McLaughlin on pole, Power second for Indianapolis 500

For more than a month, Australian veteran Will Power has all but guaranteed that Team Penske would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

When the team was caught in a cheating scandal over illegal software, it was messaging Roger Penske really wanted his driver to tamp down.

The team was dealing with the disqualification of Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin from the season-opening race and Penske, owner of the race team, IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy 500, really preferred his three-driver team to stay a bit under the radar.

Power remaining convinced though, even after Penske suspended four team employees including Team Penske president Tim Cindric, the strategist for defending Indy 500 winner Newgarden.

Well, Power - cleared in the scandal - was right all along.

Three-time Australian Supercars champion McLaughlin in the famed "Yellow Submarine" entry led a Team Penske sweep of the front row of Indy 500 qualifying with a new track record around the speedway on Sunday.

McLaughlin's four-lap average of 234.220 mph broke the mark set by reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou last year of 234.217.

Australian veteran Will Power qualified second for the Indianapolis 500. (AP PHOTO)

Two-time Indycar series champion Power qualified second and Newgarden was third as Team Penske swept the front row for the first time since 1988 when it did so with Rick Mears, Al Unser Sr. and Danny Sullivan.

"What a team effort this whole month and to see us come back from some adversity," Penske said. "It shows how deep our bench is and I want to thank Tim Cindric and all the guys sitting home at this time because they were part of making this really happen.

"We're going to start with the cars in the right place. We haven't been this way since I guess 36 years ago. We dug deep and we delivered."

Penske drivers led 192 of 200 laps that day and and Mears won in the "Yellow Submarine" car sponsored by Pennzoil.

"Let's get this Yellow Submarine back in victory lane," said New Zealander McLaughlin.

Power's prediction was based on how much offseason work had been put into Penske's quest to win a record-extending 20th Indy 500.

It was irritating to his fellow competitors, which Alexander Rossi alluded to after qualifying fourth for Arrow McLaren Racing.

"I mean, it's a very good starting spot for the race and we'll move on from this," Rossi said. "I'm annoyed. It's been a lot of noise from them but also a lot of motivation."

Rossi was followed by Kyle Larson, who qualified fifth for his Indianapolis 500 debut. He is the fifth driver to attempt to compete in both the Indy 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

Chip Ganassi Racing failed to place even one of its five cars in the Fast 12 of Sunday qualifying, so the entire group had the day off.