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Power wins inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix

Will Power capped a perfect weekend by winning the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix.

Power had the best time in Friday’s practice session, captured the pole Saturday, then breezed to his second straight IndyCar victory and sixth of the season Sunday with an outstanding performance on a difficult street course.

Oriol Servia finished second, 10.2096 seconds back, and Tony Kanaan was third. Kanaan lost his brakes during a practice run Sunday morning, soared over Helio Castroneves’ car and had to drive a backup.

Izod IndyCar points leader Dino Franchitti finished fourth.

Scott Dixon was fifth and Danica Patrick took sixth. Patrick has three races left after this one before dedicating her entire efforts toward stock car racing.

The first street race in Baltimore featured several tight turns, bumpy terrain, bothersome chicane and narrow pit lanes situated in front of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The word most often used to describe the 2.04-mile course was “challenging,” and it was certainly that.

There were no crashes, but the race was not without incident.

During practice sessions and qualifying, the drivers expressed concern about the perilous, hairpin turn at Turn 3.

Sure enough, the biggest mishap of the afternoon came on Turn 3 at the midpoint of the 75-lap race. Seeking to turn on the inside, Ryan Briscoe clipped Ryan Hunter-Reay, whose car spun out upon contact. That created a logjam of 11 cars that forced rookie James Jakes out of the race.

“It was just a big mess,” Jakes said. “There’s nothing you really could do.”

Briscoe was penalized for avoidable contact and sent to the back of the pack for the restart.

The first casualty of the day occurred when Sebastian Bourdais lost his gear box and had to withdraw.

Later, Marco Andretti withdrew because of mechanical breakdown.

“Frustrating day,” Andretti said.