Despite an overnight car change, Will Power continued to be the man to beat on Saturday at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. The Team Penske driver chalked up his first IndyCar Series pole after giving up the #3 Honda Dallara he had driven to quick time Friday to returning teammate Helio Castroneves.
Power switched to the previously undriven #12 Penske entry in practice Saturday morning, then bested Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Dario Franchitti in Firestone “Fast Six” knockout qualifying by just 15- hundredths of a second. In addition to changing chassis, Power also took on a different crew as the Penske organization brought in personnel from the team's sports-car racing effort to run the third car.
Sunday's 85-lap race starts at 4:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the Versus Network,starting with a pre-race show at 3:30 p.m. EDT.
Will Power (#3 Team Penske Honda) quickest in practice today:
“It was obvious in the first session that you had to use “reds” [softer compound tires] to get through to the next qualifying round. So, it was a matter of saving your reds a little bit and saving your energy to the final round. That's what I did. I saved my big lap until the end. It was a great job by the team. They had to swap everything over on this car, with an all-new crew, new engineer and everything. They did a good job. We're looking to have a strong race tomorrow and hopefully move up in the championship.”