Photo: IndyCar

Will Power feeling better, planning Tuesday test at Barber for return

Leave a comment

As he was cleared to drive on Wednesday, Will Power took time to discuss what happened to him during the weekend at St. Petersburg from the lead-in to the weekend through his being ruled out of competition.

“Yeah, feeling better, and obviously it’s great to be cleared to get back in the car again. That’s the best medicine you can have,” he said Wednesday during a conference call.

“I think obviously it was tough having to watch the race with someone else driving your car, but yeah, I mean, that’s just the way it went. Got to move forward.”

Power said he didn’t feel great going into the weekend, and things got worse as the weekend went on.

“Well, actually the third day when I turned up to track, I had very swollen glands around my ears. You know, so I wasn’t 100 percent then,” he explained.

“Obviously Dr. (Terry) Trammell and Dr. (Stephen) Olvey talked about the muscle tension, the neck was most probably the cause of the headaches. But I wasn’t — on Friday after the crash, I was okay. But I got out, felt fine, got in the car, felt fine, did practice, and then — yeah, it was that night that I started to feel — started to have some of these symptoms.

“Yeah, and then that kind of continued on into Saturday and kind of got worse, and then it came to the point where I had to say something to the medical staff.”

Power pressed on through qualifying, but was less inclined to drive afterwards come Sunday.

“Before qualifying I wasn’t feeling very good, and I wasn’t sure whether I should do it or not,” he said. “I was kind of keeping it to myself, and yeah, I just thought, I’ll just go out, see how it is, and kind of did one lap on black tires, and then just kind of went from there and just kept it short. I just really was just doing one more lap and a lap and then pitting. But yeah, I wasn’t feeling good at that point.

“Sunday morning, yeah, I was, yeah, that’s when I was questioning. Obviously it’s tough to say you don’t want to get in the race car, but I just had those symptoms that the doctors had talked about. So at that point it went to this SCAT test, and yeah, determined at that point that I had all the symptoms of a concussion.

“You know, it’s tough to say. Obviously I wanted to get in the car, but on the other hand, when you feel you’ve got a concussion, that’s also very concerning.”

Power said he’s less worried going forward about matters, as his infection feels better.

“My inner ear is feeling better. I don’t have headaches or nausea, and yes, I’ll be testing Barber next Tuesday to make up for the test. Yeah, that’ll be good to get back in the car.

“Actually I had an at-Phoenix test, and I actually had the infection when I was there, and it didn’t seem to be a problem. I’m not worried about that.”

James Hinchcliffe on Andretti: ‘It’s certainly the place I want to be’

Leave a comment

Since before the start of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, James Hinchcliffe tirelessly has worked to ensure the future would include a full-time return in 2021.

And with an opportunity to run the final three races this season with Andretti Autosport, there seems a surefire (albeit unlikely) path.

“If I go out and win all three,” Hinchcliffe joked with IndyCar on NBC announcer Leigh Diffey in an interview Friday (watch the video above), “it would be hard for them to say no, right?”

Regardless of whether he can go unbeaten at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course next weekend or the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida (where he earned his first career win in 2013), Hinchcliffe will have the chance to improve his stock with the team that he knows well and now has an opening among its five cars for 2021.

All three of Hinchcliffe’s starts this season — the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, July 4 at the IMS road course and the Indianapolis 500 — were with Andretti, where he ran full time in IndyCar from 2012-14.

“Obviously, the plan from January 2020 was already working on ’21 and trying to be in a full-time program,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed being reunited with Andretti Autosport, and everybody there has been so supportive. It’s been a very fun year for me on track. It’s been kind of a breath of fresh air in a lot of ways.

“It’s certainly the place I want to be moving forward. We’ve been working on that, working on those conversations. Genesys has been an incredible partner in my three races. We’ll be representing Gainbridge primarily, but Genesys will still have a position on our car in the last three.”

Gainbridge is the primary sponsor of the No. 26 Dallara-Honda that was vacated by Zach Veach, who left the team after it was determined he wouldn’t return in 2021. Hinchcliffe can empathize having lost his ride with Arrow McLaren SP after last season with a year left on his deal.

“You never want to earn a ride at the expense of somebody else in the sense that has happened here with Zach,” Hinchcliffe said. “I feel bad that he’s not able to see out the last three races of his season. I’ve got a lot of respect for him off track. He’s been a teammate this year, a colleague for years before that and honestly a friend for years before that. I’ve got a lot of time for him and his family. I understand a little bit of what it’s like in that position and what he’s going through.”

Hinchcliffe is ready to seize the moment, though, starting with the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He had been hoping to add the Harvest Indy Grand Prix to his schedule and had been working out for the possibility.

“Then last week I had given up hope (and) was resigned that wasn’t happening,” he said. “I told my trainer, ‘I think we’re done for this year.’ Three days later, this call comes. I’m glad we didn’t make that decision too early. I feel great physically.

“I look at it as a great opportunity to continue to show I’ve still got what it takes and should be there hopefully full time next year on the grid.”

Watch Hinchliffe’s video with Leigh Diffey above or by clicking here.