The blacks would quickly come back to bite Castroneves. Not only was he unable to catch Power, but on Lap 68, Dixon would get around Castroneves heading into Turn 7, picking up 2nd place and breaking up the Penske lockout up front.
Not long after Dixon overhauled Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay followed suit to take away the last podium position. RHR pulled away, while Helio continued to drop. Helio would eventually be passed by Pagenaud and finish 5th. Unfortunately, the Team Penske call to run blacks at the end of the day failed to pay off for Castroneves. Clearly, the team though the rising afternoon temperatures would favor the blacks, but the reds were good enough for long enough that they were the tire to be on throughout the day. Once again, Helio would come home empty handed.
With Castroneves disposed of early on, there was no challenge for Power. He cruised to the end of the race, with a comfortable 5 second margin over Dixon as he crossed the yard of bricks.
Castroneves and Power lead every single lap of the race. After his double pit penalty, Newgarden set the fastest lap of the race on lap 68. This meant Penske cars topped every practice session, lead every lap, and set every top time throughout the weekend. Penske cars have won three of the four GPs run at Indy. And people think Mercedes Benz has a monopoly in F1! This was Power’s second Indy GP win, the other two going to Pagenaud (Pagenaud won the first Indy GP in an SPM car).
Getting the monkey off his back was quite a relief for Will Power. Ever since winning at Pocono late last year, his luck has been awful. Contact, punctures, and breakdowns have knocked him out of race wins in the last 6 rounds he has competed in. This was Power’s 30th win, putting him one behind Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy on the all-time IndyCar win list.
The heat had taken its toll on the drivers, who were all worn out as they hopped out of their cars. Indy’s road course is very physical and you could tell how hard the drivers had worked to make it 85 laps. In fact, to save a tiny bit of weight, Juan Pablo Montoya had elected to not paint his helmet, hoping the handful of ounces saved would relieve some of the stress on his neck!