Power tests at Pocono, analyzes his oval struggles

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Will Power’s among a handful of drivers testing today at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., in preparation for the IZOD IndyCar Series race there July 7.

“I’m really looking forward to Pocono, as it should be interesting around that place,” he said in an interview with MotorSports Talk earlier this week. “To pull off the Triple Crown (a sweep of Indianapolis, Pocono and Fontana) would be pretty massive.”

Power’s regarded as the dominant street and road course driver in IndyCar, but for whatever reason has struggled to capture the same results on ovals. In five oval starts last year, Power had only one top-10 finish and finished in a tie for 17th in the oval points standings.

“I think, to be honest, it’s not speed that’s the issue,” he said of his oval results. “It’s as simple as I gotta finish races this year.

“If you look at bad luck, or unfortunate incidents, I had (Mike) Conway spin ahead of me with a damaged wing at Indy, I got a drive-through at Texas for blocking where I could have won, and Iowa I turned down on a guy I didn’t see.

“It would be great if it was just one thing. But it’s a bunch of random incidents. You just keep plugging away and focusing on the job. All the ovals – Indy, Milwaukee, Pocono – they’re all so different. But I’m looking forward to them. It’s fun racing.”

After Long Beach in a week and Brazil in early May, the series heads to Indianapolis in May for the 500-miler and a couple weeks of practice. Indianapolis starts a stretch of five oval races, culminating with Pocono, in the next seven events.

See also:

Power: The competition is phenomenal

Power: We were golden with a yellow

 

F1 2017 driver review: Carlos Sainz Jr.

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Carlos Sainz Jr.

Teams: Scuderia Toro Rosso (1-16), Renault (17-20)
Car No.: 33
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P4 (Singapore)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 54
Championship Position: 9th

Carlos Sainz Jr. has always been compared to Max Verstappen given their relative rise and stint together at Toro Rosso, but the Spaniard began to forge his own impressive path through 2017, securing himself a works drive with Renault in the process.

Alongside the struggling Daniil Kvyat for much of the season, Sainz led Toro Rosso’s charge, scoring 48 of its 53 points with a string of impressive drives. His headline moment came in Singapore when he matched Verstappen’s best result in Toro Rosso colors by finishing fourth, capitalizing on the start-line crash and the wet weather with a strong display.

Sainz’s displays led to a call from Renault, who announced just two days before his star display in Singapore he would be joining up for 2018 on loan from Red Bull. However, the deal was accelerated after a deal was brokered to secure Jolyon Palmer’s departure, allowing Sainz to join up from the United States GP onwards.

Sainz made an immediate impression, completing a perfect race en route to seventh on debut for Renault to secure six points that would prove crucial in the final constructors’ championship standings as the French team beat Toro Rosso to P6 in the standings at the last race of the year.

Red Bull retains an option on Sainz’s future beyond 2018, making him a candidate for a seat with its senior team should Daniel Ricciardo opt to leave. Failing that, Renault could offer Sainz the platform he needs to continue his rapid rise in F1 and establish himself at the front of the pack for many years to come.

Season High: Finishing fourth in Singapore after dodging the start-line drama.

Season Low: Crashing out in his final Toro Rosso appearance on the first lap at Suzuka.