Race Weekend Central

Will Power Hopes Winning Both Iowa Poles Will Lead to First Win of 2023

NEWTON, Iowa – With 68 poles in his first 278 career races, Will Power is no doubt the king of qualifying in NTT IndyCar Series history.

With a pole at the 2022 season-ending race at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca, Power passed Mario Andretti for the most all-time. But as the 2023 season has reached its midpoint, he was still stuck on that number.

That changed Saturday morning (July 22) during qualifying at Iowa Speedway, when the 42-year-old Aussie took the pole for both races for the doubleheader weekend to push his record pole count to 70.

See also
Will Power Sweeps Iowa IndyCar Poles For 2nd Straight Year

After dropping a lap of 181.426 mph to set his speed for Saturday’s race, he took it up a tick on his second time around the 7/8-mile oval; his speed of 181.578 mph will see him lead the field to the green flag on Sunday (July 23) as well.

Power, whose best qualifying effort this season was sixth last weekend at Toronto, led a Team Penske 1-2-3 qualifying sweep for the first Iowa race. Scott McLaughlin joins Power on the front row, and four-time Iowa winner Josef Newgarden will go off third.

It was also Team Penske’s first pole of the season.

“That number 70 is pretty nuts,” Power said. “It’s something I would never have imagined when I started in 2006.

“It’s just lucky to be with a great team that gives you the equipment (to win poles). I’m stoked to be starting up front.”

Power, who has never won at Iowa, swept both poles a year ago en route to a third and second-place finish, respectively, on the weekend, which helped catapult him to the 2022 championship.

“It’s been a tough season,” Power said. “We didn’t have the dominance we had last year as a team. [In] qualifying, we’ve really struggled this year.”

While most of the drivers have said that it doesn’t really matter where you qualify at Iowa, Power begs to differ, as he thinks getting up front helps with tire management, which will be a big storyline here this weekend.

Not only is Power looking for his first win of the season, he’s also trying to win a race for the 16th-consecutive season. A victory here would be historic as well, as it would tie him with Michael Andretti for fourth place on the all-time wins list with 42.

Two wins, of course, would see him stand alone in fourth, with only Mario Andretti, Scott Dixon and AJ Foyt ahead.

“It’s a long race with different strategies, but [a pole] is a good start,” Power said. “We’re going to do our best to try and dig deep to get a win.”

The 250-lap, 223.5-mile HyVee Homefront 250 will go green at 3 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on NBC.

About the author

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via