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Palou Wins Laguna Seca; Power Wins 2022 IndyCar Title

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, September 11 2022

Team Penske’s Will Power is the 2022 IndyCar Series champion. (File photo courtesy of INDYCAR)

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Alex Palou won the final IndyCar Series race of the season on Sunday but it was Will Power who won the 2022 championship thanks to a third-place finish at Laguna Seca in California.

It was Team Penske’s Power’s second series championship. He won his first championship in 2014.

“It’s so surreal,” Power said. “In the offseason my wife said to me I believe you’re going to beat Mario’s record and you’re going to win the championship. It actually gave me confidence that I could do it. That’s how much confidence I have in her gut feel. I just couldn’t believe that they came true.”

Power, who started from the pole Sunday, was also the 2018 Indy 500 winner.

His teammate and rival for the title, Josef Newgarden finished second. Newgarden also finished second in the final points standings – 16 points behind Power.

Felix Rosenqvist finished fourth while rookie Christian Lundgaard was fifth.

Lundgaard’s finish earned him rookie of the year honors.

Palou, driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, was the 2021 champion. Palou finished half a minute ahead of Newgarden, with Power 3.5 seconds further back.

Power, 41, from Australia, won just one race this season, but this was his series-leading 12th top-five finish in 17 races – three more than any other driver. Power and Scott Dixon also were the only drivers to finish every lap this season.

“From the beginning (of the season), it was just playing the long game, not necessarily going for the big wins and all that,” Power said.

Palou’s win came despite a six-spot grid penalty for an unapproved engine change after qualifying Saturday, dropping Palou to 11th on the starting grid.

“We struggled a bit some races, especially the last couple of races,” Palou said. “But today was awesome. Strategy was on point. It’s good to finish a season with a win. We had some power there and good fuel mileage.”

(This story will be updated shortly)

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MONTEREY, Calif. – Results Sunday of the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey NTT INDYCAR SERIES event on the 2.238-mile WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (11) Alex Palou, Honda, 95, Running
2. (25) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 95, Running
3. (1) Will Power, Chevrolet, 95, Running
4. (8) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 95, Running
5. (16) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 95, Running
6. (7) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 95, Running
7. (4) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 95, Running
8. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 95, Running
9. (9) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 95, Running
10. (3) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 95, Running
11. (18) Colton Herta, Honda, 95, Running
12. (13) Scott Dixon, Honda, 95, Running
13. (6) David Malukas, Honda, 94, Running
14. (14) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 94, Running
15. (20) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 94, Running
16. (23) Jimmie Johnson, Honda, 94, Running
17. (10) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 94, Running
18. (19) Graham Rahal, Honda, 94, Running
19. (12) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 94, Running
20. (21) Jack Harvey, Honda, 94, Running
21. (17) Kyle Kirkwood, Chevrolet, 94, Running
22. (26) Simona De Silvestro, Chevrolet, 94, Running
23. (22) Takuma Sato, Honda, 94, Running
24. (15) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 93, Running
25. (24) Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet, 93, Running
26. (2) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 37, Mechanical

Race Statistics
Winner’s average speed: 103.277 mph
Time of Race: 2:03:31.0628
Margin of victory: 30.3812 seconds
Cautions: 1 for 3 laps
Lead changes: 7 among 5 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Power, Will 1 – 14
Ilott, Callum 15
Palou, Alex 16 – 18
Rosenqvist, Felix 19 – 23
Power, Will 24 – 26
Palou, Alex 27 – 67
Newgarden, Josef 68 – 72
Palou, Alex 73 – 95

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Point Standings: Power 560, Newgarden 544, Dixon 521, McLaughlin 510, Palou 510, Ericsson 506, O’Ward 480, Rosenqvist 393, Rossi 381, Herta 381, Rahal 345, VeeKay 331, Grosjean 328, Lundgaard 323, Pagenaud 314, Malukas 305, Daly 267, Castroneves 263, Sato 258, Ilott 219, Johnson 214, Harvey 209, DeFrancesco 206, Kirkwood 183, Kellett 133, Tony Kanaan 78, Ed Carpenter 75, Santino Ferrucci 71, Tatiana Calderon 58, JR Hildebrand 53, Juan Pablo Montoya 44, De Silvestro 34, Marco Andretti 17, Sage Karam 14, Stefan Wilson 10

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, September 11 2022
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