Everything you need to know about the 2014 Chasers at Texas

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From a non-Chase competitor winning to two of the Chasers suffering major problems, the Eliminator Round opener at Martinsville left a mark on the run to the Sprint Cup Championship Race.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s triumph has now ensured that two of the four Championship combatants will make it in on points. With a fifth Cup title on his mind, Jeff Gordon is leading the Chase Grid. And two winless drivers, Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth, are currently in position to advance to Homestead with a shot at the big prize.

But with the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway on the horizon, it’s going to take a big effort from somebody to upset the likes of Hendrick Motorsports, Team Penske, and the Hendrick-powered Kevin Harvick – all of whom have been a cut above performance-wise on the big ovals all season long.

Courtesy of NASCAR’s public relations and statistics teams, here’s everything you need to know for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500.

TEXAS-SPECIFIC STATISTICS

1 – Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.3
2014 Rundown
· Four wins, 13 top fives, 21 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 10.1
· Led 24 races for 873 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, nine top fives, 12 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 17.2 in 27 races
· Average Running Position of 13.9, 10th-best
· Driver Rating of 92.3, ninth-best
· 323 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
· 4,067 Laps in the Top 15 (63.9%), eighth-most

2 – Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 85.4
2014 Rundown
· Four top fives, 15 top 10s
· Average finish of 13.0
· Led 7 races for 41 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, three top fives, five top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 19.1 in 22 races
· Average Running Position of 20.1, 22nd-best
· Driver Rating of 73.1, 21st-best
· 1,479 Green Flag Passes, second-most

3 – Joey Logano (No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 106.9
2014 Rundown
· Five wins, 16 top fives, 21 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 11.3
· Led 21 races for 976 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, four top fives, four top 10s
· Average finish of 18.4 in 12 races
· Average Running Position of 19.3, 20th-best
· Driver Rating of 77.1, 19th-best

4 – Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 91.8
2014 Rundown
· 12 top fives, 20 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 13.3
· Led 19 races for 470 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Two wins, 13 top fives, 17 top 10s
· Average finish of 8.3 in 24 races
· Series-best Average Running Position of 9.4
· Series-best Driver Rating of 106.1
· 353 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· 1,448 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.587 mph, second-fastest
· Series-high 5,045 Laps in the Top 15 (79.3%)
· 742 Quality Passes, second-most

5 – Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.9
2014 Rundown
· One win, six top fives, 15 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 14.9
· Led 15 races for 286 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Two wins, five top fives, nine top 10s
· Average finish of 10.8 in 17 races
· Average Running Position of 12.4, sixth-best
· Driver Rating of 93.8, seventh-best
· 179 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most
· 1,380 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.154 mph, 10th-fastest
· 3,931 Laps in the Top 15 (69.0%), 10th-most
· 742 Quality Passes, second-most

6 – Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.4
2014 Rundown
· Two wins, seven top fives, 13 top 10s
· Average finish of 14.7
· Led 11 races for 135 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Three wins, six top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 15.5 in 19 races
· Average Running Position of 12.4, seventh-best
· Driver Rating of 96.9, sixth-best
· 361 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
· 1,240 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.402 mph, fourth-fastest
· 4,573 Laps in the Top 15 (71.9%), fifth-most
· 716 Quality Passes, fifth-most

7 – Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.4
2014 Rundown
· Six wins, 14 top fives, 17 top 10s; five poles
· Average finish of 13.5
· Led 26 races for 1,518 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One top five, three top 10s
· Average finish of 19.5 in 12 races
· Average Running Position of 18.1, 18th-best
· Driver Rating of 78.8, 18th-best
· 164 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most

8 – Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 108.3
2014 Rundown
· Three wins, 11 top fives, 17 top 10s; eight poles
· Average finish of 14.0
· Led 24 races for 1,817 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Three top fives, 11 top 10s
· Average finish of 13.6 in 23 races
· Average Running Position of 16.0, 15th-best
· Driver Rating of 83.3, 14th-best
· 1,461 Green Flag Passes, third-most
· 3,706 Laps in the Top 15 (58.2%), 12th-most
· 685 Quality Passes, seventh-most

9 – Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.2
2014 Rundown
· One win, eight top fives, 14 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 16.8
· Led 15 races for 453 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, seven top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 13.4 in 18 races
· Average Running Position of 10.8, third-best
· Driver Rating of 102.2, fourth-best
· 353 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 173.610 mph
· 4,448 Laps in the Top 15 (73.8%), sixth-most
· 641 Quality Passes, 10th-most

