IZOD INDYCAR Series: No Upsets in St. Petersburg, Will Power on The Pole

No NameAnalyst IMarch 26, 2011

Will Power with another one...
Will Power with another one...

Though there have been some big-time upsets in the NCAA tournament this month, INDYCAR's version of "March Madness" basically went chalk.

We basically knew the 10 drivers that would be starting towards the front in Sunday's season-opening race, we just didn't know who would be after Will Power and Dario Franchitti. Power set the fastest lap of the weekend to earn the pole, and Franchitti was nipping at his heels, just like last season.

Behind the front row of Power and Franchitti sits Franchitti's teammate, Scott Dixon. He will have the inside of row two while Mike Conway will have the outside. Conway has been the most impressive driver this weekend, and this is his first return to the Series since his horrific crash late in last year's Indianapolis 500.

Row three will have Ryan Briscoe and Justin Wilson. Row four features Marco Andretti and former teammate Tony Kanaan, whom just missed making the Firestone Fast Six. Rounding out the top 10 in row five is Helio Castroneves and Alex Tagliani.

Graham Rahal will start 12th, while Ryan Hunter-Reay will roll off 14th. Danica Patrick will start the race in the 19th position. Positions 20 to 25 feature five rookies, along with EJ Viso.

Four teams are represented on the first three rows for the 100-lap race on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn circuit.

Dan Wheldon announced this weekend that he will drive for Bryan Herta Autosport in this year's Indianapolis 500. They will have a sponsorship program to announce in a few weeks. It was also suggested that they will compete in more races after Indianapolis. Wheldon is the 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner, and has finished twice the past two seasons in the event.

Another announcement was made that Davey Hamilton will drive for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the Indianapolis 500. He will be their fourth driver for the race, joining Justin Wilson, Ana Beatriz and Paul Tracy.

The first race of the season is set to begin at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow from St. Petersburg. The race will be televised by ABC.