Power lauds Pagenaud as ‘deserving champion’
Toowoomba IndyCar star Will Power says he is happy to see his Team Penske rival Simon Pagenaud win his first IndyCar Series crown.
Power was gracious in defeat after his chances of snaring a come-from-back victory vanished short of half-race distance at Sonoma when an electronic glitch saw his machine locked in neutral.
The gremlin for the Australian eased the pressure on Pagenaud who proceeded to dominate the double points finale by claiming his fifth win of the year after leading 76 of the 85-lap journey.
“It’s just how it flows. When its your year, its your year,” Power said.
“Simon has done a phenomenal job and he’s a deserving champion.
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“I’m happy to see him winning a Championship even though I finished second to him.”
After several years of near misses Power finally cracked an IndyCar title by lifting the Astor Cup in 2014, admitting that being a previous champion has lessened the blow of falling short this season.
“Honestly, coming second and missing the first race and getting four wins (this season), I’m very happy with the year.”
Power missed the first race of the season at St Petersburg in March after landing the pole when he showed signs of concussion-like symptoms.
Penske drivers finished 1-2-3 in the series with Helio Castroneves outdoing Ed Carpenter Racing’s Josef Newgarden by two points to claim third in the standings.
The accomplishment comes as Team Penske celebrates its 50th year of operation.
Eponymous team owner Roger Penske was proud of his crew after Pagenaud became the ninth driver to lift an IndyCar title for his famous squad.
“That was a great run. I just take my cap off to the team while Pagenaud dug deep all year.”