Power takes checkers at Road America, climbs to 3rd in IndyCar standings

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AVONDALE, AZ - APRIL 02: Will Power of Australia, driver of the #12 Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar is introduced before the Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway on April 2, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Will Power started out front and stayed out front Sunday afternoon at Road America, taking the checkered flag for back-to-back wins on the IndyCar circuit.

Power held off a strong charge from Tony Kanaan down the stretch to secure his second-straight win.

“TK had the reds on and was coming hard,” recalled Power after the win. “He was quick all race. I had my work cut out and did everything I could to stay ahead. I’m stoked to get the Verizon car to Victory Lane.”

“We had the red tires (in the last laps),” explained Kanaan, “which was a little quicker and we were just chasing Will down. Towards the end we had one push to pass which gave us extra power but he had three so he had an advantage on us, but what a great race.”

The win vaults Power up to third place in the IndyCar driver standings, 81 points back of Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud in first and just seven back of another Penske driver, Helio Castroneves, in second.

“I was talking championship even before this race, added Power. “There are seven races to go and we’re still in it. There could be a 100-point swing in the last race. We have to go for it.”

Behind Kanaan in second place, Graham Rahal rounded out the podium in third, followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay in fourth and Castroneves in fifth.

The win wraps up a festive weekend outside of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, as open wheel racing returned to Road America for the first time since Champ Car raced there in 2007.

“Down the straightaways,” continued Kanaan, “I was able to look at the fans on the last two laps and people were standing and spinning hats and shirts and that’s what I love to see. I hope (the fans) enjoyed it as much as I did and they come back because we’ll make even better next year.”

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