Breakthrough IndyCar win a ‘big relief’ for Power

Will Power has won two of the last three road course races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Picture: Chris Owens

Will Power says victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will go some way to repaying his crew for their efforts this year who has largely gone unrewarded.

The Team Penske pilot is in the midst of one of his worst seasons since his IndyCar Series debut in 2008 with KV Racing.

Until the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix, the 40-year-old had gone winless in 2021.

However, it’s not for a lack of speed. The Toowoomba-born driver was second in the season-opener at Barber Motorsports Park and was on course for victory at the Belle Isle Street Circuit, only to suffer an electrical issue with a handful of laps remaining.

His most recent win, which ended a 12-race drought, took the weight off Power’s shoulders.

“Oh, man, it’s a big relief,” Power exclaimed.

“I think it’s great for the team, especially the guys on my car. They’ve been working hard. They’ve been flawless this year. They’ve really done the job, and I haven’t.

“If we’d had that sort of performance in the pits and just prep and all that last year, we probably would have won a lot more races.

“Yeah, very happy for those guys, and just happy to be in Victory Lane, man.

“You always start to wonder when is the next one coming. It always comes down to doing your homework, working hard and putting it together, staying focused.”

Power took the lead early on in proceedings with a pass on pole position winner Pato O’Ward of McLaren SP on Lap 18.

From there, the #12 driver was largely unchallenged. Power stretched his legs out to a a near 10-second lead, which dropped down to a little under five seconds in traffic.

Despite two late Safety Car interventions, the 2014 IndyCar Series title winner held on until the chequered flag.

“It’s just great when you get in that zone where you’re just seeing the tenths grow behind you because you have it on your dash, you can see, and you just start getting a little nitpicking, like little tiny details and slowly pulling away,” said Power.

“It’s a great feeling. It’s right in my zone, right in my wheelhouse when I’m like that. That was another day like that for me.

“Yeah, love it. It’s my life. Like I just love competing, but it’s just winning is absolutely what makes me happy. I’m very moody when I haven’t won for a while; just ask my wife.”

Power still sits 12th in the drivers’ standings ahead of team-mate Scott McLaughlin with four races remaining this season.

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