INDIANAPOLIS – Will Power promised to close the season in a flourish after he finally made it to victory lane three weeks ago at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
On Saturday Power returned to one of his best tracks – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course – and made good on his promise.
Power won the pole Saturday morning, then held off a charging Colton Herta to complete a Team Penske sweep of the IndyCar Harvest GP presented by GMR doubleheader.
Power started on the pole and led all 75 laps to tie Al Unser for fifth on the all-time Indy car win list with 39 victories.
“It’s amazing to be with the absolute legends of the sport,” Power said. “It’s strange to have my names next to these unbelievable drivers who were heroes of mine when I was a kid.”
Power he had to hold of Herta, who passed Andretti Autosport teammate Alexander Rossi going into turn one for second with 11 laps to go. From that point, Herta tried to track down Power, closing onto gearbox of Power’s Chevrolet, before losing some valuable time after he nearly ran into the back of Conor Daly’s Chevrolet in the closing laps heading into turn one.
With two laps to go, Herta was .720 seconds behind. The second-year driver was unable to narrow the gap and finished second, .8932 seconds behind Power.
“We had a car that was really good,” Herta said. “To have two Andretti cars on the podium, I’m excited about that. I just needed a little more time, though.”
Rossi was third followed by Josef Newgarden. Newgarden won Friday’s first race of the IndyCar Harvest GP to narrow the deficit on Scott Dixon from 72 to 40. On Saturday, Newgarden cut it even further. It’s now 32 points after Dixon started 15th and finished ninth.
“We were a little shy of where we needed to be, but if we had a phenomenal day like yesterday, we would have been in really good shape,” Newgarden said. “Instead we were mediocre.
“I got buried on the inside at the start and then Santino Ferrucci got tight with me. I got pushed back a little too far. If we could have had a better qualifying run, it would have really helped us.”
It was Power that was on top of the podium in victory lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the fourth time on the road course and the fifth time overall counting his victory in the 103rd Indianapolis 500 in 2018.
“I’m over the moon to get another win, especially at this place,” Power said. “It was good not to get caught by yellow, or anything strange like that. Man, I pushed so hard the whole race. We had to save fuel, but we were still pushing.”
For the second race in a row, the race ran green flag from start to finish without a caution.
The NTT IndyCar Series championship will be decided in the Oct. 25 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. If Dixon is able to win the championship, it would be his sixth career NTT IndyCar Series title.
“We have a shot,” Newgarden said. “We are going to St. Pete and can still win this thing. I just wish we were in closer position.”
Dixon had a hole in the undertray of his car after he made contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay early in the race.
“I was loose the whole race and I think I made contact a couple times, once with Hunter-Reay and I think Charlie Kimball at another point,” Dixon said. “It was a basic two-stopper without much to do. We have to be ninth or better to win the championship (at St. Petersburg).
“It still comes down to the last race for the IndyCar Series championship as it always does. It’s nice to be on the leading side of the points. It’s still a good margin.”