Aussie Power holds off Herta for IndyCar Harvest victory
Washington (AFP) –
Australian Will Power held off American Colton Herta over the final 10 laps to win Sunday's IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix while New Zealand's Scott Dixon's season points lead dwindled.
Pole-sitter Power led from start to finish in a field of 25 drivers over 75 laps in the second race in as many days on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
"Over the moon to get another win, especially at this place," Power said. "I just pushed so hard the whole race. Fantastic day."
Power won for the fourth time on the Indy road course after taking the Grand Prix of Indianapolis in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
Power captured his 61st career IndyCar pole, six shy of Mario Andretti's all-time record, and the 39-year-old Aussie fought off 20-year-old Herta for his 39th career IndyCar triumph, level fifth-best in series history with Al Unser Sr.
"It's just amazing, the names, absolute legends of the sport," Power said. "I could never have imagined my name among these drivers. They were my heroes growing up."
American Alexander Rossi was third for his fourth consecutive podium finish followed by countryman Josef Newgarden and Mexico's Pato O'Ward.
Dixon settled for eighth place in the penultimate race of the campaign and saw his points edge shrink to 502-470 over defending champion Newgarden entering the October 25 finale on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.
"It's nice to be still on the leading side of the points," Dixon said. "But they've been good at St. Pete the past few years. We're going to have our work cut out."
Even if Newgarden, the defending St. Petersburg race champion, captured the maximum 54 points on offer in Florida, Dixon could still claim the crown by finishing ninth or better.
"We're in it with a shout," Newgarden said. "We can go to St. Pete with a chance to win it. I just wish we were a little closer. We needed to be a little bit better to get up there in the points. We were just mediocre."
Dixon is chasing his sixth career title, one shy of A.J. Foyt's all-time record, while Newgarden seeks his third crown in four seasons.
Dixon's car was struck as he passed American Ryan Hunter-Reay early, a broken left sidepod slowing the Kiwi the rest of the way.
"I was loose the whole race," Dixon said. "We tried everything. we were flat out."
Power jumped ahead at the start with Herta and Rossi just behind until the final pit stops with 24 laps to go.
"I don't know if anybody had anything for Will today," Rossi said.
Herta underbraked Rossi to pass him inside on the first curve with 11 laps remaining but couldn't catch Power.
"The tires had gone away," Power said. "It was a very tough battle. I had to work very hard to keep him behind."
Herta said he "just needed a litle bit more time and a little bit more tire. Thought I had a chance at the end."
© 2020 AFP