Power on Pole at Sonoma

powerxWill Power is serious this time.

The championship leader added one more point to his lead, which is now 40, heading into Sunday’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. Power won the pole for tomorrow’s race, where he was won three of the last four years. After winning the last race at Milwaukee, Power is clearly on a mission to finally put the pieces together when it matters most, late in the season. Josef Newgarden will be starting alongside Power on the front row.

Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe will start in Row 2, while Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves will start from Row 3. Castroneves was on point to start next to Power at the front of the field, but he ran off course on his final lap of qualifying, which took away his fastest lap. Sebastien Bourdais, Tony Kanaan, Carlos Munoz, and Ryan Hunter-Reay round out the top ten. The other title contender, Simon Pagenaud, will be starting in 15th on Sunday. He and the SPM team have had brake and handling issues since unloading.

Click here to see the Qualifying results for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

This is the second straight pole for Power, and the 36th of his career. Power broke his own track record on Saturday, with a lap of 1:17.2393 seconds. The back the field will be loaded with plenty of talent. Along with Pagenaud, Marco Andretti, Justin Wilson, Mike Conway, Jack Hawksworth, and Juan Montoya will be fighting their way to the front on Sunday.

Both Power and Castroneves are in good shape for tomorrow’s race, but Pagenaud will have some serious work to do to get back into the mix. All three drivers are seeking their first series title. Hunter-Reay, the 2012 champion and defending Indy 500 winner, is 109 points out of the lead with two races to go. The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma begins at 4 PM ET on NBC Sports Network. Brian Till is the lead announcer, with Sam Hornish Jr. and Paul Tracy as analysts.

Below you can watch highlights from today’s qualifying, courtesy of IndyCar.

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