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Ed Carpenter won the race as Ryan Hunter-Reay survived a thrilling end to the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season to take the championship by a narrow margin over Will Power.
In a season finale to the 2012 IZOD IndyCar championship that lived up to any amount of hype, Ryan Hunter-Reay won the title by a slender margin over Will Power by surviving multiple incidents over a 500-mile night race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday.

The night was turned on its head early when championship leader Will Power spun out on lap 56 and crashed against the SAFER barrier, nearly taking his championship rival with him which would have settled the matter on the spot. Instead, Hunter-Reay survived but was forced to ensure that he finishd in fifth place or better to overhaul Power's remaining 17pt lead that he had held coming into the weekend.

The race was dominated early on by a strong run from Ed Carpenter, but his pace started to wane as the night drew in and Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon and Alex Tagliani emerged as the contenders for the lead after the midway point.

As the race neared its climax, Tagliani suffered engine failure and Kanaan spun out with apparent suspension failure triggering a red flag stoppage for the clean-up with less than ten laps remaining. That left a rejuvenated Carpenter duelling with Dixon and his Ganassi team mate Dario Franchitti, with Carpenter holding out for the race win at the chequered flag.

But all eyes had been on Ryan Hunter-Reay, and after Takuma Sato spun out into a heavy impact with the wall on the final lap, Hunter-Reay's fourth place finish was sufficient to hand him the IZOD IndyCar championship by just 3pts over Will Power.

Final IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings available
Full, detailed race report now available.

Race results

1. #20 Ed Carpenter ECR (C) 2hrs 57mins 34.7433secs (250 laps)
2. #10 Dario Franchitti Ganassi (H) + 1.9132s
3. #9 Scott Dixon Ganassi (H) + 2.6091s
4. #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti (C) + 3.0477s
5. #3 Helio Castroneves Penske (C) + 4.1933s
6. #38 Graham Rahal Ganassi (H) + 5.4381s
7. #15 Takuma Sato Rahal (H) + 1 laps - Contact
8. #26 Marco Andretti Andretti (C) + 1 laps
9. #6 Katherine Legge Dragon (C) + 1 laps
10. #83 Charlie Kimball Ganassi (H) + 1 laps
11. #4 JR Hildebrand Panther (C) + 2 laps
12. #19 James Jakes Dale Coyne (H) + 2 laps
13. #27 James Hinchcliffe Andretti (C) + 3 laps
14. #14 Wade Cunningham AJ Foyt (H) + 4 laps
15. #77 Simon Pagenaud Schmidt (H) + 4 laps
16. #67 Josef Newgarden SFHR (H) + 6 laps
17. #2 Ryan Briscoe Penske (C) + 6 laps
18. #11 Tony Kanaan KVR (C) + 10 laps - Contact
19. #22 Oriol Servia Panther/DRR (C) + 19 laps
20. #98 Alex Tagliani Bryan Herta (H) + 21 laps - Contact
21. #17 Sebastian Saavedra Andretti (C) + 132 laps Electrical
22. #8 Rubens Barrichello KVR (C) + 143 laps - Mechanical
23. #18 Justin Wilson Dale Coyne (H) + 170 laps - Mechanical
24. #12 Will Power Penske (C) + 184 laps - Contact
25. #5 EJ Viso KVR (C) + 185 laps - Mechanical
26. #78 Simona de Silvestro HVM (L) + 234 laps - Mechanical

Fastest lap: 216.561 mph (33.2470s) on lap 228 by Dario Franchitti

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates on the podium after winning at Baltimore, setting him up for a last-round decided for the 2012 title at the season finale at Fontana. (c) 2012, Phillip Abbott (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Ed Carpenter on track in the #20 during the MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championship season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (c) 2012 Jamey Price (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Ed Carpenter celebrates winning the MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championship season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (c) 2012, Perry Nelson (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Scott Dixon Road America
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi Indy Car [credit: IndyCar TV Twitter]
Will Power Texas
Ed Jones feature
Ed Jones feature
Ed Jones
Ed Jones feature
Ed Jones feature
Detroit IndyCar Andretti RHR
Takuma Sato Detroit IndyCar
Detroit IndyCar Helio Castroneves
Scott Dixon Indy 500
Takuma Sato 2017 Indy 500 winner`s circle
Takuma Sato 2017 Indy 500
Indy 500, IndyCar, Takuma Sato

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