Simon Pagenaud seals 2016 IndyCar title with dominant Sonoma win

Team Penske's Simon Pagenaud stormed to a maiden IndyCar championship with a fifth win of the season at Sonoma

Simon Pagenaud seals 2016 IndyCar title with dominant Sonoma win

Pagenaud and team-mate Will Power were the only two mathematically in the title hunt heading into the double-points finale, but a gearbox issue for Power on lap 36 of 85 put him out of contention.

Pagenaud led team-mates Power, Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya at the start, and enjoyed a 5.4-second lead after the first stops.

A yellow for the slow-moving Power prompted a second flurry of stops that left Pagenaud leading by 3.9s from Castroneves.

Castroneves had already switched to an alternative strategy a handful of laps earlier in a bid to claim a first win since Detroit in 2014, but wasn't able to make the early pitstops work, leaving Pagenaud defending from Graham Rahal and Montoya.

Pagenaud had enough pace in hand to cross the line first by 3.5s for a fifth win of the season that confirmed his 2016 IndyCar title.

Rahal and Montoya did enough to secure the podium places, ahead of the strong Andretti pair of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi in their Dallara-Hondas.

Josef Newgarden signed off his season with a sixth, holding off Castroneves in seventh.

The finale was a largely trouble-free race with only one yellow flag period for Power's issues, although Mikhail Aleshin and Tony Kanaan came together at the Turn 7 hairpin on lap one. Both were able to continue and finished 11th and 13th respectively.

RESULTS - 85 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 2h00m12.9424s
2 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 3.2523s
3 Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 18.0157s
4 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 29.7224s
5 Alexander Rossi Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 30.6649s
6 Josef Newgarden Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 32.2754s
7 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 32.8490s
8 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 34.3002s
9 Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 34.9353s
10 Sebastien Bourdais KVSH Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 43.8965s
11 Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 49.3242s
12 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 51.1304s
13 Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 52.1792s
14 Takuma Sato AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Honda 52.6331s
15 Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 56.6756s
16 Max Chilton Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m09.2581s
17 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m21.1112s
18 Jack Hawksworth AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Honda 1 Lap
19 R.C. Enerson Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1 Lap
20 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 8 Laps
21 Conor Daly Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda Mechanical
22 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet Mechanical

FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Simon Pagenaud 659
2 Will Power 532
3 Helio Castroneves 504
4 Josef Newgarden 502
5 Graham Rahal 484
6 Scott Dixon 477
7 Tony Kanaan 461
8 Juan Pablo Montoya 433
9 Charlie Kimball 433
10 Carlos Munoz 432
11 Alexander Rossi 430
12 Ryan Hunter-Reay 428
13 James Hinchcliffe 416
14 Sebastien Bourdais 404
15 Mikhail Aleshin 347
16 Marco Andretti 339
17 Takuma Sato 320
18 Conor Daly 313
19 Max Chilton 267
20 Jack Hawksworth 229
21 Spencer Pigot 165
22 Gabby Chaves 121
23 J.R. Hildebrand 84
24 Oriol Servia 72
25 Ed Carpenter 67
26 Luca Filippi 61
27 Townsend Bell 55
28 R.C. Enerson 55
29 Pippa Mann 46
30 Matthew Brabham 37
31 Alex Tagliani 35
32 Sage Karam 22
33 Bryan Clauson 21
34 Stefan Wilson 14
35 Buddy Lazier 12

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