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Will Power Captures Pole at Grand Prix of Long Beach

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Will Power Captures Pole at Grand Prix of Long Beach

Will Power qualified for the pole position on Saturday.

Photo by Dale Bosowski/

POSTED April 17, 2011 1:43 a.m.
It was deja vu all over again as Australian Will Power, driving the #12 Verizon Wireless car for Team Penske, grabbed the pole position for the third consecutive year at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach for the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series.

Power put in a blistering quick lap of 1 minute, 09.0649 seconds (102.582 mph) on the twisting 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit in Saturday afternoon qualifying to edge out last year’s race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, of Boca Raton, Florida, by less than one tenth of second.

“That was a tough one. Ryan was very fast and he had a great lap going, but he was held up just a bit in the last sector and I think that made the difference,” said Power. “He is always bloody hard to beat here.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay, driving the #28 DHL/Sun Drop Soda car for Andretti Autosport, was pleased to notch a season-best second starting position to earn a spot along side of Power on the front row.

“Obviously I like this place,” exclaimed Reay, “I would have liked to have beaten Will out, but this is where we started last year and it puts us in good position for tomorrow’s race.”

Englishman Mike Conway, also of Andretti Autosport, completed the top three, a vast improvement over his previous best Long Beach start of 16th.

“I am pretty happy, especially since we have had difficulty getting the car dialed in,” said Conway. “It just seemed to come together in qualifying.”

 Fan favorite Danica Patrick struggled throughout the day, qualifying in 20th for today’s race, well back in the field.

“Obviously I would like to be starting closer to the front, but things just didn’t work out for us today,” explained Patrick. “Track position is going to be very important in the race and we will do our best to make our way up through the pack.”

Power will be looking to continue his perfect 2011 season when the 27-car field takes the green flag for Sunday’s 85-lap race. He has won the pole and race in the previous two IZOD IndyCar events this season held on the streets of St Petersburg, FL and Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.

“There has been a lot of action on the restarts in the previous races this season and they are the key to winning here,” explained Power. “I would love to win here, but everything has to go just right.”

Today’s 37th Annual Toyota GP of Long Beach will be shown live on Versus beginning at 1:30 p.m. The Firestone Indy Lights race will also be broadcast live on Versus beginning at 11:a.m.
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