Will Power put on a dominating performance on Sunday at the Milwaukee Mile. Power started the race from pole position, and led 229 of the 250 laps on his way to victory. Entering the weekend, Power held a four point lead in the standings over teammate Helio Castroneves. With just two races remaining to decide the 2014 champion, Power’s lead is now 39 points.
This is the third win of the season for Power, and the 24th of his career. Juan Montoya finished second, just behind his Penske teammate, and Tony Kanaan joined them on the podium. Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden rounded out the top five.
What started as a great day for Ryan Hunter-Reay and Andretti Autosport, turned to disaster on lap 170. That is when the DHL machine suffered a broken suspension, which ended their day, and possibly their chances at the championship. The two-time defending race winner, 2012 series champion, and 2014 Indy 500 winner has had the ultimate roller coaster ride this season. It’s been feast or famine for the team, who announced before the race that Ryan and sponsor DHL have signed a three-year contract extension.
The weekend in Milwaukee is very important to the folks at Andretti Autosport, but today just wasn’t their day. The team’s top finisher was Marco Andretti, who came home in 13th position. James Hinchcliffe came home in 19th, Hunter-Reay was 21st, and Carlos Munoz finished last after making contact with the wall which brought out the only caution of the race. It was another top five result for Newgarden, and Ryan Briscoe quietly had a great day finishing in sixth. Mikhail Aleshin had an impressive eighth place finish, and Ed Carpenter and Jack Hawksworth rounded out the top ten.
Power obviously increased his gap in the standings over Hunter-Reay, and Castroneves (who finished 11th). The other championship contender had a decent day though. Simon Pagenaud started the race in 16th spot, and brought the SPM car home in seventh position. Pagenaud moved into third in the standings, and is now 92 points behind Power heading into the final two races of the year. Hunter-Reay is 108 points out of the lead.
The next race on the schedule is the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, on August 24. It’s the final road course event before the season-finale in Fontana. Power is the defending race winner, and has won three of the last four races at Sonoma.