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Power wins at Sonoma
IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma won by Power
Will Power (Team Penske) won the IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway on Sunday 22 August, at the track from which he was airlifted a year ago after breaking his back in a crash in practice.
Power started Sunday’s race from pole position, and lead for 73 of the 75 laps of the 2.303-mile circuit on route to his fifth win of the season. Power was tested late in the race when a crash involving rookie Bertrand Baguette (Conquest Racing) brought out a caution period, bunching up the field for a restart with six laps remaining. But Power held off a charging Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing), and Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi Racing), the defending Sonoma winner and reigning IndyCar champion.
Power's victory widened his lead in the standings to 59 points over Franchitti and 95 over Dixon. The final four races of the season are on oval tracks, as opposed to road courses, and Dixon and Franchitti have much more experience on ovals.
Great racing at Sonoma
"It's unreal - what a perfect weekend. I can't thank Roger Penske, Tim Cindric and the Verizon guys enough for such a fantastic opportunity! It was an awesome race...I was a little worried at the end, having to do 20 laps on used reds [alternate Firestone tires]. I think the yellow helped a lot with that - I had a bit of pickup on the tires, so I was really looking after them. The red tires had awesome grip at the beginning, but they went off quite a bit at the end of a stint. But that makes for great racing!"
Will Power, #12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone
Sonoma showed how important it is for drivers to change tires
"What a story for Will Power to recover from his horrendous accident here last year to come back and win the race, receive the Mario Andretti Road Course Champion trophy, and take a commanding lead in the season points standings. I'm pleased to hear all the talk about Firestone Racing tires during today's race. The red alternate tires were certainly quicker than the primaries, but they also experienced considerable drop-off at the end of a stint. It served as a good reminder to teams and drivers to change their tires before they wear out! What everyone has to remember is that we can bring any tire the IZOD IndyCar Series wishes us to. But if everyone likes the direction we've taken with this event in bringing softer tires, we can continue that program."
Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing