MADISON, Illinois – Will Power turned up the wick in the final 100 laps of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline and collected his third win of the Verizon IndyCar Series season on Saturday night.
The reigning Indianapolis 500 champion won by 1.3117 seconds over Alexander Rossi in a race at Gateway Motorsports Park that featured all-out charging and fuel saving to reach the finish. Championship leader Scott Dixon finished third but saw his points lead shrink to 26 over Rossi with two races remaining on the schedule.
The victory was the 35th of Power’s Indy car career, moving him ahead of Al Unser Jr. and into a tie with Bobby Unser for sixth all time. It was also the fifth win for Team Penske in nine races at Gateway.
Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, charged past Dixon, in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, for the lead on Lap 150 of 248 on the 1.25-mile oval. The 27-year-old Australian zoomed away to a lead of more than seven seconds before making his final pit stop for a splash of ethanol 18 laps from the end of the race.
He regained the lead on Lap 240 as other drivers made their last stops. Rossi, attempting to complete the race in one less pit stop as he did in winning the 2016 Indy 500 and this year’s race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, nursed his No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda home in second place for his eighth podium finish of 2018.
Dixon led 145 laps from the pole position before finishing third, the four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion’s eighth top-three result as well. Dixon saw his points lead diminish for the third straight race. Unofficially, he now has 568 points to 542 for Rossi. With the win, Power moved into third place with 500 points.
Reigning series champion Josef Newgarden, who finished seventh, is fourth with 490 and Ryan Hunter-Reay, who finished 20th, has 421. The top five are the only drivers with a mathematical chance of winning the championship.
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