Updated: Sunday, 31 August 2014 14:13 | By Agence France-Presse

Power wins first IndyCar championship

Will Power claimed his first IndyCar Series championship, using a conservative racing approach that allowed him to finish ninth in the final race of the season. 

Power wins first IndyCar championship

Will Power during practice for the IndyCar World Championship Race at the Auto Club Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Fontana, California - by Robert Laberge

That was enough to give the Australian a 62-point victory over runner-up Helio Castroneves. Power had entered the 18th race of the season at the Auto Club Speedway with a 51 point lead over his Team Penske teammate.

"It is 15 years of hard work. I was crying when I crossed the finish line," said Power on Saturday.

The 33-year-old Power was able to avoid the mishaps that destroyed his earlier attempts to maintain the overall points lead going into the last race of the season.

Power entered the final races in 2010 and 2012 as the championship points leader but crashed out of both events.

Tony Kanaan won Saturday's 250-lap race to earn his first win since last year's Indianapolis 500.

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