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Will Power claims IndyCar Alabama pole

Associated Press logo Associated Press 22/04/2017 John Zenor

Australian driver Will Power has claimed pole position at the IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama in a qualifying session dominated by Team Penske.

The Australian's 46th career pole continued his success at Barber Motorsports Park which is the third stop of the IndyCar series.

Teammates Helio Castroneves and defending champion Simon Pagenaud completed a sweep of the top three spots to start Sunday's (Monday AEST) race.

"It's phenomenal for the race team, 1-2-3," said Pagenaud, who won the series championship in 2016.

"They did a fantastic job preparing these cars. This is a really good track for us in general."

That might be understating the matter.

Current Penske drivers have won five of the seven IndyCar races at the 17-turn road course.

They've claimed the pole seven times in eight years.

Power won in 2011 and 2012, Castroneves in 2010, and first-year Penske driver Josef Newgarden two years ago.

Newgarden qualified seventh with his new team.

"It's definitely working well this weekend," Power said.

Castroneves said his teammate "definitely has something about this place."

"He did a great job putting a lap towards the end," Castroneves said.

The Penske trio are followed by Ganassi's Scott Dixon, Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe, who's coming off a win at Long Beach for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Powerhouse teams Penske and Ganassi Racing - and Chevrolet - are seeking their first win of the year.

Smaller, Honda-powered teams have taken the first two races, already matching Honda's win total from last year.

Sebastien Bourdais and tiny Dale Coyne Racing won the opener at St Petersburg and Hinchliffe secured the Long Beach win.

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