Sonoma Raceway played host to the final race of the 2017 Verizon Indy Car Series this past weekend.
Coming into the season finale, five drivers mathematically had a chance at the series title. Four of the drivers were from Team Penske and one from Chip Ganassi Racing. Those fighting for the title qualified well. Penske’s four cars in the title hunt qualified first through fourth with Josef Newgarden leading the way. Will Power started in the second place followed by defending series champion Simon Pagenaud and the last Penske driver Helio Castroneves started fourth. The only non-Penske driver in the title fight, Scott Dixon, started sixth.
Newgarden and Pagenaud led all but three laps during the caution free event. Conor Daly picked up those three laps during the pit stop cycle. Newgarden and Pagenaud each led 41 laps with Pagenaud leading the final lap to capture the victory. Newgarden followed in second and Power third, Scott Dixon fourth and Castroneves in fifth.
Pagenaud won the race but his teammate Newgarden won the season championship with his second place finish. Newgarden finished 13 points ahead of Pagenaud and 21 ahead of Dixon, 44 ahead of Castroneves and 80 up on Power in the standings.
This is Team Penske’s 15th Indy car series championship and the first for Newgarden.