Will Power looks to extend recent run at another successful venue for him: Toronto

(Photo courtesy IndyCar/Shawn Gritzmacher)

When he missed the season opening race in St. Petersburg, Florida on March 13 due to an inner ear issue, Will Power was worried he’d never be able to make up the points he failed to gain by not competing.

Four months and nine races later, Power has more than made up what he lost at St. Pete.

And, what’s more, he’s riding a streak that has seen him climb from 12th place in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings to third place in just three races.

Of course, winning two of those races (Belle Isle Race 2 and Road America), and finishing runner-up Sunday at Iowa, have gone a long way towards helping Power roar back up in the standings.

“We’ve worked hard to get to this point after starting in a bit of a hole,” Power said.

Granted, he’s still 75 points behind Penske teammate and series leader Simon Pagenaud, but Power feels strongly that he can keep things going in the season’s six remaining races and potentially take a big cut into his teammate’s points lead in this Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto.

“The Verizon Chevy team has some really good momentum going right now,” Power said. “We’re in the championship hunt and, as we’ve seen before, anything can happen as the schedule shortens.”

Power has had great success at Toronto. In 11 total races between the Champ Car World Series and Verizon IndyCar Series, he has two wins (one in each series), four podiums, five top-fives, and two other top-10s.

In his last three visits to the temporary street course along Toronto’s Exhibition Place, downtown and along the lakeshore, Power has finished ninth (2014, Race 1), third (2014, Race 2) and fourth (2015).

“The results in Toronto have been good over the last couple of years,” Power said. “The circuit is challenging. There are several spots where you can find trouble.

“Track position will be really important. The whole team has been great over the last few races. We know how to win there, so I’m really looking forward to getting up there.”

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IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”