With four races remaining in the IZOD IndyCar Series season, Will Power remains among the 13 drivers in championship contention, but unlike the last three seasons, the Australian is happy to assist Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves in securing the series title instead of striving for his own.
It’s a different position for Power, who is eighth in the standings after finishing as the series’ runner-up the past three seasons. A bright spot, in what has been an atypical season for Power, occurred Aug. 25 on Power’s personal playground – Sonoma Raceway – where he won the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma for the third time in the past four years.
“Of course I would love to be in the battle right now,” said Power, who beat Justin Wilson of Dale Coyne Racing to the finish line by 1.1930 seconds. “We just have had one of those years where things don’t flow. But it’s slowly coming on.
“Obviously, next year’s mind-set is different. This year is to make sure Helio wins the championship. We’re going to help him any way possible for the next four races.”
Castroneves, who finished seventh in the 85-lap race on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn course, takes a 39-point lead over Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon into the Sept. 1 Grand Prix of Baltimore on a 2-mile street circuit.
It was Power’s 19th career victory and first of the season. He’s the 10th different winner through 15 rounds. That list includes four first-time winners (James Hinchcliffe, Takuma Sato, Simon Pagenaud and most recently Charlie Kimball on Aug. 4 at Mid-Ohio).
The record is 11 different winners during the 20-race 2001 CART season, which matched the 20-race 2000 season.
Power presented Team Penske its fifth consecutive victory at Sonoma and secured his fifth top-five finish of the season. The victory was his first since April 29, 2012, at Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Power said he’s “learned a lot about myself” through the uncharacteristic results on the mixture of road/street courses and ovals.
“I just think you start really looking close at your weaknesses,” he said. “My oval performance wasn’t very good. This year I definitely had to get points on ovals because we weren’t winning races on road courses. Also, the mental aspect. I really believe it makes you stronger, having a year like this. You’ll come back next year a serious contender.”
2013 IZOD INDYCAR SERIES WINNERS
|James Hinchcliffe||St. Petersburg RC||4||1|
|Ryan Hunter-Reay||Barber RC||1||10|
|Takuma Sato||Long Beach RC||4||1|
|Tony Kanaan||Indianapolis Oval||12||16|
|Mike Conway||Detroit RC||2||2|
|Simon Pagenaud||Detroit RC||6||1|
|Helio Castroneves||Texas Oval||6||28|
|Scott Dixon||Pocono Oval||17||32|
|Charlie Kimball||Mid-Ohio RC||5||1|
|Will Power||Sonoma RC||3||19|