Jul 20, 2014, 6:23 PM EDT
A third-place finish from Will Power in today’s second race of the Honda Indy Toronto helped minimize the points damage he took earlier today in the first, 65-lap run around Exhibition Place.
Power finished ninth in Race 1 and fell back to 28 points behind teammate and Verizon IndyCar Series championship leader Helio Castroneves.
But with his Race 2 podium, he was able to claw back within 13 of the Brazilian, who finished 12th in the “nightcap” with front wing damage after starting from the pole position on entrant points.
All in all, it could have been much worse for Power. On Saturday, he spun and hit the Turn 10 wall in wet conditions as the field was coming to what would’ve been the green flag for Race 1 (which was eventually postponed to this morning without ever starting; Power’s crew was allowed to repair the car under a red flag on Saturday, but had to start Race 1 from the rear).
Rain again made an appearance during today’s Race 2 and made an impact on the days of several competitors. The 1.75-mile Exhibition Place street course dried out as the race headed into its final stages, but after what occurred to him on Saturday, Power was in no mood to fight Tony Kanaan late for runner-up honors.
“Tony was very good on this half-wet track, but man, I just wasn’t willing after yesterday to take a big risk and get caught out again,” Power said to NBCSN.
“I still had to battle hard there with [fourth-place] Charlie [Kimball] all over me. But it was a good day. A typical IndyCar race – it throws everything at you, but you just gotta survive and that’s what we did.”
Power passed Castroneves for the lead at Lap 42 of 65, two laps before a full-course yellow came out for Sebastian Saavedra going into the tires at Turn 3.
Under that caution, Power and the rest of the leaders came to pit road for dry tires. But while he won the race off pit road, a group of five drivers that included eventual winner Mike Conway stayed out for track position.
Following the restart on Lap 49, Power had moved up to fourth by the time Kimball and Carlos Huertas made contact in Turn 3 to touch off a stack-up behind them.
The red flag was then thrown with four minutes and 32 seconds remaining, as the race had gone to a 80-minute time limit by this point. But when the green re-emerged with less than three minutes left, Power was able to move up to third and claim his sixth podium of 2014.
And now, with four races remaining in the season, Power can go into the off-weekend knowing that his chances of claiming a first series championship remain very good.
“Every time you’re gaining points, it’s great,” he said. “It’s going to be a fight to the end. Man, I want it. I want it.”
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