Team Penske Dom­i­nates Week­end At Sonoma

Escalon Times - - NEWS - By JEFF BURGHARDT Rac­ing Cor­re­spon­dent

Sonoma Race­way played host to the fi­nal race of the 2017 Ver­i­zon Indy Car Se­ries this past week­end.

Com­ing into the sea­son fi­nale, five driv­ers math­e­mat­i­cally had a chance at the se­ries ti­tle. Four of the driv­ers were from Team Penske and one from Chip Ganassi Rac­ing. Those fight­ing for the ti­tle qual­i­fied well. Penske’s four cars in the ti­tle hunt qual­i­fied first through fourth with Josef New­gar­den lead­ing the way. Will Power started in the sec­ond place fol­lowed by de­fend­ing se­ries cham­pion Si­mon Pa­ge­naud and the last Penske driver He­lio Cas­tron­eves started fourth. The only non-Penske driver in the ti­tle fight, Scott Dixon, started sixth.

New­gar­den and Pa­ge­naud led all but three laps dur­ing the cau­tion free event. Conor Daly picked up those three laps dur­ing the pit stop cy­cle. New­gar­den and Pa­ge­naud each led 41 laps with Pa­ge­naud lead­ing the fi­nal lap to cap­ture the vic­tory. New­gar­den fol­lowed in sec­ond and Power third, Scott Dixon fourth and Cas­tron­eves in fifth.

Pa­ge­naud won the race but his team­mate New­gar­den won the sea­son cham­pi­onship with his sec­ond place fin­ish. New­gar­den fin­ished 13 points ahead of Pa­ge­naud and 21 ahead of Dixon, 44 ahead of Cas­tron­eves and 80 up on Power in the standings.

This is Team Penske’s 15th Indy car se­ries cham­pi­onship and the first for New­gar­den.

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