ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – IndyCar champion Will Power will start the first race of his reign from the pole.
Power twice broke the track record in Saturday qualifying through the temporary street circuit in downtown St. Petersburg. He was briefly bumped from the top starting spot by new teammate Simon Pagenaud, but quickly reclaimed it with a lap at 1 minute, .6931 seconds.
His lap at 1:00.6509 in the second qualifying group stands as the new track record, breaking the mark of 1:00.928 set by Sebastien Bourdais in 2003.
In all, Team Penske swept the top four spots in qualifying and will hold down the first two rows when Sunday's race begins. Pagenaud qualified second and was followed by Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya.
Takuma Sato qualified fifth and Bourdais was sixth.