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Title Contenders Chasing Power not Ready to Give up

 

Title Contenders Chasing Power not Ready to Give up

Will Power has built a 36-point lead in the IZOD IndyCar Series standings with two races to go, but the seven drivers chasing him aren't ready to concede the IZOD IndyCar Series championship to him.

Fortunately, Power's seven pursuers won't have to wait long to start their quest to chip away at Power's point advantage as this weekend's Grand Prix of Baltimore comes seven days following the Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma.

"It's frustrating to have had two races without the finish the DHL/Sun Drop team deserves, but we're going all-out to win the last two races," said Ryan Hunter-Reay, who has dropped 79 points to Power in the last two races.

Power has taken advantage of Hunter-Reay and Andretti Autosport's difficulties the last two events, finishing second at both Mid-Ohio and Sonoma while Hunter-Reay finished outside the top-15 in each event. Hunter-Reay's struggles have allowed Team Penske's Helio Castroneves to seize the opportunity to make up ground in the title race.

Castroneves overcame an early-race penalty at Sonoma to finish sixth, though he knew he had a car that could have challenged either Ryan Briscoe or Power for the win.

"First of all I'm very, very happy with the result of finishing sixth especially after the circumstances that we had," he said. "It was an amazing result for the Penske Truck Rental guys. I'm extremely happy being able to collect more points, but not so happy with the early race incident. I did not want to ruin my race and especially anyone else's race.

"But at the end of the day you need to just keep pushing. I felt that we had a better car than sixth, but again today's sixth was like a victory."

And while some drivers such as James Hinchcliffe and Tony Kanaan, may see their chances for the championship starting to fade, both want to win races and know the tight and twisting streets of the Baltimore course can be a wildcard in the title fight.

"Sonoma was a tough weekend and now we are all focused on doing what we can as a team to give Ryan (Hunter-Reay) the best shot at bringing home the championship title," Hinchcliffe said. "The biggest thing for us is that we want to finish the season in the same fashion we started, and that's up front."

And that mindset is a comfort to Hunter-Reay, who may have unfinished business in the final two races of the season.

"In my mind, the championship is wide open, and we're focused on one thing: winning," Hunter-Reay said. "I'm going to push hard and treat every lap like a qualifying lap. We'll do all we can to end the weekend in Victory Lane."

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