Will Power took his 64th career IndyCar pole position with a lap of 69.7664 seconds in the final round of qualifying for the Ninth Grand Prix of Indianapolis. This is Power's sixth pole position on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, and his first pole position on any road/street circuit since the 2020 St. Petersburg season finale. Power has won 18 races from pole position in his IndyCar career, currently tied with Sébastien Bourdais for third all-time. A victory today would be Power's sixth on the IMS road course. Power has finished fourth in the last three races. Prior to this stretch, he had gone 35 starts between fourth-place finishes, with the most recent being a fourth at Mid-Ohio in 2019. Power is attempting to open a season with five consecutive top five finishes for the first time in his IndyCar career.
Álex Palou missed out on pole position by 0.0426 seconds and Palou will start second. He enters with seven consecutive top ten finishes, the longest active streak in IndyCar. Palou also has scored fastest lap in the last two races, the first driver with consecutive fastest laps since Will Power did it at Toronto and Mid-Ohio in 2018. The last time a driver scored fastest lap in at least three consecutive races was Sébastien Bourdais in the 2007 Champ Car season when Bourdais had six consecutive fastest laps at Houston, Portland, Cleveland, Mont-Tremblant, Toronto and Edmonton.
Josef Newgarden starts third after being 0.0679 seconds off his teammate Power. Newgarden has a chance to clinch the PeopleReady Force for Good Challenge $1 million prize this weekend. He would be the first driver with a victory on an oval, street course and road course this season. Newgarden's only podium on the IMS road course was his victory in the first Harvest Grand Prix race in 2020.
Conor Daly qualified fourth, his best starting position since he started fourth for the first Mid-Ohio race in 2020. This is only the fourth time Daly has started in the top five in his IndyCar career. This is the first time Daly has been the top qualifier in a race for Ed Carpenter Racing. He was sixth in his first IMS road course start in 2016, but he has not had a top ten finish in his last six visits.
Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist make it an all-Arrow McLaren SP row three. O'Ward is coming off a victory at Barber in the fourth race of the season. Last year, O'Ward won the fourth race of the season at Texas and then finished 15th in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. In six IMS road course starts, he has finishes of 19th, eighth, 22nd, fifth, 15th and fifth.
Felix Rosenqvist will make his 50th IndyCar start this weekend. He will be the fourth Swede to reach this milestone after Kenny Bräck, Stefan Johansson and Marcus Ericsson. This is the fourth consecutive race Rosenqvist has started in the top ten, his longest streak since a five-race stretch from second Gateway through the second Harvest Grand Prix race in 2020. Rosenqvist was 0.2941 seconds off Power's pole position time.
Callum Ilott improves on his best career starting position for the second consecutive race, as Ilott wounds up seventh on the grid. He was 0.0143 seconds off advancing to the Fast Six. This will be Ilott's first career top ten start and it is the first top ten start for Juncos Hollinger Racing. Ilott has one lead lap finish in his first seven IndyCar starts.
Christian Lundgaard makes it an all-rookie row four, and Lundgaard was 0.0207 seconds off making the final round of qualifying. The Dane is the top Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing starter. Lundgaard has yet to be the top RLLR finisher this season, but he has been the second-best RLLR driver in three of four races.
Jack Harvey ended up ninth on the grid, his best starting position of the season. This snaps Harvey's slump of seven consecutive races starting outside the top ten. In the previous three seasons, Jack Harvey has had at least one top ten finish within the first five races of the season. He has four top ten finishes in six IMS road course starts.
Romain Grosjean rounds out the top ten on the grid. It has been 1,974 days since Romain Grosjean's most recent victory in the Andros Trophy ice racing series in Alpe d'Huez on December 17, 2016. His most recent single-seater victory was on July 30, 2011 in the GP2 Series feature race at the Hugaroring, 3,941 days ago.
Scott McLaughlin starts 11th. Entering this weekend, McLaughlin wa one of three drivers to start in the top ten of every race this season. There is only one driver left standing in that category, and it is Josef Newgarden. McLaughlin average starting position was fourth, the best in IndyCar prior to this qualifying session. McLaughlin remains with the best starting average this season, but it has dropped to 5.4.
Graham Rahal rounds out the top twelve starters. Rahal has started outside the top ten in eight of 11 IMS road course starts. He has finished inside the top ten in seven of those eight starts. He has ten consecutive top ten finishes in IMS road course races entering this race. He has been ranked in the top ten of the championship after 31 of the last 34 races.
