Saturday February 13th, 2016 6:00AM

Power wins first Verizon IndyCar Series championship

By IndyCar Media
FONTANA, CA - Will Power earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship with a ninth-place finish in the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway.<br /> <br /> Power, who entered the 18th race of the season with a 51-point lead over Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves, had been the championship runner-up in 2010, 2011 and 2012. It was the ninth consecutive year that the series champion was determined in the season finale.<br /> <br /> "It's 15 years of hard work. I was crying as I crossed the (finish) line," said Power, who finished 62 points ahead of Castroneves. "It's surreal. It's just a fantastic way to finish the season."<br /> <br /> Power provided Team Penske its 13th Indy car championship and the first since 2006 with Sam Hornish, Jr.<br /> <br /> "Tonight showed everyone the strength of our team," said team owner Roger Penske, who has won the Indianapolis 500 15 times.<br /> <br /> Tony Kanaan, the 2004 series champion, won the 250-lap by 3.6750 seconds over Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and 2013 champion Scott Dixon.<br /> <br /> Kanaan was the 11th different winner of the season, which tied the Indy car single-season record set in 2000 and matched in 2001. Ed Carpenter, who won at Auto Club Speedway in 2012 and was runner-up in 2013, placed third and Juan Pablo Montoya finished fourth.<br /> <br /> "It's been a long time coming," said Kanaan, who claimed his first victory since the 2013 Indianapolis 500. "We had a team meeting this afternoon and (team owner) Chip Ganassi said if you win you can brag about it for seven months."<br /> <br /> Castroneves, who started from the pole and led 41 laps, was assessed a drive-through penalty for a pit lane entry violation on lap 218 that put him a lap down. He finished 14th in the race and second in the championship for the fourth time in his career.<br /> <br /> "It's another second, but well done to Will," said Castroneves, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner. "It stings a little bit, but it motivates me to come back stronger next year and win a championship."<br /> <br /> <strong>Verizon IndyCar Series</strong><br /> <strong> Auto Club Speedway - Fontana, CA</strong><br /> <strong> MAVTV 500 - Aug. 30, 2014</strong><br /> <br /> 1. (7) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running<br /> 2. (5) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running<br /> 3. (14) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running<br /> 4. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running<br /> 5. (11) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running<br /> 6. (4) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running<br /> 7. (12) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running<br /> 8. (19) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running<br /> 9. (21) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 250, Running<br /> 10. (3) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 250, Running<br /> 11. (18) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 249, Running<br /> 12. (6) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevy, 249, Running<br /> 13. (16) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 249, Running<br /> 14. (1) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 249, Running<br /> 15. (17) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 249, Running<br /> 16. (9) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 248, Running<br /> 17. (20) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 248, Running<br /> 18. (15) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 245, Running<br /> 19. (10) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 244, Running<br /> 20. (13) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 243, Running<br /> 21. (22) Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 21, Driver Illness<br /> 22. (8) Mikhail Aleshin, Dallara-Honda, 0, Did Not Start<br /> <br /> <strong>Winners average speed:</strong> 196.111<br /> <br /> <strong>Time of Race:</strong> 02:32:58.4659<br /> <br /> <strong>Margin of victory:</strong> 3.6750<br /> <br /> <strong>Cautions:</strong> 1 for 12 laps<br /> <br /> <strong>Lead changes:</strong> 17 among 9 drivers<br /> <br /> <strong>Lap Leaders:</strong> Montoya 1, Castroneves 2-5, Montoya 6- 33, Dixon 34-35, Castroneves 36-37, Andretti 38, Montoya 39-56, Hinchcliffe 57-73, Montoya 74-99, Carpenter 100-102, Hunter-Reay 103-107, Montoya 108-119, Hunter-Reay 120-140, Dixon 141-143, Castroneves 144-178, Kanaan 179-188,<br /> Power 189-196, Kanaan 197-250<br /> <br /> <strong>Point Standings:</strong> Power 671, Castroneves 609, Dixon 604, Montoya 586, Pagenaud 565, Hunter-Reay 563, Kanaan 544, Munoz 483, Andretti 463, Bourdais 461
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