Sonoma flashback: Power puts crash behind him with 2010 win

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Will Power was making the most of what was then a part-time opportunity to drive for Team Penske when he sustained two fractured vertebrae and a concussion in an August 2009 practice crash at Sonoma Raceway.

The wreck with Nelson Philippe ended Power’s season and left him wondering if his chances of becoming a full-time IndyCar racer were gone. But team owner Roger Penske was pleased with Power’s efforts (a win at Edmonton and three podiums in six ’09 starts), and indeed brought the Aussie on full-time in 2010.

And when the IndyCars came back to Sonoma that year, Power dominated the field – leading 73 of 75 laps en route to what would be his fifth and final win of the year.

A full-course yellow with 10 laps remaining gave Scott Dixon one last shot to take down Power in the final circuits, but Power was able to hang on to the point and secure an emotionally sweet win by seven-tenths of a second.

“I tell you, at the end of 2008, I was almost ready to go home to Australia and race [V8 Supercars],” Power said after his win. “Had I not gotten this opportunity [with Penske], I never would have known what my potential was.”

Power has since established himself as a part of IndyCar’s nucleus in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. In the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons, he entered the final race of each of those campaigns with a chance to win the championship.

You can watch this year’s running of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma next Sunday, Aug. 25, at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.

Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.

Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.

A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.

A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool