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Will Power Wins Second IndyCar Championship

MONTEREY, Calif. — Will Power stuck to the steady, low-profile method he used consistently throughout the season, finishing third at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday to clinch his second NTT IndyCar Series Championship. Earned.

After starting from the 68th pole position of his career, the Team Penske driver led the No. 12 Dallara Chevrolet for 17 laps and stayed close to the front for 95 laps of the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course. Monterey Peninsula, California.

Power, who also won the title in 2014, finished 16 points behind teammate Josef Newgarden, who finished second after starting 25th due to a spin in qualifying.

Race winner Alex Palou also put in a great drive, leading 67 of the 95 laps and winning by more than 30 seconds after starting 11th after a six-position grid penalty. It was the first victory of the season for the defending series his champions, who were involved in a contract dispute with Chip Ganassi his racing.

But the main story is that the Power was quietly playing long games all season. He’s only won once this season (at Detroit Belle Isle in June), but on Sunday he scored his ninth podium in 17 races for the Power, and took pole position to Mario Andretti’s in his position. It was the day after I broke the record.

“In the off-season, my wife (Liz) told me she was going to beat Mario’s record and win the championship. Power, 41, told NBC Sports’ Marty Snyder“So much confidence in her intuition. She said the words and I can’t believe it came true.”

“I had to drive the car today and it was loose and barely there. What a relief.”

On lap 39, Callum Ilott, who started in a career-best 2nd place, stopped at Turn 2 and the first caution flag of the race was brought out after failing to relight the No. 77 Jankos Hollinger Racing Dallara Chevrolet. .

IndyCar officials held the yellow for one lap as they waited to see if Ilott would start moving again, with points leader Will Power among those who jumped into the pits to change tires still under the green. I was in

When the race resumed on lap 43, all five contenders were in the top ten, with Palou leading, Power with Newgarden (5th), McLaughlin (6th), Ericsson (8th) and Dixon. (10th place).

Team Penske’s Will Power lifts the Astor Cup after winning his third NTT IndyCar Series Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images).

However, the race went green for the rest of the day, with Newgarden continuing to climb the field (while making additional pit stops) but Power never lost his cool be overtaken by a teammate Palou lost the lead.

It was the Spaniard’s first win in over a year. Monday marks two months since Palou went public after signing with McLaren Racing, despite Ganassi’s insistence on an option for Palou’s service for 2023.

“Today was great,” Palou told Kevin Lee of NBC Sports. , I don’t know what happened today, but everything went well, so I’m very happy to win this year’s race.”

Palou had insisted for weeks that he would not drive for Ganassi next year, but when Lee asked if this was his last race for the No. 10 Dallara Honda, he did not deny it.

“Yeah, things are going well, so we’ll see what happens, but yeah,” Palou said. .”