IndyCar: Will Power gets back to winning ways at Edmonton

Will Power Penske edmonton winning. LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC
Team Penske driver Will Power takes a winner's leap at Edmonton.

Published on 7/24/2011

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Will Power got 18 of his Canadian points back in the Izod IndyCar Series.

Power got knocked out of the Toronto race earlier this month, costing him valuable points toward the championship. He finished 24th.

Sunday, he got part of the points back at the new circuit at City Centre Airport by winning the Edmonton Indy.

Power might have gotten more of them back had championship leader Dario Franchitti, the winner of the past two season titles, not rallied to finish third. Franchitti got pushed back to ninth place in a mid-race accident involving his Ganassi Racing teammate, Scott Dixon, but he did what he normally does in these tight situations.

That means the separation is 37 points heading to the Aug. 7 race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Power's win also allowed him to avenge last year's disappointment here, when Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves blocked him entering what was then turn one. That win went to Dixon.

Castroneves finished a season-best second on Sunday. The margin of victory was 0.8086 second.

Sunday's race was a festival of contact before a crowd estimated at 25,000, although perhaps not as much was expected.

The first corner started things, though, with Alex Tagliani flying in from the inside, hitting Graham Rahal's car as he turned in. Rahal's car took significant damage; Tagliani's damage was contained to the right-front part of the wing.

Rahal was knocked out of the race, giving a big hand gesture to Tagliani as the French-Canadian drove past on the next lap. Tagliani was penalized with a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact. Tagliani finished 17th.

Sebastián Saavedra and Paul Tracy made the full-course caution necessary by suffering damage in the incident.

The top of the pack stayed mostly consistent for the next 24 laps until Mike Conway plowed into championship contender Oriol Servia in turn 12. Servia's car was knocked in the air and then into the tire barrier, bringing out a full-course caution. Conway was penalized for the contact but battled back to finish eighth.

That caution allowed Tagliani to get back into the lead group as he had pitted just a few minutes earlier. But on the restart, trouble returned.

E. J. Viso made contact with Dixon in the treacherous turn five. Viso stopped on the course briefly and Dixon headed to pit road for repairs to a broken radiator, which is located in the sidepod. The Ganassi crew had to pull the car behind the wall to make the lengthy repairs. Dixon finished 23rd.

IndyCar officials said Viso would have been penalized for avoidable contact had his car continued on, but since he lost a lap while disabled on the course, the penalty was, in effect, self-imposed. He finished 20th.

That restart saw pole winner Takuma Sato make a bold move to the inside to get the second spot behind Power but he didn't hold it that long. On lap 38, with Ryan Hunter-Reay charging, there was contact that sent Sato spinning.

Consistent with the similar incidents, Hunter-Reay was penalized for the contact, but it didn't please Sato's co-owner, Jimmy Vasser, who threw his arms in the air. Hunter-Reay came back to finish seventh with Sato settling for 21st.

The pole was the second of the season (and of a career in the series) for Sato. He didn't finish the first one, at Iowa Speedway in June, either. That time, he crashed on his own. Clearly, he had help this time.

RESULTS

1. Will Power, Team Penske

2. Helio Castroneves, Team Penske

3. Dario Franchitti, Ganassi Racing

4. Tony Kanaan, KV Racing Technology

5. Justin Wilson, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

6. Sébastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing

7. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport

8. Mike Conway, Andretti Autosport

9. Danica Patrick, Andretti Autosport

10. Ryan Briscoe, Team Penske

11. J. R. Hildebrand, Panther Racing

12. Vitor Meira, A.J. Foyt Racing

13. Ana Beatriz, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

14. Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport

15. James Hinchcliffe, Newman/Haas Racing

16. Sebastián Saavedra, Conquest Racing

17. Alex Tagliani, Sam Schmidt Motorsports

18. James Jakes, Dale Coyne Racing

19. Charlie Kimball, Ganassi Racing

20. E. J. Viso, KV Racing Technology

21. Takuma Sato, KV Racing Technology

22. Oriol Servia, Newman/Haas Racing

23. Scott Dixon, Ganassi Racing

24. Simona De Silvestro, HVM Racing

25. Graham Rahal, Ganassi Racing

26. Paul Tracy, Dragon Racing

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