Power ends winless streak amid drama

Speedcafe.com

Monday 26th August, 2013 - 10:42am

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Will Power

Will Power

A drive through penalty for Scott Dixon handed Will Power his first IndyCar win since April 2012 in a chaotic race at California’s Sonoma Infineon Raceway.

Chip Ganassi’s Kiwi star was on course to secure his fourth victory in five races but an incident involving Dixon’s car and Power’s pit crew prompted a drive through penalty with 15 laps remaining.

Three of Power’s pit crew were injured when Dixon’s car clipped a wheel held by a Penske tyreman which saw him flung into two other members of the pit crew.

Dixon’s Chip Ganassi team were incensed by the decision as they felt the Penske pit crew had intentionally caused the incident.

“The guy turned his back and carried the tire into Dixon’s side,” Chip Ganassi Racing team manager Mike Hull told the Associated Press.

“He walked into us, so if that sets the precedent, in the next race, that means somebody can walk into us with a tire in their hand.”

This gave Power the victory, his third in four years at the venue, from Justin Wilson and pole man Dario Franchitti. Dixon finished in a lowly 15th position.

Post-race, Power was having none of the controversy.

“It reminds me of so many things that’s happened to us in the last three years, so we’ll take it,” he said.

“I would be very surprised (if it was intentional). I haven’t seen it, (but) it’s not even worth commenting on.”

The race was a stop–start affair from the off with Charlie Kimball bringing out the first of the day’s seven cautions on the first lap following contact with Helio Castroneves.

The Turn 7 hairpin caught out a clutch of drivers, including Wilson and Simona de Silvestro.

Franchitti led until the first round of stops, with his Ganassi team-mate Dixon subsequently showing superior pace on fresh rubber – the two eventually swapping positions on lap 21.

Dixon and Power dropped back to second and fourth respectively during the second pitstop phase, falling behind the out-of-sync pairing of James Hinchcliffe and Justin Wilson, who had utilised the earlier caution periods to embark on alternative strategies to the rest of the field.

With Hinchcliffe and Wilson pitting, the battle for the lead resumed, with a final showdown seemingly set to take place after the final stops, where it would all go wrong for Dixon.

Amid the controversy, Power was free to romp home to his third Infineon Raceway win, while Wilson’s differing strategy paid off as the Briton finished a well-deserved second. The top five was completed by Franchitti, Marco Andretti and Simon Pagenaud.

Power’s countryman Ryan Briscoe and James Davison came home as the last of the lead lap runners in 17th and 18th respectively.

Davison had been denied a strong finish thanks to a tangle with Sebastian Saavedra in the closing stages.

Castroneves has now extended his lead in the championship to 39 points as a result of Dixon’s 15th place finish.

Indycar returns to action this weekend for the Grand Prix of Baltimore.

 See below for the Sonoma result

1 Will Power Penske/Chevrolet 2h20m46.8226s
2 Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda 1.1930s
3 Dario Franchitti Ganassi/Honda 3.4036s
4 Marco Andretti Andretti/Chevrolet 4.1266s
5 Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda 4.7042s
6 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Chevrolet 5.1074s
7 Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevrolet 8.5383s
8 James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Chevrolet 9.0231s
9 Simon de Silvestro KV/Chevrolet 9.2858s
10 Sebastien Bourdais Dragon/Chevrolet 11.2082s
11 Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda 12.0359s
12 Tristan Vautier Schmidt/Honda 15.1056s
13 Tony Kanaan KV/Chevrolet 17.7606s
14 EJ Viso Andretti/Chevrolet 18.5207s
15 Scott Dixon Ganassi/Honda 20.2165s
16 JR Hildebrand Herta/Honda 20.7611s
17 Ryan Briscoe Panther/Chevrolet 29.4788s
18 James Davison Coyne/Honda 43.7768s
19 Ed Carpenter Carpenter/Chevrolet 1 lap
20 Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Honda 2 laps
DNF Sebastian Saavedra Dragon/Chevrolet 81 laps
DNF Lucas Luhr Fisher/Honda 81 laps
DNF Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda 67 laps
DNF Josef Newgarden Fisher/Honda 56 laps
DNF James Jakes Rahal/Honda 28 laps

See below for the updated points standings 

Rank

Driver

Points

1

Helio Castroneves

479

2

Scott Dixon

440

3

Ryan Hunter-Reay

417

4

Marco Andretti

409

5

Simon Pagenaud

380

6

Dario Franchitti

379

7

Justin Wilson

361

8

Will Power

356

9

James Hinchcliffe

350

10

Charlie Kimball

335

11

Tony Kanaan

331

12

E.J. Viso

287

13

Takuma Sato

272

14

Ed Carpenter

261

14

Sebastien Bourdais

261

16

Graham Rahal

252

17

Josef Newgarden

251

18

Simona de Silvestro

248

19

James Jakes

237

20

Tristan Vautier

210

21

Sebastian Saavedra

172

22

Oriol Servia

167

23

Alex Tagliani

163

24

Mike Conway

149

25

Ryan Briscoe

100

26

J.R. Hildebrand

93

27

Ana Beatriz

72

28

Carlos Munoz

67

29

A.J. Allmendinger

65

30

Pippa Mann

29

31

James Davison

27

32

Luca Filippi

14

33

Conor Daly

11

34

Townsend Bell

10

35

Buddy Lazier

8

See below for video of the pit incident

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