Top three for Will Power in Japan

Will Power on his way to a third place finish in Japan

Will Power on his way to a third place finish in Japan

On a day where Team Penske took three of the top-four spots at the Indy Japan 300, it was Toowoomba’s Will Power who’s third place finish was the most important.

The race was won by Helio Castroneves (Team Penske) from Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi), Power and Sydney’s Ryan Briscoe (Team Penske).

By finishing just one spot behind Franchitti, Power heads to the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami in a fortnight with a 12-point advantage over the Scot.

Happy Helio Castroneves at Twin-Rong Motegi

Happy Helio Castroneves at Twin-Ring Motegi

On his debut at the Twin-Ring Motegi, Power dropped back down the order off the start as his plan to settle into a grove started to take shape.

Running towards the back of the top-10, Power kept his nerve as through the final two rounds of pits stops his crew vaulted him back up the order.

Over the closing laps he had chances to pass Franchitti, but with the championship picture on his mind he settled for the safer option.

“I didn’t get to see Helio (Castroneves) much. He was gone,” said Power.

“I had a good experience at Motegi: I know how to run in traffic now.

“It’s great for us to put the Verizon car on the podium.

“I’ve never finished ahead of him (Dario) on an oval and one day I’ll get it. Hopefully this year because if I don’t, he’ll win.”

Franchitti did leave Japan with one piece of silverware – the AJ Foyt Oval Championship for the most points scored on the oval races this year. Power had won the Mario Andretti Road Course Cup after his dominance with five race wins.

“I was really the only person that could mix it up with Ryan and Helio all day,” said Franchitti.

“We were very good on restarts. We did make a small mistake on the downforce level today, but we did OK.

“Helio was just in a class of his own in terms of sheer speed but we could get him on the restarts occasionally…”

Castroneves was the class of the race. It was the Brazilian’s third race win of the year and second in a row after victory on fuel strategy at Kentucky two weeks ago.

“Team Penske is about execution and they gave me a fantastic car,” said Castroneves, who won from the pole.

“Every time I wanted to go for it, the car was responding.”

Only Power, who is in his first full season in the IZOD IndyCar Series, and Franchitti, who is chasing his second straight title and third overall, have the opportunity to win the title at Miami-Homestead on Saturday 2 October.

Here are the video highlights

 

RESULTS: Indy Japan 300
Twin-Ring Motegi

1.

#3

Helio Castroneves

Team Penske

200 laps

Running

2.

#10

Dario Franchitti

Target Chip Ganassi Racing

200

Running

3.

#12

Will Power

Team Penske

200

Running

4.

#6

Ryan Briscoe

Team Penske

200

Running

5.

#7

Danica Patrick

Andretti Autosport

200

Running

6.

#9

Scott Dixon

Target Chip Ganassi Racing

200

Running

7.

#11

Tony Kanaan

Andretti Autosport

200

Running

8.

#02

Graham Rahal

Newman/Haas Racing

200

Running

9.

#37

Ryan Hunter/Reay

Andretti Autosport

200

Running

10.

#4

Dan Wheldon

Panther Racing

200

Running

2010 IZOD IndyCar Series
Points Standings after Race 16 of 17

1.

Will Power

Australia

587 points

2.

Dario Franchitti

Scotland

575

3.

Helio Castroneves

Brazil

501

4.

Scott Dixon

New Zealand

497

5.

Ryan Briscoe

Australia

450

6.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

United States

426

7.

Tony Kanaan

Brazil

418

8=.

Dan Wheldon

England

366

8

Marco Andretti

United States

366

10.

Justin Wilson

England

349

Comments are closed.