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Power Scores Third-Straight Pole at Sonoma

indycar 20638303Will Power (pictured) has stressed a one-race-at-a-time approach to the IZOD IndyCar Series championship as the 2012 season winds down. Earning the pole for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma for the third consecutive year is certainly a less stressful starting point.

Power, who has won the past two races at Sonoma from the pole, set an IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying record for the 2.385-mile, 12-turn layout with a lap of 1 minute, 17.2709 seconds in the Firestone Fast Six on Brasil IT+ Pole Day.

He takes a six-point lead over Ryan Hunter-Reay in the championship chase into the 85-lap race Aug. 26.

"It is important to start up front here," Power said. "I just really like this track and I would love to make it three in a row. The whole team has worked hard all year and we'll just continue to push to win the championship. With the (modifications to the road course) expect a lot of passing. Hopefully not of me. I don't want to let anyone by us."

Hunter-Reay was the only driver of the top four in the standings not to qualify for the 10-minute shootout, missing out on bumping Dario Franchitti by 0.0169 of a second in Round 2. Hunter-Reay will start seventh.

Ryan Briscoe, who has three podium finishes in six races at Sonoma and has started in the top five the past five years, also will start on the front row after a best lap of 1:17.4347 in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske car. Team Penske swept the podium last year, with Helio Castroneves the race runner-up. He'll start the 85-lap race from the outside of Row 2.

Sebastien Bourdais earned his second consecutive Firestone Fast Six appearance and will start a season-high third in the No. 7 TrueCar Dragon Racing entry. Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Franchitti will share Row 3.

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