9.14.2012 (Via USATODAY Sports) – Marco Andretti won the pole position Friday for Saturday's Izod IndyCar Series season finale, but that was a mere footnote.
Because of expected engine changes, the two closest contenders for the championship will start in the middle of the 26-car field for the start of the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway. Will Power, the points leader, had the second-fastest two-lap qualifying effort of the day — 215.9940 mph — but will start mid-pack. The final grid won't be released until after the final practice.
Hunter-Reay, who had the 17th-best qualifying effort at 212.773 mph, will start in the back of the field.
"It's all roses, isn't it?" Hunter-Reay joked afterward. "We'll be starting outside the track, apparently."
Fourteen drivers were docked 10 starting positions for changing engines for the final race. Teams were allowed five engines per car this season. They have been docked starting positions throughout the season for unapproved engine changes.
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