Power relieved, thankful to return to front row at Barber

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Second place isn’t ever where you want to be, but for Will Power, coming second in qualifying Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park was a perfect start to bouncing back after his disastrous Long Beach weekend.

From 18th on the grid, and after losing a lap when blocked on track prior to his first pit stop last week at Long Beach, Power finished 20th.

Today at Barber he led second practice and then ended second on the grid. He missed out to teammate Helio Castroneves but still felt he gave the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet all it had in today’s qualifying session.

“Yeah, we were strong in qualifying. Unfortunately it rained at the end,” Power said. “We were able to do our laps with just one lap in each of the seeding segments.

“I didn’t go harder. It’s everything we had. I’m very happy to start on the front row, considering last week at Long Beach.”

Power hasn’t got off to a “slow” start to the season per se, but the two-time Barber winner is keen to add his name to the 2015 winner’s list tomorrow after finishes of second, seventh and 20th to open the year.

“Qualifying well is huge here. We can win from there,” he said. “That’s definitely the plan tomorrow. It’s been a slow start to the season I guess you could say in the last two races. Very determined to get that first win of the year. See if we can get it done tomorrow.”

He’ll shoot to do so, with the race coverage of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama starting at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.