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Power looking forward to oval deciders

Power's championship prospects were helped when Dario Franchitti made a costly mistake midway through the race that put him at the back of the field, while successful pit stops saw Marco Andretti pop up into third place ahead of Alex Tagliani and Oriol Servia in the latter stages, all of whom contributed in keeping Dario's fightback bottled up in eighth place by the chequered flag.

"Marco - pleasant surprise to see him up there on the last restart," said Power understandably as a result. "Always have good battles with him. His granddad [Mario] was the ultimate driver."

And Marco Andretti was certainly delighted to have finished on the podium for only the second time this year, and on a road course which is not normally thought of as his strength.

"We're definitely happy. Actually, I was surprised as well. We made gains," he said. "We didn't roll off the truck like this ... We just went in the right direction. We found the direction and we kept hammering at it and made gains every session."

At the end, though, he certainly didn't have anything like enough to challenge Dixon and Power for the race win. "I was just hoping that Will and Dixon would take each other out!" he joked at the post-race press conference.

"I was hoping that Dixon would just take himself out ..." responded Power with a laugh.

Both Will and Marco said it was sad that this first, very successful run on the Motegi road course was the last time they would ever get to run here. "It's a shame," said Andretti. "Will and I were talking about this is a proper road course. The fans are what make our event. It's a shame that we're leaving."

Race winner Scott Dixon agreed with them both: "I hope at some point in the near future we can come back. The fans here are amazing. I hope we put on a good show today."

The regret at this being the last event here is despite the hot and humid conditions that made the weekend very hard work, physically.

"Good thing Will and I went for a run before the weekend together," said Marco. "Ryan Hunter-Reay and myself and the Penske guys, we went for a run to get acclimated to the weather. As drivers, part of our job is to show up fit enough to where we can go ten-tenths the whole time. Yeah, I feel good."

And of course there was also the small matter of the earthquakes that were still shaking the region periodically, including a significant aftershock on Friday.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Will Power and Dario Franchitti pose together on the road course track at Motegi. [Photo credit: IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon celebrates in victory lane at Motegi. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon and Will Power celebrate on the podium at Motegi. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Will Power accepts the Mario Andretti Road Course award again for the second successive year. [Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon Road America
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi Indy Car [credit: IndyCar TV Twitter]
Will Power Texas
Detroit IndyCar Andretti RHR
Takuma Sato Detroit IndyCar
Scott Dixon Indy 500
Takuma Sato 2017 Indy 500 winner`s circle
Takuma Sato 2017 Indy 500
Scott Dixon [credit: IndyCar Series]
Scott Dixon Indy 500 qualifying
Ryan Hunter-Reay Indy 500 practice 2017
Fernando Alonso Indy 500 practice 2
Will Power Indy 500 practice

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