Will Power wins pole position for Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

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Will Power won the pole position for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Saturday afternoon, with a flying 1 minute, 5.1569 second lap around the 13-Turn, 2.258-mile road course.

The lap, which was the last lap Power made in the Firestone Fast Six, was what Power needed to claim the pole, and restore some much-needed confidence after an uncharacteristically poor season for the Aussie.

“It’s been such a bad year, so disappointing,” Power told NBC Sports following his pole run. “But I have such a fire in me when I do a lap like that, and with in mind everyone that has had such a great year, just sticking it to them.

“It just beats you down in the year when you keep having these bad runs, so I’m so happy to get the pole. So happy.

“It’s great for confidence. I feel so bad for my guys this year. I made some stupid mistakes and wasn’t on the ball in qualifying in Toronto, so this is that energy to pay it back to those guys for all of the effort they put in.”

After announcing a three-year contract extension with Andretti Autosport and Honda earlier in the afternoon, Alexander Rossi was almost about to cap off an already great day with the pole, before Power narrowly beat him for the top spot in his final lap.

“Just looking back at it, Will did a really slow first lap of his two lap run, and I think that I did two pushed laps in a row, and ultimately I ran out of tire because they were used by the time I got halfway through the lap, and that’s where the deficit came from,” Rossi said. “A little bit of a strategy call that they made better than us, but I think our race car is great.”

Row two of Sunday’s race will consist of Penske teammates Josef Newgarden starting third and Simon Pagenaud starting fourth. Sebastien Bourdais and Felix Rosenqvist qualified fifth and sixth, respectfully.

Colton Herta, Scott Dixon, Jack Harvey and Ryan-Hunter Reay round out the top 10 fastest qualifiers.

Live coverage of the Honda Indy 200 begins Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

Click here for full qualifying results 

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Kyle Busch happy with first stint: ‘Put me in the car, there’s excitement!’

AP Photo/Terry Renna
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Rolex 24 at Daytona debut of the “KB Show” was cut short by a strategy maneuver but still delivered drama and a positive result.

Kyle Busch got the No. 14 RCF GT3 Lexus back on the lead lap and back in contention for a GTD victory at Daytona International Speedway.

“It was good,” Kyle Busch said with a broad smile after a 42-minute stint. “Just, uh, shit, put me in the car, and there’s excitement around! Drove all my way back to the lead lap and everything.

“Overall, we’ve had a good experience and hell I only got one stint in, so I’m ready for more. Sign me up, coach!”

The two-time Cup champion was expected to drive for at least 90 minutes, but the first full-course caution of the race (with 19 hours and 16 minutes remaining) caused AIM Vasser Sullivan to change up its drive plan. Busch was called to the pits in favor of Parker Chase.

“With all the strategy and the way the wave-bys work here, it’s quite different than what we’re accustomed to (in NASCAR),” said Busch, who likely will drive longer now later in the race. “That wasn’t bad. To get ourselves back on the lead lap and back to a position where we can start scrapping again hopefully is what we needed.

“So I got one stint in, but I’m trying to save myself and (teammate) Jack (Hawksworth) for a little later.”

Busch climbed into the car shortly after 6 p.m. as the last of the No. 14’s four drivers. He complained a few times on his radio about traffic, which he said was his biggest challenge.

“There were a couple of instances we ran down a smaller car, and (it was) just mirror driving in front of us,” he said. “That was pretty bad. We lost probably 2 seconds on that. Overall, I guess that’s road racing.

The yellow flag was exactly what Busch’s team needed after being forced to start from the rear of the field when it missed qualifying because of an engine change. Hawksworth, who started the race, said the car was “quick in the wrong places and slow in the right places” after struggling with handling and speed in the first stint.

“I don’t feel we’re out of it,” Hawksworth said. “It’s a very long race. Still early days. We need to work on having speed for the end of the race. The position right now doesn’t really make any difference. We’ll need to find some performance at the end of the race to fight for the win.”