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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

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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]
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, and his team perform the traditional kissing of the bricks after racing to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, drinks the traditional bottle of milk while celebrating his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, crosses the finish line as he races to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finishes second. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Andy Frame/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power on pit road during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Penske team mates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power race side-by-wide during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya crosses the line ahead of Penske team mate Will Power to win the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda in pit lane on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda on track on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Will Power, Mark Miles and Derrick Walker announce the addition of Boston to the 2016 IndyCar Series itinerary. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti and Sage Karam at IMS (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start on the outside of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagenaud will be joined in the front row by by polestar Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest for the May 24 race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start in the middle of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power will be joined in the front row by pole sitter Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates after qualifying fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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