As the IZOD IndyCar Series heads into the second half of the season, there’s one particular driver whose performance has been amazingly poor: Will Power. Ten races into a 19 race schedule show no victories yet in the win column for the veteran driver from Australia who has been the championship runner-up three straight seasons.
Power sits tenth in the standings during a year that feels more competitive than ever before in IndyCar. Is that the reason for a lack of results that has seen Power earn just one podium so far in 2013? His qualifying performance would beg to differ. Power has three poles after ten events this season, more than any other driver in the series. In fact, he’s started in the Top 10 for every race but one: Sao Paulo. And that race may exemplify the hard luck year Power has endured to date.
Good, but bad
Street circuits are where Power shines and maybe no street circuit has been dominated more by one driver than what Will did from 2010 to 2012. Power had two poles and three wins over the past three seasons at Sao Paulo’s street circuit. This year, Power reigned supreme as fastest in practice but not in qualifying. The Penske Racing strategy backfired when they waited too long to get a qualifying speed before the track was red flagged due to a fire, resulting in Power and his teammate Helio Castroneves ending up near the back of the pack. During the race, Will powered through the pack and was about to move into the Top 10 when the transmission let go, creating a fire resulting in a DNF and 24th place finish, his first DNF in two seasons (source: Advertiser).
Power has started in the first two rows of every race except two this season, so speed hasn’t been the problem. However, results have been quite the opposite. Power has only two top fives this season and the one podium he earned was a third at Milwaukee, oddly his best finish ever at the flat one mile oval. Power has 18 career IndyCar (including ChampCar) victories but only one of them was on an oval.
Will Power has dominated these last few years on street and road courses. Of Power’s 35 podium finishes over the past eight-and-a-half seasons, 31 of those have been on either a street or road course. Yet, this season, his best finish was a fifth at Birmingham.
During the first part of the year at St. Petersburg and Long Beach, Power ended up a dismal 16th at both tracks. At those same two tracks he had seven poles, six podiums and three wins over the last six seasons. So why the miserable performances this time around?
Speed, but no luck
His teammate Castroneves is first in the point standings. Power’s car has been quick like Helios but without the results. In racing, luck does rear its ugly head and sometimes you’re on the good side of it and sometimes you’re on the bad side. Yeah, Power has hit the jackpot of bad side of luck.
Remember too that the series has become very competitive with more quality drivers than ever before. Just look at the great Chip Ganassi team and the fact neither Dario Franchitti nor Scott Dixon has a victory yet in 2013 and together, those two have six championships and 53 victories during their combined careers.
In motorsports, some years just aren’t yours. Nevertheless, results will come and don’t be surprised to see the talented Aussie move into contention by the end of the year. Will Power has not forgotten how to drive and Penske Racing obviously is near the top of their game with Castroneves sitting atop the standings. If Power stays quick and keeps putting himself in contention, results will come and the ol’ luck bank will move back into Power’s favor. With nine races still to go and a competitive series, it’s anyone’s championship to win … including Will Power’s.
Additional sources: Penske Racing