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Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Will Power from Team Penske bounced back in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship battle in a big way by winning Sunday's Edmonton Indy.
Power grabbed the lead from pole sitter Takuma Sato on lap 19, and then led 57 of the remaining 80 laps on the newly configured 2.256-mile, 13-turn Edmonton City Centre Airport course.
The Australian had to fend off challenges from teammate Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti from Chip Ganassi Racing during the closing laps for his fourth IndyCar win of the season and the 13th of his career. He started on the pole and won at Edmonton in 2009.
Power's victory comes as a relief after failing to finish the last two races, wrecking at both Iowa and Toronto.
"We really needed to come here and win, just to get the confidence back in the team," Power said. "I'm just really happy."
Power moved to within 38 points of Franchitti, who finished third. Franchitti entered the race with a 55-point advantage.
"We need to be more aggressive in these races; we just can't lose any more points to Dario," Power added.
Castroneves' second-place run marked his first podium appearance of the season.
"I'm really glad to put this car up there," he said. "I had a chance to do something with Will, but it was a little bit tough. I needed a solid result, and this was a very solid result."
When the series competed here last year, Castroneves led in the closing laps but received a penalty for blocking Power just after a restart. Castroneves did not serve his penalty and therefore was credited with a 10th-place finish. Furious with the decision, he confronted two race officials on pit road and made physical contact with one of them. Days later, IndyCar slapped the Brazilian with a $60,000 fine and placed him on probation for the remainder of the season.
Tony Kanaan finished fourth, and Justin Wilson took the fifth spot.
Scott Dixon, the defending race winner, suffered a blow to his championship hopes after finishing 23rd in the 26-car field. E.J. Viso slammed into Dixon's car shortly before the halfway point, forcing the Ganassi driver to pit for a damaged radiator. He spent six laps behind the wall.
Dixon originally wanted to retaliate against Viso, but thought better of it as the race progressed.
"At that point, I was definitely going to take him out, but once I got through the race, I cooled off a little bit," he said. "You get sick and tired of people that do bonehead moves."
Dixon is now 106 points out of the lead.
Sato, who led the first 18 laps, got turned around by Ryan Hunter-Reay at the midway point, which put him one lap down. Sato wound up finishing 21st. Hunter-Reay was penalized for the incident but rebounded with a seventh-place run.
Rookie James Hinchcliffe's 15th-place run made him the highest finishing Canadian driver. His fellow compatriots Alex Tagliani and Paul Tracy finished 17th and 26th, respectively. Tracy and Graham Rahal were caught up in an accident on the opening lap.
07/24 18:42:11 ET
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