Takuma Sato fell 0.0025 seconds shy of advancing from round one group one and Sato will start 13th. He has finished in the top ten of the fifth race of the season only three times in his first 12 IndyCar season. His best result in the fifth race of the season was ninth in the 2015 Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Colton Herta was 0.1069 seconds off advancing from round one group two and Herta will start 14th, his first time starting outside the top ten this season. The last time Herta started 14th he won in the 2021 Long Beach season finale. He has not had a top five result in his last three starts. He has not gone four consecutive races without a top five since his rookie year when he went 13 races between top five finishes.
Defending Grand Prix of Indianapolis winner Rinus VeeKay starts 15th, matching his worst starting position of the season. VeeKay could become the first driver to score his first career victories on the same track since Bryan Herta won at Laguna Seca in 1998 and 1999.
Alexander Rossi qualified 16th, his worst starting position of the season and his worst starting position on the IMS road course. Rossi has four consecutive top ten finishes on the IMS road course, three of which are top five results and two of those were podium finishes. Prior to this stretch, Rossi had one top five finish in his first five starts on this circuit.
Devlin DeFrancesco picked up his first top twenty finish in IndyCar with a 17th at Barber, and now DeFrancesco will start 17th on the IMS road course, matching his best career start position previously set at Texas. His best finish on the IMS road course in Road to Indy competition was second in Indy Pro 2000. DeFrancesco was seventh and sixth in the Indy Lights races last year.
Marcus Ericsson will start 18th, his worst starting position since he started 18th at Nashville last year. Ericsson won that Nashville race, and he is one of three drivers to win from 18th starting position in IndyCar history. The others were Jim McElreath at Ontario in 1970 and Bobby Unser at Michigan in 1979. Ericsson has not had a top ten finish in his last two starts. He has not had a stretch of three consecutive races without a top ten result with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Hélio Castroneves leads an all-Meyer Shank Racing row ten. Nineteenth is Castroneves' worst starting position of the season. This is his fifth consecutive IMS road course race starting 15th o worse. Castroneves had finished no worse than sixth in his first five IMS road course starts. He has finished 20th or 21st in his last four IMS road course starts.
Simon Pagenaud is in 20th position. Pagenaud has one top ten finish in the first four races, the fewest in his IndyCar career. He does not have a top five finish this season. Only once has he not had a top five finish through the first five races of the season. That was the 2013 season.
Scott Dixon will start 21st, his third consecutive race starting outside the top ten. Dixon has yet to finish on the podium this season. The last time Dixon did not have a podium finish within the first five races of the season was 2005. The only other time he did not have a podium result within the first five races of a season was 2002. Dixon is the only driver in IndyCar history with multiple victories from a starting position outside the top twenty. His first career victory at Nazareth was from 23rd in 2001 and he won from 22nd at Mid-Ohio in 2014.
Kyle Kirkwood is the top A.J. Foyt Racing starter in 22nd, the second consecutive race Kirkwood has been the top Foyt qualifier and started outside the top twenty. He was fourth in both Indy Lights races last year on the IMS road course. He was second and first in his U.S. F2000 starts and second and 13th in Indy Pro 2000.
Juan Pablo Montoya is back for his 96th IndyCar start, and Montoya will start 23rd. He has six top ten finishes in his last eight starts. Montoya has not won in any of his last 19 IndyCar starts, by far the longest drought in his IndyCar career. His previous longest drought was 13 starts, the final three of the 2000 CART season and the first ten of the 2014 IndyCar season.
David Malukas starts 24th. Dale Coyne Racing has had at least one top ten finisher in seven of 11 IMS road course races, but the team has never had multiple cars finish in the top ten of an IMS road course race.
Tatiana Calderón will start 25th with teammate Dalton Kellett to her outside on row 13. Calderón makes this the first IndyCar race with multiple Colombian drivers since Carlos Muñoz and Gabby Chaves both ran in the 2018 Portland race. Muñoz was 12th directly ahead of Chaves in 13th.
Dalton Kellett's best finish in five IMS road course starts is 20th. He has never started in the top twenty on the IMS road course and this is his third time starting outside the top twenty in five races this season.
Jimmie Johnson rounds out the grid in 27th. Johnson made a five-position improvement from his result in his first IMS road course start to his second IMS road course start last year, going from 24th in May to 19th in August. In the three tracks he has visited for a second time in his IndyCar career this season, Johnson's finish has worsened from his 2021 results.
NBC's coverage of the ninth GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis begins at 3:00 p.m. ET with green flag moved up to 3:07 p.m. ET. The race is scheduled for 85 laps.