When Will Power wakes up Sunday morning and straps into the No. 12 Team Penske Chevy, he’ll need to fight his way onto the final row of the grid for the 105th Indianapolis 500. Let that sink in for a moment.
It’s going to be a long and sleepless night for the five drivers who failed to lock in a guaranteed starting position within the top 30 on Saturday during the first round of qualifying. Among them was the biggest shock of all courtesy of the Australian — the NTT IndyCar Series’ greatest qualifier — who ended the day in P31.
The drivers who posted the five slowest speeds were led by Power in P31 with the No. 12 Chevy (229.228mph), Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s Sage Karam in the No. 24 Chevy (229.158mph), A.J. Foyt Racing’s Charlie Kimball in the No. 4 Chevy (228.401mph), Paretta Autosport’s Simona de Silvestro in the No. 16 Chevy (228.395mph), and in P35, Top Gun Racing’s RC Enerson in the No. 75 Chevy (227.283mph).
“I think the if we just did a conservative run tomorrow, we should be OK, but if something goes wrong you’re out,” Power said. “Definitely nerve wracking. We did everything we could. We’ll go back and work on it tonight. Certainly been an intense day, but you know, we’re fighting for something — we’re fighting for 30th place. The boys did a good job and I think we got a good car. But I think we have the speed to be in the field if we do a good job tomorrow.”