Helio Castroneves will start Sunday's IndyCar race at Iowa from pole position after winning the final heat race at the 7/8th mile oval on Saturday evening.
Castroneves started the heat from pole and was never headed, although Will Power managed to climb through the field and give his Penske team-mate something to think about as the race ended its final 10 laps. The gap shrank to as little as 0.2 seconds before the pair began to encounter lapped traffic, which enabled Castroneves to recapture some of his advantage.
The Brazilian's job was made easier at the end when Power backed off slightly, giving Castroneves another nine points towards his title campaign.
"Nine points right now is really welcome," he said. "I'm excited by what we achieved. The car was really good. We were watching the others in the first couple of heats and it's tough, because you want to make changes but you don't know what."
Power, who had to regain some lost ground after dropping a couple of positions early on, declared himself satisfied with second.
"The car was definitely better than we had in practice, it really came on there," Power said. "Had a moment in Turns 1 and 2 there and just decided to settle for second."
Andretti Autosport locked out the second row, with James Hinchcliffe taking third ahead of Marco Andretti, leaving Ganassi's Scott Dixon as best of the Honda-powered drivers in fifth.
The earlier two heats were a study in contrasts. Heat one, which was for cars that qualified between eighth and 24th in even-numbered positions, was a dull procession from which Dixon and Takuma Sato earned themselves places in the final.
Heat two was far more hard-fought, with much of the excitement coming through Graham Rahal's progress through the field. He took the lead from Ed Carpenter with four laps remaining, however the race was ended early when his team-mate James Jakes lost control and hit the wall two laps later.
Despite his mishap, Jakes still managed to be classified ahead of Simona De Silvestro, who struggled badly for pace – to the point where she ran three consecutive laps slower than Carlos Munoz's Indy Lights pole time – and finished three laps off the lead.