There was a valuable Championship point up for grabs on Friday in Fontana. Neither Will Power or Ryan Hunter-Reay claimed it. Their teammates though, will be sharing the front row.
Marco Andretti claimed the pole, and Ryan Briscoe joins him on the front row for tomorrow night’s race at Auto Club Speedway. Power qualified third and Hunter-Reay 17th. Both drivers will be moving to the back after engine changes.
Power’s lead in the points standings remains at 17 entering the season finale tomorrow.
In the early Friday practice session, Ryan Briscoe sat on top of the speed charts. Ed Carpenter was second, and the top 16 cars were all separated by less than a second. There will be one more practice session tonight. The track record owned by Gil de Ferran was not threatened, and probably won’t ever be. In 2000, he put down a lap at 241.428 mph.
More than half of the field (including both title contenders) will be incurring ten-spot grid penalties before the 250-lap race due to the new engine rules. Power will start the race in 13th while Hunter-Reay will have his work cut out for him, starting in 22nd position.
Five hundred miles will determine the Championship winner this weekend, which is the first time the series races at the speedway since 2005. The green flag for the MAV TV IndyCar World Championship at Auto Club Speedway drops at 8:50 pm ET. The race will be shown live on NBC Sports Network with pre-race beginning at 7:30 pm.