Will Power qualifying on pole for a road or street course race in the IZOD IndyCar Series is usually as near a certainty as death and taxes. But now, even that last expectation is under threat.
Team Penske’s Power qualified second and finished fifth at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend, a race where Ryan Hunter-Reay won the pole, led the most laps and won the race.
As the only driver in the top-five who ran a two-stop pit strategy, which was changed on the fly by Penske Racing President Tim Cindric, Power was caught out by a lack of yellow flags after the opening four laps.
“Basically we were good until lap 31, and if we had a yellow anytime after that, we would have been golden,” Power told MotorSports Talk in a wide-ranging interview. “We had to then save a lot of fuel to get to the point on two stops. You have to push to get a lap time, while saving fuel, saving tires, but it’s hard to save fuel while going for it. But I still dropped the time.”
The stats showed Power was still able to go all out. He set his fastest lap of the race on lap 29, still on the Firestone red alternates he started on, at 1:10.1631 around the 2.3-mile circuit.
It was still an impressive recovery after falling to eighth on the start, when he went off line through Turns 1 and 2.
“I just didn’t get it right,” he admitted.