10 – AJ Allmendinger (No. 47 Clorox Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 70.7
2014 Rundown
· One win, two top fives, five top 10s
· Average finish of 19.9
· Led 5 races for 68 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Two top 10s
· Average finish of 21.7 in 11 races
· Average Running Position of 22.1, 28th-best
· Driver Rating of 68.5, 25th-best

11 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.5
2014 Rundown
· Four wins, 12 top fives, 18 top 10s
· Average finish of 12.5
· Led 16 races for 379 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, four top fives, 13 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 15.0 in 24 races
· Average Running Position of 13.1, ninth-best
· Driver Rating of 90.4, 10th-best
· 216 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
· 1,346 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.243 mph, eighth-fastest
· 4,624 Laps in the Top 15 (72.7%), fourth-most
· 736 Quality Passes, fourth-most

12 – Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Red Vest Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 98.5
2014 Rundown
· Three wins, 10 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 15.2
· Led 16 races for 1,119 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Three wins, 10 top fives, 16 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 9.5 in 22 races
· Average Running Position of 11.4, fourth-best
· Driver Rating of 103.6, second-best
· Series-high 522 Fastest Laps Run
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.393 mph, fifth-fastest
· 4,666 Laps in the Top 15 (73.3%), third-most
· 681 Quality Passes, eighth-most

13 – Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ortho Fire Ant Killer Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 78.7
2014 Rundown
· Three top fives, 10 top 10s
· Average finish of 16.0
· Led 7 races for 110 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Two wins, eight top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 14.7 in 21 races
· Average Running Position of 12.0, fifth-best
· Driver Rating of 102.2, third-best
· 473 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.543 mph, third-fastest
· 4,797 Laps in the Top 15 (75.4%), second-most
· Series-high 784 Quality Passes

14 – Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.0
2014 Rundown
· One win, three top fives, 11 top 10s
· Average finish of 17.1
· Led 12 races for 218 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, five top fives, six top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 17.7 in 20 races
· Average Running Position of 14.9, 13th-best
· Driver Rating of 85.4, 13th-best
· 223 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
· 1,398 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
· 3,957 Laps in the Top 15 (62.2%), ninth-most
· 688 Quality Passes, sixth-most

15 – Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 86.6
2014 Rundown
· One win, six top fives, nine top 10s
· Average finish of 19.9
· Led 13 races for 204 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, three top fives, 12 top 10s
· Average finish of 16.3 in 23 races
· Average Running Position of 15.3, 14th-best
· Driver Rating of 86.5, 12th-best
· 193 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
· 1,451 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most

16 – Aric Almirola (No. 43 Farmland Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 72.6
2014 Rundown
· One win, two top fives, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 21.5
· Led 5 races for 23 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One top 10
· Average finish of 19.6 in seven races
· Average Running Position of 21.4, 24th-best
· Driver Rating of 68.2, 26th-best

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Texas Motor Speedway Track Data
Race 34 of 36
1.5-mile oval
24 degrees of banking, turns
5 degrees of banking, straights
Frontstretch length – 2,250 feet
Backstretch length – 1,330 feet
334 laps, 501 miles

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Texas
Matt Kenseth, 106.1
Jimmie Johnson, 103.6
Greg Biffle, 102.2
Kyle Busch, 102.2
Tony Stewart, 99.2
Carl Edwards, 96.9
Denny Hamlin, 93.8
Clint Bowyer, 92.7
Jeff Gordon, 92.3
Dale Earnhardt Jr., 90.4
*Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (19 total) among active drivers at Texas

Qualifying/Race Data
2013 pole winner: Carl Edwards, Ford, 196.114 mph (27.535 seconds), 11.01.2013
2013 race winner: Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 151.754 mph (3 hours, 18 minutes, 5 seconds), 11.03.2013
Track qualifying record: Kyle Busch, Toyota, 196.299 mph (27.509 seconds), 04.12.2013
Track race record: Greg Biffle, Ford, 160.577 mph (3 hours, 7 minutes, 12 minutes), 11.14.2012

Texas Motor Speedway History
· Construction on Texas Motor Speedway began in 1995.
· The first NASCAR national series race at TMS was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on April 5, 1997 – won by Mark Martin.
· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was on April 6, 1997 – won by Jeff Burton.
· The track underwent a repave between the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
· In 2011, the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was moved from Sunday to Saturday night under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway.
· Texas Motor Speedway hosted its first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on November 6, 2005 – won by Carl Edwards.

