifying performance of the season. It bested his qualifying effort of third at Indianapolis.
Reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 1 DHL Chevrolet), Andretti’s teammate, gave Chevrolet a sweep of the top three qualifying positions with a lap of 217.524 mph.
Four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti (No. 10 Belkin Honda) allowed Honda to avoid a sweep of the top six qualifying positions by Chevrolet as he qualified fourth at 217.504 mph. He was followed by Andretti Autosport’s E.J. Viso (No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA Citgo Chevrolet) at 217.244 mph and three-time Texas Motor Speedway winner Helio Castroneves (No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet) at 217.100 mph.
The IZOD IndyCar Series will return to the track at 6:45 p.m. CT tonight for a final 30-minute practice session.
The Firestone 550 IZOZ IndyCar Series race begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and will be broadcast live on ABC-TV (WFAA-Channel 8 locally) and IMS Radio Network (KRLD 105.5 FM – The Fan).
Frontstretch tickets for Saturday evening’s Firestone 550, which begin as low as $35 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under, are available by calling the speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting the race tickets tab on www.texasmotorspeedway.com.