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Power Digs Deep To Grab NTT P1 Award for Pole at GMR Grand Prix

Whether considering raw speed or history, it will take quite an effort to beat Will Power on Saturday in the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Power earned the NTT P1 Award for winning the pole for the second NTT INDYCAR SERIES race of the 2020 season, setting the pace at 1 minute, 10.1779 seconds, 125.116 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet on his final lap in the Firestone Fast Six. Qualifying took place in steamy conditions, with air temperatures in the low 90s on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course.

2014 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Power drove to his 58th career pole, second best all time and just nine behind Mario Andretti’s record of 67. He also led the one practice session earlier in the day at 1:09.9487.

“We left nothing on the table in that lap in the Verizon Chevrolet,” Power said of qualifying. “I knew that (Jack) Harvey had a pretty good time up there, so we put our best set on for the last run, and I just gave it my all. Fortunately, it was enough.”

Not only does Power have pace on his side for the 80-lap race that starts at noon (ET, live on NBC) Saturday, he also has history for support. This was his fourth career pole in seven starts in this event, and he has won all three previous years he started from the pole, in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Power’s scintillating, last-gasp pole dash was enough to knock a superb lap from Jack Harvey from the top of the charts. Harvey, who finished third in this event last year, ended up qualifying second at 1:10.3653 in the No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda.

Colton Herta was third at 1:10.5197 in the No. 88 Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana Honda, with Graham Rahal fourth at 1:10.5844 in the No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Honda.

Oliver Askew was the top-qualifying rookie, fifth at 1:10.8404 in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. Reigning series champion Josef Newgarden rounded out the Firestone Fast Six, not posting a lap time after going off course in Turn 12 during his flying lap in the No. 1 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet.

Five-time series champion Scott Dixon will start seventh in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda after just missing a berth in the Firestone Fast Six by 57-thousandths of a second.

Three-time and reigning GMR Grand Prix winner Simon Pagenaud had a tough day, not making it out of the first round of qualifying in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet. He will start 20th in the 26-car field.

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