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2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Year in Review: Will Power

 

After missing the first race of the season due to concussion-like symptoms, Will Power fought back to finish second in points to Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud.

 

Points Finish: 2nd

Car No.: 12

Driver Name: Will Power

Team Name: Team Penske

Total Races: 15

Victories: 4 – Detroit, Road America, Toronto and Pocono

Podiums: 7

Top-Fives: 8

Top-10s: 10

Average Start: 5.7

Average Finish: 7.9

DNFs: 3

 

Entering the 2016 season on the heels of his sixth straight top-four finish in points, Will Power was considered one of the early favorites for the championship. Unfortunately, fate intervened and concussion-like symptoms which actually developed due to an inner-ear issue following a wreck in practice resulted in Power missing the season opener race at St. Petersburg.

Once he was cleared to race a week later, he began to put up the numbers immediately as he finished in the top-seven in the next three races. However, while other seasons have been smooth, he had a rough patch through May with only one finish inside the top-10, losing valuable points he couldn’t afford to lose. Like a true champion, though, he fought back and posted six straight top-two finishes, including four wins, to put himself back into championship contention.

Despite being able to close the gap right back down, a crash at Watkin’s Glen and a mechanical issue at Sonoma ultimately handed him the runner-up points finish.

Highlight of 2016 – The summer stretch, which included six straight top-two finishes, including four wins, to put himself back into championship contention.

Downfall of 2016 – Ending off the season with a pair of 20th place finishes ultimately resulted in him coming up short to Pagenaud.

Road/Street Course Analysis – Everybody knows Power does better on the road and street courses versus the ovals due to his background. It showed as three of his four wins came on these style of tracks for a total of five top-fives and six top-10s in 10 races.

Oval Analysis – While he isn’t known as an oval specialist by a long shot, he has gotten better over the years, which has helped his stock as a driver. This year, he performed in the five oval events, finishing inside in the top-10 in each of the five races, including a win at Pocono Raceway.

Notes for 2017 – The numbers dictate Power isn’t losing his touch by any means. If he can avoid some of the troubles which plagued him late in the season this year, he could very well return to the top step of the podium in 2017.

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By Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.