Thursday, April 26, 2018
Sports

Penske's Will Power wins sixth Grand Prix of St. Petersburg pole

ST. PETERSBURG — Will Power wrecked Friday in the first practice session of the IndyCar season.

Then he got sick after Saturday's final run.

And in the middle, Power broke his own track record (twice) and won the pole for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg for the sixth time in the past seven years.

"Every driver has a quality," Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves said. "He certainly likes the way the car's set up and takes the best out of it."

Power certainly did Saturday, recording the day's quickest lap (60.0658 seconds) and leading Penske's 1-2-3-4 qualifying effort despite battling an illness.

Power navigated the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street course in 60.5678 seconds during the first qualifying run, breaking the record he set last year.

His new mark didn't last long as revamped aero kits led to faster speeds across the board before today's 110-lap race. Power's top time last year (60.6509 seconds) wouldn't have advanced him into this year's final qualifying round; seven drivers had quicker laps Saturday.

Power's No. 12 Chevrolet held off teammate Simon Pagenaud in the final session to win his second straight Grand Prix pole.

The 35-year-old Australian didn't celebrate his 43rd career pole for long. His wife, Liz, helped him sit on the pit wall after a few photographs. Power's complexion looked almost as pale as his new white fire suit. A few minutes later, he was on a golf cart and headed away from the track before he could speak with reporters.

"It was a struggle to get through qualifying, honestly, but we were able to do it," Power said in a statement. "… I'll try to get some rest (Saturday) and come back ready to race on Sunday."

Power's health was the only issue for Penske, which continued its dominance here by sweeping the top four qualifying spots for the second year in a row, and in the same order: Power, followed by Pagenaud, Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya.

"Shocking, isn't it?" said Montoya, the defending Grand Prix winner.

Four-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon will start fifth, one spot ahead of Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay, who was the lone Honda to advance to the final round of qualifying.

"It's somewhat frustrating talking about top Honda all the time," said Hunter-Reay, the 2012 series champ. "We want to be back where we should be, fighting with these guys."

Graham Rahal qualified seventh, followed by St. Petersburg resident Sebastien Bourdais. Former Grand Prix winner James Hinchcliffe will start ninth in his first race back from a horrific crash before last year's Indianapolis 500.

Contact Matt Baker at [email protected]. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

Starting grid

Pos. (Car No.) Driver Engine MPH Time

1. (12) Will Power Chevrolet 107.561 1:00.245

2. (22) Simon Pagenaud Chevrolet 107.21 1:00.4421

3. (3) Helio Castroneves Chevrolet 107.108 1:00.4995

4. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 107.052 1:00.5312

5. (9) Scott Dixon Chevrolet 107.038 1:00.5385

6. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay Honda 106.438 1:00.8803

7. (15) Graham Rahal Honda 106.95 1:00.5893

8. (11) Sebastien Bourdais Chevrolet 106.805 1:00.6711

9. (5) James Hinchcliffe Honda 106.803 1:00.6724

10. (41) Jack Hawksworth Honda 106.721 1:00.7188

11. (14) Takuma Sato Honda 106.274 1:00.9745

12. (21) Josef Newgarden Chevrolet 106.13 1:01.0571

13. (26) Carlos Munoz Honda 105.907 1:01.1856

14. (83) Charlie Kimball Chevrolet 106.154 1:01.0433

15. (27) Marco Andretti Honda 105.81 1:01.2417

16. (19) Luca Filippi Honda 105.934 1:01.1699

17. (8) Max Chilton Chevrolet 105.302 1:01.5372

18. (7) Mikhail Aleshin Honda 105.721 1:01.2934

19. (98) Alexander Rossi Honda 105.23 1:01.5794

20. (10) Tony Kanaan Chevrolet 105.638 1:01.3414

21. (18) Conor Daly Honda 104.62 1:01.9385

22. (16) Spencer Pigot Honda 105.558 1:01.3881

Note: All cars have Dallara chassis.

     
       
Comments
Don’t call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

Don’t call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

BALTIMORE — First, think of what you were doing on Oct. 5, 2012, and how much has happened in your own world since then.That will give you a time frame.Next, think of the challenge of rehabbing from two Tommy John surgeries and a third procedur...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning to face Bruins in East semifinals

Lightning to face Bruins in East semifinals

The Bruins beat the Maple Leafs 7-4 in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series Wednesday night and will face the Lightning in the Eastern Conference semifinals beginning Saturday at Amalie Arena.Here is the semifinal schedule:Saturday: at Tampa, 3...
Updated: 3 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 25

Wednesday’s scoreboardBaseballCanterbury 5, Shorecrest 4SoftballClass 6A, District 6 Semifinal: Springstead 10, Citrus 0
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

TAMPA – This is the Rubiks Cube of NFL drafts. It can be twisted and turned it in any direction. Not many know how everything will line up.For the Bucs, the puzzle is simple.  Since they have the No. 7 overall pick, they need four quarterb...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBaseballTwins at Yankees1 p.m.MLBRays at Orioles7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMBrewers at Cubs8 p.m.MLBCollege baseballAuburn at Florida7 p.m.ESPNULSU at Mississippi 8 p.m.SECCollege lacrosse, womenACC tournament: Louisville vs. Boston College11 a.m.FSFAC...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Softball: Boca Ciega edges Tarpon Springs for 6A-9 title

Softball: Boca Ciega edges Tarpon Springs for 6A-9 title

DUNEDIN — It's hard to believe that we'll see a more emotional, more exciting game than this one throughout the rest of the postseason.Top seed Tarpon Springs and No. 2 Boca Ciega were fearless with the Class 6A-9 title on the line Wednesd...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Rays Journal: A win over ex-mate Cobb, and in a record way

BALTIMORE – The Rays knew there would be all kinds of mixed feeling seeing longtime former teammate Alex Cobb pitching against them in Orioles orange.And they made sure he didn't enjoy it.The Rays knocked Cobb out in the fifth inning, and rolle...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

UPDATE, 5:34: Venters, understandably, was humbled and happy to make it back. "It's hard to put into words how I'm feeling," he said. "It's been an emotional day."Venters was in uniform in the Durham clubhouse during rain delay when he got called in ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Report: Former ‘Bama starting QB to visit USF

Report: Former ‘Bama starting QB to visit USF

USF's quarterback derby could have a prominent 11th-hour entrant.Former Alabama QB Blake Barnett, the Crimson Tide's opening day starter in 2016 who transferred to Arizona State shortly thereafter, is leaving Tempe as a grad transfer, several media o...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Art of the block: Get in the way of the puck. Expect pain.

Art of the block: Get in the way of the puck. Expect pain.

BRANDON — The welts and the bruises and — yes, even the broken bones — they are the badges given this time of year to the hearty souls who, in hockey vernacular, sacrifice the body.They are awarded to the guys who knock aside wrist ...
Updated: 10 hours ago