NEWTON, Iowa – Will Power sounded a bit like Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath when he guaranteed the racing at Iowa Speedway will be much better than the season-opening contest at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6.
“I can guarantee you the race will be better than Texas,” Power told SPEED SPORT. “I guarantee you of that. The race will be better at Iowa. There are multiple lanes there and big tire deg. Cars go off and you see a lot of back and forth in that race.”
Power has two races at Iowa on consecutive nights to back up that guarantee.
It was Namath who guaranteed the New York Jets of the American Football League would defeat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts of the National Football League in Super Bowl III on Jan. 12, 1969.
The Jets lived up to Namath’s guarantee and the gave the AFL its first win in the Super Bowl.
Another guarantee from Power is how physically demanding the two weekends of doubleheaders are for the drivers in the NTT IndyCar Series.
From the longest track on the schedule followed by the shortest oval on the circuit at Iowa Speedway, it’s a very tough task drivers such as Power.
“Doubleheaders are mentally tiring because you are going non-stop and you don’t get a break,” Power said. “That’s how I found Road America. There was no chance to collect your thoughts or go over the data. You were just going 100 miles an hour all the time. From a mental perspective, that was difficult.
“Whenever you do a race, it will be physical, but it wasn’t as physical at the Indy road course. After Saturday’s race, you didn’t have much time to recover. We finished that race, gave the engineers as much information as possible, then ate and rehydrated. Everything was very quick.”
The races at Iowa Speedway will be a much different form of racing. There is little time to relax and recover for the drivers, who are racing around the bull ring at over 171 mph. They will experience some of the highest G-force loads of the season.
Throw in the high heat and humidity, and these drivers are about to get even more physically and mentally drained at Iowa Speedway.
“The races are 50 laps shorter than last year, so that will be a plus, but it’s going to be two hard races, no question man,” Power said. “And, it’s going to be really hot. Take it as it comes. At least we have some race fitness now. If you have a good car, it certainly helps as well. It’s not as physically demanding.
“Simply racing, that’s all you can do. You spend the week recovering and then you are racing again.”
Power has prepared for this weekend through a workout schedule that includes cycling, rowing and skiing machines. He believes he is very cardio-fit.
He stays in race shape by karting at the Go-Pro Karting facility in Mooresville, N.C., near his home at Lake Norman.
“I train very specifically,” Power said. “I don’t do too much out of what needs to be done. I feel that I have very good fitness in the car. At Indy road course, I was not dying like some of these other guys. I believe I’m right up there with the fittest guys in the series. Experience helps as well.
“You gain so much race fitness in a season as well. It gets easier as the race goes on, to be honest. Karting helps. You get some pretty good Gs and you are strapped in and holding yourself in the seat.”
Qualifications are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. ET. The fastest first lap of the two-lap session will determine the field for tonight’s race. The second lap speeds will set the field for Saturday night’s doubleheader.
The race is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time on NBCSN.