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Power captures pole for IndyCar race at Texas

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Updated: 6/06/2014 4:50 pm

Fort Worth, TX ( - Will Power won the pole for Saturday night's Firestone 600 and added another point to his lead in the IndyCar Series championship standings by topping the charts in Friday's qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway.

Power, the driver of the No. 12 car for Team Penske, posted a two-lap average speed of 218.896 mph around this 1.5-mile racetrack. He claimed his second pole of the season and the 34th of his career, which broke a tie with Dario Franchitti for sixth on IndyCar's all-time pole winners list.

It's the second straight year Power has won the pole at Texas. He finished seventh in the 2013 race here.

With the added bonus point, Power increased his lead in the point standings to 20 over teammate Helio Castroneves, who won last year's race at Texas. Castroneves also won this past Sunday's second race in the IndyCar weekend doubleheader in Detroit, moving him up to second in the rankings.

"I was actually surprised by the speed on the first lap [219.550 mph] and thought, 'I have to do it again'," Power said. "I'm very focused on the race. Last year, Helio was very strong, so I'll try to get a car that strong for the race if I can."

Castroneves qualified 14th with a two-lap average speed of 216.591 mph.

Josef Newgarden from Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing will start alongside Power on the front row after qualifying at 217.835 mph. It's the first time Newgarden has qualified on the front row.

"I was happily surprised," Newgarden said. "The car was really fast. It's almost like opening a gift at Christmas and getting what you want."

Tony Kanaan qualified third, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya and Ed Carpenter, who won the pole for the Indianapolis 500 last month.

Simon Pagenaud, Scott Dixon, the defending IndyCar champion, Justin Wilson, who won at Texas in 2012, James Hinchcliffe and rookie Carlos Munoz were sixth through 10th, respectively.

Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified 12th.

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