IndyCar

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

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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.

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Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”