Aussie Power outlasts Kiwi Dixon to win Indy road race
Penske earns 200th career triumph
CHICAGO, May 13, (AFP): Australia’s Will Power held off New Zealand’s Scott Dixon over the final 20 laps Saturday to win the IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis for car owner Roger Penske’s 200th career triumph.
It was the third victory in four years for Power in the 85-lap feature on the 14-turn, 2.5-mile (4km) Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in the final race before the 102nd edition of the Indianapolis 500 oval classic on May 27.
The Aussie pole-sitter, who also won the event in 2015 and last year, went outside to pass Canadian rookie Robert Wickens for the lead on lap 50 and held him off again as they were side-by-side exiting the pit lane.
On a lap 64 restart, Wickens was passed for second by Dixon, who started 18th in the 24car field.
But with every driver trying to conserve fuel to reach the finish line without stopping, the Kiwi could not overtake Power, settling for second with Wickens third and Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais fourth.
Alexander Rossi was fifth, closing his gap on season points leader and fellow American Josef Newgarden to only two points after five of 17 races. Dixon settled for his best finish of the season. Wickens found his first experience with having to nurse fuel to the finish line unpleasant.
Power enjoyed his Penske milestone victory, also his 30th IndyCar triumph over a decade in the series.
Penske, 81, enjoyed his 200th win and hopes to add to his legacy with a 17th Indy 500 triumph.
Indy 500 practice begins Tuesday with qualifying next weekend.