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Perfect Penske performance at Infineon

By the time all this happened, Will Power and the Penske Gang were safely home past the chequered flag, and the teams's plan had been executed flawlessly beyond their wildest expectations. "It was just an unbelievable team performance, the best weekend you could ever have," said Power in victory lane. "The entire Team Penske was very strong and did a fantastic job with the cars."

It's a key result for Will Power, and with Franchitti held back in fourth place the win puts Power 21pts closer to Franchitti in the championships, reducing the Scot's lead to just 26pts with four races still to go. "I have been unbelievably motivated after a few bad races this season," said Power about his determination to get back on top after a rough couple of months. "I knew that Verizon Team Penske was better than this as a team."

Helio Castroneves was if anything even more thrilled at being back on the podium after a season well below his normal expectations. "The Team Penske sweep shows how strong our team is and I am really happy for us. I certainly wanted to win, but Will was in a class of his own today and when you look at his lap times in practice and qualifying you knew he would be strong.

"I was really pushing it during the race and I thought with the help of traffic I may be able to gain on him. He saved enough push to passes for the end of the race to take advantage of it and he was the winner," he added. "I was really excited to try a battle to the end with Will and I, but he had the upper hand today and I am happy for him."

All that Franchitti and Dixon could do against such complete flag-to-flag dominance was to sit on pit wall and shrug, and confess that they were soundly outclassed and needed to find something extra between now and next weekend. "Congratulations to Penske," said Franchitti, conceding that their rivals were in a different league today. "They've done a better job than we have and they deserve it. I spent all day staring at Ryan's back wing and I couldn't make anything happen even when he was getting held up in traffic."

"We finished the race," he said, trying hard to be philosophical. "You're going to have days like this. We didn't make any mistakes though and we got a fourth place so we're going to improve things for Baltimore. We'll be working hard on that this week."

Dixon agreed that it had all been a bit frustrating. "It was a tough day. Physically it was tough. It was tough to keep the car on the track. We didn't have the best balance with everything going on and we tried to get rid of the bump and steer through the middle."

At times this season, save for Will Power's stand-out performances, Penske have looked a rather pale imitation of themselves - especially in their deeply mediocre Indianapolis 500 campaign - so Infineon represents a sudden, dramatic and unequivocal return to their old, familiar, dominant selves as proved by it being the first 1-2-3 the team have pulled off since Nazareth in 1994 (in fact it's the first time any team has swept the top three since Andretti Autosport managed it at St. Petersburg in 2005.) By way of happy coincidence, it also comes on the same weekend that Penske put Brad Keselowski into victory lane in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, showing a general organisation-wide renaissance at work.

Roger Penske was a tired but happy man as he left Infineon Raceway on Sunday evening. But already, the success was behind him: all that matters now is that they can do it all again, just as flawlessly, in a week's time at the maiden running of the Baltimore street race event.

Full race results and positions available.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Marco Andretti, Takuma Sato and Martin Plowman battle on track at Infineon Raceway. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Cars battle on track at Infineon Raceway. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Will Power leads the field on track at Infineon Raceway. [Photo credit: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media]
Will Power in action at Infineon Raceway. [Photo credit: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media]
Helio Castroneves, Roger Penske, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe celebrate in victory lane at Infineon Raceway. [Photo credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway receives the winner`s trophy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates with the Ed Carpenter Racing team after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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Don - Unregistered

August 29, 2011 7:53 PM

Great job to the Penske team and Will! Keep closing the gap next week at the Baltimore GP. Cheers to Pantano for having an outstanding race.

Julie - Unregistered

August 31, 2011 2:58 AM

I have to say Congrats to Team Penske for a perfect display of team driving. I have to disagree with a lot of other sites talking about Will P's dominate drive. The only reason he was able to pull away was that his two teammates were holding everyone else up. I think the race would have been much closer and more exciting had Dario or Scott qualifyied 2nd. At least then Will would have actually had to work for his win not just cruise around the track like a practice session. I get that the team tactics were to get points for the championship but it feels like the fans were cheated out of an actual race.



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