Power Rockets to Watkins Glen Victory
Pole qualifier Will Power was not to be denied in search of his third IZOD IndyCar Series win of 2010. Starting from the pole, Power swept past teammate Ryan Briscoe on the 44th lap of Sunday's Camping World GP at 'The Glen' heading a 1-2 finish for Team Penske on a sunny and hot Independence Day, the first major race victory for the Penske organization at the historic 3.77-mile Watkins Glen International Raceway.
In all, Power led 45 of the 60 laps in today's contest, as he extended his drivers' championship lead to 32 points over defending series champion Dario Franchitti. For his part, Franchitti led one lap during an exchange of pit stops, but spent most of the day chasing the two leading Penske drivers. He moved up to second, ahead of Briscoe, following the last round of pit stops on Lap 41, but then surrendered the position following a momentary slide off the edge of the circuit on the penultimate lap. Franchitti then recovered to bring his Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda home third.
For the ninth consecutive race weekend in 2010, all 25 drivers completed the event without a single failure for the Honda Indy V-8 engine. This weekend, drivers and teams logged a total of 9,911 trouble-free miles around the classic road-racing circuit.
Just six seconds behind the lead trio at the checkers, Raphael Matos equaled his best result of 2010 with a fourth-place run for de Ferran Dragon Racing. Another Brazilian, Mario Moraes, had his strongest outing of 2010 with a fifth-place finish for KV Racing Technology.
Both of Moraes' teammates also featured in today's race, with former Formula One racer Takuma Sato battling over fourth place with 2009 race winner Justin Wilson in the early laps, before a late pit stop dropped him to 15th; while E.J. Viso rebounded from a crash in practice on Saturday to finish 11th after starting last in the field.
Another driver to recover from adversity, Panther Racing's Dan Wheldon, spun after contact from Alex Lloyd early in the race, but drove through the field to finish sixth, his best result since finishing second at the Indianapolis 500 in May.
In two weeks, the IZOD IndyCar Series continues this season's second run of road-racing events with the July 18 Honda Indy Toronto, run on the temporary street circuit set up at Exhibition Place on the downtown Toronto waterfront.
Will Power (#12 Team Penske Honda) started 1st, finished 1st, his 3rd IZOD IndyCar Series win of 2010 and 4th career win; 1st major race victory for Team Penske at Watkins Glen International Raceway: "We were a bit close on fuel towards the end of the race, but it was under control, my team was giving me the [fuel mileage] numbers I needed to hit and I was making them. I knew the [final] restart was my only chance to pass [teammate Ryan Briscoe], so I hit the 'push to pass' coming up the back straight and just went for it. I just wanted to win so bad, it's been too long between victories." [Power's more recent win prior to today's race was at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg].
Dario Franchitti (#10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) started 4th, finished 3rd: "The Firestone tires we had today were great, but you can only push the best tires so far, and I think I pushed them a bit too far today. I understeered off the track [at Turn 10] in the closing laps, and Ryan [Briscoe] made a great move and was able to take advantage and get around me for second. But it was a fun race, as it always is at The Glen. Very physical, but the challenge is part of what makes it so enjoyable."
Roger Griffiths (Technical Director, Honda Performance Development) on today's race: "Congratulations to Team Penske on their first IndyCar Series win at Watkins Glen. Today's race was a demanding event run under hot conditions, and Will Power had the near perfect day he needed for the victory. It also was encouraging to see strong performances from both de Ferran Dragon Racing, with fourth for Raphael Matos, and the fifth-place run from Mario Moraes at KV Racing Technology. It was another trouble-free weekend for Honda, and we're looking forward to our annual trip north of the border to Toronto and Edmonton."
-source: honda racing