Edmonton: Series race report

POWER SCORES FIRST INDYCAR SERIES WIN AT EDMONTON EDMONTON, Alberta (Sunday, July 26, 2009) - Will Power scored his first IndyCar Series win, holding off a competitive field to win the Rexall Edmonton Indy over Helio Castroneves. The...

POWER SCORES FIRST INDYCAR SERIES WIN AT EDMONTON

EDMONTON, Alberta (Sunday, July 26, 2009) - Will Power scored his first IndyCar Series win, holding off a competitive field to win the Rexall Edmonton Indy over Helio Castroneves.

The Australian, driving the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental car, started from the pole and was in command throughout leading 90 of the 95 laps run. Castroneves shrunk a 6.79-second disadvantage on Lap 85 - after overtaking Scott Dixon in traffic for second place - to 4.58 seconds on Lap 92, but the race's only caution prevented any potential shootout.

Dixon, the 2008 race winner, finished third to retake the series championship points lead and Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe was fourth. Dario Franchitti finished fifth and fan favorite Paul Tracy wound up sixth after starting ninth.

Tony Kanaan sustained burns on his thumbs and face during a Lap 34 pit stop. The fuel hose remained open after the stop, splashing 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol onto the side of the No. 11 Team 7-Eleven car and Kanaan. The fuel ignited, with Kanaan scrambling to extricate himself from the car as Team Penske and Panther Racing crew members doused the car to retard the flames. Kanaan will be re-evaluated by Indy Racing League medical personnel this week.

DAY 3 NOTEBOOK:

IndyCar Series veteran Tony Kanaan contacted longtime friend Oriol Servia during the Toronto race weekend to gauge his availability and interest in providing some feedback/input/opinion to improve the on-track performance. Servia was happy to oblige, though he was unsure of the input he could offer.

"First, I want to be here racing," said Servia, whose lone start this season was the Indianapolis 500 with Rahal Letterman Racing. "Last year I had a great year with KV. Unfortunately, a lot of teams lost their sponsorship and I didn't have any with me and was without a ride.

"I still want to be here. I still think I can do a good job. The day I lose the fire for it or I don't do a good job then I'll think of other things. But I'm still not there. My priorities are I want to win this championship, I want to win Indy.

"At this point, I have to do whatever I can that keeps me involved. (Andretti Green Racing is) a great team with great resources, great people but it happens in all sports that teams have bad years. Sometimes it takes a little bit of fresh air. I'm close friends with Tony, so if there are things I can tell him it's not a problem. Sometimes as a driver it's hard to hear from other people. And from the team perspective, we don't really know what I can or cannot do but I'm just trying to do as much as I can."

***

Vision Racing crew member Chris "Beaker" Sheffer, who is hospitalized is Indianapolis after collapsing at the team's headquarters earlier this week, opened his eyes and responded to commands, according to Vision Racing's twitter account. The team's No. 20 car driven by Ed Carpenter is carrying a "Get Well Beaker" message this weekend.

REXALL EDMONTON INDY POST-RACE NOTES:

* Will Power earns his first IndyCar Series victory. His previous-best finish was second at Long Beach earlier this season.

* This is Will Power's fourth win in Indy car racing (3 in Champ Car, 1 in IndyCar Series). He has finished sixth or better in every race this season.

* Helio Castroneves finished second. It is his fifth top-five finish of the season and his season-best performance on a road or street course.

* Scott Dixon finished third, his seventh consecutive top-five finish.

* Paul Tracy finished a season-best sixth place.

* Rookie Robert Doornbos finished ninth, matching his season-best performance. Doornbos leads the Rookie of the Year standings by three points over Raphael Matos (197-194).

* There was one caution for two laps, matching the fewest caution laps in IndyCar Series history.

REXALL EDMONTON INDY POST-RACE QUOTES:

WILL POWER (No. 12 Penske Truck Rentals): "I'm very happy. The Penske Racing crew did an incredible job. I'm really enjoying being a part of Penske Racing. I'm not stressed, I'm just taking it one race at a time and doing my best. I've got to thank Roger (Penske) for the opportunity. Today was a great day."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, finished second): "I feel great. It's a shame that a one, two, three team finish slipped away, but our goal was to stop the Ganassi guys, and we were able to do that with Will (Power)'s win. When Will came on board, we never had a doubt that he would be a top race contender, and it's great that his win keeps championship points from our opponents. It was a well-deserved win. Penske Racing did an incredible job."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, finished third): "It was one of the toughest races we've ever run. It's definitely a tough circuit, and it gets a lot tougher when you don't have the best car. We were definitely hanging on. We seemed to be pretty good for about half the stint on the Firestone tires, but we just abused them too much. After that it was just so slippery I just had to hang on. But it was a great day for Team Target. We gained some valuable points; I think we're in the points lead so we've switched with Dario (Franchitti). It was just a very tough day."

