Will Power put Team Penske and Chevrolet in the winner’s circle in Sunday’s Kohler Grand Prix at Road America, with the Australian holding off a hard charging Tony Kanaan to take his 27th IndyCar career win.
Power started from pole after claiming the Verizon P1 Award Saturday and didn’t once put a wheel wrong. The Queensland native missed the 2016 season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with an illness, but has managed to move into third in the championship with Sunday’s win.
“So stoked, man. I know TK, he had the reds (option tires) on. He was coming hard,” Power said post-race. “He was quick all race, so I had my work cut out but, man, I just did everything I could to stay ahead. So stoked to get the Verizon car in victory lane. … I needed that one.”
The only caution of the race came out when Conor Daly suffered a suspension failure at Turn 1 and went off track. Kanaan, restarting from third after running near the front of the pack all day, jumped series leader Simon Pagenaud on the restart and took second. He then began closing in on Power, cutting his 2.5-second lead to just half a second, but the Brazilian couldn’t pass the Aussie in time.
“We were on the right strategy,” said Kanaan. “I thought we had a car to fight for the win, but in the last lap when they told me (Power) had three push-to-passes and I had to use two to hold Graham up, I’m like, ‘I’m toast.’”
Pagenaud, meanwhile, lost out on valuable points towards his IndyCar driver’s championship bid as his Penkse-Chevy suffered engine problems. The Frenchman came home 13th overall.
“We were having a really good day,” said Pagenaud, “but unfortunately we had a little issue with the engine. We had the Menards Chevy hunting for the win. We had a really good race going in this wonderful setting at Road America. ”
The Verizon IndyCar Series heads to Iowa in two weeks for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. Click here for full results from Road America and here for a full schedule of IndyCar’s happenings at Iowa.