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Power Dominates IndyCar Grand Prix

Will Power celebrates his second IndyCar Grand Prix victory. [Andy Clary Photo]

Will Power celebrates his second IndyCar Grand Prix victory. [Andy Clary Photo]

Speedway, IN – The fastest guys in Verizon IndyCar qualifying this season were the class of the field today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the fastest guy won the IndyCar Grand Prix.

Will Power returned to victory lane after last visiting it at Pocono in August of last season. Sweeping the pole and the race victory, just like he did here in 2015, Power had a dominating weekend to capture his 30th career Verizon IndyCar Series win.

After scoring the 250th pole for Team Penske the day before, Power won the 190th victory for the team, and the third IndyCar Grand Prix in a row for “The Captain”.

“It was one of those perfect weekends,” said Power. “And, that is what we needed. It wasn’t that easy. In the first stint I pushed way to hard early. In the end, I was very conscious of the gap Dixon was closing. ”

Power and his fellow fast teammate Castroneves have exchanged pole positions this season and continued the theme exchanging the lead throughout the race. Power led three times for 61 laps and Castroneves led twice for 24 laps in the race that ran caution-free.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon finished in the runner-up position, just over five seconds behind the race winner. Fellow Honda driver Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport charged hard in the final segment of the race and scored the final spot on the podium, his best finish this season.

“This is nice to finally get a good result,” explained Hunter-Reay. “We’ve had so much misfortune.”

Simon Pagenaud passed Castroneves with a few laps remaining to finish fourth. Graham Rahal also made a charge in the final stint of the race to finish in sixth. Max Chilton, Alexander Rossi, Spencer Pigot and Juan Pablo Montoya completed the top ten. Team Penske driver Josef Newgarden ran in the top five for most of the race until back-to-back pit speed violations forced him to serve two drive-through penalties. Newgarden fought back to finish eleventh.

Power led from the pole and kept the lead till the first round of green-flag pitstops. Castroneves took over the lead as Power exiting the pits and ran his turn at the front of the pack until the next round of stops. Castroneves led Power by four seconds with the rest of the field another ten seconds back as the teammates continued their domination of the race

Just after the halfway point of the race and another round of pitstops, Power resumed the lead with Castroneves following close behind. Running on the soft “red” sidewalled tires as he had all race long, Castroneves maintained the pace with the leader. The coming issue was that he still needed to run the hard “blacks”.

With about twenty laps remaining, the final round of green-flag stops began. This time Power held the lead after both he and Castroneves pitted. From there it was a dash to the finish.

Dixon tried to close at the end, but it wasn’t going to be enough to catch Power.

Now Power turns his attention to the Indianapolis 500. He led every session from practice to the race at the IndyCar Grand Prix. It will be interesting to see if he can continue when the track is changed over to the oval configuration.

INDYCAR Grand Prix race results
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Results Saturday of the INDYCAR Grand Prix Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (1) Will Power, Chevrolet, 85, Running
2. (4) Scott Dixon, Honda, 85, Running
3. (8) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 85, Running
4. (7) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 85, Running
5. (2) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 85, Running
6. (20) Graham Rahal, Honda, 85, Running
7. (14) Max Chilton, Honda, 85, Running
8. (9) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 85, Running
9. (16) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 85, Running
10. (5) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 85, Running
11. (3) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 85, Running
12. (22) Takuma Sato, Honda, 85, Running
13. (10) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 85, Running
14. (21) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 84, Running
15. (18) Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, 84, Running
16. (11) Marco Andretti, Honda, 84, Running
17. (15) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 84, Running
18. (17) Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, 84, Running
19. (13) Ed Jones, Honda, 84, Running
20. (12) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 83, Running
21. (19) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 32, Off Course
22. (6) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 3, Off Course

Race Statistics
Winner’s average speed: 120.813
Time of Race: 01:42:57.6108
Margin of victory: 5.2830 seconds
Cautions: 0
Lead changes: 4 among 2 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Power 1-23
Castroneves 24-45
Power 46-63
Castroneves 64-65
Power 66-85

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings: Pagenaud 191, Dixon 181, Newgarden 152, Castroneves 149, Power 145, Hinchcliffe 137, Bourdais 136, Hunter-Reay 117, Rossi 99, Sato 97.

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John Wiedemann is the owner, editor and developer of the RacingNation.com website.

A motorsports fan from his earliest memories, John started going to local short tracks and the Milwaukee Mile with his parents, brother and sister. John enjoys drivers racing side by side and battling for the same piece of real estate on the racetrack as much as he appreciates the technical aspects of the sport.