Skip to content

Will Power avenges Fontana heartbreak of one year ago, wins IndyCar finale (VIDEO)

Oct 20, 2013, 1:01 AM EDT

One year ago, Auto Club Speedway broke Will Power’s heart. But in tonight’s IndyCar Series season finale at the two-mile oval in Southern California, the Team Penske pilot got his payback.

Power dominated the middle stages of the MAV TV 500 and then rocketed to the front with the laps winding down. He would go on to claim what he called “the most satisfying win of [his] life” by 1.5 seconds over defending race champion Ed Carpenter.

Early in last year’s IndyCar finale at ACS, Power lost control of his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet and slammed into the wall, opening the door for Ryan Hunter-Reay to overtake him for the series championship by the end of the 500-mile race.

But on this night, Power got to experience the jubilation he had hoped to enjoy last fall in Fontana.

“That is the most satisfying thing I have ever done, and I wanted to do it so badly all year,” Power told NBCSN’s Jon Beekhuis in Victory Lane. “In the early [oval races] I was kind of conservative and wanted to finish every lap. But this time, I was going for it.”

Along the way, Power also had to deal with getting a new visor on his helmet in the middle of a caution period. But Power believed that he had the car to make the ground back up.

“I knew we had a very quick car, and I didn’t care – I just said, ‘Let’s fix this. We can win this,'” said Power. “This is just the most satisfying thing. I’m so stoked for [sponsor] Verizon and it’s a great way to end the season.”

With 20 laps left, Sebastien Bourdais hit the wall going down the backstretch to bring out a caution period. One lap later, Power decided to go to the pits for service in preparation of the last dash to the finish.

Charlie Kimball and J.R. Hildebrand were both ahead of Power when the green came back out with 14 laps remaining, but Power quickly dusted both Hondas to take the lead once again.

Shortly afterwards, the yellow re-emerged as Kimball’s motor let go and Hildebrand came to a stop with an apparent mechanical failure. When the race went back to green with eight laps left, Power pulled away and left Carpenter and Tony Kanaan to duke it out for the runner-up spot, a battle Carpenter would eventually take.

Power finished the 2013 IndyCar season on a high note, notching three victories in the final five races (Sonoma, Race 2 at Houston, and tonight’s triumph in Fontana).

As for Carpenter, he once again showed why he’s perhaps the top oval pilot in the IndyCar paddock, putting up a steady runner-up that marks his best result and third Top-5 of the year. He has now finished either first or second in the last three-season ending races.

Meanwhile, as Power was putting the finishing touches on a victory he’ll clearly cherish for some time to come, Scott Dixon was locking up his third career IndyCar Series championship with a fifth-place finish. Dixon finished just one spot ahead of his title rival, Helio Castroneves, but the Brazilian fell one lap down toward the end of the race; Dixon wound up earning the title by a 27-point margin.

Latest Posts
  1. Dixon passes Bobby Unser for fifth on all-time list with 36th IndyCar win

    Apr 19, 2015, 7:41 PM EDT

    DixonBobby36 Getty Images

    Bobby Unser praises Scott Dixon, while Dixon himself downplays the accomplishment.

  2. MotoGP: Rossi wins in Argentina after Marquez clash

    Apr 19, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT

    MotoGp of Argentina - Qualifying Getty Images

    The nine-time world champion extends his lead at the top of the riders’ championship in MotoGP.

  3. Engine issue costs Maldonado shot at points finish

    Apr 19, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1 Getty Images

    Romain Grosjean manages to salvage some points for Lotus in Bahrain, finishing seventh.

  4. Jones makes it an Indy Lights hat trick with win in Long Beach

    Apr 19, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    Photo: Carlin Media Photo: Carlin Media

    Ed Jones survives streets of Long Beach to win Round 3 for Indy Lights.

  5. Ricciardo finishes sixth in Bahrain despite suffering engine failure at the final turn

    Apr 19, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain Getty Images

    Ricciardo finishes the race in a blaze of glory, but holds on to sixth place for Red Bull.

  6. WATCH LIVE: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, Live Extra

    Apr 19, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    LBwatchlive Getty Images

    Watch the third round of the IndyCar season, from the streets of Long Beach, at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.

  7. Vettel takes blame for causing front wing damage

    Apr 19, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain Getty Images

    German driver was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop towards the end of the race in Bahrain after running over the kerbs at the final corner.

  8. Button fails to start Bahrain GP, live tweets the race instead

    Apr 19, 2015, 2:45 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1 Getty Images

    Another electrical problem for McLaren meant that Button was unable to line up on the grid for the race in Bahrain.

  9. WATCH: Indy Lights at Long Beach, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN

    Apr 19, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT

    IndyLights

    Watch the third round of the Indy Lights season today at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

  10. What to watch for: IndyCar at Long Beach (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN and Live Extra)

    Apr 19, 2015, 2:15 PM EDT

    LBw2w4 Getty Images

    Elements to look out for in the third race of the IndyCar season, at Long Beach.

  11. Rosberg enjoys fight in Bahrain, but disappointed to lose P2

    Apr 19, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1 Getty Images

    A spirited effort from the German driver falls flat as a brake problem leaves him third at the end of the race.

  12. Newgarden fastest in IndyCar morning warmup at Long Beach

    Apr 19, 2015, 1:42 PM EDT

    Josefwarmup Getty Images

    Josef Newgarden fastest in IndyCar morning warmup.

  13. Raikkonen pleased to end podium drought in Bahrain

    Apr 19, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1 Getty Images

    Raikkonen rallies to second place in Bahrain, marking his first podium finish since the 2013 Korean Grand Prix.

  14. Hamilton pleased to fend off Ferrari in Bahrain despite last lap brake scare

    Apr 19, 2015, 1:13 PM EDT

    Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg AP

    British driver holds on to win the Bahrain Grand Prix for the second time despite a last lap brake scare.

  15. NBC News’ Kerry Sanders goes for a two-seater ride with Mario Andretti (VIDEO)

    Apr 19, 2015, 12:49 PM EDT

    KerrySanders

    NBC News’ Kerry Sanders goes for a two-seater lap with Mario Andretti at Long Beach.

  16. Hamilton puts on a show under the lights to win Bahrain GP

    Apr 19, 2015, 12:44 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain Getty Images

    Defending world champion dominates proceedings in Bahrain to finish ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg.

  17. GP2: Haryanto storms to maiden victory in Bahrain sprint

    Apr 19, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    © GP2 Series © GP2 Series

    Indonesian driver clinches his first victory in the GP2 Series at the 70th attempt.

  18. WATCH LIVE: Bahrain GP Race Day on NBCSN and Live Extra from 10:30am ET

    Apr 19, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    Hamilton 194b Getty Images

    Mercedes and Ferrari prepare to duel in the desert on Sunday. Join us on NBCSN and Live Extra from 10:30am ET for all of the action from the Bahrain International Circuit.