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IndyCar title leader Will Power crashes out early in Fontana race

September 15, 2012|By Jim Peltz
  • Will Power, shown Friday during practice for Saturday's IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway, will lose the IndyCar Series title in the final race of the season for the third straight year.
Will Power, shown Friday during practice for Saturday's IndyCar… (F. Peirce Williams / Associated…)

In a stunning crash, IndyCar point leader Will Power slammed into the wall, and his car was knocked out of the season's final race Saturday night at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

That opened the door for Ryan Hunter-Reay to win the Izod IndyCar Series championship. Hunter-Reay, who started the race 17 points behind Power, was running 11th in the MAVTV 500 race.

It's the third consecutive year that Power, an Australian who drives for Team Penske, was on the verge of winning his first title and then lost it during the final race of the season.

Power had just passed Hunter-Reay for 13th on Lap 55 of the 250-lap race when Power lost control of his No. 12 car, spun and slammed into the Turn 2 wall at the two-mile Auto Club Speedway oval.

In fact, Power nearly clipped Hunter-Reay's car as he headed into the wall.

"It's the last thing I thought would happen," said Power, who was not hurt, in a television interview. "That's a tough one, that's depressing."

JR Hildebrand was leading the race when the accident occurred.

[UPDATE: After Power's team furiously made repairs to his car, Power returned to the race on lap 124 in hopes of earning enough points to still win the IndyCar title.]

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