Auto racing roundup: Will Power is IndyCar champ for second time

AP photo by Nic Coury / Team Penske driver Will Power holds up the IndyCar season championship trophy after finishing third in Sunday’s finale at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif.

MONTEREY, Calif. — IndyCar's intense 2022 season came to a nail-biting end in which Team Penske's superstars duked it out for the championship and the future of the race winner became cloudy once again.

Will Power beat fellow Team Penske driver Josef Newgarden by 16 points as the 41-year-old Australian won his second IndyCar title and the 16th national championship for car owner Roger Penske. Power finished third in Sunday's finale at Laguna Seca Raceway, a spot behind a crestfallen Newgarden, the Nashville driver who was seeking a third IndyCar crown.

But the win went to 2021 series champion Alex Palou, who has been entangled in a messy legal battle in negotiations and a courtroom over his 2023 rights. Chip Ganassi Racing has said it picked up next year's option on the 25-year-old Spaniard; McLaren Racing has said it has Palou under contract.