It is not just the NFL and NBA that is experiencing a southern hemisphere invasion.
The motorsports version of the influx is from Kiwi Scott Dixon and Will Power.
Dixon managed to finish seventh in a qualifying event for an IndyCar race in Illinois. Power showed him up by taking the pole, the 50th of his career. Power drives for Team Penske, the international racing powerhouse.
He set a course record while qualifying at Madison, Illinois, Gateway Motorsports Park. At 36, prime time for drivers, Power ran two laps in 47.4579 seconds with a speed of 189.642 (305 khm) on the newly paved 1.25 mile (2.01168 km) oval. In so doing, he grabbed the pole for the sixth time this year. He later said, “I’m very happy for the pole. Qualifying is something I really enjoy. Qualifying is something we (the team) can give absolutely everything.”
Power has not converted all six of those poles to wins, but he does have three for the season, enough to put him in the number five position for the season with 464 points. He trails American Josef Newgarden by 83 points.
Dixon, on the other hand, has been the more consistent of the two antipodal drivers. Even though he has won just once, he holds the number two rung on the IndyCar ladder, his 516 points trailing Newgarden by just 31 points.
For the upcoming race, Newgarden will start on the outside of the first row. Helio Castroneves qualified third and Simon Pagneaud fourth, so Team Penske power was obvious as they swept qualifying to totally dominate qualifying on the new surface.
There was not much separation between Power and Dixon. Dixon was less than 10 kmh slower, which could mean that he is saving his car for when the racing counts.