LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Will Power, feeling a little under the weather from a cold that has been traveling through members of the Penske Team this weekend, put his foot down Friday afternoon to let Ganassi driver Scott Dixon know someone else can find his way around the 2.258-mile road course.
Dixon -- who has won three of the last five IZOD IndyCar races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and sat on the pole for last year's race -- had to settle for second-fastest in the day's last practice session. Power lapped the course in 121.574 mph, while Dixon's fastest lap was 121.287.
"This new DW12 Indy car feels great here - lots more power and more downforce - you can really get after a lap," Power said. "We're bloody determined to get the pole here tomorrow."
The pole and starting lineup will be set Saturday morning for Sunday's 1 p.m. Honda Indy 200.
Power currently sits third in the points battle, 26 behind leader Ryan Hunter-Reay and three behind his Penske teammate Helio Castroneves.
"For the rest of the year we need to win poles and win races if we are going to win the championship," Power said. "It's pretty simple. We need to run well and fast to make up ground in the points race."
Dixon, currently fourth in points, said not to count him out for Saturday's pole battle.
"We will come back tomorrow," he said. "We've got some good changes we can make I think and get some time off of it. Fingers crossed that tomorrow goes that much better."
Ed Carpenter, the only owner/driver in the series, was the slowest competitor on the course, tracking 117.950 mph.
"We had a bit of a brake issue," he said. "So I really didn't get to work on the car setup too much. But we finally got it resolved towards the end of the session. I think we are moving in the right direction. We can now work on getting the car better for Saturday."
Marco Andretti, currently 16th in points, was cheery after the practice session: "We were good at the test [last week here] and that carried over to today. We didn't even run our last set of tires, so that proves right there how quick the RC Cola car was today." The final practice list showed it too, as Andretti was third fastest at 121.209 mph.
Driver Justin Wilson, injured here last year, was 18th among 25 cars, traveling 119.952 mph.
The #98 entry of Bryan Herta Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian driven by Alex Tagliani has been issued a 10 spot grid penalty for Sunday’s race at Mid-Ohio for an unapproved engine change.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun