Will Power, of Australia, leads the field for the start of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Saturday, May 13, 2017, in Indianapolis.
No one has gone 2-for-2 and swept the pair of Indianapolis races either, although this is only the fourth year since the Grand Prix has been added to the IndyCar Series schedule so let’s not get too caught up in the stats just yet.
He led every session from practice to the race at the IndyCar Grand Prix.
Qualifying for Saturday’s race will be held later Friday afternoon.
American Ryan Hunter-Reay was third with France’s Simon Pagenaud fourth and Brazil’s Helio Castroneves fifth in a race with no caution flags.
Power gave Team Penske its third straight victory this season and third in a row on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course. Andretti, who started 11th, was assessed a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact and wound up 16th.
“I think that is (win) No. 30; that is a good number”.
Pagenaud was bumped out in the closing seconds by Frances Sebastien Bourdais in the closing moments of the semifinal round.
For now, the battle for the top is internal.
It helps, of course, when Pagenaud comes to town in May with three major titles – reigning series champ, current points leader and defending IndyCar Grand Prix victor.
This comes two years removed from winning the Grand Prix in 2015.
Will Power used the backdrop of iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway to move past a pair of Team Penske greats in the Indy vehicle record book. He was followed by teammates Josef Newgarden at 1:08.0632 and two-time Indianapolis 500 victor Juan Pablo Montoya at 1:08.1897.
Castroneves, whose other triumphs came in 2002 and 2009, will try to become only the fourth four-time Indy 500 victor, joining USA legends A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Snr and Rick Mears. “This group isn’t happy if we’re not on the top step (of the podium), but we’ve had a lot of bad luck this year, a lot of misfortune”.
Honda wound up taking five of the next seven spots after Power, starting with Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing and Hunter-Reay or Pagenaud finished the day with 10-point lead over Dixon in the standings. “But it’s obviously tough with the Penskes and the driver lineup they have”.
It was kind of like we were in the middle of a Penske-fest, Bourdais said. We know we have good cars for the 500 and hopefully we can be as good as we were previous year.
Hamilton saw his advantage of a pole position evaporate when Vettel beat him to the first corner, but Mercedes’ decision to have Hamilton finish the race on faster tires allowed the British driver to overtake Vettel’s Ferrari with more than 20 laps left.
The 36-year-old Australian was the driver to beat from the start of race weekend.
“A win is good for everyone”, Power said of crew morale.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has moved on from a long-time, Indianapolis-based provider of champions’ rings for its major races.
It’s all part of the biggest month in racing.
Now Power turns his attention to the Indianapolis 500.
“I love the sound of the cars”, he said.
Helio Castroneves entered the IndyCar GP with a 48-race winless streak dating back to 2014.
Team owner Sam Schmidt and 1969 Indianapolis 500 victor Mario Andretti will compete in their own race in semi-autonomous cars.