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Power Breaks Through To Win INDYCAR Grand Prix from Pole

Will Power continued his rebound from a slow start to the Verizon IndyCar Series season by earning his first victory of 2017, running away from the pole to win the INDYCAR Grand Prix on Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Power drove his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet to a 5.2830-second victory over Scott Dixon in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda under sunny skies and 78-degree temperatures. It was the first caution-free race in the four-year history of this event on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course.

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"It was a perfect strategy,” Power said. “That was hard work. Full green.

“I have to say the Chevy engine was mega today. Chevy has done a great job. Honda got a little bit of a gain on us, but we are already back.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out a podium filled with Verizon IndyCar Series champions, finishing a season-best third in the No. 28 DHL Honda.

Power earned his 30th win of his Indy car career and has won at least one race in 11 consecutive seasons. It also was his second win in this event, as he also triumphed from the pole in 2015.

The victory today was the culmination of a resurgence that started with a second-place finish in late April on the oval at Phoenix, following a dreadful start pockmarked by bad luck that included finishes of 19th, 13th and 14th in the first three races of the season.

2014 series champion Power climbed to fifth in the standings with 145 points, 46 behind Team Penske teammate and points leader Simon Pagenaud, who finished fourth today in the No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet. Power credited the birth of his son, Beau, last December with reinforcing the virtue of patience.

"I have been around motorsports long enough to know that you have you have your good and bad runs, and the bad doesn't last forever, and the good doesn't last forever,” Power said. “You just have to take it as it comes and not have too many ups and downs emotionally. Having a baby teaches you that.

"It feels really good to finally have a good day. Everyone on this team has been working really hard. We should have had a couple of wins by now. It helps with the points; feels good to win again. I think that is number 30 (career win). That is a good number. I want to make it 31 by the end of this month.”

Power led 61 of the 85 laps in a command performance. He took the lead for good on Lap 66 when teammate Helio Castroneves made his final pit stop two laps after Power’s final trip to the pits.

Dixon passed Castroneves in Turn 7 on Lap 69 and then set his sights on Power. Four-time series champion Dixon pulled to within 4.2817 seconds on Lap 79, but that was as close as he would get.

"I knew Dixon was closing there for a while, so I was really trying to manage the gap and manage the tires,” Power said.

Job well done. Power cruised to Team Penske’s 190th Indy car victory and the 

Castroneves led 24 laps but struggled on the Firestone black tires, fading to fifth at the finish in the No. 3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

Practice for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil starts at 2 p.m. (ET) Monday, preceded by the Rookie Orientation Program from noon-2 p.m. The race is scheduled for noon Sunday, May 28.

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