Team Penske’s Will Power Cruises to Victory at the IndyCar Grand Prix at Indy
The Australian also collected Team Penske’s 200th win of its 50-year history in the sport.
The Chevrolet-powered IndyCar of Will Power crossed the yard of bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in first place, ahead of two of the series' strongest competitors—Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon and Schmidt Peterson's Robert Wickens, who wrapped up the three steps of the podium. Today's victory marked Power's third win on the 14-turn road course.
The Drive was on site at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where despite the intricate layout of the 2.4-mile track, racing action was kept to a minimum outside of a first-corner scuffle after the start of the race. Turn 1, a tight right-hander immediately followed by a left-hand turn saw Ed Carpenter Racing's Jordan King collide with Team Penske's Simon Pagenaud, sending both cars to the gravel.
From there on it was smooth cruising for the majority of the field, although pit-stop rotations did cause a few lead changes as the race unfolded. Most of the action took place in the midfield, where a fuel-saving Wickens had to fend off Andretti Autosport's Alexander Rossi and his SPM teammate James Hinchcliffe for the duration of the race. A full-course yellow flag threw a curveball at the top three runners on lap 56, when the reigning IndyCar champion and current championship leader Josef Newgarden spun on the first turn and stalled his car on the racing line.
"In the end, I'm really happy to be on the podium. It's frustrating because it feels like you're driving so slowly because it feels like you're lifting (to save fuel) for what feels like an eternity before the corner, but then the team was reassuring me that Rossi and Bourdais had to do the same thing," said Robert Wickens. "It wasn't comfortable by any means. It was the first time in my career I've had to save fuel like that, but in the end, happy with the podium. Would have liked to be a bit further up, but hard to complain."
Today's win represents the 200th IndyCar victory for the Penske organization, and 30 for will Power since he joined the team ten seasons ago. His 30th victory equals Helio Castroneves and edges out the legendary Rick Mears, who accomplished 29 victories during his time as Roger Penske's driver.
"200 wins in IndyCar just shows Roger's determination and the way his team works and his passion for winning," said Will Power. "It's a real pleasure to drive for him. You're given equipment week in, week out to win, and yeah, I have to say it's amazing to be a part of that history of Penske Racing."
The ground crews at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are already hard at work at the massive facility, getting everything from track layout to sponsor banners changed from Grand Prix-mode for the Indy 500.
1. (1) Will Power, Chevrolet, 85, Running
2. (18) Scott Dixon, Honda, 85, Running
3. (2) Robert Wickens, Honda, 85, Running
4. (3) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 85, Running
5. (8) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 85, Running
6. (10) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 85, Running
7. (4) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 85, Running
8. (7) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 85, Running
9. (17) Graham Rahal, Honda, 85, Running
10. (11) Takuma Sato, Honda, 85, Running
11. (6) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 85, Running
12. (19) Zachary Claman De Melo, Honda, 85, Running
13. (14) Marco Andretti, Honda, 85, Running
14. (12) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 85, Running
15. (9) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 85, Running
16. (16) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 85, Running
17. (22) Gabby Chaves, Chevrolet, 85, Running
18. (13) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 85, Running
19. (24) Kyle Kaiser, Chevrolet, 85, Running
20. (23) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 85, Running
21. (21) Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 85, Running
22. (15) Ed Jones, Honda, 84, Running
23. (20) Zach Veach, Honda, 84, Running
24. (5) Jordan King, Chevrolet, 83, Running