At Houston last week, Will Power survived a dreadful pair of races without losing any points in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship chase.
At the Pocono INDYCAR 500 fueled by Sunoco on Sunday, he not only lost the points lead, but re-entered the IndyCar Race Control doghouse.
The first 158 laps of the race went green but after the race’s lone restart, Power made a pair of questionable moves on his two Team Penske teammates entering Turn 1 that ultimately netted him his latest penalty.
First, he made a move to defend against eventual winner Juan Pablo Montoya that cost Montoya his left front wing endplate, but the move did not draw a reaction from Race Control.
But a second move on Lap 172, where he sliced from the outside of the track to the inside twice on Helio Castroneves caused Castroneves to slightly back off to avoid contact. Power was called for blocking and served a drive-through penalty on pit lane.
Neither Power nor Team Penske president Tim Cindric were amused. See the below tweet from MoreFrontWing.com’s Paul Dalbey:
Power: I worked my ass off for that. F***ing INDYCAR!! Cindric: That’s not doing us any good now, is it? Get your head on straight and go.
— More Front Wing (@MoreFrontWing) July 6, 2014
That penalty and another pit stop on Lap 189 to top off for fuel dropped Power to an eventual 10th place finish, despite leading 69 laps. With Castroneves second and the race a double-points affair, Power’s 39-point gap was erased and the two are now tied.
A somewhat speechless Power, undoubtedly frustrated in the heat of the moment post-race, then told NBCSN’s Jon Beekhuis, “I’m sure Townsend (Bell) and them up in the booth will have their say on it.”
Both Paul Tracy and Bob Varsha had comebacks for the attempt. PT’s take? “They told me to call it like I see it, and that was a double move.” Tracy tweeted this after the race:
How do I get heat from willyP for his mistakes ????? — paul tracy (@paultracy3) July 6, 2014
Varsha, filling in for Leigh Diffey this weekend and calling his first IndyCar race since the 2003 Champ Car season, simply said “It is what it is, dude,” when a graphic flashed up showing Power’s five penalties called this season.
Power hit pit equipment in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, got a pit speed violation in the Indianapolis 500 and at Texas, got a contact penalty for taking out Josef Newgarden, Justin Wilson and Graham Rahal in Detroit Race 2, and now had this penalty for blocking issued today. Surprisingly, Power has not been placed on probation by INDYCAR despite the rash of penalties.
— Mattzel89 (@Mattzel89) July 6, 2014