The good news for Will Power is he has a 14 point lead in IndyCar points over Scott Dixon with two races remaining. The bad news is that Josef Newgarden’s win in Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 moves him to second place in IndyCar points.
Newgarden’s win put him only three points behind Power. Before the race, Power’s points lead was six over Dixon.
Power started on pole position for the 260-lap race and led the most laps, securing the bonus point for pole and for leading the most laps. However, the No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet had a bad restart after a red flag period late in the race for rain.
“[Simon] Pagenaud’s guys, […] they just sent him out in that battle a lap down,” Power said. “And he came out and was just in the way and was on the line I was. And I lost the air and then just lost a couple positions. So [I] don’t know what they were doing there. But yeah, that’s how I lost those. Otherwise we were going to be looking pretty good.”
Power battled with David Malukas for fourth place on the Lap 224 restart. Malukas briefly gained fourth from Power before the 2014 IndyCar Series champion retook the position. However, Malukas passed Power again on Lap 230 and started chasing after the leaders en route to a second place finish.
Takuma Sato passed Power for fifth one lap later. Power remained behind Sato for the final 29 laps, finishing sixth in the 26-car field. The 2018 Indianapolis 500 winner’s points lead shrank, but the next race at Portland is one Power is looking forward to, having won both a pole and race at the Oregon track.
“Been around a long time and I know how these things go,” Power said of IndyCar title battles. “So the best thing about today is we finished and still finished in top six. So it’s still pretty good.
“I think we’ve got some good tracks coming up, but it’s good for everyone as well. So like I predicted, it will be a tough battle all the way to the end.”
Power’s finish was his 11th top-six finish out of 15 races run so far this season.
Behind Power, Newgarden and Dixon, Marcus Ericsson is 17 points out of the championship lead. The next IndyCar race is the Grand Prix of Portland on Sunday September 4th. Live coverage starts on NBC at 3:00 p.m. ET.