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Will Power claims IndyCar title despite Josef Newgarden resistance as Alex Palou wins Laguna Seca race


Will Power, 41, won his second IndyCar title with 16 points from Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden; Power finished third at Laguna Seca as ranked champion Alex Palou won the first race of the season

Last updated: 12/09/22 7:46 am

Will Power claims his second IndyCar title on Sunday

Will Power claims his second IndyCar title on Sunday

Will Power was pushed to the brink on Sunday by Team Penske but withstood an internal challenge from his teammate to close a steady season and claim his second IndyCar championship.

Power finished third at Laguna Seca Raceway to beat teammate Josef Newgarden to win the championship with 16 points on the final standings. Australia’s first IndyCar title came in 2014.

“Oh my, that sounds so bizarre,” Power said as he crossed the finish line behind upcoming IndyCar champions Alex Palou and Newgarden, who used a bare-knock across the court to get Power to sweat. foul until the checkered flag.

Strength just finished third to win the championship. But Team Penske over the past week has proven that their cars race individually and that all three drivers are their own in this title deciding role. Newgarden has been relentless.

“In the end, I’m just proud of the team,” said a panicked Newgarden. He’s talked over the last few days of his personal journey about perfection and the emotional toll it has taken on him.

A five-time winner this season, his lack of consistency has simply put him too deep in a deep pit to get through Power’s steady season.

Power finished third at Laguna Seca to seal the crown in 2022

Power finished third at Laguna Seca to seal the crown in 2022

Newgarden veered off course in a sloppy qualifying mistake that left him 25th in the 26-driver field. He took his way through the traffic and used three nail bites through Laguna Seca’s famous corkscrew to keep Power tight.

One of Newgarden’s big moves in the corkscrew game was Power, but Newgarden made it clean and was dragged down to second place behind Palou. The Americans need more than that to win the championship.

Power, at 41, has insisted this year he’s been playing the long game with a second title target. The Australian has only won once, but his average result is sixth, and he’s barely bounced all year. On Saturday, he won his 68th career pole to break Mario Andretti’s mark in series history.

Now, IndyCar’s fastest man is also the most consistent and has rewarded team owner Roger Penske with his 17th championship.

Palou, knocked out of the title fight last week and caught in a legal battle between Chip Ganassi Racing and McLaren over the rights to 2023, won his first race of the year. He is the only Ganassi driver to compete in Laguna Seca, where five drivers compete for the title in the tightest championship race since 2003.

Palou was on the field and dominated the victory. Four Ganassi cars were tested at Laguna Seca but rivals Marcus Ericsson and Scott Dixon never entered Sunday’s fight. Ericsson, winner of the Indianapolis 500, finished ninth and Dixon six-time champion in 12th place.

Colton Herta expected to enter F1 grid with AlphaTauri

Colton Herta expected to enter F1 grid with AlphaTauri

“In the end we didn’t get the speed,” says Dixon. “You win some, you lose some, man. This team never gives up.”

Palou is the ninth other IndyCar winner this season, and after taking the checkered flag, with current team owner Ganassi behind, Palou has been evasive about where he will drive next season. Ganassi says he has chosen the option for 2023 with the Spaniard, McLaren says they have signed him, and the fight is now in both court and mediation.

In July, Palou unequivocally said he would be McLaren’s driver next year. After the win, he seemed less certain.

Palou’s dominance puts the focus on Newgarden, who started the day 21 points ahead of his Power teammate on the championship standings.

Colton Herta, the 22-year-old California driver being courted by Formula One team AlphaTauri, is the 11th non-existent in his last IndyCar race in a while. Herta has won the last two races at Laguna Seca from the pole and is very excited.





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