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Will Power gets another shot at IndyCar title

For Will Power, it's a chance for redemption.

Last year, the Australian driver had a sizable 59-point lead in the Izod IndyCar Series championship battle with four races left, only to blow the advantage and see Dario Franchitti win his second consecutive IndyCar title and third overall.

Power At the time, Power was more skilled on curvy road and street courses than on oval tracks, and all four of those final races were on ovals.

Now, Power again has the lead with only two races left, but it's a much narrower 11 points over the second-place Franchitti, who drives for the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team.

But Power, who drives for Team Penske, is confident because he's had another year of navigating oval speedways, which included his first oval win at Texas Motor Speedway in June. Power, 30, has six wins overall this season.

The series' last two races are Sunday at Kentucky Speedway and Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, both 1.5-mile oval tracks.

"I really didn't have the experience" on ovals a year ago, Power said in a telephone interview. This year, "I'm just going to focus on the job and the things I can control," he said.

And if the championship slips away again? "All we can say is that we did everything we could do to win it, that's all we can do," he said.

Meanwhile, driver Oriol Servia has maintained a surprisingly strong showing, and the Spaniard is fourth in the standings entering the final two races.

Servia is a distant 145 points behind Power but still higher than such well-known IndyCar drivers as Tony Kanaan (fifth), Ryan Briscoe (sixth), Marco Andretti (seventh), Helio Castroneves (10th) and Danica Patrick (12th).

Servia, who drives for Newman-Haas Racing and lives much of the year in Los Angeles, doesn't have a win this season but has earned top-five finishes in three of the last four races.

"We're having a great year" and it shows "we can definitely be strong contenders for next season," Servia said.

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--Jim Peltz

Photo: Will Power, right, talks with a crew member during practice Aug. 13 for the Izod IndyCar Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. Credit: Toby Talbot / Associated Press

 
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