FORT WORTH, TX — Will Power has always said that if he can start the seasons off better, then watch out. He’s consistently ended the years strong, it’s just the beginning of them that have been his Achilles heel.
Well, Power got the finishes that he’s needed. While he hasn’t won yet, a third and fourth place results to start 2022 off which is vastly better than he’s started recent seasons off with. As an example, a runner-up last year in Barber to kick off 2021 was good but his results after wasn’t.
Power’s podium that day in Barber was his only top five in the first eight races. Furthermore, half of those eight saw him finish 13th or worse. He’d then score three podiums in a five race span after before cooling off in the final three races of that season.
Heading into this season, if you combine the first two races over the last six years (12 starts), he’s had just three top fives and five top 10’s.
Now, he has a pair of top fives.
“I’m really, really happy to start out this way,” Power said. “I think anytime you’re on the podium, anytime you have a top 5 that’s not the day you’re going to look back and go, oh, that cost me the championship. If you can keep rattling off those top 5s you’re going to be in the game. Definitely happy with the result.”
In saying this, the first race he’s been getting down. St. Pete was the 3rd podium in the last 4 years of the season opener. It’s the second race that he’s had the problem. The finishes of the second race in the past three years prior to today?
24th, 20th and 8th respectively. He was 13th and 22nd respectively in the two years prior to that.
Next we go to Long Beach to where Power’s a multi-time winner there as well.
As to what he needs to do for this season now to turn this into a potential championship one?
“Finish really well in the double points race at Indy like we didn’t last year, and have my car start when I’m leading in Detroit,” he jokes. “That group of points right there probably would have put me in the game. So there’s a big chunk right there.
“But honestly, it’s those days that really got us. Like we were in — we were going to be a top 5 at Indy and then the brakes went to the floor and I had no brakes and then couldn’t pit really, and then in Detroit obviously the thing didn’t start.
“But those little gremlins, those little things are the things we look back as things that really cost us, kind of things out of my control, but I also reflect and look at where I can be better, as well. If that all comes together, I really believe we can win the championship and be right there, at least a contender right until the end.”