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Will Power captures pole at Long Beach
Team Penske teammates, from left, Ryan Briscoe, Helio Cstroneves, and Will Power. - photo by Photo by Dale Bosokwsi
Australian Will Power continues his early domination of the 2010 Izod IndyCar Series by capturing his third consecutive pole in Saturday’s qualifying season for today’s 36th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.  

Power drove his #12 Verizon Wireless sponsored Team Penske car on a blazing quick lap of 1 minute, 09.3185 seconds (102.201 mph) on the tricky 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit to edge out Ryan Hunter-Reay by over 4/10ths of a second. Englishman Justin Wilson and Powers Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe completed the top five of the 25-car field.

“I am very happy. I think the key to success here is starting up front,” Power said. “On Sunday though you still have got to get the lucky yellow (caution flag). You can be out front leading and bam, get caught by a yellow. Strategy can screw you, but it also can go your way.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay, driving the #37 IZOD 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.

“This is a good run for us,” noted Hunter-Reay. “Things have been progressing well and this is the next step for us.”

Power also earned the pole for last year’s Long Beach race when he filled in for Helio Castroneves, who was on trial for tax evasion charges in Florida. He reflected on his position last year versus this season as a full time driver for Team Penske.

“Last year I pretty much drove the car as it was given to me,” he explained. “This year I am making adjustments to suit me.”

Fan favorite Danica Patrick qualified in 20th for Sunday’s race while rookie Simon de Silvestro qualified 13th. The third female driver in the 25 car field, Milka Duno of Brazil, did not set a time in qualifying and will start the race from the back of the field.

Power will also be going for his third victory of the season in four starts on Sunday and extend his 32 point lead in the standings over Castroneves, who won last weekends IndyCar race in Alabama.

“Having two strong teammates helps. We really push each other.”

Today’s 85-lap Long Beach GP can been seen live on ABC beginning at 1 p.m.