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IndyCar: Castroneves bags Houston Race 2 pole

Jun 29, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

HelioHOUPole Getty Images

Helio Castroneves has secured his second Verizon P1 Award of the Verizon IndyCar Series season, after setting a fastest lap of 59.1702 in the second group of this morning’s qualifying for today’s Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race 2 (NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra, 3 p.m. ET).

The pole position is the 40th of his career, which ties him with Rick Mears for fourth all-time.

Castroneves, driving the throwback Pennzoil livery this weekend for his sponsor’s home race as he also did in Indianapolis, seeks to become the first driver to win from the pole this season. Castroneves finished ninth in yesterday’s Race 1.

“The car was awesome; we missed yesterday by just a bit. Today we didn’t,” Castroneves told IndyCar Radio. “This is fantastic. Its’ the right car to start at the front.”

The two Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammates start second and third, with rookie Mikhail Aleshin in a career-best grid position and Simon Pagenaud third after taking the pole on Saturday.

Graham Rahal and Sebastien Bourdais round out the top five.

Points leader Will Power will start 18th for the second day in a row.

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