Will Power claims second straight IndyCar pole

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Through two rounds of the 2019 season, Will Power is the only pole sitter IndyCar has known. With a lap of 1 minute, 46.018 seconds, he outpaced Alexander Rossi (1:46.176) to win the 56th pole of his career and will lead the field to green at Circuit of the Americas (1 p.m. Sunday on NBCSN).

“That last lap was very neat,” Power said on NBCSN after the session was completed. “I finally breathed by the time I got to the start/finish line.”

Last week, Power set a fast early pace, but finished third on the Streets of St. Petersburg. This week he has 100,000 reasons to stay in the lead until the checkers wave with a $100,000 bonus on the line. The bonus from the track was announced Friday prior to practice.

Rossi was .159 seconds behind in second and knew precisely where he lost the time.

“The thing that’s bothersome is that it was a good lap, but (Power) has nearly 60 poles for a reason,” Rossi said. “I missed it a bit in the final corner to open the lap, so I knew I was climbing an uphill battle from there.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:46.323) rounded out the top three.

Rookie contender Colton Herta (1:46.359) makes it would appear practice may be overrated. He missed most of Friday after blowing an engine in Practice 1. Herta got a few laps on track with the soft red tires during an added session for pit stop practice and as a result had an idea of what to expect in Saturday’s time trials. That allowed him to post the fourth-fastest time.

Chip Ganassi teammate Felix Rosenqvist (1:46.568) and Scott Dixon (1:46.938) will line up on row three.

“I haven’t really gelled with the track,” Dixon said after qualification. “It’s been frustrating even with the test we had here. It hasn’t been for a lack of laps. … The car has speed. We’ve seen that through (teammate) Felix.”

Watch the race on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on NBCSN or at NBCSports.com or the NBC Sports app

INDYCAR Photo
Will Power scored his second consecutive pole at Circuit of the Americas. (Chris Jones, IndyCar)

Round 1 proved to be critical for several of the top drivers. In Group 1, Jack Harvey spun in the closing moments, which caught Sebastian Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe on track and unable to complete their fastest lap. They both failed to advance to Round 2.

In Group 2, Tony Kanaan spun with 30 seconds remaining to bring out the red flag. As a result, he lost his two fastest laps and did not advance to Round 2. The incident also caught out Simon Pagenaud and Marco Andretti.

It was the second time in two races that Bourdais and Pagenaud were unable to advance because of red flags in Round 1.

Josef Newgarden benefitted from the incident. He was posted seventh at the time of the red flag, but moved up one spot and advanced to Round 2 with Kanaan’s penalty.

Newgarden could not quite find the speed to advance to the Fast Six.

“We knew it was going to be tight once the weekend progressed,” Newgarden said on NBCSN after failing to advance to the Fast Six. “And it just wasn’t enough; it wasn’t a good enough lap. I missed a bit to start the lap in (Turn) 19. You have to take a lot of risks with the way we’re running it.”

IndyCar removed track limits from Turn 19, allowing drivers to go over the curb and into a wide run-off area to keep their momentum up.

Click here for complete qualification results

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Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified

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FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

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