Power claims third straight win in Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil (Sports Network) - Will Power continued Team Penske's dominance during the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season by winning Sunday's Sao Paulo Indy 300.
Power not only won his third consecutive race this year, but the Australian also took the checkered flag on the streets of Sao Paulo for the third year in a row. He started on the pole and led 63 of 75 laps, relinquishing the top spot only when he pitted for the second and final time.
Power held off Ryan Hunter-Reay from Andretti Autosport after two late-race restarts. He finished 0.9 seconds ahead of Hunter-Reay for his 18th career IndyCar win. Power scored the victory at Birmingham, AL and Long Beach, CA earlier this month.
"Ryan got a really good jump, and I knew I just had to go like you wouldn't believe through the first corners, because I know he can get a run on me," Power said. "Ryan is one of the hardest guys you will ever race. He never gives up."
Hunter-Reay also finished second to Power in the 2010 inaugural IndyCar race here.
"It was great racing Will, and he raced me really clean," Hunter-Reay said. "I thought that was my time to do it right there on the restart, because he was getting such a great exit shot out of so many corners. So I knew I had to do it early. I jumped it there and tried to get him. He had that inside."
Takuma Sato captured his first career podium finish in IndyCar with a third- place run. Sato started from the rear of the 26-car field after an engine change prevented him from participating in Saturday's qualifying session.
Helio Castroneves from Penske took fourth place, which made him the highest finisher among the four Brazilians competing in this race.
Three-time defending series champion Dario Franchitti rebounded from a spin just after an early-race restart. Mike Conway bumped the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver from behind, which sent his car flying over the curb.
After the incident put him back to 22nd in the field, Franchitti rebounded nicely and held the third spot before the last two restarts, but Sato and Castroneves passed Franchitti for position in the closing laps.
"We got hit on that restart and spun out, but we kept fighting," Franchitti said. "It just didn't work out today. We were up there and didn't get the mileage we needed. We almost got back up to the front, but the last two restarts weren't the best for us."
James Hinchcliffe finished sixth, followed by J.R. Hildebrand, Charlie Kimball and E.J. Viso.
Rubens Barrichello, a Sao Paulo-native, finished 10th in front of his home crowd, while his KV Racing Technology teammate and fellow compatriot Tony Kanaan placed 13th. Ana Beatriz, also from Sao-Paulo, finished 20th in her first IndyCar race this season.
Scott Dixon from Ganassi led eight laps before making his final pit stop with 12 laps left. Dixon had to pit three times, compared to two for most of the other frontrunners. He wound up finishing 17th.
A Penske driver has won the first four races this year, as well as captured the pole position for each one of those event. The May 27 Indianapolis 500 is the next race on the schedule.
"Very happy to get that third win here and third in a row [this season]," Power said. "We need to make it four in a row at the most important race next."
With the win, Power increased his points lead to 45 over Castroneves.
04/29 15:26:46 ET