Texas Motor Speedway Notebook
· There have been 27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, one NSCS event from 1997 – 2004 and two races per year since 2005.
· 138 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas; 111 in more than one.
· Jeff Gordon is the only drive to have made all 27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
· Jeremy Mayfield was the first Coors Light pole winner, in 1998 with a speed of 185.906 mph. The inaugural Coors Light pole at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997 was cancelled due to weather conditions.
· 19 drivers have Coors Light poles at Texas, led by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr. with two each.
· Two drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Texas Motor Speedway: Bobby Labonte (2003 and 2004) and Ryan Newman (2005 sweep).
· Youngest Texas Coors Light pole winner: Brian Vickers (11/05/2006 – 23 years, 0 months, 12 days).
· Oldest Texas Coors Light pole winner: Bill Elliott (4/08/2002 – 46 years, 6 months, 0 days).
· 18 different drivers have won at Texas Motor Speedway, led by Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson with three each.
· Seven drivers have multiple wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Carl Edwards (three), Jimmie Johnson (three), Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart each have two.
· Roush Fenway Racing leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with nine; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with five and Joe Gibbs Racing with four.
· Three of the 27 (11.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; Kasey Kahne (2006), Jimmie Johnson (2012) and Kyle Busch (2013).
· The third-place starting position is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Texas Motor Speedway, producing more wins than any other starting position (five) – most recent: Jimmie Johnson (fall 2013).
· Six of the 27 (22.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the front row: three from the pole and three from second-place.
· 21 of the 27 (77.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
· Four of the 27 (14.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
· The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Texas Motor Speedway is 31st, by Matt Kenseth in 2002.
· Youngest Texas winner: Joey Logano (03/30/2003 – 23 years, 10 months, 14 days).
· Oldest Texas winner: Dale Jarrett (04/01/2001 – 44 years, 4 months, 6 days).
· Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with five; followed by Matt Kenseth with four.
· Matt Kenseth leads the series in top-five finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 13; followed by Jimmie Johnson with 10.
· Matt Kenseth leads the series lead in top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 17; followed by Jimmie Johnson with 16 and Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 13.
· Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Texas Motor Speedway with an 8.818. Johnson is the only active driver with an average starting position at Texas in the top 10.
· Two active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top 10 at Texas: Matt Kenseth (8.250) and Jimmie Johnson (9.455).
· There have been three NSCS green-white-checkered finishes at Texas Motor Speedway: fall 2006 (334/339), spring 2008 (334/339), and fall 2012 (334/335).
· Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions twice in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway; the inaugural event in 1997 and spring 2007. The race has never been rain shortened.
· Casey Mears has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway without posting a DNF (20).
· Jeff Burton (4/06/1997) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (4/02/2000) won their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career race at Texas Motor Speedway.
· David Ragan (4/09/2011) and Martin Truex Jr. (11/04/2007) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Texas Motor Speedway.
· 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski (11/02/2008) and Trevor Bayne (11/07/2010) made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
· Two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted consecutive wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Carl Edwards (2008 sweep) and Denny Hamlin (2010 sweep).
· 11 of the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Texas Motor Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Texas in his first appearance; Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman won in their second appearance at TMS.
· Jeff Gordon competed at Texas Motor Speedway 16 times before winning in the spring of 2009; the longest span of any the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
· Only three of the 12 winning drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Texas Motor Speedway: Jeff Gordon (16) Kyle Busch (15) and Kurt Busch (13).
· Kevin Harvick and Joe Nemechek lead the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 23 each.
· Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway was the (4/4/2004) race won by Elliott Sadler with a MOV of 0.028 second ahead of Kasey Kahne.
· Two female drivers have made NSCS starts at Texas Motor Speedway: Shawna Robinson and Danica Patrick.
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· Tony Stewart leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Laps Led at Texas Motor Speedway with 801 laps led in 24 starts.
· Jeff Gordon leads all active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers in Laps Completed at Texas Motor Speedway with 7,990 laps.
· One NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has won at Texas Motor Speedway in two different manufacturers: Jeff Burton (1997 – Ford; 2007 – Chevrolet)

NASCAR in Texas
· There have been 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races among three tracks in the state of Texas.
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· 80 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Texas.
· 10 drivers from Texas have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series. Six of the nine Texas native NASCAR winners have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
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IndyCar champion Will Power completes ‘Victory Lap’ at ceremony in Indianapolis

Will Power Victory Lap
Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment
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INDIANAPOLIS – Will Power went on his “Victory Lap” last week to celebrate his second career championship as the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series champion.

It began with several media interviews in Monterey, California, the day after he won the championship with a third-place finish in the Sept. 11 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.

From there, it was off to Los Angeles for more interviews and personal appearances that included a VIP Tour at the Petersen Automotive Museum, several appearances on SiriusXM and lunch at The Ivy, where the Team Penske IndyCar Series driver was treated to Wagyu Beef.

