- Associated Press - Saturday, May 31, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - Will Power gave Roger Penske and Chevrolet what they desperately wanted by winning the first of two races at the Detroit Grand Prix.

“On his home track and in Chevy’s backyard, it’s a perfect day,” Power said Saturday. “If we can do it again tomorrow, it’ll be even better.”

Power finished 0.3308 seconds ahead of Graham Rahal on the bumpy, 13-turn, 2.36-mile street circuit on Belle Isle.

He started a season-worst 16th and took the lead for good with just more than 10 laps to go when he passed Ryan Briscoe.


“There’s no way we thought we would come from 16th to win,” he said. “But this is IndyCar and anything can happen.”

The Australian held off Rahal to join Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay as the series’ drivers with two victories through six races. Power pulled within three points of Hunter-Reay, IndyCar’s points leader.

Power, who won IndyCar’s season-opening race, has 23 career victories to break a tie with Emerson Fittipaldi and Tony Bettenhausen and to match Tommy Milton for 18th on the all-time list.

His latest victory was especially sweet for Penske and Chevy.

Penske had not won an open-wheel race in the area he calls home since Helio Castroneves finished first in 2001.

“It’s sure a great piece of satisfaction for me to see this happen,” Penske acknowledged.

And for Chevy, which sponsors the race, it was a good day after being relegated to watching Honda dominate the previous three races over the last two years in the shadow of its world headquarters.

“We swept the podium in 2012,” Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development, said a few hours before Saturday’s race. “We won both races last year, swept the podium in one race and had two of the three spots in the other race

“There are a lot of Chevy folks here, so you do walk around with your chest puffed out a little bit more.”

After the 70-lap race, Honda had to settle for Rahal’s second-place finish as its only driver on the podium. Rahal, whose only career victory was in 2008, had finished no better than 13th this year.

“It’s a great day for us with the year we’ve had and the luck we’ve had,” Rahal said.

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