Saturday, April 30, 2011
SAO PAULO — Will Power of Australia earned his fourth IndyCar pole in four tries this season and bagged the 200th for Team Penske on Saturday at the Sao Paulo 300.
Power, winner of the inaugural Sao Paulo race last year, will start up front in today's race after a lap of 1 minute, 21.896 seconds on the 2.5-mile, 11-turn Anhembi temporary street circuit.
The track was significantly faster than last year after officials repaved the entire surface to eliminate bumps and removed some curbs that were slowing the cars in some turns. Dario Franchitti's pole time last year was 1:27.735, nearly six seconds slower than Power's.
"What a fantastic job they did of repaving the track," Power said. "I believe that now it has set the standard for street courses. This is the nicest street course I've driven on. I'm very impressed."
American Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport was 0.402 seconds behind and will start second. Hunter-Reay was runnerup to Power in last year's race in Brazil and in qualifying two weeks ago in Long Beach.
NHRA: John Force moved within one of Pro Stock great Warren Johnson's No. 1 qualifying record by racing to his third consecutive top spot at the Spring Nationals in Baytown, Texas. Force earned the No. 1 spot in Funny Car for the 137th time as Friday's pass of 4.097 seconds at 310.27 mph held up. The other three top qualifiers from Friday also held on to their spots — Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Ronnie Humphrey (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle).