It’s been a tough start to the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season for Team Penske’s Will Power.
He started second at the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, but spun on the first lap and backed into the wall, damaging his rear wing, and he could only rebound to finish 10th.
He looked strong at the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix, leading a race high 80 laps. But, wall contact on Lap 153 ended his night early and saw him finish 22nd.
However, Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach saw a welcome change in fortune for the 2014 IndyCar champion. Power qualified a solid second, and finished second behind race winner Alexander Rossi.
Still, despite recording his best finish of the season, Power still was disappointed to miss out on victory, noting that he tried getting Rossi to use up his push-to-pass in the final laps, but his efforts were to no avail as he didn’t have anything to mount a serious challenge.
“I needed to get close enough to him to make him use his, but I just stayed at that one-second gap, just kind of couldn’t make time on him enough to use it up,” Power said. “But yeah, it’s like qualifying every lap for both of us there at the end. At the end of the day, I mean, Rossi was just too fast all day, just really good. Yeah, that’s pretty much all we had.”
Power’s second-place finish moves him into eighth in the championship with 72 points heading into next weekend’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.