Power wins again in St Petersburg

Will Power took a second straight victory in the postponed second round of the IndyCar Series in St Petersburg, as Justin Wilson denied Penske a top three sweep by securing second for Dreyer & Reinbold

Power wins again in St Petersburg

The incident packed race, which took place in dry conditions far removed from the storms that prevented any racing on Sunday, came down to a duel between Power and Wilson, with the leader's Penske team-mates Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves close behind. But having topped every practice session and taken pole, Power had just enough speed to stay out of Wilson's reach and maintain his 100 per cent victory rate in 2010.

The race was delayed slightly further this morning to allow the track to fully dry out after the storms that caused its postponement - although it remained slick enough for Milka Duno to spin on the formation laps, and for both Mike Conway and Dario Franchitti to rotate on lap one, causing an immediate yellow.

Andretti Autosport's Marco Andretti had surged to third behind Power and Scott Dixon (Ganassi) at the start, and after the restart overtook them both on consecutive laps to take the lead - but only for one lap before Dixon repassed him into Turn 1, with Castroneves following suit next time around.

Power had lost momentum after Andretti's move and temporarily fell back to fourth, but kept his softer red tyres in better shape than most, and overtook Andretti and Castroneves to return to second place by lap 19.

Takuma Sato prompted the next yellow on lap 22 by sliding his KV car into the wall while trying to fend off Foyt's Vitor Meira, who was one of several drivers, along with de Ferran/Luczo Dragon driver Raphael Matos and Franchitti, to emerge from the midfield into the lead briefly as the field followed various pitstop strategies during the next stint.

Being back in the pack following the pit shuffle spoilt several leading contenders' chances - with Dixon smashing his front wing by tagging KV's Mario Moraes, and Tony Kanaan (who had dropped back from second with a poor getaway at the start) and team-mate Andretti pitting for repairs after making contact amid the incident.

The most frightening crash of the day came on lap 46, when Panther driver Dan Wheldon's right rear suspension appeared to break on the approach to Turn 1. He bounced off Moraes and speared into the tyres, but was unhurt.

Half the field made what was planned to be their penultimate stops during the resultant caution, moving Power back into the lead ahead of Wilson, EJ Viso (KV), Simona de Silvestro (HVM) and Danica Patrick (Andretti Autosport), all five among the drivers who stayed out.

The top three broke away at the restart, with Viso then the first to make his final stop on lap 64. This turned out to be sublime timing, as moments later Dreyer & Reinbold's Mike Conway bounced into the tyres after a tangle with Matos and caused another yellow.

With all the other leaders having to pit during the caution, Viso moved to the front - at least once Meira, on another totally different strategy, had pitted from the lead. But just when Viso looked a good bet for a maiden win, a gearbox glitch forced him to pit for repairs.

After another brief yellow - caused by Graham Rahal (Sarah Fisher Racing) tapping de Silvestro into a spin at Turn 1, and the rapidly-recovering Dixon crashing by himself at Turn 9 - the race came down to a final sprint with Power narrowly leading Wilson, and Briscoe and Castroneves giving chase. Briscoe had overcome his dismal qualifying result by making an early first tyre stop and therefore gaining ground when many ahead pitted under the Sato yellow.

Despite a few minor slides from Power, Wilson was never able to get close enough, finishing just under a second behind the victorious Australian, with battling team-mates Briscoe and Castroneves completing the top four.

Having been further delayed by a mid-race puncture, Franchitti mounted a searing late charge to take fifth, as Alex Tagliani gave Fazzt an excellent sixth place finish in only its second ever race.

Running the soft red tyres in the final stint, Patrick had to work hard to resist Matos, Rahal, Kanaan, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Andretti to secure seventh at the flag. Hunter-Reay rued slowing when he mistakenly thought he had picked up damage from contact, and getting trapped on the wrong side of the Rahal/de Silvestro tangle.

Also missing out on a potentially great result was Newman/Haas/Lanigan's Hideki Mutoh, who popped up among the Penskes mid-race having made an early stop and gained ground as the leaders pitted during the Sato crash yellow, only to later stall in the pits and finish 14th.

Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Will Power Penske 2h07m05.7968s 2. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold + 0.8244s 3. Ryan Briscoe Penske + 4.7290s 4. Helio Castroneves Penske + 5.1699s 5. Dario Franchitti Ganassi + 22.2172s 6. Alex Tagliani Fazzt + 29.3224s 7. Danica Patrick Andretti  + 30.3360s 8. Raphael Matos de Ferran Luczo Dragon + 30.6695s 9. Graham Rahal Sarah Fisher + 30.8426s 10. Tony Kanaan Andretti + 31.3508s 11. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti + 31.6286s 12. Marco Andretti Andretti + 32.1703s 13. Mario Romancini Conquest + 39.8086s 14. Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas/Lanigan + 39.9949s 15. Vitor Meira Foyt + 56.0593s 16. Simona de Silvestro HVM + 1 lap 17. EJ Viso KV + 3 laps Retirements: Scott Dixon Ganassi 73 laps Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 64 laps Dan Wheldon Panther 46 laps Mario Moraes KV 45 laps Takuma Sato KV 21 laps Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne 10 laps Milka Duno Dale Coyne 7 laps 
Dominant Power takes St Pete pole
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