Will Power did it again.
The Australian took his 69th and 70th poles for the NTT IndyCar Series’ Hy-Vee weekend doubleheader at Iowa Speedway. Race 1 will start later today (July 22) at 3 p.m. ET and Race 2 tomorrow (July 23) at 2 p.m. ET.
“Yeah, I figured (teammate Josef Newgarden) would be the toughest guy,” Power told NBC. “I know my car had a good balance, there wasn’t much left in it. Great job for the Verizon 5G Chevy. Been trying to win this race for a long time, but I know Newgarden will be the guy to beat and put it all together, so we will do our best today.”
The Team Penske driver did the exact same thing last year, sweeping the top spot for the doubleheaders. He lapped the 7/8-mile Iowa Speedway at 181.426 mph and 181.578 mph, respectively. But as he alluded to, all eyes will be on 2022 Race 1 winner Newgarden, who didn’t have the time to compete for pole.
“I just wasn’t quick enough, pretty simple,” said Newgarden, after his run. “Excited to go racing though.” He will start third in Race 1 and seventh for Race 2. The Team Penske driver has led more laps, 1,506, than the rest of the field combined according to NBC.
Last year’s Race 2 winner, Pato O’Ward, will start fifth today and 11th Sunday.
The start of qualifying was delayed by a pop-up rain shower that pushed the Indy NXT race to later in the day. IndyCar made sure to get the critical qualifying in as the single session set the field for two races in the unique format.
As for how the field is set, there are two laps run and the speed for the first lap sets the position for Race 1 and final lap for Race 2. Drivers had to battle whether to be consistent for both laps or attack one circuit and hope for the best.
Team Penske was able to take the first three spots in Race 1, with Scott McLaughlin on the outside front row at 180.334. Other drivers with good qualifying results include David Malukas and Ed Carpenter, who will start fourth and fifth in Race 2.
Due to the rain that moved through, drivers faced unknown conditions as they went out for their runs. Trying to find the right consistency challenged most of the early attempts.
Announced prior to the resumption of qualifying, Jack Harvey and his No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing was given a nine-grid penalty for the lap 1 contact at the previous Honda Toronto Indy. Also, rookie Benjamin Pedersen for A.J. Foyt Racing failed inspection and was not permitted to make a run, so will start last for both races.
The 2023 Hy-Vee IndyCar Race Weekend at Iowa Speedway will kick off today with the Hy-Vee Homefront 250 at 3 p.m. ET. The Hy-Vee One Step 250 will follow on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Both races will be on NBC and Peacock.
About the author
Tom is an IndyCar contributor at Frontstretch, joining in March 2023. He also works full-time for the Department of Veterans Affairs History Office and is a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard. A native Hoosier, he's followed IndyCar closely since 1991. Follow Tom on Twitter @TomBlackburn42.
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