Will Power wins Grand Prix pole — again

IndyCar driver Will Power (12) climbs from his car and gives the thumbs up has he wins his 7th track pole position on day two of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Saturday (03/11/17). DIRK SHADD   |   Times
IndyCar driver Will Power (12) climbs from his car and gives the thumbs up has he wins his 7th track pole position on day two of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Saturday (03/11/17). DIRK SHADD | Times
Published March 11 2017
Updated March 11 2017

By Matt Baker

Times Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG - Will Power will start from the pole in Sunday's IndyCar Series season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Again.

The Team Penske driver won the pole for the seventh time in eight years at the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street course. Power won the pole last year, too, but missed the race because of what was believed to be a concussion.

Power, a two-time winner here, clocked a lap of 61.0640 seconds, topping Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Penske teammate Josef Newgarden. Takuma Sato and Tony Kanaan qualified fifth and sixth.

Penske - which swept the top four qualifying spots each of the last two years - failed to advance half of its drivers beyond the first round of qualifying. Defending series champion Simon Pagenaud and three-time Grand Prix winner Helio Castroneves will start 14th and 16th, respectfully.

St. Petersburg resident Sebastien Bourdais hit the tire wall in the first round of qualifying, ending his session. He'll start last in the 21-car field.

Contact Matt Baker at mbaker@tampabay.com. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

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