Power bests the field at Fast Friday as Indy 500 qualifying looms

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Will Power poses after Fast Friday practice for the Indianapolis 500 at IMS (WXIN, May 20, 2016)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Eighteen drivers topped 230 miles per hour lap speeds at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Fast Friday, led by Team Penske’s Will Power at 232.672 mph.

“Honestly, this is the most comfortable I’ve been at (IMS) in traffic and everything during the week,” said Power after the day’s six-hour practice session wrapped up. “The car’s fast for qualifying, so (I’m) enjoying myself.”

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Josef Newgarden finished just behind Power at 232.322 mph. Rounding out the top five were James Hinchcliffe, Carlos Munoz, and Marco Andretti.

In an IndyCar career that began in 2005, few honors have eluded Power, but the 2014 series champion has never never won an Indianapolis 500 or a pole for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

“I’ve come so close (to the pole) before,” said Power. “Everything’s gotta work out on the day. The wind’s gotta be right, the gear’s gotta be right, and you’ve gotta be right.

“It’s like winning the 500. Everything has to be your day. It’d be great. It’d be awesome, considering the year I’ve had, to do it.”

Qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 begins Saturday at 11:00 a.m. The “Fast nine” drivers on Saturday will battle it out Sunday for the pole.