INDIANAPOLIS – The weekend is now. Will Power needs to make his mark on the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season, or he may never be able to make up enough ground to catch his Team Penske teammates or the Chip Ganassi Racing guys for this year’s championship.
Yes, I know it’s still extremely early in the season, but a track like Barber is one that Power needs to capitalize on.
Power, moved from last to seventh in the season standings in just two races, as the Penske driver missed the season opening race at St. Pete due to a bad ear infection.
Due to a third place finish at Phoenix on Apr. 2 and a seventh last weekend in Long Beach, Power has made up 15 positions in two races in the season standings, as he needs to impose his will this weekend at the Barber Motorsports Park to move up higher.
If not, his progress may stall, as Simon Pagenaud, Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan are on a terror right now. Those five are competing for top sixes each race, so Power just getting by with a top five isn’t going to work anymore.
He needs wins and that needs to start this weekend.
Power, has made six career Barber starts as he has six top fives in those races. He has finishes of fourth, first, first, fifth, fifth and fourth respectively since 2010.
But, if he’s going to make up ground, he needs to win and not settle for another fourth or fifth place effort. Yes, a top five is great, but a win is needed to make up more ground.
What’s strange is, Penske and Ganassi drivers have combined to lead 422 of the 440 laps this season. Power has contributed to none of that though, as he’s yet to lead a lap this year.
His three other Penske teammates have combined to lead 262 of those 422 laps, but Power has been shutout.
That needs to change and could happen this weekend.
A hungry Power is a tough one to stop. That’s why I feel he’s the favorite this weekend despite not leading a lap yet this year. He’s motivated and a motivated Power is almost unbeatable.