Dixon edges Power for Baltimore GP pole

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Updated: 8/31/2013 3:01 pm

Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Scott Dixon will start on the pole for the Grand Prix of Baltimore after topping Will Power in Saturday's qualifying.

Power, who won last weekend's race in Sonoma, Calif., held the provisional pole until Dixon drove his final lap around the 2.04-mile, 12-turn Baltimore street circuit in 1 minute, 18.0838 seconds during the final Fast Six segment. He beat Power's time by only 0.0333 seconds.

Dixon claimed his 20th career IndyCar pole win, including his second this season. He started first in race 2 of last month's doubleheader weekend in Toronto.

Dixon's pole in Baltimore comes six days after finished 15th at Sonoma. The Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver was penalized with a pit-lane safety violation after he accidentally made contact with one of Power's crew members in the pits late in the race. He had led the most lap with 27 and was in front of the field when IndyCar race officials handed him the controversial penalty.

"Good to bounce back after last week," Dixon said. "I feel so happy for Team Target. They did a hell of a good job. We had a sensor failure in Q2, which almost knocked us out. Big thanks to Honda for figuring it out and fixing that in Q3.

"The car's been quick all week. I actually made a few mistakes on that lap, and we were still able to pull it out. It's a good place to start here at Baltimore. It's going to be a tight race."

In wake of Dixon's incident at Sonoma, IndyCar announced earlier this week it has revised it rules for drivers and crew members in the pit area. Officials added point-of-reference "courtesy zones" to the outside edges of each pit box.

Dixon picked up a bonus point for his pole victory. He enters Sunday's 75-lap race 38 points behind leader Helio Castroneves, who qualified seventh.

Power had won the pole for the Baltimore GP in its first two years (2011 and '12). The Team Penske driver will make his sixth front row start this season.

"It was tough in qualifying, but we gave it everything we had," Power said. "Our chance to get the pole really came the lap before our final lap, but we just couldn't get there."

Simon Pagenaud, who led the way in morning practice, qualified a season-high third. Justin Wilson took the fourth spot, followed by Josef Newgarden and rookie Tristan Vautier.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, the defending IndyCar champion and last year's race winner in Baltimore, was eighth. Charlie Kimball and Takuma Sato completed the top-10.

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