“It’s 15 years of hard work. I was crying as I crossed the line,” said a triumphant Will Power last night, as he was being crowned the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Drivers’ Champion. After finishing second in the points three times in the past, Power finally pulled it all together and finished the year 62 points ahead of his runner-up Penske team mate and three-time Indy 500 winner, Helio Castroneves. “It’s surreal. It’s just a fantastic way to finish the season. I can’t believe I’m the champion.”
Power’s championship capped off a season of dominance for Team Penske Racing, whose 3 drivers finished the year in 1st, 2nd, and 4th. That’s in both the overall AND Verizon P1 standings, by the way, in addition to having started last night’s season finale at Fontana in P1 and P2.
“Will, obviously, did a terrific job,” said Roger Penske, himself. “We couldn’t ask for anything more. We got what we wanted, the championship … he’s got the (drivers’ championship) monkey off his back now.”
While the season went to Power, though, the race belonged to the Target Chip Ganassi team and former IndyCar series champion Tony Kanaan. Kanaan put in a flawless drive at Fontana, finishing the nearly caution-free race in grand style and scoring his first (and only) IndyCar victory for 2014.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Kanaan, after claiming his first victory since the 2013 Indy 500. “We had a team meeting this afternoon and Chip (Ganassi) said, ‘If you win you can brag about it for seven months.’.”
TK’s off-season bragging rights are assured, then.
You can check out the official Verizon race infographic highlighting the why’s and hows of Kanaan’s Fontana victory, below, and see a small sample of Motorsport’s excellent photos of the 2014 MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana at the bottom of the page. If you like that, definitely head over to their page and see the rest of their 122-strong gallery.
Finally, thanks for sticking with us through Gas 2’s first full season of IndyCar racing coverage. I loved watching this incredibly efficient, unthinkably fast biofuel racing series all year, and look forward to 2015! See you then!!