Team Penske’s Will Power was victorious in last night’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park.
Starting the race in fourth, Power stayed up front all night long, taking the lead from Scott Dixon on Lap 140.
While late race pit stops shuffled Power back a few positions in the closing stages, he was able to reclaim the lead on Lap 240.
“We came up with a really good setup, or what we thought would be a good setup, and it ended up being one. It was just a lot of fun out there,” said Power.
Saturday night’s win marked the 35th victory of Power’s IndyCar career, and his third of the season. The Australian driver now sits in third place in the championship standings, 68 points behind Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon.
Dixon, who started the race from pole position, crossed the finish line in third place.
“There were two different strategies that played out and I’m a bit mad at myself tonight for not making a decision quicker on which one to take,” Dixon said after the race. “I’m not sure if it would have made a huge difference in the end, but it’s a solid result and we lost just a small bit to (Alexander) Rossi.”
Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, who finished the race in second place, now trails Dixon by just 26 points.
“Every weekend we just got to try and beat Scott (Dixon). Will (Power) was amazing today so congrats to him. I’m a little bit lost for words on how we did that. That’s unbelievable,” said Rossi.
Rossi’s second-place finish, largely a result of strategy which saw the #27 pit one less time than the rest of the field, marked the American’s eighth podium of the season, and 13th top-five.
In fourth-place on Saturday night was Penske’s Simon Pagenaud, who picked up two spots from his sixth-place starting position.
“I think we had a winning car. When Will (Power) passed me, I was saving fuel and I tried to hold the high lane. It didn’t work,” Pagenaud said. “We lost about, I don’t know, six or seven positions. But we came back because the car was so good. What a shame.”
Rounding out the top-five was Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach, who gained 11 spots after starting the race in 16th.
“I’ve got to give credit to my Group 1001 guys and, of course, my Andretti Autosport teammates. Those guys have helped me so much this year, just teaching me little by little,” said Veach. “It’s finally starting to come together and I’m just so thankful for that.”
The fifth-place finish marked the rookie driver’s second top-five of the season, after a career best fourth at Long Beach.
Up next for the Verizon IndyCar Series is the long-awaited return to Portland Motorsports Park next weekend. With just two races to go in the 2018 campaign, the battle for the championship is sure to come down to the wire.