Will Power dreams of returning to untouchable championship form
Will Power has felt this way before and it’s not good.
The 2014 NTT IndyCar Series champion experienced his worst overall season in 2013 when he failed to win a race until the final five races of the season, in which he won three to climb from 11th-to-4th in the championship standings.
There are times in which the 38-year-old makes everything look so easy. He has 33 wins and 50 poles in 183 starts. And in those performances, Power does everything right behind the wheel, and has been supported by strong strategy and excellent pit stops.
He has not consistently received many of those benefits and the stat sheet reflects it.
Power has yet to win through nine races and has just two podiums and two poles. He is sixth in the championship standings. So, this isn’t nearly as bad as 2013, which is part of what makes this even more frustrating for the Australian. He has looked capable of contending for the championship at various times throughout the season and has been besieged by mistakes — both behind the wheel and on pit road.
“Yes, certainly frustrating,” Power said. “You think about COTA, led so many laps. St. Pete, wrong strategy called there. Yeah, it’s tough. You can’t be making mistakes strategy-wise. The driver can’t be making mistakes in any respect.
“You got to qualify at the front, putting all those together, then trying to put a race together. You keep knocking on the door, it will open, you’ll get it. That’s what we kind of plan to do.”
The 2018 Indianapolis 500 winner says he doesn’t press. He doesn’t change his approach or push his team to change their various approaches.
To do so would be counterproductive.
“You got to be even-keeled,” he said. “You’re doing your best anyway. Stepping over that, you start to make mistakes.”
But it is frustrating, especially as he watched teammate Josef Newgarden find a rhythm that he has occupied over various points of his career. He watched his other teammate, Simon Pagenaud, experience a similar run during the month of May.
There are times where Power was incapable of doing nothing wrong behind the wheel and he wants to get that combination of driver and luck back on his side — perhaps as soon as Sunday during the REV Group Grand Prix of Road America.
“It’s just amazing some years when it flows for you,” Power said. “I look at Newgarden, plenty of just easy, easy — I’m not going to say it’s easy to win, but being placed in the right spot with strategy, being able to use his pace.
“I would dream of having that. I haven’t had that for a long time. Dream of just having a nice run.”
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