Will Power fastest at Mid-Ohio for his 60th career pole position in IndyCar

Chris Jones/IndyCar

Will Power won the pole position in qualifying for Saturday afternoon’s NTT IndyCar Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a lap of 1 minute, 6.3 seconds in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet.

It’s the 60th career pole position for the Team Penske driver, who is IndyCar’s all-time winningest driver on road courses with 28 victories.

“Very pleased obviously,” Power told NBC Sports pit reporter Kelli Stavast. “Always good to see the Verizon 12 Chevy up front.”

QUALIFYING RESULTS: Click here for the full rundown l Group 1 l Group 2

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for starting positions and tire compounds

TODAY’S RACE DETAILS: Info for the Honda Indy 200

Power was fastest in the Group 1 qualifying session as the 13-turn, 2.258-mile circuit seemed to lose grip over the course of qualifying.

After posing the past fastest lap in practice, Ryan-Hunter qualified second as the fastest car in Group 2. It’s the first front row start for the Andretti Autosport driver since he won the pole for the Sept. 16, 2018 season finale at Sonoma (his most recent victory in the series).

Josef Newgarden, Conor Daly and Jack Harvey rounded out the top five in qualifying.

Alexander Rossi was sixth after going off course in Group 2, and rookie Alex Palou (20th) lost his best lap for running through the grass and causing a local yellow. Points leader Scott Dixon (17th) was among the other drivers who struggled with handling in qualifying.

“It’s a very slippery track,” Power said. “It takes rubber a lot over the session, so at the beginning, it was very slippery. That lap still didn’t feel like the tires are in, you’re sliding all over the place. Car felt good, man, I just want to have a great race. That’s what I care about.”

It’s the third pole this season for Power and his series-leading fifth at Mid-Ohio.

Power is seeking his first victory since just over a year ago at Portland. He also is winless in 11 prior starts at Mid-Ohio.

“You got to execute on all fronts,” he said. “Me a as a driver, the strategy and the pit stops. That’s how you win races And if a lucky yellow falls your way, which kinda hasn’t gone our way this year. We’ll see what we can do.”

Dixon entered Mid-Ohio with a chance to wrap up his sixth championship but qualified an uncharacteristic 17th for the opener of a Saturday-Sunday doubleheader after posting top-five speeds in practice.

“We have no ideas what happened,” Dixon told Stavast. “The balance was good this morning. Maybe it was that set of tires, or maybe we missed something.

“Unfortunately, that definitely really hurt us. So we’ll have to look at trying to do something different strategy-wise. It’s tough because it’s a pretty straightforward race.”

The five-time series champion is the defending winner at the circuit in Lexington, Ohio, and also is the series’ winningest driver at Mid-Ohio with six victories. Dixon won after starting 22nd in the 2014 race.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver earlier had recovered from a half-spin Saturday to post the fourth-quickest time in practice.

Pato O’Ward also spun in practiced and qualified 15th after his crew repaired slight damage to his No. 5 Dallara-Chevrolet.

IndyCar qualifying results

1. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 01:06.3343 (122.543 mph)
2. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 01:06.7287 (121.819)
3. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 01:06.5508 (122.144)
4. (20) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 01:06.8761 (121.550)
5. (60) Jack Harvey, Honda, 01:06.7690 (121.745)
6. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 01:07.1856 (120.990)
7. (10) Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 01:06.7841 (121.718)
8. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:07.2205 (120.927)
9. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 01:07.0110 (121.305)
10. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 01:07.2489 (120.876)
11. (98) Marco Andretti, Honda, 01:07.0162 (121.296)
12. (59) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 01:07.4491 (120.518)
13. (88) Colton Herta, Honda, 01:07.0212 (121.287)
14. (18) Santino Ferrucci, Honda, 01:07.5011 (120.425)
15. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 01:07.0354 (121.261)
16. (7) Oliver Askew, Chevrolet, 01:07.6211 (120.211)
17. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 01:07.1406 (121.071)
18. (30) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:07.8192 (119.860)
19. (26) Zach Veach, Honda, 01:07.2101 (120.946)
20. (55) Alex Palou, Honda, 01:08.1548 (119.270)
21. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 01:07.3890 (120.625)
22. (4) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 01:08.3783 (118.880)
23. (14) Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet, 01:08.5442 (118.592)

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:

Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change