Will Power stormed to a record-equalling 67th pole position at Gateway for Team Penske to equal Mario Andretti’s pole tally.
The Australian drove superbly in Illinois storming to pole position with an impressive average speed of 182.727mph ahead of Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson.
Power explained in the post-qualifying press conference to MotorLat and other media that equalling Andretti’s record became a realistic target after his double position at Iowa earlier this season.
The 41-year-old said: “When I got the double pole at Iowa, that's when it became really realistic. The year before I had one pole. I think the year before that I had three.
“It was getting increasingly harder to get pole position. I was kind of thinking, This is going to be pretty hard to beat.
“But the double pole at Iowa was real key. Yep, great team, great engine, great crew. That's what I've had. I've been lucky.”
Despite his tremendous achievement, Power isn't getting too caught up in the emotion of his record-equalling pole position ahead of Sunday’s 260 lap race.
“No, I'm not feeling any relief because I'm so focused on the race and the championship.
“I can think about that later and feel good about it. Right now it's just so important to have a good car in the race and race well, yeah, have a solid day.
The 2014 IndyCar champion is currently leading the championship with three rounds remaining ahead of Scott Dixon and Ericsson.
He emphasized the importance of not worrying about scenarios you can’t control and the competitiveness of the title fight: “Yeah, it just shows no one's letting up, no one will until the end.
“Yep, pretty tight battle to the end. It will be very interesting to see how it unfolds. All you can do is just do your best. Do your best. Can't control some things, so see what happens.”
Ericsson performed admirably in qualifying securing second on the grid for the race, he said that he will pour all his effort into winning the IndyCar crown.
“Now going down to the last three, I think I'll do everything I possibly can to try and win this championship.”
Despite him not snatching pole position the ex-F1 driver is pleased with his efforts on the 1.2 mile track.
“Of course, you want to get that first pole. Will did a very impressive run in the end. We'll just have to try to get the win tomorrow instead.
“I thought my run was really good, so I thought I had a shot. If there's one guy you don't want to go after you when you're standing on provisional pole, it's definitely Will Power.
“Either way, I'm really happy we're on the front row, the car felt so good. The team did a really good effort today to give me such a qualifying car.”