Will Power has showed a U-turn in form with pole position for the Texas 550

Having suffered a mix of appalling luck and indifferent form, Will Power has finally had some good fortune come his way. The Australian – hardly considered a specialist on oval circuits – has claimed pole position for Saturday night’s race at the Texas Motor Speedway with a dominant display around the 1.5-mile oval.

Power’s performance has put Team Penske in prime position to break its winless run in 2013, and given the manner in which he crushed the opposition with a two-lap average almost 2mph quicker than anyone else, the prospects look good so far.

But ovals have never been the Toowoomba-born driver’s forté, and his big threat could come from Marco Andretti. The third-generation Andretti racer has shown a red hot turn of speed at almost all venues to-date this year, and a front-row start could well be his ticket to cracking his first win of the year.

Despite his early qualifying run, Andretti actually held provisional pole until he was ultimately unseated by Power, with his effort keeping the equally-fancied likes of Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Hélio Castroneves at bay.

It was a great qualifying result for the Andretti Autosport stable. Reigning champion Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified third-quickest, while EJ Viso was just two spots further back and one spot behind Dario Franchitti, whose Detroit qualifying form carried over to this vastly different venue.

Indy 500 winner Kanaan was rather more disappointing. After a blistering opening lap, the KV Racing driver lost 3mph on his second tour and tumbled to an eventual fifteenth.

After its drivers had race-winning form a week ago, Dale Coyne Racing came crashing down to earth, with series returnee Pippa Mann and Justin Wilson running well off the pace and clocking the slowest times of the session.

That was at least a better result than Takuma Sato and Tristan Vautier, who were unable to demonstrate their qualifying form, with both being delayed while their mechanics fitted a new gearbox and Honda engine, respectively.

2013 IndyCar Series Firestone Texas 550 Final Qualifying Results:

Driver   Entry / Team Average Speed
1. Will Power AUS Team Penske 219.182mph
2. Marco Andretti USA Andretti Autosport 217.553mph
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay USA Andretti Autosport 217.524mph
4. Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing 217.504mph
5. E.J. Viso Team Venzuela / Andretti 217.244mph
6. Hélio Castroneves BRA Team Penske 217.100mph
7. Josef Newgarden USA Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing 216.693mph
8. Charlie Kimball USA Chip Ganassi Racing 216.570mph
9. Ed Carpenter USA Ed Carpenter Racing 216.552mph
10. James Jakes Rahal Letterman Lanigan 216.487mph
11. Scott Dixon NZL Chip Ganassi Racing 216.447mph
12. Simona de Silvestro KV Racing Technology 216.396mph
13. James Hinchcliffe CAN Andretti Autosport 216.248mph
14. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Racing 215.727mph
15. Tony Kanaan BRA KV Racing Technology 215.474mph
16. Alex Tagliani CAN Barracuda Racing 215.406mph
17. Sébastien Bourdais Dragon Racing 214.839mph
18. Oriol Servià Panther Racing 214.586mph
19. Graham Rahal USA Rahal Letterman Lanigan 213.888mph
20. Sebastián Saavedra Dragon Racing 213.217mph
21. Pippa Mann Dale Coyne Racing 212.785mph
22. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing 207.805mph
23. Tristan Vautier Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Racing no time
24. Takuma Sato AJ Foyt Enterprises no time

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Matthew Lennon
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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.