At 41, a matured Will Power said he was in the best shape of his career after the Australian won the Detroit Grand Prix and returned to the top of the IndyCar Series standings.
Power fought his way through a super-competitive field after starting 16th and redeemed himself for last year’s heartbreak at Belle Isle when a late warning brought out a red flag and his car failed to start for arrival.
It was Power’s third victory in Detroit in what will be the final race at the Belle Isle track.
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On alternate tyres, the Toowoomba product kept its cool to hold off American Alexander Rossi, who finished quickly.
“Yes Yes Yes Yes!” Power screamed into his car radio.
“Oh my God, thank you guys, redemption.”
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Power said he just drove his car “as straight as possible” as Rossi shut down.
“I was just waiting for something to happen in the last 10 laps, but I stayed laser focused. I just hit my marks at the end, very focused.
“A really good performance mentally for me. That’s how I always judge my performances and I really didn’t leave anything on the table and went straight to that sweet spot in the zone.
“That’s why I was able to do very fast laps.
Power – a one-time series winner and four-time runner-up – didn’t hesitate when asked if this was the best season of his illustrious career.
“Yeah and definitely a mental change. It’s just me getting older and learning how it rolls. If you don’t qualify on pole it’s not the end of everything.”
Power passed Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson at the top of the standings with Pato O’Ward in third.
It was Power’s first win of the season, completing a Penske trifecta with teammates Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden.
Rossi, who confirmed this week that he will move to Arrow McLaren SP next season, used a three-stop strategy to rally from his starting 11th position and race through the field to battle for victory.
The Aussie ace holds on for a dramatic win
But Power had already taken control of the race and Rossi could only try to close the gap.
Although Rossi closed in as the two riders faced traffic, Power beat him to the finish.
“I think one more lap would have been really interesting,” Rossi said.
“We are ultimately just performing to our potential.”
Kiwi Scott Dixon finished third for Chip Ganassi Racing and followed by pole sitter Newgarden.
McLaren’s O’Ward was fifth, defending IndyCar champion Alex Palou of Ganassi was sixth and followed by teammate Ericsson.
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