Power leads Penske 1-2 in Edmonton
Power, who started second in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, led teammate Helio Castroneves across the start-finish line by 0.8089 of a second for his second victory in Edmonton and his fourth of the season.
Dario Franchitti finished third (1.1735 seconds back) and remains the IZOD IndyCar Series championship points leader by 38 (cut from 55 following the Honda Indy Toronto). Ryan Briscoe was on track to finish fourth, but a late splash for fuel gave the position to Tony Kanaan. Justin Wilson was a season-best fifth and Sebastien Bourdais also posted a season high in sixth.
Ryan Hunter-Reay and Andretti Autosport teammate Mike Conway, both of whom received avoidable contact penalties from Race Control early on, recovered to finish seventh and eighth, respectively. Danica Patrick, another Andretti Autosport driver, was ninth and Briscoe finished 10th. Rookie JR Hildebrand, who started 24th, came in 11th.
On a Lap 29 restart for the second and final full-course caution, Power drove past Alex Tagliani entering Turn 1 to secure the lead for good. Castroneves pressed his teammate -- never trailing by more than 0.8702 of a second after gaining the position when Briscoe pitted on Lap 52 -- but couldn't get a clean shot to pass. Franchitti was lurking, trailing by about a second from Lap 57.
"It was so bloody hard there at the end with Helio and Dario pushing me along," said Power, who posted his sixth podium finish. "I just couldn’t gap them. It’s good for Verizon and also good for Team Penske. To finish 1-2 is really good.
"When I came out of (his final pit stop) I had on reds (alternate Firestone Firehawk tires) and thought I have to look after them so I will really be gentle. Then Helio was right there and I’m like, 'Man, I’ve got to go.' I had to ask (race strategist) Tim (Cindric) if that was for the lead. He said, 'Yeah, go!' I just held on there at the end."
Sebastien Bourdais posted the fastest lap time of the Sunday’s Edmonton Indy on his last lap, with a time of 1:18:959, on his way to a second consecutive sixth-place finish. The driver of the #19 Boy Scouts of America car was the only one to run a lap on the 2.24-mile street course at the Edmonton City Centre Airport under 1:19.000 throughout the race.
The three Canadian drivers in the field all had disappointing days. Paul Tracy's race ended on the opening lap after contact from a spinning Graham Rahal. James Hinchcliffe was delayed after mid-race contact with Danica Patrick and finished 15th. Alex Tagliani was penalized after first-lap contact with Rahal that led to the crash with Tracy; then ran as high as second on an alternate pit strategy; but finished 17th when that strategy came up short and he was forced to make a late-race pit stop for fuel.
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske, Edmonton Indy winner): "It was so bloody hard there at the end with Helio (Castroneves) and Dario (Franchitti) pushing me along. I just couldn't gap them. It's good for Verizon and also good for Team Penske. To finish 1-2 is really good." (About the final pit stop): "When I came out I had on reds (alternates) and thought I have to look after them so I will really be gentle. Then Helio was right there and I'm like, "Man, I've got to go." I had to ask Tim (Cindric) if that was for the lead. He said, "Yeah, go!" I just held on there at the end."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Penske Truck Rental, finished second): "This is a great result. I wanted to win so bad but at the end of the day, after the season we've been having this is like a victory. We had awesome pit stops and everything went smoothly. We finally fixed the brakes because I was quite busy in Turn 1 during our practice sessions. Once we had good balance in the car, then I knew what I needed to do. I was able to avoid a lot of accidents. It was just fantastic to be up at the front in the end."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, finished third): "My car was very strong today. I was trying to make a pass on EJ (Viso) and he comes over towards me. I thought he was way too far behind the guy in front of him to make a move, and sure enough he speared into him. I was very lucky there because I clutched it and I waited for somebody to ram me. I got very lucky at that point in the race, but then I screwed up the restart. I had it in my head that I couldn't pass the car in front of me on green until the start/finish line and I lost out on that one. The Target car was quick in clean air and we moved from tenth to third. It could have been better but Will (Power) and Helio (Castroneves) drove clean races. I think the Target car was quicker but they had the track position and they didn't screw up when I did. I was going as quick as I could behind Helio but he was very strong on the brakes right behind Will. Not a bad day for the Championship and the EJ incident could have really screwed the whole thing up, so I am pleased with my finish."
