After ending P2 on Thursday, Power says IMS defines May, season

Photo: IndyCar

A few things have changed throughout the years, but one thing remains true. The month of May is about Indy, and only Indy.

The month leading up to the Indy 500 was once spent strictly in preparation for that iconic race, but as the sport evolved, so has the preparation needed to go fast on this course.

“Obviously it was a month long back in the day because people were bringing new cars every year,” Will Power said on Thursday after setting the second fastest time in practice for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the speedway’s infield road course. “You really had to spend a lot of time sorting it out.

“You don’t need that much time on the oval anymore,” Power added. “You can just drive round and round and round and not learn much.”

While the grandeur of the Indy 500 has not changed, and more pressure than ever may be present in 2016 since this is the 100th running of that race, the month of May on this track has become more of a microcosm of the season. To win the championship, drivers now have to show success both on road courses and ovals.

“You got to think that IndyCar is about versatility,” Power said. “You got both disciplines here, road course and oval. If you could win both, that would be such a great achievement, you could now boast both wins.”

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield road course is not just any circuit. It was designed to host the United States Grand Prix when Formula 1 returned to America in 2000 after an eight-year hiatus. And for that reason, this track has a distinct cosmopolitan feel with hints of Barcelona and Silverstone, according to Power.

“It’s a track I really enjoy because it’s technical. It’s very much like a European track. You can drive the car in a different way that you can’t drive it on any other circuit.”

Power won last year’s edition of this race and hasn’t won since, which is one reason “it’s definitely one of my favorites. It’s a lot of fun. I think it races well, too. With the long straights and everything, creates good racing. Hopefully we can see a lot of passing in the race.”

That sentiment is limited in scope, however. “If I’m in front, hopefully not.”

Follow: @FantasyRace

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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