red, white & black and will all over

Will Power
Will Power. Photo by Bob Tarvin/Tarvin Images
Will Power
Will Power

Team Penske will start Sunday’s Izod IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma 1-2-3 with WILL POWER/No.12 Verizon Team Penske on pole with an 1:18.6017 – the only driver to break into the eighteens.


It was Power’s sixth pole this season and twenty-second in IndyCar. He won last year’s Infineon race from the pole, courtesy of being tops in the Fast Six.

All 28 drivers qualified on the faster, softer Red option Firestone tire. Power said the reds “were worth a second.”

Teammates RYAN BRISCOE/No.6 Penske Truck Rental and HELIO CASTRONEVES/No.3 Guidepoint Systems Team Penske were second and third. This is the first time this year for Team Penske to start all three drivers up front together. They did it twice last year, Watkins Glen and Motegi.

Power said it was great to have his two teammates right up there with him.

Ryan Briscoe & James Hinchcliffe
Ryan Briscoe & James Hinchcliffe

Castroneves feels great. Saturday morning he spun on the dusty track, couldn’t turn, went straight off course – and wasn’t able to restart. He really didn’t want to cause a full-course yellow situation, so he fiddled around and off he went. Castroneves said he knew Saturday he had a Top Three car.

Fourth through sixth were Points leader DARIO FRANCHITTI/No.10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing; SCOTT DIXON/No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing; and Rookie JAMES HINCHCLIFFE/No.06 Sprott Newman Haas Racing.

Franchitti still holds the IndyCar qualifying track record at Infineon set last year with a time of 1:16.4792, which he set in his second qualifying session which moved him into the Fast Six.

This is Hinchcliffe’s first Fast Six appearance.

Notables: ANA BEATRIZ/No.24 Team Ipiranga/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing was the top female, in tenth position. MARTIN PLOWMAN/No.17 Snowball Express AFS/SSM Racing, fastest in the morning session on red tires, qualified fifteenth. Home-track favorite, JR HILDEBRAND/No.4 National Guard Panther Racing will start twentieth; Substituting for SIMONA DE SILVESTRO is SIMON PAGENAUD/No.78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy HVM Racing in twenty-second; HO-PIN TUNG/No.88 Schmidt Dragon Racing – first race in an Indy Car and first time at Sonoma starts twenty-fourth. DANICA PATRICK/No.7 GoDaddy gridded twenty fifth.

The thermometer showed low eighties in temperature, but with the brisk breeze blowing away all the clouds, there was a wind chill factor, making it ‘fresh’ – an Aussie term for cold.

Sunday IndyCars warm up at 9 am PT/12 ET, with the race airing live on VERSUS starting at 1 pm PT/4 pm ET.