Will Power will start Saturday night’s Firestone 600 at the Texas Motor Speedway from pole position after surviving a tough qualifying session.

Warmer than expected conditions affected the set-ups of many drivers over their two-lap dash around the 1.5-mile oval, but Power’s Penske entry seemed at ease on the banking, lapping a full 1mph faster than any other competitor.

He’ll line up alongside Josef Newgarden, who surprised himself with a front-row berth given his Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing crew hadn’t enjoyed the best of preparations heading into the Friday afternoon session, with just a single practice session beforehand.

Tony Kanaan held provisional pole position until he was usurped by both Newgarden and Power; he’ll start alongside series returnee Juan Pablo Montoya, who suffered a dramatic decline in his car’s handling on his second flying lap. Nonetheless, fourth-fastest was still a great effort from the Colombian veteran.

Indy 500 pole-winner Ed Carpenter was fifth-fastest in his second oval racing hit-out of the season. He starts ahead of Simon Pagenaud, Scott Dixon, Justin Wilson, James Hinchcliffe and Carlos Muñoz.

Several high-profile runners struggled with the deterioration in their cars’ handling, none more than defending Texas winner Hélio Castroneves. The Brazilian’s solid practice pace seemingly evaporated, and he could do no better than fourteenth in the third Penske entry.

Also struggling were Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ryan Briscoe, who line up immediately in front of Castroneves. Perhaps underscoring that his Detroit podium finish last weekend was little more than a flash in the pan, Graham Rahal qualified second slowest of all.

2014 IndyCar Series Texas Firestone 600 – Final Qualifying:

Driver Team / Entry Avg. Speed
1. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet Chevrolet 218.896mph
2. Josef Newgarden Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda Honda 217.835mph
3. Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Chevrolet 217.826mph
4. Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Chevrolet Chevrolet 217.724mph
5. Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet Chevrolet 217.677mph
6. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda Honda 217.222mph
7. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Chevrolet 217.128mph
8. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing Honda Honda 217.007mph
9. James Hinchcliffe ca Andretti Autosport Honda Honda 216.967mph
10. Carlos Muñoz Andretti Autosport Honda Honda 216.960mph
11. Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda Honda 216.880mph
12. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda Honda 216.823mph
13. Ryan Briscoe Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Chevrolet 216.667mph
14. Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet Chevrolet 216.591mph
15. Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Chevrolet 216.151mph
16. Takuma Sato A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda Honda 216.064mph
17. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda Honda 215.697mph
18. Sébastien Bourdais KV Racing Technology Honda Honda 214.407mph
19. Sebastián Saavedra KV Racing Technology / AFS Racing Honda Honda 214.156mph
20. Jack Hawksworth Bryan Herta Autosport Honda Honda 214.145mph
21. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda Honda 213.292mph
22. Carlos Huertas Dale Coyne Racing Honda Honda 212.191mph

Image via Fox News

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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.