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, finished fourth): "It was a tough race without any yellow flags. It was tough out there. Luckily I'd taken my fluids before the race. That's probably one of the tougher races I've done but the Team Penske guys did a great job."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Vaseline, finished fifth): "It was a pretty average day for the Vaseline car. I didn't get much help from Marco when I was coming up to lap him. I helped him when I was a lap down at Watkins Glen, and he totally screwed me for 10 laps. I'll remember that one. Otherwise Will did a hell of a job. He was fabulous all weekend. Congratulations to those guys. We'll come back and get them next week."

PAUL TRACY (No. 15 Edmonton Honda Dealers/woundedwarriors.ca, finished sixth): "I have mixed emotions about the race today. It was obviously a good race for the Edmonton Honda Dealers - Wounded Warriors.ca - KV Racing Technology car, but I have a bit of a heavy heart with Mario (Moraes) and myself touching on the first lap, which sent him spinning, and I didn't realize it had put him out of the race. I feel terrible for that and it has kind of put a damper on the rest of the weekend. Other than that, we had a little bit of a tire issue on the first stint and once we had the pressures right, the second and third stint the #15 car was pretty good and we just ran around, pretty much alone for the whole race."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 02 McDonald's Racing Team, finished seventh) "At the start, I saw (Mario) Moraes coming, and I said 'Forget it, I'm just going to let him go around rather than get hit.' He and his teammate collected each other anyway so that helped. I really just wanted to make it through the first lap so I thought losing a position or two was better than getting taken out again. I saw Moraes really early pull to the inside, and he wasn't on me, but I didn't want to see last year happen again. Then after that I was just conserving fuel, and I felt like we were one of the guys that went the longest. And then we pitted a little bit early on the second stop to try and get out from behind Wheldon. Then we put the blacks on at the end and the car felt diabolical for the first 15 or 20 laps. We started to get it cured a little bit by using my bars and with the tires wearing it helped out a little bit, but I just never quite had the pace that I did on the reds. I wish I had the reds there at the end to try and challenge PT (Paul Tracy) because he didn't look too strong at the end either."

ROBERT DOORNBOS (No. 06 Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, finished ninth): "We had a good start. Coming out of the chicane, I had good momentum building up, and I was in the middle of a sandwich between PT (Paul Tracy) and (Raphael) Matos, I think, and I managed to out-brake two cars, so that was good and I just slotted in line and had a good first lap. I was following Graham (Rahal) and saving fuel and trying to think of some strategy, hoping for some yellows but nothing happened, so we just started running on higher fuel maps and pushing to try to keep the position. We had a good first stint and we were pushing with both cars and at the pit stop everything went well, and I got out I got held up a bit and that's when I lost track position with the train of cars in front of me. There wasn't much action going on because there was no one for me to race nearby. It was fun. It was a hard race for P9, but we brought both cars back home in the top-10 which is good for now. We'll just work harder to close the gap to the top teams. Near the end, I had to let Power by but it was good to see the Penske pace and to see that we could follow them and drive the same lap times and that was quite positive."

TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven): "I have burns on my hands and face. In the next couple of days we will know the extent. I could be uglier than I am now. I am glad we are ok, it was a scary moment. I have to thank all the other teams, Penske, the Panther boys and everybody who came to rescue me. It's pretty remarkable and its shows the strength of the IndyCar family. We are competitors over the weekend but when somebody needed help I got it. I am glad I am OK. The fuel probe stayed open, it was open all the way even when the fueler pulled out. When he pulled out there was nothing we could do. It seems like nothing can go right this year."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Mott's Clamato Caesar, finished 10th): "The No. 26 definitely wasn't perfect today, but that's racing. The perfect car isn't possible. We went out and kept pushing but just got caught behind a couple of slower cars and the leaders were able to increase their gap on us. The Mott's boys worked hard all day and we'll take the top-10 finish. It put us up one position in points, and we're closing the gap on fifth. Hopefully we'll find the points we need in Kentucky next week."

***

The 2009 IndyCar Series season continues Aug. 1 with the Meijer Indy 300 presented by Red Baron and Edy's at Kentucky Speedway. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 8 p.m. (EDT) by VERSUS. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network, XM channel 145 and Sirius channel 211. The radio broadcast also will be carried on www.indycar.com. The 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Kentucky 100 on Aug. 1 at Kentucky Speedway. The race will be telecast at 4 p.m. (EDT) on Aug. 3 by VERSUS.

-credit: irl

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Robert Doornbos , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Will Power , Ed Carpenter
Teams Panther Racing , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Team Penske