Will Power and Team Penske win Race 2 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park
NTT IndyCar Series

Race #2 Coverage from the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit

Story Credit: INDYCAR PR
Photo Credit: INDYCAR Photo

Power finds way back to Victory Lane in second Chevrolet Dual in Detroit

{boxplus href=”images/News/2016BelleIsle/PowerVictoryCircle.jpg” title=”Photo Credit Chris Jones/IndyCar Photo”}Will Power and Team Penske win Race 2 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park{/boxplus}

Will Power’s day didn’t start well, but the Team Penske driver made up for it by winning the second race of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans. Power took the checkered flag 0.9203 of a second ahead of teammate Simon Pagenaud today to collect his 26th career Indy car win, moving the Australian into a tie for 14th on the all-time victory list with Rodger Ward. It was Power’s first win in more than a year, 19 starts ago at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis in May 2015.

“It’s been a long time,” a relieved Power radioed to his crew on the cooldown lap from his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

“It just gives the whole crew some confidence,” said Power, who missed the 2016 season opener at St. Petersburg with an inner-ear infection after winning the pole position for the race. “I think we’ve all kind of been stumbling a little bit, the whole group of us. It’s been a tough start to the year. I missed the first race and just had a few mishaps, and now we’re there.”

Power started today’s race eighth after being penalized for qualifying interference in the morning, taking away what would have been a record-setting lap for pole. Instead, Pagenaud collected the Verizon P1 Award for the second time in as many days with a track-record lap of 1 minute, 14.0279 seconds (114.266 mph) and started up front. Power was running sixth when he made the deciding move of the race on Lap 53 of 70 around the 2.35-mile temporary street course, passing Pagenaud on the outside headed into Turn 3. With the four cars ahead of him destined to make late stops for Sunoco E85R, Power held his ground and inherited the lead when Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi had to pit for fuel on Lap 61.

“The guys did a great job in the pits, got me out in front of the 28 (Ryan Hunter-Reay),” Power said. “Then obviously on the restart, I thought, ‘I’ve really got to capitalize here, otherwise we’re not going to win.’ I went down outside (to pass Pagenaud).”

“It wasn’t a big risk because it was on the outside. Had I tried to go on the inside, it would have been a much bigger risk. I wasn’t willing to take that with Simon because he’s the championship leader. If I was going to do it, I had to do it on the outside and cleanly. There was a space and I went for it.”

Pagenaud’s runner-up finish was his third this season to go with the three consecutive wins he put together at Long Beach, Barber Motorsports Park and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The driver of the No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet leaves the Belle Isle doubleheader with an 80-point championship lead over Scott Dixon, who finished fifth in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

“(Power) made a great pass and he was very aggressive on the restart,” Pagenaud said. “I didn’t feel comfortable on cold tires. (I had) a really good car on long runs but I struggled on cold tires. He saw it and took his chance and that’s how you win races.

“At that point you’ve got to be smart and think about the big picture. Congratulations to him. There was no point in colliding and trying too hard.”

Hunter-Reay, the 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion for Andretti Autosport, finished third in the No. 28 DHL Honda.

“We had good pace, but it wasn’t enough to close up and make a run for Simon or Will,” Hunter-Reay said. “Tough day, very physical circuit, two very physical races. I’m definitely a bit relieved that it’s over at this point.”

Josef Newgarden finished fourth in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer/Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, with Dixon fifth. Sebastien Bourdais, who won Saturday’s first race of the only doubleheader weekend on the 2016 schedule, led late today but had to stop for fuel and finished eighth in the No. 11 Team Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing Chevy.

The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to oval racing for the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 10-11, with NBCSN picking up television coverage. Qualifying airs on a tape-delay basis at 6 p.m. ET Friday with the live race telecast beginning at 8 p.m. ET Saturday.

Jared DePouw
Jared is the founder of RealOpenWheel.com but works as a small business accountant. He also officiates high school football and lacrosse in his free time.

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