Will Power dominated yet another race on Sunday, putting him one step closer to the Championship. With his sixth win of the season, he now trails Franchitti by just five points with just three races remaining.
Power crushed the competition in the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix. His margin of victory over second place Oriol Servia, was ten seconds. After winning the race from Pole position last weekend, he did the same in Baltimore, which has set up another great battle for the Championship as we enter the final races.
Joining Power and Servia on the podium was Tony Kanaan. Ganassi teammates Franchitti and Dixon rounded out the top five. There were a few drivers that had cars capable of finishing in the top five, but ended up further back in the pack.
Graham Rahal had arguably the second-best car in the field, but the fuel strategy they ran ended up biting them as he came home in 10th. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ryan Briscoe were running in fourth and fifth, when Briscoe made a bad move trying to go under Hunter-Reay in turn three. That move on lap 38 not only took both of them out of contention, but also caused a 12-car pile up.
Briscoe was given a drive through penalty. These two had some issues at Barber earlier in the year, when Hunter-Reay took out Briscoe while running up front. Briscoe claimed that Hunter-Reay was blocking him, but the Andretti Autosport driver didn’t agree with that assessment.
What started out as an incredibly scary day for Tony Kanaan, ended up with a podium finish. In the early morning practice, Kanaan lost his brakes going more than 170mph heading into turn one. Luckily for Kanaan, Castroneves was just ahead of him, and crashing into the right side of him, actually saved his life. Tony started at the back of the field, and passed 24 cars on the way to a third place finish.
The inaugural race in Baltimore was a huge success. The fans came out in masses to attend the event, and the drivers praised them all weekend long. The circuit was bumpy and extremely challenging for the drivers. Power said that it was the most demanding race he has ever driven.
The next race on the schedule is a particularly interesting one. The Indy Japan 300 has always been run on the oval track, but due to the earthquake in the area earlier this year, they will be running on the road course at Motegi. This likely gives the Penske team (especially Power) a big break, as they struggled on the oval there last year.
Power has two more wins and five more poles than Franchitti on the season. While Dario has led more laps than the Penske driver, Power has earned more bonus points throughout the year. With Scott Dixon sitting 77 points back in the standings, it appears that the final three races will determine this year’s Championship, between Franchitti and Power.