Detroit,Michigan(June 6th,2022)- Will Power had victory within reach on Belle Isle a year ago until a late red-flag led to an electrical malfunction that ruined his race. In his mind, the Detroit Grand Prix owed him one and when Power gets his mind set on something, there’s no holding him back. Power charged from 16th on the grid to the win Sunday to close out the Belle Isle era of race with a Team Penske victory that returned the Australian to the IndyCar points lead.
Power passed teammate and pole-sitter Josef Newgarden on lap 14 and never looked back, leading 55 of the 70 laps as he found himself in “the zone.”“It’s hard to get to that place. I used to be there a lot often when I was younger,” said the 41-year-old. “It’s just one of those zones where everything’s clicking so well, you’re 100% in the middle, it’s that flow state. Hard to explain. But I would get in that state for qualifying often, pump out some pretty ridiculous laps. That was the race for me. In a really good spot.”
Power held off a hard charging Alexander Rossi in the closing laps — extending Rossi’s losing streak to nearly three years — for his first win of the season. All three Team Penske drivers have a win through seven IndyCar races this season.
Power controlled the first race of the Belle Isle doubleheader a year ago until a late caution brought out the red, then his car wouldn’t refire for the finish. He went from potential victory to a 20th-place finish and has not let it go in the year since.
This year’s Belle Isle finale was only one IndyCar race in place of the traditional Saturday-Sunday doubleheader as in the past. The event will return to its original downtown street course layout in 2023 hoping to re-establish the racing legacy that rival Formula 1 started in 1982.
The Power victory was a celebration for Chevrolet, the race sponsor, and its headquarters that loom in the shadows over the Belle Isle course. It gave Chevrolet its 100th win since it returned to IndyCar competition in 2012, and Power said he owns 26 of those victories — including an Indianapolis 500 win and an IndyCar championship. It was of course, also a celebration for team owner Roger Penske, a longtime Detroit resident and promoter of the race. Ironically,Team Penske picked up a second victory less than 90 minutes later when Joey Logano won the inaugural NASCAR Cup race in St. Louis. For Power, the 41st win of his career moved him within one of Michael Andretti for fourth place.
Rossi, who Thursday confirmed he’s moving to Arrow McLaren SP next season, used a three-stop strategy to rally from his 11th-place starting position and drive through the field to contend for the win. But Power had already taken control of the race and Rossi could only try to close the gap. Although Rossi made it close as both drivers were dealing with traffic, Power beat him to the finish by 1.0027-seconds. Power won for the third time in Detroit.
“I think one more lap would have been really interesting,” said Rossi. “We’re finally just executing at our potential.”
Scott Dixon was third for Chip Ganassi Racing and followed by pole-sitter Josef Newgarden of Penske.
Pato O’Ward of McLaren was fifth, reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou of Ganassi was sixth and followed by teammate Marcus Ericsson, the Indianapolis 500 winner last week.