|Will Power entered the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season with a mindset of “playing the long game.”|
“Not necessarily going for the big wins and all that,” said Power, who rang up one win, 12 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes to complement five pole starts in the 17 races.
|The solid results ultimately rewarded the veteran driver of the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet with his second NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship after he finished third in the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. He also won the driver title in 2014 with Chevrolet power.|
“You’ve accumulated so much experience, you understand how races go and you understand that you can never give up no matter what it seems like, so you just keep digging and it just kept unfolding,” said Power, 41, who a day earlier broke a tie with Mario Andretti with his 68th career pole to set the all-time INDYCAR record.
Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden, who won a field-high five races, finished 16 points off the pace in second. Second-year Team Penske driver Scott McLaughlin placed fourth in the championship. Team Penske extended its INDYCAR record with its 17th team championship.
Other Chevrolet-powered driver champions since the Bowtie brand returned to INDYCAR manufacturer competition in 2012 include Ryan Hunter-Reay (2012), Scott Dixon (2015), Simon Pagenaud (2016) and Newgarden (2017, 2019).
|Said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of Performance and Motorsports: “It’s always exciting to watch Will Power behind the wheel of an INDYCAR. Will started on the pole, led the first lap and managed this race with the No. 12 team to clinch the 2022 championship. It’s been so special to work with Will, Ron Ruzewski, David Faustino and the No.12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet team all season long. We’re proud that both of Will’s championships have been powered by Chevrolet’s 2.2-liter V6.”|
In the 11 seasons of the Chevrolet 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 I INDYCAR engine, Team Chevy drivers have amassed 106 wins of the 182 races. This season, Chevrolet drivers claimed 13 NTT P1 Award honors and 11 wins in the 17 races, leading to Chevrolet earning its seventh Manufacturer Championship since 2012.
“This has been an incredible INDYCAR season for our Chevrolet teams” said Mark Stielow, Director Motorsports Competition and Engineering. “To get 11 wins, claim the seventh Manufacturer Championship for Chevrolet and Will Power capturing his second INDYCAR Driver Championship, are milestones for this program, and set a mark we will enjoy for a short time and then go back to work to improve next season.
“I am very proud of the strong effort by our Chevrolet engineers, the Propulsion group, Ilmor Engineering, our engine partners and especially our teams. Congratulations to Will on his title. It was hard fought and exciting to watch.”
Power entered the 95-lap race on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn natural-terrain road course with a 21-point lead over Newgarden and Scott Dixon. He led twice for 17 laps and knew his position in the championship standings as the race unfolded.
|“I just knew I had to get the most out of those stints and not lose any more positions,” said Power, who was overtaken by Newgarden on fresher tires on Lap 46. “I had to drive the thing today. It was on the edge, very loose. What a relief to get that done.”|
Newgarden, driving the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, finished second to Alex Palou after starting 25th in the 26-car field. Felix Rosenqvist finished fourth in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. “I’m proud of the team. This is a big day for everybody,” Newgarden said. “Huge congrats to Will and the entire team. This is an effort by everybody, whether it’s the 2 car or the 12 or the 3. The ultimate goal is to win a championship for Team Penske. We did that, so there’s a ton to be proud of. From a personal side of the 2 car, I’m really thankful to my team.” Previously, Chevrolet competed in Indy-style racing as a manufacturer of V8 engines from 1986-93 and 2002-05, powering 111 wins, one manufacturer championship in 2002, seven Indianapolis 500 wins and six driver championships.
Inside Track Communications PR