ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Will Power picked up right where he left off last season, in Victory Lane, for the fourth time in the past six IndyCar Series races.
Power won the IndyCar Series season-opening race Sunday through the streets of St. Petersburg with a dominating run. He passed pole-sitter Takuma Sato for the lead with an outside move headed into the second turn on Lap 31, and the Australian was never really challenged again.
Power had to beat Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves off pit lane during stops under caution, and it seemed easy from there, even though he said he was exhausted.
“I’m pretty tired, actually. There was only one yellow period,” Power said. “Mentally tired, it was physical.”
Power won three of the final five races last year, including the final two. And it was fitting that he continued it on the temporary street course through St. Pete, where he has always been a factor for the win.
He started on the pole four consecutive years, but only had one win to show for it, in 2010. He led 26 laps a year ago, but was run over from behind under caution to lose a shot at the win.
Ryan Hunter-Reay finished second, Castroneves was third and defending IndyCar champion Scott Dixon was fourth.
Juan Pablo Montoya finished 15th in his first IndyCar race after seven seasons in NASCAR.
FORMULA ONE: In Sepang, Malaysia, Lewis Hamilton led a one-two finish for the Mercedes team at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Hamilton beat teammate Nico Rosberg by 17.3 seconds at the Sepang International Circuit, with defending world champion Sebastian Vettel, of Red Bull, was third.
Hamilton led throughout, making up for his retirement in the season-opening race in Australia and winning in Malaysia for the first time at his eighth attempt.
TRUCKS SERIES: In Martinsville, Va., Matt Crafton grabbed the lead for the first time late and held on to win the rain-delayed race at Martinsville Speedway, his fourth career victory and first on the half-mile paper clip.
Crafton, the defending series champion, passed local favorite Timothy Peters on the inside of the fourth turn to grab the top spot, then survived two two-lap sprints to the finish in the race postponed Saturday because of rain.
Darrell Wallace, who won at the track last fall, finished second.