Traditionally, the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio course gets ever quicker as more rubber goes down rapidly but Power’s top time from Group 1 – 66.334sec lap at 122.543mph – beat Group 2 pacesetter Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport-Honda by over 0.3sec.
Power had already guaranteed himself a front-row start by beating teammate Josef Newgarden by a little over 0.2sec, with Jack Harvey’s Meyer Shank Racing-Honda an almost identical gap behind.
Felix Rosenqvist headed up Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s challenge, as championship leader and six-time Mid-Ohio winner Scott Dixon was only ninth, complaining of no rear grip on the softer-compound red Firestones.
Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet narrowly grabbed a fifth-row spot just ahead of Marco Andretti.
In Group 2, Hunter-Reay clocked a 66.729sec lap just 0.1474sec faster than the highly impressive Conor Daly of Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy.
Alexander Rossi, after his various troubles this year that have left him a desultory 18th in the championship, could be relatively pleased with third in session and sixth on the grid, but the 2018 Mid-Ohio winner will have been perturbed to find himself 0.45sec off Hunter-Reay’s pace.
Local hero Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda was fourth fastest in Group 2, beating Champ Car Atlantic rival…