INDIANAPOLIS – When Will Power first stepped foot in the NTT IndyCar Series, he was a road racing specialist. In fact, it took him some time to get used to ovals on the circuit. It actually took him over three years in the unified series to get his first oval win in 2011. Furthermore, 19 of his first 20 wins in the series came on road or street courses.
Even 21 of his first 23 wins were on those circuits. Until the 2014 Indy 500, Power only had two wins on an oval – Texas in 2011 and Fontana in 2013. In August of that year though, Power finally found something. He dominated the race at Milwaukee which sparked a domination on ovals. While he didn’t win on another oval for two years, you could visually see everything starting to click.
The main drawback against Power and why he couldn’t ever win multiple championships was because of his lack of strength on ovals. But, since 2016, those are the types of tracks that he says suit him now.
He’s gone as far to say that he’d love to try a NASCAR some time and get this, unlike other open wheel stars who’s showed interest and wanted to try on a road course, Power wants a shot on a NASCAR oval.
Who would have thought that over five years ago?
Will Power practicing his No. 12 Chevrolet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – INDYCAR Media Site
Power, says his comfort now is on ovals, not road/street courses. Four of his last five wins have come on ovals, three of which on superspeedways. Since 2016, Power has four superspeedway victories – no one else has more. Among those four is last year’s Indy 500 triumph.
Now, he’s back wanting to become the first driver since his teammate Helio Castroneves in 2001 and 2002 to go back-to-back. In fact, only Helio and Al Unser in 1970 and 1971 and the only two to do so since 1956.
Think about that for a second.
63 years of this race and only two drivers have gone back-to-back. Power, is hoping to be the third.
Plus, he doesn’t want anyone else to win.
“I know what it feels like and it’s a fantastic feeling,” said Power on Thursday afternoon. “It’s a fantastic feeling there when you do the media tour, when you get your face sculpted, you get the ticket unveil, the face unveil, the baby borg ceremony, it’s all fantastic and really enjoyable so you want to do it again.”
Power, says that in some respects he feels less pressure coming back as the winner because the doubt of going a whole career of never winning this race is behind you. But, the drawback is, once you’ve won, you want it again worse than ever before.
“I want another win here stronger than ever,” said Power. You really, really want to win here. You want to get out there and experience it again.”
He has a good shot too. While he says they’ve been chasing his car all month, he feels like the changes that they’ve made will help. The Aussie has four top 10 finishes in his last five tries including last year’s win and a runner-up to Juan Pablo Montoya in 2015. He’s been fast this month in being first, 21st, 14th, 11th and eighth respectively in practices. He qualified his No. 12 Chevrolet on the Outside of Row 2 in sixth. With all four Penske drivers coming from the first 4 Rows, watch out for them, including Power on Sunday.