The Latest: Final IndyCar GP warmup slowed by smoke, geese
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Latest on the IndyCar Grand Prix at Indianapolis (all times local):
Will Power led the final 34 laps Saturday and pulled away for his second straight IndyCar Grand Prix win, giving Team Penske its 200th series win.
Power defeated Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing by 2.2443 seconds.
Robert Wickens finished third, 8.1621 seconds back. He drives for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
It’s the fourth straight year the pole winner has won, but it sure wasn’t as easy as the other three.
Power had to survive a full-course caution that shrank a more than four-second lead to less than one, and then dealt with light rain that began with 13 laps to go. There were nine lead changes and 214 passes. A record-tying seven drivers led the race.
Penske’s Helio Castroneves finished sixth in his season debut.
Chevy has won three of this season’s five races. Honda has won the other two.
Rookie Robert Wickens assumed the lead on Lap 26 as drivers cycled through the first round of pit stops at the IndyCar Grand Prix and led pole winner Will Power by 1.6841 seconds through 46 laps of the 85-lap race.
Power, of Australia, has won the race twice – both from the pole.
Team Penske has won all four previous races on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn course – a streak that could be in serious jeopardy.
Wickens, of Canada, drives for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
American Graham Rahal was third, more than 2.6 seconds off the pace.
A record-tying seven different drivers have led the race. The previous mark was set in the inaugural 2014 grand prix.
Pace car driver Lilly King, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and pole winner Will Power led the 24-car field to the starting line.
Power took the lead into the first turn but it didn’t take long for the caution flag to come out.
Race organizers reviewed two first lap incidents that sent four cars off the 2.439-mile, 14-turn course.
They assessed no penalties for contact between two-time race winner Simon Pagenaud and rookie Jordan King. But they did assess a drive-thru penalty to Spencer Pigot for avoidable contact after drove over the chicane in the sixth turn and ran into Indy 500 champion Takuma Sato.
There were no cautions in last year’s race.
Pole winners have won each of the last three races on Indianapolis’ road course – with Power taking two of those three.
Marco Andretti’s engine has been replaced, and he is expected to start from the 14th spot in Saturday’s race.
Andretti blew an engine in the morning warmup session and almost immediately, one crew member from each of Andretti Autosport’s four teams headed straight to the garage to make the change.
Roughly two hours later, they were ready to fire up the car with a new Honda engine.
Andretti’s car will not be penalized for making the change.
It’s the only car in the first two days of the month to have an engine problem.
The final warmup session for the IndyCar Grand Prix was stopped twice because of smoke from an engine and geese.
Scott Dixon posted the fastest lap of the session. He completed the 2.439-mile, 14-turn course in 1 minute, 10.8157 seconds. Pole winner Will Power was second at 1:10.8371.
The first red flag waved when smoke started billowing from the back of Andretti’s car. A few minutes after practice resumed, the action was stopped when geese appeared in the 12th turn.
Three -time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves was forced to sit out the final five minutes because he took the checkered flag twice in the second of three qualifying rounds Friday.
The race will be held Saturday afternoon.
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