Will Power thrilled about nice start after frustrating 2021 – San Bernardino Sun

Will Power entered the 2021 NTT IndyCar season with 11 consecutive seasons of finishing no worse than fifth in the series standings – he won the championship in 2014 and also had four second-place finishes during that period.

Power slipped to ninth in 2021, however, and he was not pleased.

“Yeah, it was disappointing because I did know that stat,” said Power, who will be racing this Sunday in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, where he won in 2008 and 2012.

Power said he could think of four races during the 2021 campaign when things went wrong that cost him points that would have made a difference in his place in the final series standings.

“The first one of those was the Indianapolis 500, which is double points,” Power said. “We were on for a top-five finish and I had a brake failure, so when I went into the pits it didn’t slow down and I got a speeding penalty.”

That resulted in a finish of 30th place.

The down year notwithstanding, Power still had a victory and three other podium finishes in 2021.

Power, of Team Penske, is off to a nice start this season with finishes of third in the opener in St. Petersburg, Florida and fourth at the XPEL 375 in Texas.

Power said he did a lot of homework during the offseason.

“I definitely feel more comfortable this year,” said Power, 41, of Australia. “And, yeah, I was definitely bummed out at the end of last year. It was disappointing for me because I expect to run in the front because of the team that I’m in, and expect to be a championship contender.”

As the conversation with Power continued, it was obvious he comes into Long Beach brimming with confidence.

“I feel pretty good,” he said. “I think we’ve improved on the engine side and definitely improved on the chassis side. Got a great crew and I’ve been doing this for so long, man.

“It’s my 17th season, I think, and I know how to win, I know how to do it, I know what it takes. So taking all that knowledge I have and experience and just applying it the best I possibly can. And enjoying it.”

Indeed, it’s tough to keep a seasoned driver down.

“Yeah, you go through these things all the time,” Power said, of the ups and downs of the business. “But I just feel so lucky to actually have the job of a race-car driver; it’s amazing. Amazing. No matter what really happens.

“It really is amazing that I get to do this job and get paid for it. I could never complain with what I get to do.”

Current IndyCar standings

There have only been two NTT IndyCar races this season ahead of Long Beach, but the standings are interesting. The top six spots are occupied by drivers from Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing.

Scott McLaughlin (Penske, 97 points) is on top followed by Power (Penske, 69 points), Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi, 67 points), Josef Newgarden (Penske, 65 points), Marcus Ericsson (Chip Ganassi, 58 points) and Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi, 55 points).

Palou, of Spain, is the defending series champion. He secured the title with a fourth-place finish in Long Beach, when the event was run in late September instead of in the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic.


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