Power Is All-Powerful At Infineon
Will Power led all but two laps in winning the IZOD IndyCar Series race at Infineon Raceway on Sunday afternoon. And the two laps he did not lead, he was pitting late in the race.
The victory was the fifth of the season for the Team Penske driver. It enabled him to pad his points lead to 59 points with four races to go in the season.
Scott Dixon finished second and Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and points-runner-up Dario Franchitti was third.
About the only drama concerning the finish came when a caution flag came out with 11 laps to go, setting up a final restart with six laps to go.
Dixon was able to stay with Power until the end but could never mount a serious threat to pass for the lead.
“I was surprised at his pace,” Power said of Dixon over the final laps. “He was giving it to me at the end there.”
“We thought we’d have a go at Will,” Dixon, who is third in points, 95 behind Power, said. “I gave it all we could on the restart but eventually, it didn’t come off.”
Also exciting on the restart laps was the presence of a safety truck, brought out to start the stalled car of Hideki Mutoh, on the track as the leaders blew past.
All of Power’s victories have come on road or street courses.
The final four races – starting with the race at Chicagoland Speedway next Saturday – are all on ovals.
No problem, Power said.
“Man, I’m going for it,” he said. “I want to win an oval before the end of the year.”
Penske drivers Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves finished fourth and fifth while Justin Wilson and Tony Kanaan were sixth and seventh.
Dan Wheldon’s day ended before it started as he was rammed from behind by Bertrand Baguette as the field approached the starting line to begin the race.
Wheldon’s Panther Racing car flipped after being clipped. It then spun around the track upside down.
“I don’t know what happened, really,” Wheldon said. “I was just coming up for the start of the race obviously, and it’s a shame because the National Guard car was really strong all weekend and we were hoping for a really good finish. It’s never a good thing to be upside down but everybody at Dallara and the IZOD IndyCar Series do an unbelievable job from the safety aspect of our sport.
“The team continues to work incredibly hard and we wanted to put on a good show this weekend. Certainly the last four races are going to be an incredibly strong stretch for us, and expect to see that National Guard car up front. We’ll move on to the next race and try to get his car into victory lane before the season ends.”
Results Sunday of the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 2.303-mile Infineon Raceway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (1) Will Power, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
2. (6) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
3. (3) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
4. (5) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
5. (2) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
6. (7) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
7. (9) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
8. (8) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
9. (16) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
10. (22) Alex Lloyd, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
11. (20) Mario Moraes, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
12. (18) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
13. (11) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
14. (4) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
15. (21) Vitor Meira, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
16. (23) Danica Patrick, Dallara-Honda, 75, Running
17. (14) Hideki Mutoh, Dallara-Honda, 74, Running
18. (17) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 74, Running
19. (15) E.J. Viso, Dallara-Honda, 74, Running
20. (25) Francesco Dracone, Dallara-Honda, 71, Contact
21. (10) Raphael Matos, Dallara-Honda, 67,
22. (24) Milka Duno, Dallara-Honda, 67, Running
23. (13) Bertrand Baguette, Dallara-Honda, 65, Contact
24. (19) J.R. Hildebrand, Dallara-Honda, 38, Contact
25. (12) Dan Wheldon, Dallara-Honda, 0, Contact
Winner’s average speed: 92.063
Time of Race: 01:52:34.1915
Margin of victory: .7432 of a second
Cautions: 4 for 10 laps
Lead changes: 2 among 2 drivers
Lap Leaders: Power 1-55, Dixon 56-57, Power 58-75
Point Standings: Power 514, Franchitti 455, Dixon 419, Briscoe 384, Castroneves 370, Hunter-Reay 360, Kanaan 330, Wilson 290, Andretti 284, Wheldon 269.No Comment