The New Oval Master Will Power Wins Rain Shortened ABC Supply 500 For 3rd Pocono Win In Last 4 Years
LONG POND, PA – Will Power so desperately wanted to win another NTT IndyCar Series race. He had been close so many times over the course of the last year but something had always taken him out of contention. An ill timed caution in COTA followed by a faulty part. A pit road penalty in Indy. A couple of incidents in Toronto. Another pit road penalty in Iowa. Wrong end of strategy in Mid-Ohio.
That’s just this year.
But, Pocono worked out for him finally. He made an extra pit stop on everyone but also doubled the amount of on track passes than everyone else too as he rebounded back to win Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 for the third time in the last four years.
His worst Pocono finish since 2016 is second.
Will Power makes his way through Turn 3 at the Pocono Raceway in his No. 12 Chevrolet – INDYCAR Media Site
At one point of his Indy Car career, Power dreaded going to ovals. He just wasn’t good on them. At one point, the oval stops on the schedule cost him winning multiple championships.
“There’s a time in everyone’s career where you would have said, He’s just not an oval guy,” Power said on Saturday from the Pocono Raceway.
I can make a case now to where ovals are Power’s playground. Out of his 36 career Indy Car wins, which breaks a tie with Bobby Unser for seventh all-time, nine of which are now on ovals. His last three series wins though are on ovals, so are five of his last six.
Since that win at Pocono in 2016, Power has won eight times, six of those were on oval tracks, five of them on superspeedway’s.
“Now you’d probably go, Yeah, he’s pretty good. He’s pretty good,” Power said about himself as he’s been an oval specialist as of late.
His teammate Josef Newgarden agrees.
“For drivers, it’s different,” Newgarden said of Power. “Sometimes you pick up to that quicker at certain places than others. I think Will (Power) is a very strong 500-mile runner. It’s good to have that, too, because you can kind of look at — for me, I know I look at Will, his style, try to learn a bit from him, what makes him good at these types of tracks.”
So, what is his secret? What makes him so good in 500 mile races?
“I mean, you’ve got a bit more time, you got a bit more time to not take a risk and kind of sit back, plenty of stops for it to unfold, get the car right,” Power said. “You don’t need to get too desperate at the beginning.
“I was a lap down, I came back and won (in 2017). Actually, as I was sitting a lap down, I was thinking, If I get our lap back, I can have a top five because the whole field is actually bunched up. I actually won the race.
Take your time, as we saw last year.”
It happened again on Sunday. He had a cut tire from running over debris after a 45-minute and 24-seconds red flag was lifted following a frightening five car crash which saw Takuma Sato upside down, Felix Rosenqvist skating off the fence and Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe also collected.
Luckily, everyone walked away from the incident. But, Power must have ran over debris and had to pit under that caution after it. He quickly made his way back to the front and made a pass on Scott Dixon for the lead on Lap 114 and never looked back.
The red flag was brought out on Lap 128 for lightning and with rain coming, we never went back to green.
Power, ended a 15 race winless streak, the second longest of his Indy Car career. The latest he won a race in a season was race No. 15 in 2013. This weekend was race No. 14.
Also, Power has now won at least one race every season of his Indy Car career as well. That’s 13 straight years. Only Scott Dixon who now has won a race in 15 straight years has more.
“I mean, I feel like we have a chance at the next three races, for sure. I like the tracks, have done well there. Man, it’s just a matter of it falling in place, getting the car right. Everything has to go right these days. Too many good teams and drivers for you to leave anything on the table.
“Would love to get a win before the end of the year. Would absolutely love to just for all the reasons that go with winning.”
Power, finally can say that he won. He watched his teammates Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden win seven of them including the Indy 500. This weekend, they can watch him as Pagenaud earned a third place finish in his No. 22 Chevrolet and Newgarden fifth.
Scott Dixon came home runner-up in his No. 9 Honda for his fourth straight top two finish on the season while Santino Ferrucci rounded out the top five with a fourth place run in his No. 19 Honda.
Due to Rossi’s crash and finishing 18th, Newgarden doubled his points lead from 16 to 35 with three races remaining in the season.
ABC Supply 500
19 Ferrucci R
7 Ericsson R
26 Veach -1
4 Leist -1
98 Andretti -2
88 Herta R OUT
21 Pigot OUT
27 Rossi -89
28 Hunter-Reay OUT
5 Hinchcliffe OUT
30 Sato OUT
10 Rosenqvist R OUT