INDIANAPOLIS — No one has won as many NTT INDYCAR SERIES poles in the history of the sport than Will Power. The Team Penske driver is a 68-time pole winner as he set that new record in the 2022 season finale at Laguna Seca.
With two series championships, a Indy 500 triumph and now being the pole king, what more is there left to accomplish for the 42-year-old? Well an Indy 500 pole for starters.
Despite 68 career poles, none of which have come in the year’s biggest race. He’s 0-for-15.
“Man we we’ve done everything we can to get qualifying speed there’s not at the end of the day, you’re at the mercy of the speed of the car simply,” Power told me. “Then you’ve just got to put downforce to match.
“Honestly, it has you have to have the car. You have to have that that you have to have cars capable of doing it then it’s up to you to how much you want to trim. But unless you have that you just simply so you know, just at the mercy of what you want what car it is. Because very finicky here, you can just have a fast car and it can be the best of the team. They’re all built the same. One just slightly faster. So I would be waiting to have that car for many years. I’ve had it been close then. Yeah. Been on the front row. But yeah, yeah, it’d be nice.
“Like to get for flat out lap so team has worked I’d say last three years extremely hard on that. So we’re hoping to get all cars and the top 12 this year and closer to the front, but obviously it matters in the race because I got the top 12 and went all the way back to last with a loose car so I think I think we’re all pretty keen for a good run this month.”
At one point, Power made the Fast 9 in 11 straight years here, including four front row starting spots (2010, 2014, 2015, 2018), but none of those resulted in a pole. He’s finished 14th or worse in 4 of the last 6 Indy 500 starts.
Is this the year?
Power was seventh on the overall speed charts this week before Fast Friday and turned in the second quickest no tow lap on Thursday. He was fourth on the four-lap average chart to close the week.
“Yeah, we’ve worked extremely hard in the off-season development-wise,” said Power on Fast Friday. “Just sort of two days in of running I feel like we’re in a pretty good place, definitely in race work.
“The no-tow laps look good right now, but you never sort of can rely on that. I think today we’ll get a pretty good idea of where we stack up pace-wise.
“There’s so many good team-driver combinations now, people — all these teams turn up, they just improve every year, and the car doesn’t change. So there’s a ceiling.
“I think Ganassi was the top, and everyone is sort of getting up there now. I think it’s going to be one of the tightest qualifyings in history here, especially to get in the top 12.
“I think we’ve done the work and I think Chevy has improved a bit, and I’m really hoping all three of us are in that top 12, and if everything goes really well, fighting for a pole.”