Photo courtesy of Chris Owens | IndyCar
A clean day at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca for pole-sitter Will Power earned him the 2022 championship in the NTT IndyCar Series.
It’s the Australian’s second title in the series and first since 2014. He joins a list of multi-time IndyCar champions that includes six-time champion Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Sam Hornish Jr. and Josef Newgarden.
2021 champion Alex Palou took the checkered flag by over 30 seconds to second-place Newgarden but the day belonged to Power as he rounded out the podium to secure the championship by 16 points over his Team Penske teammate Newgarden.
“I really had to drive the thing today,” Power said to NBC Sports after the race. “It was on the edge. What a relief. From the beginning [of the season], it was just playing the long game, not necessarily going for the big wins.”
Power’s title win comes just one day after setting the IndyCar pole record with his 68th, surpassing Mario Andretti.
This is the 17th IndyCar title won by Team Penske, extending the team’s record.
Palou’s dominant day to take the win was his first victory of 2022 and his season ends on a high note after contract disputes with Chip Ganassi Racing throughout the summer months.
The driver of the No. 10 CGR car led 67 of the 95 laps around the abrasive 2.238-mile circuit.
“We struggled a bit during the whole weekend. I don’t know what happened today,” Palou said.
Newgarden entered Sunday with an uphill battle after a tough qualifying effort. He started 25th in the 26-car field but was the driver of the day in the season finale as he worked his way through the field for a runner-up finish.
“Even yesterday, with the heartache there, we came back, we fought, and we nearly got there,” Newgarden said. “I’m proud of the effort. We’re going to come back stronger next year.”
Christian Lundgaard earned Rookie of the Year honors for the 2022 season. He beat out David Malukas by 18 points for the accolade.