Power still on top despite tough outing in Illinois

Monday 22 August, 2022
Will Power has finished sixth in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500.
Will Power has seen his charge for a second NTT IndyCar Series title take a big hit after finishing sixth in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 over the weekend.
 
While finishing sixth still gave him valuable points towards his outright point score, title rival Josef Newgarden’s victory reduced the gap to just three points with two rounds still remaining.
 
It was a tough pill to swallow for the Queenslander, who made history on Saturday after securing his 67th IndyCar pole position – putting himself equal with one of the series’ all-time greats in Mario Andretti.
 
It was a qualifying session that thrust Power into the spotlight as the equal best qualifier in the series’ history – his fourth pole position for the year seeing him share the record with Andretti, who had held that title solo since 1985.


When it came to the race at the oval-designed World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois, Power led the field for a race-high 128 laps but couldn’t convert his pole position to victory.
 
With rain causing multiple interruptions throughout the 260-lap race, the 41-year-old had to settle for sixth with his Team Penske teammates in Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin getting the better of him to finish on the podium
 
It was a deserved victory for Newgarden, who edged out David Malukas by half a second to win his fifth race for the year, while McLaughlin made up one position to nab his fourth podium for the year – and second in a row.
 
Click here to view the full results.
 
Despite the disappointing result and his lead significantly reduced, Power’s efforts in qualifying was the major talking point for the weekend and a record he was thrilled to achieve.
 
“Amazing, amazing, and I would never have ever been able to do this without Verizon and Penske,” Power said post-qualifying.
 
“I’ve just had a fantastic career and they’ve given me such great opportunity, and I cannot thank them enough; and of course, Chevrolet too, because a lot of those poles were with a Chevrolet engine.
 
“It has been an amazing year so far and this is a big victory in a way for me to reach the 67 number and equal such a legend of the sport in Mario Andretti.
 
“I still can’t believe I’m right there with Mario because there’s been no one like him.”
 
As for three-time Supercars champion McLaughlin, he ended up finishing just one second behind runner-up Malukas, who climbed an equal race-high 10 positions to secure his highest finish for the year.
 
Unfortunately for the New Zealander, the rain played a major role in preventing him from claiming his third win for the season.
 
“I think my car just wasn’t quick enough once the sun went down,” he said.
 
“Unfortunately, if we just kept going green, I think it would have been different if it hadn’t have rained.
 
“I think our car was very good in the afternoon, when the sun was still out.
 
“Once the sun went away, I lost my balance a little bit just in that last stint; I just didn’t quite have what Josef and, for sure, David had.”

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With just two rounds remaining, McLaughlin remains in the hunt for the 2022 title, sitting sixth on the standings and 54 points off Power, who leads Newgarden by three points and Scott Dixon by 14.
 
Click here to view the full standings.
 
The next round of the NTT IndyCar Series is the Grand Prix of Portland at Portland International Raceway on 5 September.
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