Will Power captures his fourth pole position at Indy road course

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Will Power captured his fourth pole position for the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, bumping Jack Harvey off the top spot in qualifying Friday as the final round ended.

Harvey, who narrowly missed the first pole position of his NTT IndyCar Series career, will start a career-best second in Saturday’s race (noon ET, NBC), followed by Colton Herta, Graham Rahal, rookie Oliver Askew and Josef Newgarden.

Power told NBCSN pit reporter Marty Snider that he left “nothing on the table on that lap. I knew Harvey had a pretty good time up there, so we put our best set on for the last run and just gave it my all. And fortunately, it was enough. But man, the heat. I just want to jump in an ice bath right now, I’m so bloody hot.”

RESULTS: Click here to see the qualifying speeds at Indy

Power has won the previous three times he started from the GMR Grand Prix pole position in 2015, ’17, and ’18.

“You’ve got to be smart, get through that first corner,” the Team Penske driver said. “I think being on pole is definitely a good spot. You’re probably going to be out of a bit of harm’s way, but obviously a lot of guys hungry behind you trying to gain some positions.”

Harvey improved a spot from last year’s third-place starting spot for Meyer Shank Racing.

“Just Will Power doing Will Power things,” Harvey told NBCSN pit reporter Dave Burns. “I don’t know how else to describe it. Everyone at Meyer Shank is working their butts off to be competitive.”

It’s the 58th IndyCar pole of Power’s career and his 12th consecutive season with at least one pole position. He is nine behind Mario Andretti for the all-time record.

After coming up nearly four 10ths of a second behind Power, Herta said it was “almost heart breaking. You qualify third and have (that) gap, and it’s ‘Oh man.'”

There were no drivers from Andretti Autosport and Chip Ganassi Racing who reached the Fast Six final round of qualifying as several big names failed to advance from the second round.

Scott Dixon just missed making the final round by five hundreths of a second.

“Definitely pretty close,” the five-time IndyCar series champion said. “A lot of guys there in that last session that went quickly that we probably didn’t expect to, so it’ll definitely make for an interesting race tomorrow.”

Defending race winner Simon Pagenaud also will be coming from deep in the field after qualifying 20th of 26 cars.

Sergio Perez still has coronavirus; will miss second consecutive F1 race

F1 Sergio Perez out
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SILVERSTONE, England — Sergio Perez will be out for a second F1 race at Silverstone this week after again testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Mexican driver had hoped to return to Formula One after spending seven days in quarantine, but his Racing Point team said this morning he had tested positive.

“He is physically well and recovering,” the team said. “The whole team wishes Sergio and his family well and we look forward to his return.”

That means German veteran Nico Hulkenberg again fills in for Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after having also replaced Sergio Perez when he was out for the F1 British Grand Prix at the same venue last week. Hulkenberg did not start that race because of an engine problem.

There are two consecutive weekends of racing at Silverstone as Formula One tries to pack in races following the pandemic-delayed start to the season.

Perez became the first Formula One driver to test positive for coronavirus, and it had been unclear whether he would be available to drive after the period of quarantine was extended to 10 days.

Racing Point also was in the news Friday after being hit with a 15-point penalty in the Formula One constructors’ championship and fined 400,000 euros ($470,000) Friday for using brake ducts based on those from last year’s Mercedes cars.

The stewards ruled that Mercedes was the “principal designer” of the parts, and that Racing Point made only minor changes to computer design data it received from Mercedes.

Rival team Renault filed protests about the legality of the brake ducts, which were added to the “listed parts” under F1 rules for 2020. That means teams must design their own. Racing Point argued it was merely using information about the Mercedes parts to inform its own design.

Racing Point uses customer engines from Mercedes and has admitted basing its 2020 car design on photographs of last year’s Mercedes car. The similarities led to the Racing Point being nicknamed the “pink Mercedes” when it was first seen in testing ahead of the season.

Racing Point can appeal the ruling. The points deduction drops the team from fifth to sixth in the standings, below Renault. The ruling doesn’t affect the points totals for Racing Point’s drivers.