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Birmingham, AL (Sports Network) - Will Power had an easy Sunday afternoon drive to win the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.
Power started on the pole and led all 90 laps for his seventh career IZOD IndyCar Series win and his 10th overall in major open-wheel racing. All of his wins have come on road/street courses. Power became the first driver to lead wire-to-wire in an IndyCar race since Dario Franchitti did it in August 2009 at Sonoma, CA.
"That was one of the most relaxing races I ever had," Power said.
Scott Dixon attempted to catch Power in the closing laps, but finished 3.4 seconds short.
Dixon complained after the race that Power was switching his lane from the outside to the inside prior to several of the double-wide restarts, which are being used in all IndyCar races this season.
"[Briscoe] was in the right of the center line," Dixon said. "I was just pretty much in the grass on some of those restarts. I understand why he was doing it. He was trying to keep on the clean side of the track, but you can't have the inside and the clean side of the track. That's not how it works."
Power defended his restart maneuvers.
"The key was to make sure I got the jump on him every time," he said. "I knew if I had the inside going into [turn] one that wouldn't be a problem. It was just yellow after yellow after yellow."
Dixon's teammate, Franchitti, the defending series champion, finished third, while Marco Andretti and Oriol Servia rounded out the top-five.
"In the final stint, I don't think our balance was as good as Scott and Will over the long runs, so I was abusing the tires a bit more," Franchitti said. "My laps times were getting slower."
Franchitti kicked off the season with the win at St. Petersburg, FL two weeks ago.
Dixon and Franchitti also finished second and third, respectively, in the inaugural race at Barber last year.
Power took over the lead in points, holding a seven-point advantage over Franchitti.
Helio Castroneves, who won this race one year ago, finished seventh.
Newcomer Simon Pagenaud finished eighth, followed by Simona de Silvestro and Charlie Kimball.
Danica Patrick started 22nd and finished 17th. Patrick was running among the top-10 until she faded in the field with older tires during the final 10 laps. She had to pit for new tires with less than five laps to go, which put her a one lap down.
Ryan Briscoe was involved in an accident late in the race and finished 21st. Ryan Hunter-Reay hit the curb and bumped into Briscoe, putting him into the gravel. Briscoe finished 18th at St. Pete.
"[Hunter-Reay] is sticking his nose in where it doesn't belong," Briscoe said. "I tried to give him room when he went down there, but it looked like he jumped the curb and went straight into me. It's not a passing zone, period."
IndyCar officials penalized Hunter-Reay for the incident. He ended up finishing 14th.
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