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IndyCar: Power on pole as Penske sweeps the front row at Portland

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Will Power soared to the 54th pole of his Verizon IndyCar Series career during qualifying for Sunday’s Portland Grand Prix (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Power’s best lap in the Firestone Fast Six came in at 57.3467 seconds, bettering Justin Wilson’s old track record (57.597 seconds) by over two tenths of a second.

Power’s Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden made it a Penske front row lock-out by qualifying second, though his lap – a 57.6877 – was over three tenths of a second behind Power.

Power’s 54th pole put him clear of A.J. Foyt on the all-time list, putting second behind Mario Andretti, who has 67.

“Yeah, I mean, obviously to be up with names like Foyt, pretty special, humbling,” Power said in the post-qualifying press conference. “I need to catch Mario now. I don’t think that will happen, that’s a lot of poles. But, yeah, unbelievable. I would never have dreamed of being up there with names like A.J. Foyt.”

For Power, who trailed Dixon by 68 points entering the weekend, Sunday’s race is vital for his championship hopes, and he feels he is in a must-win situation.

“You know, the end of the day we have to win,” he asserted. “We have no shot at Sonoma if we don’t. We know that. We’ll take risks depending on the situation. But unpredictable. We’re aware that we have to finish not only ahead of Alex and Scott, but quite ahead. If they’re in the top three, it makes it very difficult for us.”

Alexander Rossi, who trails Scott Dixon by 26 points in the championship, qualified third, with Sebastien Bourdais rebounding from a crash in Practice 3 to qualify a strong fourth.

Ryan Hunter-Reay will start fifth, while Zach Veach advanced to his first Firestone Fast Six, qualifying sixth.

While Rossi enjoyed a strong outing in qualifying, Scott Dixon struggled somewhat, as he failed to advance to the Fast Six and settled for 11th on the grid.

Others who advanced to Round 2, but just missed the Fast Six are James Hinchcliffe (seventh), Ed Jones (eighth), Marco Andretti (ninth), Graham Rahal (tenth), and Jordan King (12th).

Results are below.

 

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Dean Wilson out for rest of Supercross season

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“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

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Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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