Will Power pulls off recovery of the season at Pocono

Will Power had numerous issues in Sunday’s IndyCar race, including issues with his rear wing. Yet somehow he came back from a lap down to take an extraordinary win.

For much of the race, it looked like it would come down to a battle between the Andretti’s of Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay, who had come from last after a 139g crash in qualifying. Power had gone a lap down thanks to front wing damage, then rear wing damage and lost a heap of time to the front runners.

But subsequent caution periods and great strategy from the Penske team saw him begin a charge through the field in the second half of the race to slowly work his way up to the front. At the penultimate stops, Penske left Power out on track and this allowed him to set the fastest lap of the race as the leaders came into the pits.

Source: Verizon IndyCar Series

He made his stop later than them and emerged with an incredible 4.5 second lead which stunned everyone. The field then had to give chase, the charge lead by Scott Dixon, Rossi, and Tony Kanaan but laps were rapidly running out.

The key to getting back up to Power was strategy. Power came in earlier than most for his final stop of the race. Rossi had somehow lost the knob for his engine settings and it was stuck in a lower mode of power, causing him issues on restarts but he still had the pace thereafter. He stayed out longer than Power and after all the stops had shaken out he was up to second.

Then Josef Newgarden, who was one of the last to stop, got past Rossi but the two of them dragged themselves up to the back of Power. It set up an amazing end to what had been a frenetic race, with position changes all through the field. The lead battle had feature Dixon, Graham Rahal, Kanaan, Rossi, Hunter-Reay and produced a great show. But it came down to the two Penske’s and the Andretti car of Power, Newgarden and Rossi.

Newgarden attacked Power through the final three laps with Rossi waiting to pounce but losing out with his engine mixture issue. He was glued to them and ready to attack but somehow Power managed to hold off the pair of them, to take his third win of the year as Newgarden extended his championship lead.

Power’s display had been one of pure brilliance, a true champions drive. It looked like he was down and out after his rear wing issue, and no one really gave him a look as the race went on. But he stuck right at it and really proved how in IndyCar on the big speedways, you should not give up because it is never over.

Maybe if Rossi’s engine switch hadn’t come off it would have been a different story. Perhaps he’d have snagged the win. But Power was on it and put on one of the best defensives displays of the season. He is still in with a shout of this championship. It is a long shot. But he showed that anything can happen…