IndyCar

Will Power earns 52nd career IndyCar pole to start No. 1 at Iowa

Leave a comment

Even though he won the Indianapolis 500 in May, Will Power needed a big lift after DNFs in the last two Verizon IndyCar races (at Texas Motor Speedway and Road America).

Power got that in Saturday’s qualifying, taking the pole position for Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300 (2:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN) at Iowa Speedway with an average speed of 182.391 mph.

“I had to lift late in the corner, a little bit loose in one and two,” Power told the INDYCAR Radio Network. “That was about all I had.”

It’s Power’s 52nd career IndyCar pole and his fourth at Iowa, including his second straight.

“I love this place, it’s a real tough boring little oval,” Power said. “I’ve been trying to win this one for so long. I’m obviously starting the race in a good spot.”

Power then added with a chuckle, “It’s a big year for me if I win the Indianapolis 500 and at Iowa. If I was looking at a list of things to do, that would almost top the list.”

Power led a Team Penske onslaught, as Josef Newgarden (181.160 mph) qualified No. 2 and Simon Pagenaud (180.313 mph) will start Sunday’s race from the No. 4 spot.

“We had a real good lap,” Newgarden said. “Just missed it. Starting on the front row is a good job for Team Penske.”

Andretti Autosport grabbed the third and fifth positions.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, who has won three times at Iowa Speedway, qualified third (180.681 mph).

Alexander Rossi (179.801 mph) qualified fifth, while points leader Scott Dixon (179.526 mph) – who has never won at Iowa in 11 starts – qualified sixth.

Canadian rookie Robert Wickens (178.883 mph) will start seventh.

“I’m pretty happy,” Wickens told the INDYCAR Radio Network. “I was worried that I wouldn’t even crack the top-10.”

Rounding out the top 10 qualifiers were Ed Jones (178.720 mph), Ed Carpenter (178.717), Takuma Sato (178.708).

Eleventh through 20th were James Hinchcliffe (178.478), Graham Rahal (178.410), Tony Kanaan (178.008), Zach Veach (177.809), Sebastien Bourdais (177.681), Gabby Chaves (176.466), Charlie Kimball (176.245), Spencer Pigot (175.210), Marco Andretti (174.548) and Zachary Claman De Melo (174.339).

Wrapping up the 22-car field were Max Chilton (173.449) in 21st and Matheus Leist (168.724) in 22nd.

There was one near-miss in Turns 3 and 4 when James Hinchcliffe almost lost control of his car.

“Not ideal on a qualifying effort, for sure,” Hinchcliffe told the IndyCar Radio Network. “It caught me a little bit coming off Turn 4. I had to keep my foot in it and hope I could hold on.”

Results are below.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Michael Carter wins Mazda Road to 24 Shootout

@MazdaRacing Twitter
Leave a comment

Michael Carter was selected as the winner of the 2018 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.

Carter was one of four drivers who competed for the honor and a $100,000 scholarship that went along with it. Matthew Dirks, Hannah Grisham and Loni Unser also competed.

With the scholarship, Carter will compete in the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.

“What a journey this has been,” said Carter in a press release. “The reason I started racing a Mazda was because of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. It was our one single goal all along and to finally accomplish that is surreal. The process begins next week of getting ready for next season, for the series test at Barber, and to put together a good season in the Global MX-5 Cup.”

Carter was invited to the Shootout largely because of his 2018 performance in SCCA. He finished second in the SCCA Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship, won the Spec Miata Challenge and won in Spec Miata at the American Road Race of Champions.

The 18-year-old Carter had his eye on the Road to Mazda early.

“Each year, it is exciting to see the next batch of talent that is in the pipeline,” said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports. “I heard something from Michael and his father that really hit a chord with me which was that they built a Spec Miata with the sole purpose of going up the Mazda Road to 24 ladder.

That really speaks to the challenger spirit at Mazda, to why we have the Shootout, and to the family that we have at Mazda. Michael is the driver today who walks away with the scholarship, but we had four families come together here who have all gone racing together. For all of us at Mazda, it’s very rewarding to give these families a chance to go racing together. We look forward to watching Michael take the next step in his career in next season’s Global MX-5 Cup.”