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FONTANA, Calif. – Will Power won his first IndyCar Series championship Saturday night, finishing ninth in the final race and claiming the season title after a career filled with agonizing misses.

Tony Kanaan won the double-points MAVTV 500 at Fontana for his first victory of the season, but Power drove an intelligent race to preserve his healthy points lead.

After briefly taking the lead late, Power comfortably held off second-place teammate Helio Castroneves and wrapped up Team Penske’s first IndyCar title since 2006.

“That was one of the hardest races ever,” Power said. “Oh my God, I was crying.”

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Australian Power finished with 671 points, 62 more than Castroneves.

“That’s 15 years of hard work,” said Power, 33.

Power led the standings heading into the final race in 2010 and 2012, and he led with two races left in 2011 — but he failed to claim the title each time.

other race

Kevin Harvick led the final 159 laps to beat Joey Logano in the Great Clips 300, a NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga.

Derrike Cope of Spanaway was 31st of 40.

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