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Power relieved by title, Newgarden vows to come back harder

Will Power said it was a “big relief” to land his second IndyCar championship, while his teammate Josef Newgarden vowed hit harder after a “taxing year.”

Watch: Laguna Seca IndyCar: Palou wins race, Power is champion

Newgarden raced from 25th on the grid to finish second but Power was able to clinch the championship by 16 points with a third-place finish despite struggling on two of his sets of primaries with a wing change that didn’t work.

Power said on emerging from his Team Penske-Chevrolet’s cockpit: "In the off season my wife [Elizabeth] said to me, 'I believe you're going to beat Mario's record and you're going to win the championship.’ She said that to me and it actually gave me confidence I could do it. That's how much confidence I have in her gut feel.

"I just knew I had to get the most out of those stints and now just lose any more positions [after Newgarden passed him].

“Man, I had to drive the thing today. It was on the edge, very loose. What a relief to get that done! I can't thank Verizon enough, they've been with us 12 years, and Roger Penske and Chevrolet

"From the beginning we were playing the long game. I said to [team president] Tim Cindric, we're not necessarily going for the big wins and that."

Newgarden ran a four-stop strategy, allowing him to charge on full rich fuel and without having to conserve his tires. But after his exhilarating charge, Newgarden was nonetheless understandably disappointed.

"I hate to say it but in a lot of ways this has been a really tough year,” said the 2017 and ’19 champion. “So it's going to be a welcome off-season, it's been a taxing season.

“We've had a lot of highs and a lot of lows. Riding the rollercoaster this year has brought me to a breaking point at a couple of points. It's a big day for everybody, congrats to Will, this is an entire team effort by everybody, whether it's the #2 car or the #12 or the #3 [Scott McLaughlin].

"We all take a lot of pride in it. All these crew members work on every single car, so there's a ton to be proud of. I'm thankful to my team, even yesterday we fought and nearly got there. We're going to come back stronger next year, we're going to be in a different position and I know we're going to do better.

"I'm very optimistic I'm going to recharge and come back and hit all these people harder. Believe me, I'll be ready to go when we come to St Pete and I'll look forward to it."

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Edition

Australia