Will Power stays focused through wife Liz’s latest setback despite stress: ‘I miss her here’


ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – A very eventful offseason – and unfortunately often not for good reasons – took another rough turn this week for Will Power and his wife, Liz.

Battling a staph infection that already had been touch and go enough to force her husband’s withdrawal from the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, Liz Power was hospitalized for the second time in two months this week.

The ordeal began Sunday night with a 911 phone call that led to a 2 a.m. hospital visit. Liz returned to the hospital later and was held overnight before being released Tuesday.

It’s been a lot to handle for Will Power, who will begin defense of his second NTT IndyCar Series championship with Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, but the Team Penske star always has been a creature of habit.

The Australian has found comfort in his routines despite being at the season opener without Liz (and their son, Beau) for the first time in several years.

CHAMPIONSHIP PREMONITION: How Liz Power knew months early her husband would win the 2022 title

SEASON OPENERDetails for watching the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend

“I’ve done this for so long that it’s about what your focus is when you get in the car,” Power said Friday before the opening practice session. “Honestly, you can know it so well that once you’re locked in the car, there’s not even a thought of anything outside of that. So I know that from years of experience.

“I’ve had tough times in my career and then just got in the car and totally performed and hasn’t even been a thing. Getting back in your office and you’re on your game. I’ve done all the fitness and prep work anyway. I don’t feel I’ve missed out on anything.”

OPENING PRACTICE: Speeds from the first session of the 2023 season

Power, IndyCar’s all-time best qualifier with a record 68 poles, seemed on his game Friday when many IndyCar stars weren’t during a 75-minute practice marred by several incidents and two red flags. Power, who has qualified first for nine of the past 13 races at St. Pete, posted the eighth-fastest lap in a session led by Scott Dixon, Colton Herta and Alex Palou.

Family have helped care for Liz and Beau at their home in Troutman, North Carolina, ensuring he’s getting regular sleep. Liz’s brother also is coming to St. Petersburg to ensure Will has company this weekend.

“All that’s been good,” Will said. “We’ve had it organized that way. It’s just seeing Liz struggle sucks. It really does. Someone who’s always up and going to be somewhat bedridden and unable to do a lot of what she normally does.

“It sucks her not being at the race. I know how much she loves it. I love having her here. Loving having my son here. That’s lonely.”

Liz Power has been an ubiquitous presence at the racetrack as her husband’s biggest supporter. After winning the 2022 championship, Will Power credited having confidence from a preseason premonition by Liz that he would win the title.

“Just leaving home without them is sad. Obviously you got FaceTime and all that stuff, so I’m calling her multiple times in the day. Yeah, it’s nothing you can do about it.”

After complications from surgery, Liz was hospitalized for several days in mid-January, and Will nixed his sports car debut at Daytona to care for her.

He remains optimistic that Liz will get the good news in a couple of weeks that the infection is virtually gone, and her blood is sterile.

“The doctors said just get through (mid-March),” said Will Power, whose tumultuous offseason also included fractured ribs in a go-karting crash. “She did see a spine doctor, and the healing looked good, but the infection is the key thing to get under control. She’s still going to be on antibiotics into April. It was 12 weeks they wanted it, so just praying that eliminates it completely. And the numbers on the blood just keep going down. It’s going slowly, but it’s heading in the right direction.”

So are things for Power, who turned 42 Wednesday heading into his 18th season. Though he declined to discuss specifics, Power said he is set to continue driving Penske’s No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet beyond the 2023 season, and sponsor Verizon recently announced an extension.

Power told NBC Sports that he intended to drive into his mid-40s.

“We’re all good,” Power said. “We know what’s going on going forward (and) set beyond this year. Just leave it at that. We don’t talk about contracts at Penske.

“As long as I’m competitive, we’ll just take it as it comes.”

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Seattle


The final results from the Monster Energy Supercross race in Seattle suggests the season is turning into a two-rider battle as Eli Tomac scored his sixth win of the season to tie Cooper Webb for the points’ lead and Chase Sexton crashed in yet another race.

Tomac downplayed the neck strain that caused him to lose the red plate for two weeks, but without that holding him back, it would appear it might have been a bigger problem than he admitted. Despite finishing on the podium in Detroit, Tomac has not shown the late-race strength everyone has come to expect. He was in a slump after scoring a season-worst in Indianapolis and described his sixth win as a “bounce back”.

With this win, Tomac tied James Stewart for second on the all-time list with 50 career Supercross victories. Six rounds remain and there is no sign that Tomac is slowing down. Jeremy McGrath’s 72 wins remains untouchable, for the moment at least.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Overall Results; Click here for 250 Overall Results

Cooper Webb was disappointed with second-place, but he recognized the Supercross results at Seattle could have been much worse. He rode in fifth for the first nine laps of the race, behind Tomac and Sexton. When Sexton crashed from the lead and Tomac took the top spot, Webb knew he could not afford to give up that many points and so he dug deep and found enough points to share the red plate when the series returns in two weeks in Glendale, Arizona for a Triple Crown event.

Justin Barcia scored his third podium of the season, breaking out of a threeway tie of riders who have not been the presumed favorites to win the championship. Barcia scored the podium without drama or controversy. It was his fourth consecutive top-five and his 10th straight finish of eighth or better.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Jason Anderson kept his perfect record of top-10s alive with a fourth-place finish. Tied for fourth in the standings and 49 out of the lead, his season has been like a death of a thousand cuts. He’s ridden exceptionally well, but the Big Three have simply been better.

Sexton rebounded from his fall to finish fifth. He entered the race 17 points out of the lead and lost another five in Seattle. Mistakes have cost Sexton 22 points in the last three races and that is precisely how far he is behind Tomac and Webb. Unless those two riders bobble, this deficit cannot overcome.

The rider who ties Anderson for fourth in the points, Ken Roczen finished just outside the top five in sixth after he battled for a podium position early in the race.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

The 250 West riders got back in action after four rounds of sitting on the sideline and Jett Lawrence picked up where he left of: in Victory Lane. Lawrence now has four wins and a second-place finish in five rounds. One simply doesn’t get close to perfection than that.

Between them, the Lawrence brothers have won all but two races though 11 rounds. Jett failed to win the Anaheim Triple Crown and Hunter Lawrence failed to win the Arlington Triple Crown format in the 250 East division. In two weeks, the series has their final Triple Crown race in Glendale. When he was reminded of this from the top of the Seattle podium, Jett replied, “oof”.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

RJ Hampshire finished second in the race and is second in the points. This is fourth time in five rounds that Hampshire finished second to Lawrence. If not for a crash-induced 11th-place finish in the Arlington Triple Crown, he would be much closer in the points standings. With that poor showing, he is 23 points behind Lawrence.

Cameron McAdoo made a lot of noise in his heat. Riding aggressively beside Larwence, the two crashed in the preliminary. McAdoo could never seem to get away from Hampshire in the Main and as the two battled, the leader got away. It would have been interesting to see how they would have raced head-to-head when points were on the line.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 West Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

The Supercross results in Seattle were kind to a couple of riders on the cusp of the top five. Enzo Lopes scored his second top-five and fourth top-10 of the season after crossing the finish line fourth in Seattle.

Tying his best finish of the season for the third time, Max Vohland kept his perfect record of top-10s alive. Vohland is seventh in the points.

2023 Results

Round 11: Eli Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 10: Chase Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Cooper Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s