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Power takes pole for IndyCar opener; de Silvestro third

Associated Press

3/23/2013 4:06:22 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Will Power has won the pole for the IndyCar season opener at St. Petersburg.

The Penske Racing driver earned the top starting spot for Sunday's race on his final lap of the qualifying session. It's the 30th pole of Power's career, moving him past Dario Franchitti for seventh on IndyCar's all-time list.

Takuma Sato qualified second Saturday and was followed by Simona de Silvestro in the highest qualifying effort of her career. The Swiss driver is making her debut for new team KV Racing Technology and had never before advanced to the Fast Six round of qualifying.

James Hinchliffe was fourth and followed by Helio Castroneves and rookie Tristan Vautier.

Failing to advance to the final round of qualifying were defending IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ganassi drivers Franchitti and Scott Dixon.