LONG POND, Pa. – Will Power improved his position in IndyCar history on Sunday, that was obvious. He claimed some less obvious ground, too: He's in the season title picture whether you see him there or not.
"I'm going for it," Power said after winning the IndyCar ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.
Three races remain in the season. Power's third win of the season put him 42 points behind Josef Newgarden for the lead.
Newgarden, like Power a Penske driver, finished second Sunday and has some of IndyCar's top veteran drivers nipping at his No. 2 Chevrolet headed into the series' return to the Midwest. He has an 18-point lead over Scott Dixon and a 22-point advantage over Penske teammate Helio Castroneves. Defending series champion and Penske driver Simon Pagenaud is 26 points out of the lead.
Power believes he can be the driver who wins it all. Newgarden won't argue.
"This championship is going to be very difficult to win because there's not a lot of guys messing up," he said. "Pagenaud is consistently in the top five, so he doesn't make mistakes. Will is very strong, Helio, Scott. It's not going to be easy."
Power was tough on teammate Newgarden on Sunday. He masterfully protected the inside line over the final 10 laps and refused to budge when Newgarden tried to dart his way toward the lead.
"Just had to be smart, be in the game at the end, and that was the result," Power said.
Newgarden knew he had little room to seriously test Power.
"From a points standpoint, you don't want to wreck your teammate and you don't want to give up where I'm at," Newgarden said. "It's a Team Penske victory. I'm disappointed for not winning, but I can't be disappointed from a points standpoint. We had everything we needed."
Power also won on the road course at Indianapolis and on the Texas Motor Speedway oval this season. He has 32 career victories, moving him into ninth place on IndyCar's list. Power zipped past Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy on the list and is two wins shy of catching Al Unser Jr.
Ryan Hunter-Reay was cleared to drive following a violent accident during qualifying that sent him to the hospital. He led the race at about the halfway point and finished eighth.
"The fact that I could race today was unreal," he said.