“It was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had in my life,” Power told NBCSports.com.

From L.A. back to Power’s North Carolina home, near Team Penske’s home base of Mooresville, there was one stop left on Sept. 17 — the Victory Lap Celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, an invitation-only banquet where Power and his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet crew at Team Penske were honored for the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series championship.

They didn’t even have to check into a hotel and spend another night on the road. Power and his team left on a Team Penske plane from the Statesville, N.C., airport at 4 p.m. ET Saturday to fly to Indianapolis. On arrival an hour later, a limo bus took the team to IMS.

Power led the 2022 season with five NTT P1 Awards for pole, earning the NTT P1 Award as the best qualifier of the season for the fifth time in his career. Power also made history with his 68th career pole, breaking the all-time mark held by the legendary Mario Andretti.

Power and Scott Dixon also became just two of only five drivers to complete every lap of every race in IndyCar Series history.

“What a year,” Power said as he was awarded his personal Astor Cup trophy (the second in his collection after the 2014 championship. “What a phenomenal year coming off one of my worst seasons personally. We came back with a vengeance.

“I want to thank Roger and Kathy Penske for everything they have done for me over the years. I wouldn’t be standing here and have the numbers I have without what Roger has done for me. I’m given a car every week that is capable of winning the pole, races, championships, and Indianapolis 500s. I’m so grateful for that.

“Also, to Greg Penske, you are there every week now at every event and I know we will be in good hands moving forward with the Penske Family.”

There are many on Power’s team and at home, that helped support Power throughout his career. None is bigger than Power’s wife, Liz, who told Power before the season that he would win the championship and break Andretti’s record.

“I must thank my wife. I’m so lucky to have a wife with that crystal ball that can tell me what is going to happen,” Power said. “I can’t think you enough, babe. I love you so much and you have been a big support to me my whole career. We’ve been together 17 years, and I’ve been in the series 17 years. She has been such a huge support to me. The mother of our child and she is a fantastic mother.

“She can’t tell the future. She just had faith in me.”

Liz Power’s premonition came true and that allowed Power and his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet team to celebrate Penske’s 17th IndyCar championship and 42nd title in the racing team’s history.

“The 12 crew this year, I’ve never had such a great group of guys,” Power said. “Trevor Lacasse (chief mechanic) is such a calm guy, but he does such a meticulous job on the preparation of the car. He is very, very good at keeping the whole crew happy. It feels as if there is no pressure on us. That’s a huge part in getting the most out of people. It was our first year together with you as a crew chief. What a great year to start our relationship.

“Dave Faustino (Power’s longtime engineer), we’ve worked together for 15 years. He’s almost like a wife to me, a partner … apart from sleeping together. We have a very good working relationship. Sorry Dave, I’m an awkward person and you are not.

“The things we have been through in our years together, it’s crazy that we continually improve and get better. We are standing on the podium after winning the championship and we are talking about the car, the race, and the tires. We weren’t talking about the championship.

“We never stop. The other boys were laughing at us, but I’m already thinking about next year.

“Ron Ruzewski (Team Penske IndyCar Managing Director and strategist) on the radio, always calm. He has actually made me a calm person. I rarely get upset on the radio anymore.”

Power also recognized the fans who helped boost attendance at many venues on the schedule this season as NBC Sports enjoyed its largest IndyCar audience yet.

“This series is growing,” Power said. “With open wheel racing now so popular because of Formula One, it’s really our time to push and put money behind it and go now and take IndyCar to another level because we have the best racing product in the world.

“I have to thank my teammates and (Team Penske president) Tim Cindric. I can’t tell you how hard we push each other. We are ultracompetitive and love each other and push each other hard, so thank you.”


Power won the championship by 16 points over hard-charging teammate Josef Newgarden, who finished second in the standings for the third year in a row.

“Overall, I’m filled with a lot of pride for our team and what we were able to do this year,” Newgarden said in his banquet address. “Any year that you step in the championship, you can easily see the challenges it presents everybody.

“It’s a very difficult challenge for the teams and drivers. To be a part of it, make it through it and for us at Team Penske, to topple it, is a very big deal. We’re all competitive.

“The tough thing about being in a championship fight, especially with teammates is we all want to be the best. That’s how it should be. We are competitive people and want to be the best. But it’s a team sport.

“Will, tremendous season, great, great job. I think the world of everybody on our team. It’s a big group. I’m so happy for all of you on the 12-car crew. There is so much we can take into next year.”

Six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon was unable to attend the banquet because of the Goodwood Festival in England but sent congratulations to Power via a video message.

