The more things change, the more they stay the same.
In Sao Paulo, Brazil, Will Power made it a perfect four for four in Pole Awards this season. He has captured the Pole at every race so far, even though he had to fight harder for this one. It is the 200th all-time Pole Award for Team Penske.
Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay will start on row one outside of Power. With all of the new rules and changes in the series this season, the race in Brazil will begin just like it finished last year, with Power in first, and Hunter-Reay right behind in second.
Power set a track record of 1 minute, 21.8958 seconds with just three minutes left in the 10-minute Firestone Fast Six shootout.
The track was significantly faster than last year’s inaugural race, after officials repaved the entire surface to eliminate bumps and remove curbs that were slowing the cars. Franchitti had the pole position in 2010 with a time of 1:27.735, nearly six seconds slower than Power’s time on Saturday.
Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe will share row two, while Graham Rahal will roll off in the fifth starting position. It was a surprising run by Rahal, easily his best qualifying effort of the young season. The points leader and defending Champion Dario Franchitti will be outside of Rahal, starting sixth.
Helio Castroneves and Justin Wilson will be in row four, while Mike Conway (winner of the last race) and Takuma Sato round out the top ten.
The impressive rookie, James Hinchcliffe, will start in 11th for Newman/Haas Racing, with Sebastien Bourdais along side him in 12th. Simona De Silvestro will start in 13th, with Vitor Meira in 14th, and Marco Andretti in 15th position.
Positions 16 through 20 are as follows; Oriol Servia, Danica Patrick, Charlie Kimball, Rapha Matos and Alex Tagliani.
Tony Kanaan once again finds himself starting in the back in 21st, so it will be interesting to see how many cars he will pass on the first lap. Behind him are four rookies; JR Hildebrand, Sebastian Saavedra, James Jakes, and Ana Beatriz. E.J. Viso will start in last, 26th position.
Viso had a heavy crash in the second practice session, which they are saying was a rear brake failure. He was unable to participate in qualifying while repairs were made to his KV Racing car.
Although Rahal was a bit of a surprise, the "Big Five" (All Penske/Ganassi drivers) all qualified in the top seven, with RHR in second. All of these guys will be battling for the series title, and know they must stay up front if they want to avoid the inevitable mess that is going to occur in turn one.
The Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle is set for Sunday, with a noon start time.
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