WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- After earning the Verizon P1 Award for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest, Will Power said he left some speed on the historic Milwaukee Mile. He used all the horsepower the Chevrolet engine could muster Aug. 17 to dominate the 250-lap race and take command of the Verizon IndyCar Series championship.
Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske, turned away challenges by Tony Kanaan and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya to win by 2.7949 seconds over Montoya. Kanaan finished third for his fourth podium in the past five races and Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon placed fourth. Josef Newgarden, who was running third when he had to pit for fuel on Lap 237, rebounded for his second consecutive top-five finish on an oval.
It was the first victory at Milwaukee, the first on a short oval and the first on an oval since Auto Club Speedway last October for Power, whose 24th career win matched Bobby Rahal and Ralph DePalma for 16th on the all-time list.
"Oh, man, I love winning on ovals," Power said as he crossed the finish line. “The handling was awesome; we hardly made any adjustments over the whole race. Full credit to the team for giving me such a great car. These are my favorite tracks these days. I really enjoy the ovals – it’s great fun. I hope we put a good show on for the fans."
Power swept the bonus points for winning the pole and leading the most laps. He also earned a point for leading a lap. Power came into the 16th of 18 races with a four-point lead over Helio Castroneves and heads to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 24 with a 39-point advantage (602-563) over his teammate, who finished 11th in the demanding race.
There are six contenders for the title, which will be decided for the ninth consecutive year in the MAVTV 500 finale Aug. 30 at Auto Club Speedway.
"It was very difficult to get close to someone; we did struggle with handling," Castroneves, who started eighth in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske car. "It was just one of those days. Good job to the Verizon car -- Will ended up winning the race and Juan Pablo second, so Team Penske was strong with that. Hey, there are still more races to go. and I will be there, ready to go. We are not giving up at all. There are two races to go with the big one at Fontana paying double points. Still a lot of racing left."
Simon Pagenaud (510 points) finished seventh to move to third in the standings ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay (494), whose No. 28 DHL Andretti Autosport car developed a mechanical issue on Lap 167 and finished 21st. Montoya (488) and Dixon (472) also remain in the hunt.
"It's a perfect way to start this three-race chase," added Power, who took over the lead for good on Lap 193 following the final round of pit stops and led 229 laps total. "If we have a couple more days like this of course it’s going to be a great finish. We’re going to keep our head down, don’t think of points, and execute."