“I really want to congratulate Will Power,” Dixon said. “You drove a tremendous season this year. Even with some of the lows that you had, some of the mistakes with qualifying, you bounced back tremendously. I know how tough these championships are and to see you do it in the style that you did it in the last race of the season, massive congratulations.”

Power’s championship formula included one victory, nine podiums and 12 top-five finishes. Teammate Josef Newgarden was second in the championship with five wins but only six podiums.

Cindric saluted Power’s season in accepting the championship team owner award.

“Will, you took it to another level this year,” Cindric said. “You are the complete package. You completed every lap, had nine podiums, finished out of the top 10 just four times, broke Mario Andretti’s record, and you did it all without cussing at the officials on national TV.

“One complaint I do has is while most of us think you might be from another planet, you never told us your wife was a fortune teller.”

Cindric also honored the seasons of Penske drivers Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin, who won three times in his second full season (“You are one of only two full-time IndyCar drivers that has driven for us in the past 23 years that hasn’t won an Indy 500 or an IndyCar championship. Your time is coming.”).

Kyle Moyer was named team manager of the year (his fifth time and Penske’s sixth). Pennzoil presented Lacasse with the chief mechanic of the year for the first time, the sixth time for Team Penske. The No. 12 crew also won the Firestone Pit Performance Award for the most pit stop performance award points in 2022.

Power, Newgarden and McLaughlin delivered nine of Chevrolet’s series-leading 11 victories this season, helping Chevy win the Manufacturer Award for the seventh time since it returned to the series in 2012 and the first time since 2017. Jim Danahy, U.S. vice president, Competition Motorsports Engineering for Chevrolet, accepted the award on behalf of his team.


Christian Lundgaard was honored as the 2022 NTT IndyCar rookie of the year. Lundgaard, from Denmark, scored one podium, two top-five finishes and seven top-10s in the No. 30 Honda fielded by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. He edged David Malukas of Dale Coyne Racing with HMD by 18 points in the standings for first-year series drivers.

Christian Lundgaard (Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment)

“It’s been a tough season and looking at how it panned out, we struggled so much at the beginning of the season and how we were able to turn it around means so much to me and the team,” Lundgaard said. “It’s the one thing that you only get one shot at. I’m happy to have it.

“Being the first Dane at the Indy 500 certainly helps. Competing here for me is quite important and also special. To win this award and to be here in future years means so much to me. I have a chance to compete for wins and championships.

“This team gave me this opportunity at this track one year ago. We came back and got redemption. We got our first podium here. This year was 40 years ago that Bobby Rahal won the same award. It’s pretty special to keep it among the team.”

Sweden’s Linus Lundqvist was honored as Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion after a dominant season for HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing. Lundqvist won a series-high five races in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing entry and clinched the Lights championship with a race to spare, ending with a 92-point advantage over Sting Ray Robb. HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing owners Henry and Daiva Malukas accepted the team championship.

“I’m very proud of that,” Lundqvist said. “It’s cool to see. We are starting to look to the future, and this might not be doing too bad. It’s been great. As most of you can guess with Henry and Daiva Malukas (team owners), it’s been an incredible journey. So much fun that we’ve had. To be on the grid this year was so much of a struggle for us. I didn’t even know I would be doing this until January.

“To be able to pull out the season that we had, I cannot thank this team enough. We will celebrate this for a long time. I’m so happy and proud about that.”

Outgoing IndyCar Director of Medical Affairs Dr. Geoffrey Billows also was honored as he is leaving that role while battling cancer.

“When I think of Dr. Billows, I think of two words,” IndyCar president Jay Frye said. “One is selfless and the other is tough. He’s gone through a lot these last couple of years, and he didn’t want anybody to know. He’s an amazing man, and we are very grateful for what you have done.”

Dr. Geoffrey Billows with IndyCar president Jay Frye (Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment)

Billows was presented with a framed checkered flag signed by all drivers in the series as well as other IndyCar officials and dignitaries.

“I was not expecting this at all,” Billows said. “This means so much for me to be part of this family for the past 30 years. I’ve been presented with opportunities I never thought I would ever have. I can’t tell you how much I love all of you guys and care for all of you guys.

“Thank you so much. I want to also thank my wife, Tammy, who has been a pillar of strength as I continue on this journey with cancer for the past two years as well. You will still see me as a consultant because I love this too much to quit altogether.”

When the evening concluded, Team Penske boarded a bus to the airport for the short return flight to Statesville. They were home by midnight.

Power’s Victory Lap was complete.

“The best thing about this is I get to sleep in my own bed tonight,” Power said.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500