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Posted: Sunday, August 31st 2014 at 9:27am

Power wins first Verizon IndyCar Series championship

By IndyCar Media
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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With a ninth place finish in Saturday night's Verizon IndyCar Series season finale, Will Power scored his first career season championship. / Photo: Chris Owens
FONTANA, CA - Will Power earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship with a ninth-place finish in the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway.

Power, who entered the 18th race of the season with a 51-point lead over Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves, had been the championship runner-up in 2010, 2011 and 2012. It was the ninth consecutive year that the series champion was determined in the season finale.

"It's 15 years of hard work. I was crying as I crossed the (finish) line," said Power, who finished 62 points ahead of Castroneves. "It's surreal. It's just a fantastic way to finish the season."

Power provided Team Penske its 13th Indy car championship and the first since 2006 with Sam Hornish, Jr.

"Tonight showed everyone the strength of our team," said team owner Roger Penske, who has won the Indianapolis 500 15 times.

Tony Kanaan, the 2004 series champion, won the 250-lap by 3.6750 seconds over Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and 2013 champion Scott Dixon.

Kanaan was the 11th different winner of the season, which tied the Indy car single-season record set in 2000 and matched in 2001. Ed Carpenter, who won at Auto Club Speedway in 2012 and was runner-up in 2013, placed third and Juan Pablo Montoya finished fourth.

"It's been a long time coming," said Kanaan, who claimed his first victory since the 2013 Indianapolis 500. "We had a team meeting this afternoon and (team owner) Chip Ganassi said if you win you can brag about it for seven months."

Castroneves, who started from the pole and led 41 laps, was assessed a drive-through penalty for a pit lane entry violation on lap 218 that put him a lap down. He finished 14th in the race and second in the championship for the fourth time in his career.

"It's another second, but well done to Will," said Castroneves, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner. "It stings a little bit, but it motivates me to come back stronger next year and win a championship."

Verizon IndyCar Series
Auto Club Speedway - Fontana, CA
MAVTV 500 - Aug. 30, 2014

1. (7) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running
2. (5) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running
3. (14) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running
4. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running
5. (11) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
6. (4) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
7. (12) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running
8. (19) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
9. (21) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running
10. (3) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running
11. (18) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 249, Running
12. (6) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevy, 249, Running
13. (16) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 249, Running
14. (1) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 249, Running
15. (17) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 249, Running
16. (9) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 248, Running
17. (20) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 248, Running
18. (15) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 245, Running
19. (10) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 244, Running
20. (13) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 243, Running
21. (22) Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 21, Driver Illness
22. (8) Mikhail Aleshin, Dallara-Honda, 0, Did Not Start

Winners average speed: 196.111

Time of Race: 02:32:58.4659

Margin of victory: 3.6750

Cautions: 1 for 12 laps

Lead changes: 17 among 9 drivers

Lap Leaders: Montoya 1, Castroneves 2-5, Montoya 6- 33, Dixon 34-35, Castroneves 36-37, Andretti 38, Montoya 39-56, Hinchcliffe 57-73, Montoya 74-99, Carpenter 100-102, Hunter-Reay 103-107, Montoya 108-119, Hunter-Reay 120-140, Dixon 141-143, Castroneves 144-178, Kanaan 179-188,
Power 189-196, Kanaan 197-250

Point Standings: Power 671, Castroneves 609, Dixon 604, Montoya 586, Pagenaud 565, Hunter-Reay 563, Kanaan 544, Munoz 483, Andretti 463, Bourdais 461
Associated Categories: Sports News, Professional Sports, NASCAR

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