Will Power has admitted that he sometimes feels “very disappointed” by the near misses in his career, after edging further up the list of all-time IndyCar race winners at Portland.
Power picked up his second victory in three races at the Grand Prix of Portland but, unlike the four drivers ahead of him on the table, is mathematically out of championship contention with one race remaining.
“You know what, I get very disappointed in my career because of some of the things I’ve let go,” said Power when asked if he reflects on his accomplishments at the pinnacle of American open-wheeler racing.
“I feel like I should have been champion more times. Look, after you win the (Indianapolis) 500, you’re very satisfied with your career and that paves the way, and then the next year you’re like, ‘Man, I need to start winning races,’ and you get just…
“It’s disappointing. Sometimes you can forget that you’ve had a great career.”
Power moved into a share of sixth position in terms of most prolific IndyCar/Champ Car race winners when he notched up his 37th at Portland.
He is tied with Sebastien Bourdais on that metric, although only three of the Team Penske driver’s came during the split whereas only six of the Frenchman’s have come since unification.
Power is also the second most prolific pole-sitter in history with 57, 10 short of Mario Andretti, while at Pocono a fortnight earlier he consolidated his hold on outright second for number of consecutive seasons with at least one race win, at 13.
Scott Dixon, a five-time champion, has 46 wins, 26 poles, and has this year extended his run of consecutive seasons with at least one race win to 15.
“It’s a tough series. It’s tough to win races, so any win you get, you’re just over the moon,” he explained.
“But any win I get at the moment and any pole I get… the pole is getting me closer to Mario’s all-time record, and any win I get moves me up the all-time list, and I think you’d be lying if you don’t look at that stuff at times.
“You don’t think about it when you’re driving, but I know Dixon would most definitely look at that stuff, too. He might say he doesn’t.
“Because you’re up amongst drivers that you idolised as a child, it’s just kind of surreal that you can put yourself up amongst names like Mario Andretti, AJ Foyt, Michael Andretti, the Unsers, these names that for me, people that always seemed above me because it’s somebody you idolised as a kid.
“It doesn’t seem right to have your name amongst them, know what I mean, when you really idolised someone, even if you’ve reached the same level as them in your career, but it just doesn’t feel like — still feels like they’re above you, untouchable.
Power is now two wins short of the career haul of Al Unser, who is currently fifth all-time, and believes that his is one of the greatest eras of IndyCar.
“You’ve got to look at this generation as one of those generations when you had AJ, Mario, the Unsers,” he opined.
“With Dixon and I’m sure (Alexander) Rossi and (team-mate Josef) Newgarden, these guys are going to be around for a long time.
“That’s going to be an era that kids look up to, like ‘Wow, that was a great era of competitive IndyCar racing’, probably the most competitive era ever.
“I’ve kind of been thinking that. You look at the field, the series, the teams now, it’s just so cool to be a part of it right now, and it’s growing, and the continuity of drivers, new teams coming in, it’s fantastic.”
Newgarden leads Rossi, Simon Pagenaud, and then Dixon in the series as it heads to Laguna Seca for the finale on September 20-22 (local time).
IndyCar race winners: All-time (Top 10)
|5||Al Unser Snr||39|
|9||Al Unser Jnr||34|
IndyCar pole winners: All-time (Top 10*)
* 11th Scott Dixon 26