LONG BEACH, Calif – Heading into the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season, Will Power was among the favorites to win the season championship. After all, Team Penske had won three of the last four series titles, including two straight. The trend would fall back to Power as it was now his turn to hoist the Astor Cup championship trophy in Sonoma.
Instead, Power has had a trying year so far. He started second in the season opener at St. Pete, but he spun on the opening lap. He’d finish a disappointing 10th that day.
Then, last weekend in Phoenix, Power led a race-high 80 of the 250 laps but was caught up in a crash when he went side-by-side with Alexander Rossi with 102 laps-to-go in the race. Power, got his No. 12 Chevrolet into the marbles and his car wouldn’t turn. He slapped the outside SAFER barrier in Turn 2 and would finish 22nd in the 23 car field as a result.
That has him 14th in the season points standings heading into Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (4 p.m. ET/NBCSN/INDYCAR Radio Network).
“Last weekend at Phoenix was really unfortunate but we’re ready to head to Long Beach with a fresh start,” Power said. “Long Beach is a really fun street course that I really enjoy. The area is also full of great race fans which makes it even better. The No. 12 Verizon Chevy team has been working hard since St. Petersburg to work on our setup for street courses and I know we’re going to be bringing a really strong car. It’s also exciting that Team Penske’s IMSA program will be racing with us this weekend, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the team performs on that side too.”
See, Power has the opportunity to win again this weekend. He’s a past winner on the streets of Long Beach. In fact, in four of his first five starts in the prestigious race, he finished on the podium, including two victories. In the last five races though, he has just one top five finish. In the last four years, he’s led zero laps. That comes after leading laps in every race in his first six starts.
He also has two finishes of 13th or worse in his last three starts in Long Beach.
So, can Power get back up to pace this weekend or will he falter again and fall further down the standings?