Power: “You’ve just gotta get it right, right out of the box”

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Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Will Power made a pit stop in Milwaukee yesterday as part of the pre-race promotion for the Milwaukee IndyFest weekend. He served up paninis and soup from the Simmer MKE food truck, then ran some demo laps at a go-kart facility here.

While here, he took the time to reflect on the Houston weekend and the level of competition he’s facing this year, as the driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet looks for his first career championship.

“I’m already over it,” Power told MotorSportsTalk, referring to Houston. “At the end of the day, with two laps to go, we were sitting third. So it wasn’t for a lack of speed or anything. It’s just Houston has not been kind to Team Penske the last couple years.”

Power was an animal in his first stint. After starting 18th, Power was already up to 13th by Lap 4, 10th by Lap 17, fifth by Lap 25 and then fourth when he pitted on Lap 29. Once the pit stop cycle completed its run, Power was in third and in podium contention until the parts failure that struck.

We continue to discuss the level of competitiveness the series currently has on display, and Power reiterated what a challenge it is to nail the setup perfectly once a team unloads on a race weekend.

“You’re to the point in the season now where you’ve just gotta get it right on the weekend, right out of the box,” Power said. “You don’t have time to do quite as much setup and preparation.”

He does like this current flow of races, where there’s six events in four weekends. But the recovery day after Houston was definitely needed before he came up to Milwaukee for the day.

From here it’s onto Pocono (Sunday, noon ET, NBCSN), and Power confirmed the key is to avoid losing too many points on this double points weekend.

“Double points can be a big hit with the guys you’re fighting with,” he said. “It’d be awesome to win. Anytime you win an oval you’d be bloody happy.”

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.