Mike Stevens | Jul 28, 2009

AUSTRALIAN WILL POWER has claimed the first IndyCar series victory of his career following a stunning display at Edmonton in Canada.

Starting from pole position, Power was never under pressure as he cruised to victory in the 95-lap event, which finished under safety car conditions.

Helio Castroneves crossed the line second, while Ryan Briscoe was denied third place and a Penske 1-2-3 by a late shave with the wall which forced him into fourth position behind Kiwi Scott Dixon.

Power told the official Penske website he was thrilled with the result, which was his fourth victory overall in American open-wheel racing.

"I'm very happy. The Penske Racing crew did an incredible job. I'm really enjoying being a part of this team. I'm not stressed, I'm just taking it one race at a time and doing my best. I've got to thank Roger (Penske) for the opportunity. Today was a great day,” he said.

Castroneves reserved special praise for Power, stating his ability behind the wheel has never been in doubt despite his limited opportunities.

"I feel great. It's a shame that a 1-2-3 team finish slipped away. But our goal was to stop the Ganassi guys and we were able to do that with Will's win,” he said.

“When Will came on board, we never had a doubt that he would be a top race contender and it's great that his win keeps championship points from our opponents.”

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Penske Racing signed Power at the start of the season to stand-in for Castroneves, who had been indicted on tax-related charges.

But when the Brazilian was acquitted by the Florida courts, Power was left without a drive, despite finishing strongly in the opening two races of the season.

The 28-year-old was forced to sit on the sidelines as compatriot Briscoe and Castroneves took the wheel, although team owner Roger Penske promised Power a drive at the Indianapolis 500.

His impressive fifth place finish at the Brickyard prompted Penske to offer Power the opportunity to drive a third car at selected races this season.

And Power has not disappointed, registering a worst finish of sixth in five events, while reaching the podium twice before his win overnight.

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