Will powers to pole in Florida

DEAN McNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:06 PM ET

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Will Power will start off his 2011 IZOD IndyCar series season on the front row Sunday in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The Australian won the pole on the final segment of qualifying with a time of one minute, .962 seconds in the No. 12 Penske Racing Dallara Honda.

Dario Franchitti will start on the outside of Row 1 after he lapped the 1.8 mile temporary street course in 1:02:295 in the No. 19 Ganassi Racing Dallara.

Franchitti’s teammate Scott Dixon was third fastest on Saturday with a time of 1:02:397.

Power wasn’t too happy that new IndyCar tire rules mandated that all of the qualifying rounds were done on the softer compounds, something he said, that took some of mystery out of qualifying.

“Everybody was on reds (Firestone’s softer tire),” he said. “So we will have one less of those sets to use on the race (on Sunday).”

All of the drivers were equally unsure for how the double file re-starts will work at St. Petersburg, even through IndyCar bosses said they were consulted on the move.

“We were consulted about five minutes before they made the decision,” Franchitti said.

Rounding out the top six was Mike Conway for Andretti Autosport at 1:02:530, Ryan Briscoe at 1:02:574 and Justin Wilson at 1:02:772.

Canada’s Alex Tagliani, from the Montreal suburb of Lachenaie, made it through he first round of qualifying, but failed to advance into the fast six.

Tagliani will start on the fifth row on 10th spot in the No. 77 Sam Schmidt Motorsports machine on a qualifying lap of 1:02:822.


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