Dominant Power extends championship lead

Dominant Power extends championship lead

17 August 2014 – Australian Will Power did not lead the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 from wire to wire, but it may have felt like it, leading over 2/3 of the laps en route to a crucial victory, stretching his championship lead from five to 39 with just two races to go.

Shouting "I love winning on ovals!" over his radio on the cooldown lap, Power led 229 of 250 laps to win for the first time in his career on a short oval – something he had dreaded a few years ago.

But as his championship hopes would grow on road courses only to shrink on ovals, the Australian continued to work on the latter. As a result, after the race he called this one of his most satisfying wins, despite winning on larger ovals before.

Championship rival and teammate Helio Castroneves was mired throughout the race, finishing in P11, even getting lapped by Power with a few laps remaining. The loss of points wasn't enough to knock the Brazilian out of second in the championship standings, but his speed could not match his team-mate's in the end.

Juan Pablo Montoya looked as though he might have something for Power with 20 laps to go, but lapped traffic prevented the Colombian from attacking his Penske teammate. The lead would swell in clean air, but the nature of a short oval meant that a multitude of cars would slow the leader enough to give Montoya a chance, just not consistently. He was nearly four seconds ahead of Tony Kanaan, who rounded out the top three.

Early in the race, many eyes were on former Milwaukee winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, who started a paltry P19. By the first round of pit stops, the defending Indianapolis 500 winner was into sixth and looked poised to challenge for the lead, but a slower second stint saw his speed fall off to the point that he dropped out of the top ten.

Oddly, on lap 170, Hunter-Reay's Andretti Autosport machine suddenly became twitchy on the straightaway. As he slowed, the car's right rear suspension had broken and the American's day was done. Officially classified as P21, the finish was enough to drop Hunter-Reay out of third in the championship (jumped by Simon Pagenaud), severely dampening his title hopes.

In all, the race was a speedy affair with just one caution coming when Carlos Munoz also broke his suspension after brushing the wall on lap 132. Continuing a trend of mixing up strategies, this caution divided the field between those who stayed out on 20-lap-old tyres (like Power) and those who decided to pit off-sequence (like Kanaan) and reap the speed advantage of new tyres. The advantage of new rubber averaged around 6mph by the end of a stint, but it failed to deliver a silver bullet effect like it did for Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden earlier this year at Iowa, the other short oval on the calendar.

Newgarden, especially, looked set to have another solid finish or even contest for a win, but his fuel strategy gamble failed to pay off when a late race caution never materialised. Denied a victory at Mid-Ohio by running over an air hose in the pits, Newgarden again drove a brilliant race only to be denied because of calls in the pits, but the young American would still nab fifth, just behind the man who won two weeks ago, Scott Dixon.

Today's win is the third of the season for Power and the 24th of his career, tying Bobby Rahal for 16th on the all-time wins list. His championship lead now grows to 39 with just two races left, but the final race of the year – the 500-mile affair at Fontana – is the third leg of the IndyCar Triple Crown and is thus worth double points, meaning the championship is far from over.

The IndyCar season comes to a close with those final two races spread over the next two weeks, heading to Sonoma, California, next Sunday.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Wednesday 4 March 2015

  2. 14:34

    Subscribe for GPUpdate Manager 2015!

    F1
  3. Pirelli names tyre choices for first four races 14:27

    Pirelli names tyre choices for first four races

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has announced its compound nominations for the first four races of the season in Australia,...

    F1
  4. Ricciardo answers GPUpdate reader questions 14:02

    Ricciardo answers GPUpdate reader questions

    Last month, GPUpdate.net gave readers the opportunity to pose questions to Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo. We picked out a...

    F1
  5. Marciello to get practice outing in Malaysia 11:26

    Marciello to get practice outing in Malaysia

    Sauber test and reserve driver Raffaele Marciello has announced that he will take part in the opening free practice session...

    F1
  6. Lotus pleased with engine, chassis gains 10:14

    Lotus pleased with engine, chassis gains

    Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester reckons the team is in a much stronger position this year with its new...

    F1
  7. Pons confirms Merhi for 2015 season 09:38

    Pons confirms Merhi for 2015 season

    Pons Racing has signed Roberto Merhi for the upcoming Formula Renault 3.5 campaign. The Spaniard, 23, made his series...

    FR 3.5
  8. F1 2015: How did each team fare at Barcelona? 08:12

    F1 2015: How did each team fare at Barcelona?

    After eight more days of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the pre-season period is officially over....

    F1
  9. Video of the Day: Red Bull driver photo shoot 05:04

    Video of the Day: Red Bull driver photo shoot

    Go behind the scenes at Red Bull's driver photo shoot with renowned photographer Michael Muller.

    F1
  10. Tuesday 3 March 2015

  11. Video: Red Bull puts UE Boom to the test 14:43

    Video: Red Bull puts UE Boom to the test

    After teaming up with Ultimate Ears last year, Red Bull decided to put the UE Boom to the ultimate test.

    F1
  12. Alonso to sit out Australian Grand Prix 12:13

    Alonso to sit out Australian Grand Prix

    McLaren has confirmed that Fernando Alonso will sit out the Australian Grand Prix in the wake of his testing crash at the...

    F1
  13. Force India braced for early regression 09:31

    Force India braced for early regression

    Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley says the squad is braced for a slow start to the 2015 campaign following the...

    F1
  14. Williams confirms Wolff's on track programme 09:24

    Williams confirms Wolff's on track programme

    Williams has confirmed the details of Susie Wolff's on track programme for the 2015 season. Wolff, who stepped up to the...

