IndyCar Season Preview: Will Power

Photo credit: Ned Leone

#12 Verizon Dallara-Chevrolet, Team Penske

Born: March 1, 1981

Home: Toowoomba, Australia

2011 HIGHLIGHTS: Power led the series with six wins, finally conquering an oval after winning half of the Texas doubleheader. He led in 13 of 17 races and led the points for about half the season, including after the 16th round at Motegi. He also took eight poles to post an average start of 3.6.

2011 LOWLIGHTS: Power crashed in consecutive races at Iowa and Toronto to lose the championship lead for much of the second half of the season. After crashing in the aborted rain restart at Loudon, he also flipped off race control for putting the drivers in danger. Power’s car also launched in the air at Las Vegas, injuring his back for the second time in three years and leading him to briefly question his IndyCar career.

SEASON OUTLOOK: Power has been Dario Franchitti’s top championship challenger for the past two seasons, and that won’t change as long as the Champ Car alumnus outclasses everybody on the road and street courses. He’s also got Roger Penske’s team behind him, although their pit crew left a lot to be desired last season.

The new Chevrolet engine shouldn’t be much of a problem, since Ilmor (a company partially owned by Penske) helped produce the Honda engines of the past half-decade or so. With Power, the only concerns are mental. Can he finally get past the roadblock that is Franchitti’s dominance? Can he pick up his performance on the ovals, or will his serious crash at Vegas hinder some of his driving instincts? And, after two straight years of chokes at the very end of the season, can he stop beating himself?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: