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Will Power fends off Simon Pagenaud for Long Beach IndyCar win

Will Power, Penske, Long Beach 2012Will Power took an against-the-odds win in Sunday's IndyCar race in Long Beach.

The Penske racer, who was one of 14 drivers who had a 10-pace grid penalty due to an engine change and started from 12th, got himself into the position to win through some smart strategy from the pitwall, but he had to see off a late charge from Schmidt's Simon Pagenaud.

Power had made his final stop relatively early and had to conserve a lot of fuel to get himself to the finish, but Pagenaud had been on a different strategy and made a late stop from the lead, which cost him track position, but gave him the freedom to run flat-out.

The Frenchman rejoined in fourth with 15 laps remaining, and quickly turned that into third with a neat move around Rubens Barrichello (KV Racing). His next target was Rahal's Takuma Sato, who was on a similar strategy to Power and was also in fuel conservation mode.

Pagenaud reeled the Japanese driver in at a rate of up to 2.0s a lap and passed him inside the final 10 laps, giving himself ample time to close down the 7.0s gap to Power. His efforts were helped when Power was baulked slightly by lapped traffic, but the Australian managed to hold on to win by just 0.8s.

Sato's hopes of a podium were dashed when he was turned around by Andretti's Ryan Hunter-Reay on the final lap. Hunter-Reay was handed a 30s penalty for his part in the incident, promoting his team-mate James Hinchcliffe onto the podium.

Front-row starter Josef Newgarden's race ended at the first corner when he crashed while trying to pass polesitter Dario Franchitti (Ganassi), who himself endured another difficult afternoon. He coasted to a halt with a mechanical problem and was classified 15th.

Results - 85 laps:

Pos  Driver               Team/Car                      Time/Gap
 1.  Will Power           Penske DW12-Chevy
 2.  Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt DW12-Honda            + 0.8675s
 3.  James Hinchcliffe    Andretti DW12-Chevy           + 13.2719s
 4.  Tony Kanaan          KV DW12-Chevy                 + 18.1951s
 5.  JR Hildebrand        Panther DW12-Chevy            + 22.9947s
 6.  Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti DW12-Chevy           + 42.5631
 7.  Ryan Briscoe         Penske DW12-Chevy             + 1m40.1271s
 8.  Takuma Sato          Rahal DW12-Honda              + 1 lap
 9.  Rubens Barrichello   KV DW12-Chevy                 + 1 lap
10.  Justin Wilson        Coyne DW12-Honda              + 1 lap
11.  James Jakes          Coyne DW12-Honda              + 1 lap
12.  EJ Viso              KV DW12-Chevy                 + 1 lap
13.  Helio Castroneves    Penske DW12-Chevy             + 1 lap
14.  Ed Carpenter         Carpenter DW12-Chevy          + 2 laps
15.  Dario Franchitti     Ganassi DW12-Honda            + 3 laps
16.  Oriol Servia         Dreyer & Reinbold DW12-Lotus  + 3 laps
17.  Sebastien Bourdais   Dragon DW12-Lotus             + 3 laps
18.  Charlie Kimball      Ganassi DW12-Honda            + 5 laps
19.  Katherine Legge      Dragon DW12-Lotus             + 5 laps


     Simona de Silvestro  HVM DW12-Lotus                74 laps
     Alex Tagliani        BHA DW12-Lotus                46 laps
     Mike Conway          Foyt DW12-Honda               41 laps
     Scott Dixon          Ganassi DW12-Honda            27 laps
     Graham Rahal         Ganassi DW12-Honda            23 laps
     Marco Andretti       Andretti DW12-Chevy           22 laps
     Josef Newgarden      Fisher DW12-Honda             0 laps
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