Power In Hot Pursuit Of First Championship

Will Power is in position to claim his first IndyCar title. (Al Steinberg photo)
Will Power is in position to claim his first IndyCar title. (Al Steinberg photo)
Will Power is in position to claim his first IndyCar title. (Al Steinberg photo)

WEST ALLIS, Wis. – Will Power believes he is in the strongest position of his career to win his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship.

“I want it, absolutely,” Power said. “I’m focused. I really want to get it right. You know, it’s IndyCar racing, anything can happen.”

That’s just the thing. Anything can and has happened, especially to Power.

“I’ve just got to be smart,” Power said.

It won’t be easy with a lot to think about in the closing weeks of the season.

One obstacle he has is clinging to just a four-point lead heading into the final three races of the season in consecutive weekends, starting Sunday with the ABC Supply Company Wisconsin 250 at The Milwaukee Mile.

It is all too familiar territory to him.

From 2010-12, Power was the points leader with three races to go. In 2010 and 2012, he was the leader going into the final race, but crashed both times and fell out of the top spot in the final championship points standings.

Another obstacle facing Power heading into The Milwaukee Mile is his teammate, Helio Castroneves, is the one who trails him by four points.

So not only does Power have to worry about a slim points lead in the home stretch of the season, he has a teammate hot on his tail, leaving both in a good and bad spot.

“It’s a tough balance,” Power said after Saturday’s final practice session. “At the end of the day the team does come first. I think it would be just terrible to see the two of us in the wall and someone else win the championship.”

The drivers at Penske are craving a championship for their own achievement, but also for car owner Roger Penske. Arguably the most successful car owner in racing history, Penske hasn’t won an IndyCar season championship since 2006 (Sam Hornish Jr.).

“Team Penske is doing a great job having three guys up there,” Castroneves said. “It shows we want to achieve our goals, no matter who it is. Obviously I want it, Will wants it, Juan Pablo (Montoya) wants it. The goal is to bring the championship for Roger. We’re going to do everything we can to make that happen.”

There will be no specific orders for the team, outside of being smart on the track.