Will Power tames Tricky Triangle, closes gap on Pagenaud in points race

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AVONDALE, AZ - APRIL 02: Will Power of Australia, driver of the #12 Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar is introduced before the Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway on April 2, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Will Power took advantage of Simon Pagenaud’s misfortune Monday afternoon in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

The points leader Pagenaud ran into the wall exiting turn one on lap 158 and wound up with his first DNF in the 2016 IndyCar season, finishing 18th.

In second place in points, Power had a golden opportunity to cut down on Pagenaud’s big lead, and did so by taking the checkered flag for his first win at Pocono Raceway.

“The Chevy engine was awesome today,” Power said after the race, “and the body kit was obviously also awesome. So you know it was a very good comeback and I am very happy to win here. I love winning 500-mile races and this is one of the toughest ovals that we race on.”

“I don’t know what happened at this point,” said Pagenaud on his wreck. “The car bottomed and I went straight to the wall. Really weird because I had bottoming but not to that extent. I just lost control of the steering. It felt okay leaving the pits. Turn 1 was fine. Turn 2 was fine. I don’t know. That one’s weird.”

With the win, Power cut Pagenaud’s points lead from 58 to 20 with three races left in the IndyCar season, including the double points finale in Sonoma.

“Obviously there is still a lot to go,” added Power. “Now we will give it everything because we really want to win this championship. ”

“We’ve gone all out all season and that’s not going to change,” said Pagenaud.