Power on pole in Texas, Helio expects tougher race

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 6, 2014 at 6:16 pm •  Published: June 6, 2014
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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Will Power is thinking only about racing, not points. Helio Castroneves is focusing on what he needs to do each day.

Those similar philosophies are working quite well for the Team Penske drivers, who are 1-2 in season points and trying to get Roger Penske his first IndyCar season title since 2006.

"Obviously, I want to be the one to get the championship, let's face it. ... You want to be the one," Castroneves said Friday. "As a team, I think we're driving, everyone is pushing each other. ... At the end of the day, we have the same goal, and probably that's why it's helping everybody."

Season points leader Power is the pole-sitter for the second year in a row at Texas, where Castroneves is a four-time winner after his nearly 5-second victory last June. Both were winners last weekend at Detroit. Power, who has been top eight in all seven races this season, won the opener at Belle Isle and Castroneves got the second race.

"I'm just racing how I raced the end of last year, which is not thinking about anything but racing," Power said. "Just trying to do a good job week in, week out. I'm just that focused on winning. The whole points thing, too many years of being conservative, thinking of points. Doesn't personally do me any good."

Power had a two-lap average of 218.896 mph in qualifying at the high-banked, high-speed 1 1/2-mile track for his 34th career pole.

Josef Newgarden will start second Saturday night for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing after qualifying at 217.835 mph. That was just ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing driver Tony Kanaan.

After starting first at Texas last year, Power finished seventh. He was a lap behind Castroneves, who led the final 132 of 228 laps and finished 4.7 seconds ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay. Castroneves' other three Texas victories — in 2004, 2006 and 2009 — were by a combined margin of just over a second.