    F1
  15. Toro Rosso has performed 'as expected' – Key 08:42

    Toro Rosso has performed 'as expected' – Key

    Toro Rosso Technical Director James Key hailed a positive pre-season campaign for the Italian squad, believing that the new...

    F1
  16. Video of the Day: Berlin ePrix launch 05:24

    Video of the Day: Berlin ePrix launch

    Highlights from the launch event of Formula E's Berlin ePrix, which will take place later this season around the grounds of...

    FE
  17. Monday 2 March 2015

  18. Arrivabene urges concentration at Ferrari 15:42

    Arrivabene urges concentration at Ferrari

    Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene has emphasised that the Italian outfit must remain disciplined as it prepares for...

    F1
  19. Renault 'quietly confident' ahead of Australia 14:14

    Renault 'quietly confident' ahead of Australia

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul says the French power unit supplier is 'quietly confident' ahead of the opening...

    F1
  20. FIA confirms clampdown on helmet changes 13:08

    FIA confirms clampdown on helmet changes

    Formula 1 drivers will be restricted to just one helmet design per season after a proposals put forward by figures inside...

    F1
  21. Final Barcelona pre-season test in numbers 11:01

    Final Barcelona pre-season test in numbers

    The final pre-season test at Barcelona saw Nico Rosberg and Mercedes top the timesheets, and Sauber lead the mileage stakes....

    F1
  22. Vettel expecting close fight behind Mercedes 10:52

    Vettel expecting close fight behind Mercedes

    Sebastian Vettel says he expects a close fight between Williams, Red Bull and his Ferrari team this year – albeit some way b...

    F1
  23. Mick Schumacher to race in German Formula 4 10:45

    Mick Schumacher to race in German Formula 4

    Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael, will make his car racing debut in German ADAC Formula 4...

    Misc
  24. Pons Racing parts company with Tunjo 10:33

    Pons Racing parts company with Tunjo

    Formula Renault 3.5 outfit Pons Racing has confirmed that it has parted company with Colombian youngster Óscar...

    FR 3.5
  25. 09:57

    Photos: Red Bull presents RB11 livery

    F1
  26. Red Bull reveals final RB11 livery 09:32

    Red Bull reveals final RB11 livery

    Red Bull has revealed the RB11 in its final race colours, ahead of the squad's planned filming day at the Circuit de...

    F1
  27. Tost happy with Toro Rosso's preparation 08:38

    Tost happy with Toro Rosso's preparation

    Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost says he is encouraged by the progress the squad has made across its pre-season testing...

    F1
  28. Chilton joins Nissan's LMP1 project 08:15

    Chilton joins Nissan's LMP1 project

    Former Formula 1 driver Max Chilton has confirmed that he will make the switch to the World Endurance Championship this year...

    LM
  29. Video of the Day: Chilton links up with Nissan 08:12

    Video of the Day: Chilton links up with Nissan

    Former Marussia racer Max Chilton and Nissan GT Academy mentor Alex Buncombe discuss their roles with Nissan ahead of the...

    LM
  30. Sunday 1 March 2015

  31. 19:26

    Photos: Barcelona pre-season testing – Day 4

    F1
  32. Pérez upbeat after first experience of VJM08 19:12

    Pérez upbeat after first experience of VJM08

    Sergio Pérez expressed his optimism after he received his first taste of Force India's VJM08 at the Circuit de...

    F1
  33. McLaren prepared for tricky start to 2015 18:57

    McLaren prepared for tricky start to 2015

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier says the squad is prepared for a tricky start to its 2015 campaign after pre-season...

    F1
  34. Lotus: Brake issue caused Maldonado crash 18:33

    Lotus: Brake issue caused Maldonado crash

    Lotus has confirmed that a brake problem caused Pastor Maldonado's crash on the final day of pre-season testing in...

    F1
  35. Rosberg pleased with Mercedes' pre-season 18:13

    Rosberg pleased with Mercedes' pre-season

    Nico Rosberg declared himself happy with Mercedes' pre-season preparations, after topping the combined times at the final...

    F1
  36. 17:08

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 4 results

    F1
  37. Bottas tops final day of pre-season testing 17:03

    Bottas tops final day of pre-season testing

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time as the third and final pre-season test reached its conclusion at the...

    F1
  38. Hamilton explains decision to keep #44 13:06

    Hamilton explains decision to keep #44

    World Champion Lewis Hamilton says he chose to keep #44 as his car number for the upcoming season as it "means more to me"...

    F1
  39. 07:51

    Follow Barcelona pre-season testing live!

    F1
  40. Magnussen wanted Le Mans drive with father 07:46

    Magnussen wanted Le Mans drive with father

    McLaren test and reserve driver Kevin Magnussen says he enquired over the possibility of racing alongside father Jan for...

    F1
  41. Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 4 line-up 06:47

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 4 line-up

    The final pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya concludes on Sunday and, to keep you up to date with who is...

    F1
  42. Video of the Day: Official Formula E anthem 05:24

    Video of the Day: Official Formula E anthem

    Spanish musician and record producer Nacho Cano had released an official anthem for Formula E.

    FE
  43. Saturday 28 February 2015

  44. 21:12

    Photos: Barcelona pre-season testing – Day 3

    F1
  45. First Ferrari race simulation pleases Allison 20:04

    First Ferrari race simulation pleases Allison

    Ferrari Technical Director James Allison expressed his happiness after the squad was able to conduct its first race...

    F1
more news