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. Friday 22 September 2017

  2. 16:12

    Follow us on Instagram for the best photos!

    F1
  3. Video: IndyCar's new 2018 brake package 16:02

    Video: IndyCar's new 2018 brake package

    IndyCar technical guru Jon Beekhuis explains the technical advancements for the brake package on the series' 2018 car that will…

    Indy
  4. Formula 1 developing exhaust microphone 14:43

    Formula 1 developing exhaust microphone

    Formula 1 is developing a microphone that can be fitted to a car's exhaust to provide a "true amplification" of sound in the…

    F1
  5. 14:06

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Aragón

    MotoGP
  6. 14:00

    Aragón Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    MotoGP
  7. Pedrosa heads Lorenzo in second practice 13:58

    Pedrosa heads Lorenzo in second practice

    Honda rider Dani Pedrosa topped the timesheets during second practice for Aragón Grand Prix, ahead of Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo…

    MotoGP
  8. Yamaha set to offer van der Mark test run 13:47

    Yamaha set to offer van der Mark test run

    Yamaha is set to offer Michael van der Mark a test on its MotoGP bike, with the Dutchman's planned debut at the Aragón Grand…

    MotoGP
  9. Red Bull adds four karters to Junior Team 12:22

    Red Bull adds four karters to Junior Team

    Red Bull has added four karters to its Junior Team line-up for the 2018 season. OK World Championship karter Dennis Haugar…

    Misc
  10. F1 to make classic race available online 12:01

    F1 to make classic race available online

    Formula 1's official website will make a classic Malaysian Grand Prix available online for fans to watch later this month, as…

    F1
  11. Video: Jaguar presents new car, new driver 10:48

    Video: Jaguar presents new car, new driver

    Jaguar introduces its new car and new driver for Formula E's fourth season, with inaugural series champion Nelson Piquet Jr.…

    FE
  12. 09:46

    Aragón Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    MotoGP
  13. Márquez fastest as Rossi returns at Aragón 09:44

    Márquez fastest as Rossi returns at Aragón

    Marc Márquez topped a wet opening practice session for the Aragón Grand Prix, as Valentino Rossi returned to action following…

    MotoGP
  14. China, Bahrain could swap places on roster 08:39

    China, Bahrain could swap places on roster

    Formula 1 commercial chief Sean Bratches is "incredibly optimistic" that China will remain on the calendar next season, though…

    F1
  15. Video: F1 pit-stop in the dark - making of 05:36

    Video: F1 pit-stop in the dark - making of

    Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, Mercedes team partner EPSON challenged mechanics to complete a pit-stop in the dark. Go…

    F1
  16. Thursday 21 September 2017

  17. FIA amends Super Licence points for 2018 19:34

    FIA amends Super Licence points for 2018

    The FIA has restructured the Super Licence points system for 2018, with several championships having their allocation reduced…

    F1
  18. FIA outlines 2019 F3 International proposal 18:59

    FIA outlines 2019 F3 International proposal

    The FIA has outlined its ambition for the proposed FIA F3 International Championship, which is set to replace the current…

    F3
  19. Switzerland joins 2017/18 Formula E calendar 18:42

    Switzerland joins 2017/18 Formula E calendar

    Switzerland will feature on the Formula E calendar in the 2017/18 season, with a street race to take place in…

    FE
  20. Video: IndyCar Sonoma remix highlights 16:36

    Video: IndyCar Sonoma remix highlights

    Watch remix highlights of IndyCar's season-ending Grand Prix of Sonoma, in which Penske driver Josef Newgarden claimed his…

    Indy
  21. Sauber confirms Leclerc for four FP1 runs 15:09

    Sauber confirms Leclerc for four FP1 runs

    Sauber will field Ferrari-backed Charles Leclerc during four practice sessions over the remainder of the season, ahead of an…

    F1
  22. 15:04

    Overview: 2017/18 Formula E line-up so far

    FE
  23. Piquet Jr. joins Evans at Jaguar for S4 15:02

    Piquet Jr. joins Evans at Jaguar for S4

    Nelson Piquet Jr. has joined Mitch Evans at Jaguar for Formula E's fourth season. Ex-Formula 1 driver Piquet Jr. was crowned…

