Considering he competed in one less race this season than most other full-time drivers due to a medical occurrence that forced him to miss the season opener, Will Power has nothing to hang his head about.
The odds started off against Power after missing St. Petersburg, yet he still rallied back for a strong season with four wins. The odds were also stacked against him coming into Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series season-ending GoPro Grand Prix Of Sonoma.
Still, he fought the odds all the way to the finish. Had it not been for a mechanical issue nearly halfway through Sunday’s race, who knows what might have happened if he had a full 16-race season under his belt.
Power didn’t give up going into Sunday’s race, which was essentially his mantra throughout the season. Even though he came into the race 44 points behind Simon Pagenaud, he still felt he had a chance to pull out a come-from-behind championship.
“It was pretty realistic (to catch Pagenaud) considering the situation of double points,” Power told NBCSN. “But that’s just how it flows, you know, from year to year.
“Simon did a phenomenal job and he’s a very deserving champion. To lead it one, two, three in the championship for (Team Penske) is a great result, it really is. Unfortunately for us, we really didn’t have a shot today.”
Power ultimately finished second behind Pagenaud in the standings, with Helio Castroneves ending up third, making it a 1-2-3 Team Penske finish in the final points in the 50th anniversary of Team Penske.
“Honestly, (finishing) second and missing the first race and all that and how I felt at the beginning of the year, getting four wins, I’m still very happy with the year,” Power said. “It’s still a great year.
“And Simon did a phenomenal job. He’s really come into his own. I’ve raced him for 10 years and I’m very happy to see him win the championship, even though I finished second to him.”