SAO PAULO, Brazil (Sunday, April 29, 2012) – Will Power hopes a shower of April victories can lead to a quart of milk in May.
The Team Penske driver won the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle to score his third consecutive victory of the season and the third in a row at the Anhembi circuit.
Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, held off Hunter-Reay on a Lap 71 restart and won by 0.9045 of a second. Takuma Sato, who started 25th because of an unapproved Honda engine change and overcame a Lap 12 pit lane speed violation penalty, earned his first IZOD IndyCar Series podium finish.
Power is the first driver since Scott Dixon in 2007 to win three consecutive races (Watkins Glen, Nashville, Mid-Ohio).
Power inherited the point when Dixon pitted under caution on Lap 64, held off Hunter-Reay on the Lap 67 restart, which quickly turned into a Turn 1 parking lot that collected, among others, Dixon. Recognizing possibly his final opportunity to overtake Power, Hunter-Reay moved to the outside in Turn 1 of the Lap 71 green flag.
Helio Castroneves overtook front-row starter Dario Franchitti on that restart to finish fourth. Franchitti’s No. 10 Lexar Media car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing was bumped from behind on a Lap 26 restart in Turn 1 to drop to 22nd.
James Hinchcliffe, JR Hildebrand and Charlie Kimball — rookies in 2011 — finished ahead of E.J. Viso in ninth and Barrichello in 10th.
Qualifying lap times for the No. 18 Sonny’s BBQ car have been voided by INDYCAR following post-race technical inspection on April 28.
Pursuant to Rule 220.127.116.11 of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook: As requested by INDYCAR each Car must run either the cameras or dummy equipment as supplied by BSI/INDYCAR.
Justin Wilson, who had qualified sixth for the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle in the Dale Coyne Racing car, will start from the rear of the 26-car field April 29.