Strength gives Penske, Chevrolet wins last race of Belle Isle

DETROIT (AP) — Will Power clinched victory at Belle Isle a year ago until a late red flag caused an electrical breakdown that ruined his race.

In his mind, the Detroit Grand Prix owed him.

And when Power sets his mind on something, nothing can hold him back.

Strength charged from 16th to Sunday’s win to cap off the Belle Isle era with a Team Penske win that returned the Australian to the IndyCar points lead.

Power passed teammate and pole-sitter Josef Newgarden on lap 14 and never looked back, leading 55 of 70 laps when he found himself in the “zone.”

“It’s hard to get to that place. I used to go there often when I was young,” the 41-year-old said. “It’s just one of those zones where everything is going really well, you’re 100% in the middle, it’s a flow condition. Hard to explain. But I’ll be in that shape a lot for qualifying, pumping out some pretty ridiculous laps. It was a race for me. In a very nice place.”

Alexander Rossi’s holding power in the closing laps – extended Rossi’s losing streak to nearly three years – for his first win of the season. The three Team Penske drivers have won through seven IndyCar races this season.

Power controlled the first race of the Belle Isle doubleheader a year ago until a late warning caused a red, and then his car couldn’t start to finish. He went from a potential win to a 20th place finish and hasn’t let go in the year since.

This year’s Belle Isle Final is just one IndyCar race. The event will return to its original downtown street course layout in 2023.

Power’s victory was a celebration for Chevrolet, the race sponsor, and its headquarters towered over the Belle Isle grounds. This gave Chevrolet its 100th win since returning to IndyCar competition in 2012, and Power says he has 26 of those wins — including the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar championship wins.

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