Team Penske’s Will Power begins his quest for a second NTT IndyCar Series title this weekend hoping to banish memories of an inconsistent start to last season.
Power endured an erratic and ultimately frustrating 2018 that saw him finish 3rd in points, despite claiming 3 race wins and five top 5 finishes. Two DNFs in the opening four races of the season proved costly in a championship that was defined by exceptional consistency.
The 2018 Indy 500 champion expects another tight championship battle and believes a strong start at the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is essential if he wants to be in contention.
St. Pete race pivotal to championship challenge
“St. Pete is a really important race because if you do well, it can give you great momentum that can help lead to the championship race at Laguna Seca, so we’re really keeping that in mind”, said Power.
The Australian’s track record at the Florida street circuit boasts two wins and two podiums but recent form has been hard to come by with a single top 10 finish his best result in the past 3 years.
Productive offseason testing has given Power cause for optimism that he can avoid a repeat of last year’s messy start to the season.”We had a couple of helpful tests and gathered a lot of data that we believe is going to help us start strong this season.” said the 32-time race winner.
Power continued: “I’m excited to head to St. Pete. I’m a big fan of street-course racing because there’s nothing like the energy from the fans, and St. Pete is always a really fun place.”
Ready to get back to work in St. Petersburg
Leading into St. Petersburg this weekend Power is in a relaxed and confident mood following the post-season break: “The offseason was great. I was able to spend a lot of time with family and I really enjoyed it.”
“It was an awesome break but now we’re ready to get back to work.”
The 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season starts with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend. Practice runs Friday, March 8 with qualifying Saturday, March 9.
The green flag drops at 1.30pm (ET) Sunday, March 10 for 110 laps around the 14-turn temporary street course. Both qualifying and the race will be broadcast live on NBCSN.