EDMONTON -- A part-time driver in the Penske Truck Rental car is on the pole for the Rexall Edmonton Indy.
Oh, Will Power has been there before. Eight times. He's even been on the pole here before, in Champ Car in 2007.
But Power did it as an extra yesterday, driving a canary yellow job Roger Penske lets him take around the track every once in a while for being such a good sport this season.
Brought in to replace Helio Castroneves at the start of the schedule when the Brazilian was awaiting the result of his tax evasion trial, Penske gives Power a different coloured car than the red and white Team Penske cars of Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe, slaps Penske Truck Rental advertising on it and sends out one of his sports car crews to work the pits in select races.
"They're as good as you get," Power said of his crew. "Penske material. Obviously they're not working on this car every weekend. Half the time, they're on a sports car. So for them to come over and prepare this car ... we never have problems and hardly ever have to make changes. They do a fantastic job."
1-2-3 FOR PENSKE
Power led a Penske parade here yesterday.
He gave Penske his first 1-2-3 qualifying start of the season and the 18th 1-2 result in series history.
Briscoe, who won the pole here last year, sits second. Castroneves is third with last year's race winner Scott Dixon beside him.
"Will did a great job," Castroneves said. "I have no doubt he would be battling with us for championship points," the defending and three-time Indy 500 winner said of how it might be if Power had been a permanent third man on the team.
Graham Rahal made it into the fast six for the fourth time in five races, with series leader Dario Franchitti sitting sixth.
Franchitti has been a study all weekend. One of only four drivers who has never run here, he had to herd the car around on what he called a less-than-pretty lap to get into the Firestone Fast Six. He was quite happy to end up on the third row.