    FE
  24. 14:35

    Overview: Complete 2018 MotoGP line-up

    MotoGP
  25. Siméon signs for Avintia, completes '18 grid 14:33

    Siméon signs for Avintia, completes '18 grid

    Moto2 race winner Xavier Siméon will make the step up to MotoGP next season, joining Avintia on a two-year deal, in a move that…

    MotoGP
  26. Rossi passed fit to compete at Aragón GP 13:43

    Rossi passed fit to compete at Aragón GP

    Valentino Rossi has passed the medical check required to compete at this weekend's Aragón Grand Prix, just three weeks on from…

    MotoGP
  27. McLaren-Honda stint 'a proper disaster' 12:37

    McLaren-Honda stint 'a proper disaster'

    McLaren's latest partnership with Honda was "a proper disaster" for the team's credibility, says Racing Director Eric Boullier…

    F1
  28. Video: Verstappen 'moves on' from clash 12:18

    Video: Verstappen 'moves on' from clash

    Red Bull driver Max Verstappen vows to move on after his first-lap clash with Ferrari drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian…

    F1
  29. Barberá to step down to Moto2 with Pons 11:45

    Barberá to step down to Moto2 with Pons

    Héctor Barberá will step back down to Moto2 in 2018, after signing a deal with Pons, bringing to a close an eight-season spell…

    MotoGP
  30. Video: Singapore GP strategy analysis 10:12

    Video: Singapore GP strategy analysis

    Mercedes reflects on the strategies used at last weekend's dramatic wet/dry Singapore Grand Prix.

    F1
  31. Ganassi to downsize to two cars in 2018 09:22

    Ganassi to downsize to two cars in 2018

    Chip Ganassi Racing will downsize from four to two cars for the 2018 season. Scott Dixon will continue in the No. 9 Honda…

    Indy
  32. 'F1 teams should be calling Newgarden' 07:48

    'F1 teams should be calling Newgarden'

    Formula 1 teams should be showing interest in newly-crowned IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden, given his rate of development…

    F1
  33. Video: 72 hours - Spielberg to Silverstone 05:42

    Video: 72 hours - Spielberg to Silverstone

    Race team packdown, motorhome build, 1,680 km, 72 hours. Mercedes' logistics partner, DB Schenker, oversaw an incredible…

    F1
  34. Wednesday 20 September 2017

  35. Video: Pushing more US drivers into F1 16:32

    Video: Pushing more US drivers into F1

    SAFEisFAST looks at F4 USA and the role it is set to play in pushing more US drivers into F1.

    F4
  36. F1 title turnarounds to give Vettel hope 15:12

    F1 title turnarounds to give Vettel hope

    Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel finds himself 28 points down on Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton after a dramatic Singapore Grand…

    F1
  37. Rossi to attempt comeback at Aragón GP 12:40

    Rossi to attempt comeback at Aragón GP

    Valentino Rossi will attempt to return to action at this weekend's Aragón Grand Prix, around three weeks after sustaining…

    MotoGP
  38. Video: Why is there wood on a race car? 12:18

    Video: Why is there wood on a race car?

    What purpose does a plank of wood serve onboard a racing car? Formula E explains...

    FE
  39. Mahindra holds on to Heidfeld, Rosenqvist 12:12

    Mahindra holds on to Heidfeld, Rosenqvist

    Mahindra Racing has retained Nick Heidfeld and Felix Rosenqvist for the upcoming Formula E season. Ex-Formula 1 driver…

    FE
  40. Sato secures return to RLL for 2018 season 11:40

    Sato secures return to RLL for 2018 season

    Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) has announced that reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato will return to its…

    Indy
  41. Pérez donates to Mexico earthquake fund 11:19

    Pérez donates to Mexico earthquake fund

    Force India driver Sergio Pérez has donated three million pesos (around £125,000) to help those affected by the recent…

    F1
  42. Boullier: Alonso wants to stay at McLaren 11:04

    Boullier: Alonso wants to stay at McLaren

    McLaren chief Eric Boullier has claimed that Fernando Alonso "wants to stay" at McLaren for the 2018 season, when the team will…

    F1
  43. Video: Is sleep the key to success in F1? 09:27

    Video: Is sleep the key to success in F1?

    Mercedes highlights the importance of sleep and recovery in Formula 1 and beyond.

    F1
more news