TONY KANAAN (No. 82 GEICO - KV Racing Technology - Lotus, finished fourth): "It was a good result, it was a good race and it's great for the Geico KV Racing - Lotus crew. If felt good being out there with those guys, you know, all guys that know what they are doing like Justin, Ryan and Dario. We had some great battles and finishing fourth after starting eleventh and on top of that having a bad pit stop is pretty rewarding, especially considering that I got back to fourth spot in the championship. I feel bad for my teammates because I know that all the three KV cars were supposed to be on the top five."
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 22 Z-Line Designs/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, finished fifth): "I think we had a great race. The Z-Line Design car was pretty quick and we were trying to pick our way through all the incidents out there and stay out of trouble. We had some good racing with Tony. I think it's a great race track. I prefer the old one because it was a driver's race track a lot more fun to drive. It's tough out there."
TAKUMA SATO (No. 5 KV Racing Technology - Lotus): "It is disappointing finishing in the back like this. The start was very exciting. I had a good feeling leading the race. Then I had a little problem with the balance and lost some positions. After that there was a caution and we changed tires. On the restart I regained most of the positions and was running in second. Everything was looking good and I was comfortable with the pace, but unfortunately Hunter-Reay hit me and damaged my car and put me a lap down. It was a long race after that and very difficult to stay motivated. I feel very bad for all the crew. They worked so hard all weekend. It was a positive weekend for us until the middle of the race. I am just so disappointed."
E.J. VISO (No. 59 PDVSA - KV Racing Technology - Lotus): "This for sure was not the result we could have achieved. I started up at the front and on one of the restarts I made contact with Dixon, which I feel bad about as he finished the race some laps behind. It was a pretty messy corner and I got too close and braked on the inside and we hit. I then lost a lap waiting to be restarted and from then on there was not much else we could do. We had a pretty fast car, during the race, I think I got the second fastest time and we showed we were strong as a team all weekend. I want to thank everyone who is part of KVRT - Lotus who has helped make us stronger and also my sponsors PDVSA. I really feel bad, I thought we had a chance for a podium."
JR HILDEBRAND, No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing): "The thing for me that's encouraging, and encouraging for everybody on the National Guard Panther team, is we had a really fast race car out there. We rolled out this weekend and thought we were looking OK and then kinda lost track of it in the second practice and in qualifying, but made some changes this morning and started to get it back and, man, during the race I felt like I had as quick a racecar as lot of the guys that were running up front. As far as temporary circuits go, I feel like this is the best racecar I've had in all of those events. That's good and it definitely and it allowed me to be aggressive and allowed me to make some good passes on-track; setting guys up, braking late and getting by them and pull aways - so that always makes your day a lot more exciting."
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Levemir and NovoLog Flex Pen): "All day we struggled; I don't know if it was horsepower, gearing or just overestimating the track grip. Off all of the hairpins we were losing car lengths and time to everyone. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew did an awesome job today; all of the pit stops were right on. Even when I came in with a flat left rear, they recovered and gave me a chance to do as many laps as I could and learn. The last couple of races with strategy we got a yellow when we didn't need one and today we didn't get a yellow when we needed one. It's a bit of a shame, but we're looking forward to going to Mid-Ohio."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 38 Service Central): "It was a really tough day for the Service Central team. We had a really good car and we were really promising in warm-ups. I thought we were going to have a really good run today. We had better tires than others do to the unfortunate fact that we didn't make it to the second round of qualifying. I thought we'd have a good run; I knew the No. 38 Service Central car was fast and I was playing it safe on the first lap of the race. I was just inside of James Hinchcliffe, trying to protect the inside and Alex Tagliani was in too deep and just went straight through me. We're going to have some work to do before we head to the test at Mid-Ohio next week."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): "It was a tough day for the No. 9 Target team today. We had a good start and I think we had the pace to contend for the win. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to show that speed. I'm not sure what Viso was doing but he took us out and almost took Dario out as well. It was one of those deals where I could see it happening in my mirror but couldn't get out of his way. We just can't buy a break I guess."
ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins/Sam Schmidt Motorsports): "We had a lot of things happening today. The team did a good job. Unfortunately, our car was horrible on (Firestone) reds in qualifying, and again, it was horrible on reds at the end. We basically were tearing the tires apart at the end. I had no more rear tires. They were down to the chords. We were just going backwards. It's a shame. We were running strong on blacks, and it seems like our setup is not very suitable for the red tires." (About Lap 1 crash): "It was just congestion in Turn 5. I was on the inside and trying to give as much room to the guys in front, but everyone was turning and I was trying not to touch anyone on the outside. I was looking on the inside when my wing touched Rahal's inside rear and cut his tire, I guess."
DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Team GoDaddy): "We had a really solid race. We had some strong restarts and my crew was fantastic in the pits. Near the end of the race, I just didn't have the speed to hold my position. At the end of the day, it was a good top-10 finish for the GoDaddy.com car, which is great momentum heading into Mid-Ohio."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Citrus Soda): "We had a really good car today. I fought through it; we had some great restarts and good passes. With Sato, I broke early and went for it. It was totally my fault, and I apologized to Sato. I apologize to the team too; we had a podium car for sure. But that's me going for it. I'd rather go for it in a race than sit in a line. We'll take this top-10 and see what we can do next time."
MIKE CONWAY (No. 27 @FollowAndretti): "We had a good start at the beginning, but lost everything in turn five. After that, it was just picking off people, passing where I could. I came in a bit earlier, which worked out well with red tires as I seemed to be passing people quickly. On the restart, I just didn't see the green flag; it's just something I've got to learn when up front. In turn five again, I got caught up on the outside and lost some positions then lost a lot of time with the drive-through penalty. From there I just treated it like qualifying, lap after lap. Overall, not a bad finish considering where we were. I'm looking forward to Mid-Ohio."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Dr. Pepper): "It just wasn't our day. We had some problems at the beginning that affected the Dr Pepper car - we ended up stopped on the track for a bit and had some problems with the engine cutting out on the front straight. After that cleared we just didn't have the speed we needed and our strategy ended up on the wrong side of a couple yellows. Disappointing but we'll march forward."
ORIOL SERVIA (No. 2 Telemundo Newman/Haas Racing): "It was probably the worst race I can remember in a long time. We missed the boat on the set up philosophy. I was struggling a little bit to keep my position but we were still going to be in the top six I think. It seems like drivers are losing judgment lately and finally I see some penalties so that's a good start. I'm really sad that we couldn't at least salvage some points for the Telemundo team like we were going to. (Mike) Conway came and apologized. He tried to find a hole; I left him space but we had cold tires and I think he just carried too much speed and just hit me. It's unfortunate and it cost us a position in the point standings."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 06 Sprott Newman/Haas Racing): "We were in trouble right from the drop of the green flag. We lost a couple of spots in the first start and I wasn't too, too worried about that at first. Once we got back going I realized that we were really struggling for front grip - bad. Then we lost a few more spots and were just trying to hold station and the yellow came out before we were about pit. And then as everyone was lining up to dive into the pits everybody starting jacking around down at the hairpin, trying to brake-check everyone to get a good run into the pits to create a gap but all it does I create an accordion effect. Unfortunately I didn't see it soon enough and got into the back of Danica. Because we are only going 10 mph at that point, as soon as I touched her, the car stalled. Obviously we got put to the back so on that next stint we were thought the black tires would be a bit better for the balance but they were worse so we really struggled to make the number that we wanted in terms of when to pit and had to pit a bit early and unfortunately that meant that we had to do a splash at the end there when there were no yellows. We battled the car all day which is unfortunate because the Sprott team felt so strong this morning. We're not quite sure what happened. That's racing; we'll regroup and just try to be strong in the next round."
ANA BEATRIZ (No. 24 Team Ipiranga/DRR): "I think that it was a good race. It didn't start the way we had hoped, but it ended really well. Unfortunately, I got involved in an incident on the second re-start in Turn 5 and broke my nose when we made contact with the right rear of Charlie Kimball's car. We had to stop to replace the nose and it took forever and the race was still green so we lost a lot of time. After that, we were right on pace and catching some people. We also clocked one of the fastest laps of the race, which was great. Overall, it was a good day and it keeps us confident to keep working and we're ready for Mid-Ohio. I would also like to thank the Ipiranga crew. They did a great job on all of the stops and changing my nose and we had a fast car."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Penske Truck Rental): "It was great racing out there today and a great result overall for Team Penske. We had some awesome battles with Helio (Castroneves) and (Justin) Wilson. It's just a little disappointing that we had a top-five car but we finished 10th. We didn't get a full fill on the yellow stop so we ran short on fuel and had to pit at the end. We really needed a yellow flag to make it and we just didn't get it. It's too bad but the Penske Truck Rental car ran great all weekend."
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