Will Power has won pole position for Sunday’s IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama by a scant 0.02 seconds from James Hinchcliffe to close out a highly competitive qualifying session at the Barber Motorsport Park circuit.

The Australian clocked a 1:08.312 lap on his first flying lap in his Penske, while his Andretti Autosport rival came within a whisker of stealing top spot on his reply lap. But with a number of the ‘Fast Six’ qualifiers electing to save tyre sets for the race, Power’s time ultimately proved unbeatable.

Friday fast man Ryan Hunter-Reay wound up third-fastest in the second of the four Andretti entries to qualify inside the top-nine. He, Hinchcliffe and Josef Newgarden – who qualified fourth-fastest in his Sarah Fisher Hartmann entry – will resume hostilities once again, following Hunter-Reay’s ill-timed dive on Newgarden a fortnight ago at Long Beach, which took out Hinchcliffe as well.

Scott Dixon and Hélio Castroneves rounded out the top-six qualifiers for Chip Ganassi and Penske respectively, with the latter throwing away his claim at pole position by dropping a wheel into the dirt on his flying lap.

Qualifying also produced its fair share of upset performances. Outside of Dixon’s top-six effort, the Chip Ganassi stable struggled, with neither Charlie Kimball, Ryan Briscoe or Tony Kanaan able to progress beyond the first group stages.

The same fate befell Long Beach winner Mike Conway, who flat-spotted his tyres on his opening run and subsequently had his car’s handling disintegrate.

2014 IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama – Qualifying:

‘Fast Six’ Session Team / Entry Time
1. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet Chevrolet 1:08.3120
2. James Hinchcliffe ca Andretti Autosport Honda Honda + 0.0289
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda Honda + 0.1144
4. Josef Newgarden Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda Honda + 0.1582
5. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Chevrolet + 0.2031
6. Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet Chevrolet + 0.3138
‘Round 2’ Session Team / Entry Time
7. Carlos Muñoz Andretti Autosport Honda Honda 1:08.6388
8. Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Chevrolet Chevrolet 1:08.6453
9. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda Honda 1:08.6634
10. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda Honda 1:08.8682
11. Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda Honda 1:09.1708
12. Sébastien Bourdais KV Racing Technology Honda Honda no time
Group Sessions Team / Entry Time
13. Sebastián Saavedra KV Racing Technology / AFS Racing Honda Honda 1:08.9674
14. Takuma Sato A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda Honda 1:09.1451
15. Carlos Huertas Dale Coyne Racing Honda Honda 1:09.0267
16. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing Honda Honda 1:09.2018
17. Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Chevrolet 1:09.1941
18. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda Honda 1:09.2228
19. Oriol Servià es Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda Honda 1:09.2935
20. Ryan Briscoe Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Chevrolet 1:09.2722
21. Mike Conway Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet Chevrolet 1:09.8580
22. Jack Hawksworth Bryan Herta Autosport Honda Honda 1:09.4201
23. Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Chevrolet 1:09.5829

Image via XPB Images

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Matt Lennon