IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: Will Power

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MotorSportsTalk looks through the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, following the conclusion of the season at the end of August at Sonoma Raceway.

In 2015, defending champion Will Power had a roller-coaster campaign, but still ended third.

Will Power, No. 1 Team Penske Chevrolet

  • 2014: Champion, 3 Wins, 4 Poles, 7 Podiums, 8 Top-5, 15 Top-10, 623 Laps Led, 8.5 Avg. Start, 6.4 Avg. Finish
  • 2015: 3rd Place, 1 Win, 6 Poles, 3 Podiums, 7 Top-5, 10 Top-10, 298 Laps Led, 4.1 Avg Start, 9.4 Avg. Finish

The champion had a less-than-successful title defense, but not a terrible season, to still end third in points. In many respects, Will Power’s 2015 was similar to his 2013 campaign – decent throughout, but never fully in title contention.

Power started his season strongly and after the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, site of his lone win this year, looked on top form. It was a typical Power/Penske masterclass where he left the field in his wake, led more than 60 of 82 laps, and positioned himself nicely for the rest of the month of May.

And then the Indianapolis 500 happened. Power’s had plenty of second-place finishes before, but ending second to teammate Juan Pablo Montoya after a month where he felt so on form was a bitter pill to swallow.

From there it was hard to see the forest through the trees. Power didn’t reach another podium all season – three fourth-place finishes were his lone top-fives in the final 10 races of the year. Add in contact with teammate Helio Castroneves in Detroit, Takuma Sato in Fontana and Ryan Briscoe in Milwaukee – none really his fault – and suddenly Power’s race weekends weren’t ending where you thought they should.

Power’s qualifying was as ever, brilliant. Power had a series-high six poles, five additional front-row starts and a series-leading 4.1 grid average in 2015. But like Simon Pagenaud, the results didn’t fully measure up as he ended worse than he started in 13 of 16 races. It’s inevitable when you’re starting up front you’ll end worse, but Power didn’t have near the full complement of results you’re used to seeing.

Nevertheless, in spite of a sarcastic comment about clinching early in 2016 which was actually said in jest, Power should return to full championship form next year and return to winning multiple races. It says something about Power’s ability level that this was his first full-time season with Penske in six years that he won only one race.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.