MADISON, Ill — Will Power is now in a tie with Mario Andretti for most poles in NTT INDYCAR Series history. He did so by earning his 67th career Indy Car pole on Friday afternoon at the World Wide Technology Raceway. That’s a feat he’s celebrating for sure.
“Yeah, something I’ve had my eye on for a while,” an elated Power said after netting not only his 4th pole award this season but 4th here at WWTR as well. “I think when I got to 60, I was like, This could be possible.
“When I got the double pole at Iowa, that’s when it became really realistic. The year before I had one pole. I think the year before that I had three. It was getting increasingly harder to get pole position. I was kind of thinking, This is going to be pretty hard to beat.
“But the double pole at Iowa was real key. Yep, great team, great engine, great crew. That’s what I’ve had. I’ve been lucky.
“Yep, it’s definitely a big box to tick.”
However, while he’s happy about the pole, he’s also putting that aside to focus on Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 (6 p.m. ET, USA, INDYCAR Radio Network) too.
“No, I’m not feeling any relief because I’m so focused on the race and the championship,” Power said. “I can think about that later and feel good about it. Right now it’s just so important to have a good car in the race and race well, yeah, have a solid day.
“It’s pretty typical of INDYCAR, right? It’s just going to go down to the last race. The way I see it, even on points right now, it’s that close, it can just flip. It’s going to be about who can finish ahead of who. Simple as that.
“But, yeah, now focusing forward on the race. That’s really the big thing on my mind, is having a good day. Yeah, everyone’s at the front, so it’s just going to be…”
His 6 rivals for the title are all behind him in line. In saying that, the pole and tying Mario is one thing, Power said that he’s after Mario’s son as his next goal. He’s one win shy of tying Michael Andretti for 4th most ever. Can he do so on Saturday?
“I need to tie Michael in wins. That’s one win away,” he said.
He’s won 18 times from the pole during his career which ranks in a tie for 3rd most ever. However, out of his other 3 poles here, he’s winless. He finished 20th in 2017, 17th in Race 1 of 2020 and 3rd last year.
Out of his other 3 poles on the season, he was also winless finishing 3rd in May’s GMR Grand Prix and 3rd and 2nd respectively at Iowa.
Can he end that funk in Saturday’s race?
You would think since qualifying means a lot, the pole winner would have success in finding victory lane. In fact, it’s the exact opposite in Gateway. There’s not been a pole winner here since Helio Castroneves did it in 2003. For Iowa, a similar track, the pole winner is now 1-for-17. On the season, the pole winner is 1-for-14.