Will Power on IndyCar pole at IMS as points leader Scott Dixon stumbles

Chris Jones/IndyCar
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Will Power captured a record fifth pole position Saturday on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, where NTT IndyCar Series points leader Scott Dixon continued to struggle in the Harvest GP.

With a lap of one minute, 8.9767 seconds in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet, Power qualified first for the fourth time this season and notched the 61st pole of his career (which trails only Mario Andretti’s 67).

Colton Herta will start on the front row for Saturday’s race (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC) alongside Power, followed by Alexander Rossi, Alex Palou, Pato O’Ward, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Jack Harvey and Felix Rosenqvist.

QUALIFYING RESULTS: Harvest GP Race 2 overall I Group 1 results I Group 2 results

SATURDAY’S RACEWhat you need to know for watching the Harvest GP

Starting ninth will be Josef Newgarden, Power’s teammate who won Friday’s Harvest GP Race 1. He is six spots ahead of Dixon, who will start 15th.

By virtue of his victory Friday, the two-time and defending series champion cut Dixon’s championship lead from 72 to 40 points with two races remaining (Saturday and the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida).

Dixon essentially will clinch his sixth title by leaving Indianapolis with a 55-point lead on Newgarden. Click here for the clinch scenarios in the championship over the final two races.

Power had three victories in eight starts at the IMS road course. He finished sixth Friday and placed 20th in his last start on pole at the track in the July 4 race.

“We made a lot of changes last night,” Power told NBC Sports Gold pit reporter Dillon Welch. “We did what we needed to do. Certainly, it’s a much better car (than Friday), and I’m obviously stoked to be on pole again and see what we can do today.”

Saturday’s race will be 75 laps, 10 laps shorter than Friday’s event, which left Power predicting it could be a two-stop fuel strategy affair.

“(Starting first) is valuable but unfortunately it’s going to be a fuel save race because of the distance and cool temps create more horsepower so it uses more fuel,” Power said.