Once again, a Team Penske Dallara-Honda driven by Will Power will start on the pole in an IZOD IndyCar Series race.
Like clockwork, the Australian won his sixth pole of the season (fifth on road or street courses) for this weekend's Honda Indy Edmonton, the lone race that he won last season. And unsurprisingly, the rest of the top five cars all belong to his owner, Roger Penske, or his top rival, Chip Ganassi.
Meanwhile, Helio Castroneves continued his trend of being an Edmonton bridesmaid. Penske's elder statesman, who finished second in both IndyCar-sanctioned Edmonton races, qualified alongside Power. They were the only two drivers to break the 61-second mark in qualifying.
But time trials at the Edmonton City Centre Airport also provided some surprises. Namely, E.J. Viso and Simona de Silvestro will start sixth and seventh, respectively. Both drivers have or have had affiliations with ex-Champ Car teams, and were brought up through the ranks to race on this sort of track.
Indeed, most of the cream of the road course crop rose to the top in qualifying, with a handful of surprises, such as Raphael Matos and Tomas Scheckter, advancing to the second round of qualifying. But drivers who generally have run better on ovals, such as Alex Lloyd, Mario Romancini, and Danica Patrick, qualified closer to the back of the pack. Only Tony Kanaan and Milka Duno failed to make qualifying laps, and will start 24th and 25th, respectively.
The three drivers in the field that have won this event before all start towards the front. Power, obviously, sits on pole, while Scott Dixon, who won this event in 2008 with Ganassi, starts third. Meanwhile, Justin Wilson, looking to rebound from miscues that cost him last week's win in Toronto, starts ninth. He won this event in 2006 when it was still sanctioned by Champ Car.