Scott Dixon starts eighth at Gateway Motor Speedway for the 13th round of this year’s IndyCar Series, while Scott McLaughlin was the fastest rookie in 11th.
Will Power backed up his win in last weekend’s Indy Grand Prix with pole position for the final oval race of the season.
“I didn’t see that one coming,” Power said.
“But I am stoked…it is like a little victory getting that pole.”
Every driver got two laps to lay down their time, with the average speed across both laps determining the grid.
The running order of the session was a reverse of the championship standings.
That meant Dixon was one of the last drivers to hit the speedway, while McLaughlin was midpack.
McLaughlin brushed up against the wall on his out lap and continued to push the limits over his pair of timed runs.
His first tour was a tick under 178mph, while his second was in the same ballpark.
The New Zealander netted a provisional P2 when he took the chequered flag with a two-lap average of 178.9mph.
Alexander Rossi soon demoted McLaughlin to third when he wrestled his Andretti Honda to the top of the leader board with a wild lap.
Rossi was a sizable 0.6mph quicker than erstwhile fastest driver Felix Rosenqvist.
However, it was zero match for Power. The Australian’s first lap broke the 180mph bracket, as did his second one to storm to provisional pole – an average speed of 180.6mph.
Simon Pagenaud came close with 180.3 average speed, while Colton Herta went quicker with 180.5mph.
Practice pace-setter and two-time winner of the race Josef Newgarden couldn’t beat Power and slotted himself into P3.
Dixon followed Newgarden, and like his compatriot McLaughlin, he too flirted with the outside concrete wall.
Ultimately, Dixon did not look comfortable at the wheel. Neither of his laps were in the pole position range, and he settled for provisional P7.
Pato O’Ward dropped Dixon to eighth, where he will start.
Championship leader Alex Palou mustered 12th, and he will start outside the top-20 following a grid penalty.
The 260-lap race begins later today at 12.40 pm NZT.