Sun. 7:30 p.m.: Will Power wins Indy 500, No. 17 for car owner Roger Penske
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Will Power can win anything now, even the Indianapolis 500, an intimidating race on an oval he hated because it marginalized his talent.
He drives for Roger Penske and nothing matters more to the boss than winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. So Power worked to change his attitude, improve his performance on ovals and respect the track.
It got Power into the most storied winner’s circle in history today when he won the Indy 500 to give Penske a 17th victory in “The Great American Race.” Power actually swept the month of May at Indy after winning on the road course two weeks ago and the 37-year-old Australian now has 34 wins in IndyCar, tying him with Al Unser Jr. for most on the career list.
“I can’t believe it!” he screamed in the winner’s circle. “I can’t believe it.”
Penske arrived in Indy with four fast Chevrolets, and an engine builder determined to snap Honda’s two-race Indy 500 winning streak. The Chevys were the fastest cars in the field and Team Penske had four strong chances to win.
As Power held off pole winner Ed Carpenter to win his first Indy 500, the 81-year-old Penske pumped his fist in the air and clapped for his driver. Penske was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame earlier this month, and had a shot at closing today with a victory in the Coca-Cola 600 in North Carolina.
“He won this race today because he was the best,” Penske said.
Many of IndyCar’s top drivers made costly mistakes. James Hinchcliffe, a championship contender, failed to make the race at all. Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Sebastien Bourdais and Danica Patrick were among those who crashed in single-car spins. Defending race winner Takuma Sato was also knocked out when he ran into the back of a slower car.
Read more race details in the Monday Tribune Chronicle.