Power leads IndyCar race wire-to-wire at Alabama
BIRMINGHAM, ALA. (AP) - Will Power was feeling good, strong and relaxed _ physically.
Power managed to hold off Dixon and lead Sunday’s Indy Grand Prix of Alabama from wire to wire, capturing a race that escaped him last year and doing so without a misstep.
He called it “one of the most relaxing races I’ve ever had.”
“I would not say it was relaxing there at the end with Dixon all over me, but I mean physically,” Power said. “In St. Pete, I suffered for some reason. I don’t know why. Maybe I was dehydrated.
“Here, physically, I felt great in the car. I wasn’t puffing or anything. I was just relaxed and able to get the absolute most out of the car mistake free.”
Power became the first IndyCar driver to stay up front for the distance since Franchitti did it at Sonoma in 2009.
Power dominated in practice and qualifying rounds the past two years at Barber, and stressed how badly he wanted to win after a pit strategy backfired and cost him the lead in 2010 _ and perhaps the IndyCar points championship.
“I was very determined to get it this weekend,” he said.
IndyCar’s second race since moving to the double-file restart helped produce plenty of thrills _ along with six full-course cautions. Six drivers were knocked out of the race by contact, including Ryan Briscoe, who started in second place.
But all the trouble remained safely behind his teammate Power, and so did the other drivers.
It was Dixon’s second straight runner-up finish at Barber. Power never gave him an opening on the narrow track.
“I think our car was a little better (than Power‘s) for the first 15 laps,” Dixon said. “But it’s a track where if you’re racing a car that’s within a few tenths of the speed you can run, it’s almost impossible to pass unless the guy makes a mistake.”