ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 12, 2016 - Will Power's qualifying dominance on the streets of St. Petersburg can't be stopped even by illness.

Battling a stomach virus, Power broke the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg track record in each of the first two segments of knockout qualifying and then turned the best lap in the Firestone Fast Six to collect the Verizon P1 Award. The sixth St. Pete pole position puts Power at the front of the pack for the 110-lap race on the 1.8-mile temporary street circuit, as the Verizon IndyCar Series drops the green flag on the 2016 seasonMarch 13 (12:30 p.m. ET, ABC).

Power, who set the track record of 1 minute, 0.6509 of a second (106.841 mph) in 2015 qualifying, toppled the mark in the first segment today with a lap of 1:00.5678 in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. He advanced to the Firestone Fast Six with another record-setting lap of 1:00.0658 (107.882 mph) using a new set of Firestone alternate tires.

While he didn't quite match that effort in the final segment, Power's lap of 1:00.2450 (107.561 mph) was nearly two-tenths better than anyone else in the Firestone Fast Six and easily good enough to secure the 43rd pole of his career, fifth on the all-time Indy car list. It also led a Team Penske sweep of the first four St. Pete starting positions for the second straight year.

"What a great run today for the Verizon Chevy team," said Power, who won the St. Pete race in 2010 and 2014. "It's an awesome feeling to be able to put the new-look Verizon car on pole again here at St. Pete.

"Unfortunately, I've been feeling pretty ill all day," he added. "It was a struggle to get through qualifying, honestly, but we were able to do it and after the Verizon P1 Award presentation I just started feeling a lot worse.

"The car was great today and a big credit to the guys for doing a terrific job in qualifying. I'll try to get some good rest tonight and come back ready to race on Sunday."

Simon Pagenaud, in the No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet, will start second following a lap of 1:00.4421 (107.210 mph). Three-time St. Pete winner Helio Castroneves qualified third in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet (1:00.4995, 107.108 mph) and defending race winner Juan Pablo Montoya fourth in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet (1:00.5312, 107.052 mph).

"Great effort for the whole organization," Castroneves said. "To have 1-2-3-4 again, it shows we're really working together as a team. We want to win as a team and we're going to keep pushing. Great effort for Team Penske."

Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon was the top non-Penske qualifier, fifth in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet (1:00.5395, 107.038 mph).

"Good to see Chevy (sweep) the top five," Dixon said. "Sad to see the first four being Penskes. That's the way it is."

Ryan Hunter-Reay, in the Andretti Autosport No. 28 DHL Honda, was sixth (1:00.8803, 106.438 mph).

"It's been very tough for us, to tell you the truth," Hunter-Reay said, "but we pulled it together, found some speed in qualifying. It's tough to be happy with sixth, but we're slowly talking ourselves into it. We salvaged something today."

Twenty-two cars qualified for the race, 12 using Honda engines and aero kits and 10 with Chevrolet. A 30-minute warmup session at 9 a.m. ET March 13 precedes the race. The warmup will stream live on racecontrol.indycar.com. In addition to ABC, the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network will air the race on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile App.

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