Tuesday, September 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

In the Pits: Power back in the spotlight following St. Pete win

By
April 02, 2014 |

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Will Power left a late dinner and headed out on foot through the downtown streets of St. Petersburg, where nearly every stranger he passed congratulated him on his win.

It was the same way at the restaurant, as diner after diner stopped by his table. Even the manager, who moved things around on a crowded Sunday night to accommodate the winner of the season-opening IndyCar Series race.

Power was a bit embarrassed. But attention is the price of winning, and Power had not done much of that over the last 23 months.

After opening the 2012 season with three consecutive wins, Power fell into an unusual slump. He didn’t win again that season, but used consistency to remain in the title hunt, only to cough away his chance at the title by crashing early in the finale.

It was a heartbreaking defeat for Power, who lost the championship in the final race of the season for the third consecutive year.

Losing is the lowest form of misery for the hyper-focused Australian. His fitness and diet regime are obsessive, his quirks can be considered eccentric and Power has been accused more than once of being consumed by racing and what it takes to be a champion.

Yet as he slumped through most of 2013 — he was winless the first 14 races and the one-year anniversary of his last victory came and went — Power found that he’d never been happier. He learned to accept defeat.

It required him learning how to let it go, to stop obsessing over the smallest of details, and to go into every race weekend determined to have some fun and not stress about the championship.

“I’ve just got to keep reminding myself, ‘It doesn’t matter if you lose,’” Power said after Sunday’s win. “You’ve just got to keep reminding yourself that it’s a race, and you race hard to win a race. I just race now, race hard. That’s the only way to think of it, not think of points.

“I want to win a championship, but I like winning races. Hopefully the two come together and it happens.”

It finally came together for Power in the 15th race last season at Sonoma, where he picked up his first win of the year. He won at Houston, and again in the season finale at Fontana, the same place he’d crashed away the championship a year before.

Power finished fourth in the final standings, his worst result since he became a full-time driver for Team Penske in 2010. But he won three of the final five races, and that was good enough for him.

“I hate attention. I just loved last year. No one paid attention. I could just do my thing,” he said. “I hope it continues. I don’t want people to talk about me. I like to be low key. I don’t like to be in the limelight.”

And he wasn’t during the offseason or the buildup to the St. Pete opener.

The attention was instead on new teammate Juan Pablo Montoya’s return to IndyCar after more than a decade away, or Tony Kanaan’s move to replace Dario Franchitti at Target/Chip Ganassi Racing. There was talk about Scott Dixon’s bid to defend his series title, Sebastien Bourdais’ quick pace in offseason testing and Ryan Hunter-Reay’s attempt to return to his championship form.

Nothing about Power.

That changed Sunday, when he led a race-high 74 of 110 laps and cruised to the win. That makes four of the last six, dating back to last season’s strong close, and now one can’t help but wonder if Power will again be in the mix to win everything this year.

“Will is quick no matter what. If he gets out in front, it’s going to be hard to take it away from him,” said Hunter-Reay, who beat Power for the title in 2012. “He’s going to be in the hunt for the championship no matter what, unless he has some crazy bad luck. Will definitely hasn’t skipped a beat. He’ll be a definite pain in the rear end this year.”

So whether he likes it or not, the attention is on Power. And no matter how hard he tries, he still can’t shake his compulsive urge to win every time he gets in the car.

But he can manage it a whole lot better.

“Can you have fun not winning? Do I have fun? No,” he admitted. “You know what? You come here to win. Good, hard racing is fun. You start at the back of the grid, you finish up third, that’s fun. There’s nothing worse than just struggling, though, not having the car or equipment to do well. That gives you a good hit — your self-confidence, you start to question yourself.

“I just remind myself that everyone is human, you’re capable of doing everything everyone else is if you work hard.”

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

US / World

California wildfire crews brace for weather shift

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
LA County sheriff’s deputies testing body cameras

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Bear suspected to have killed New Jersey hiker

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Poll: Support for gay marriage may be leveling off

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Islamic State militants kill 40 Iraqi troops

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sierra Leone, Liberia brace for new Ebola cases

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Islamist group kidnaps Frenchman in Algeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 3 Comments | Gallery

Pennsylvania governor confident ambush suspect will be caught

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Focus on UVa employee in student’s disappearance

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Prosecutor: 800 rounds found in intruder case

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments | Gallery

Islamic State offensive poses problems for Turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Study links changing winds to warming in Pacific

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Crews work to clear debris from Shasta mudslide

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial cartoon for Sept. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page:

 
Academia needs to act to protect college women

By Dan K. Thomasson | From Page:

 
.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Kris Jenner files to divorce Bruce Jenner

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Alaska TV reporter quits on air to promote pot

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Shonda Rhimes lays claim to Thursday nights on ABC

By Frazier Moore | From Page: | Gallery

 
Giuliani to help fight Noriega’s video game suit

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

‘The Lion King’ earns record box office

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Eric Lynch, Howard Stern’s diminutive foil, dies

By The Associated Press | From Page:

TVGrid Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Giants get closer, beat Dodgers 5-2 in 13 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Prep boys water polo: Mustangs go 3-0 in Dixon tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Prep boys soccer: Mustangs hold Indians to 0-0 draw

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
MNF: Bears hold on to beat Jets 27-19

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Jeff Samardzija pitches A’s past Angels 8-4

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Nebraska’s Abdullah: Jameis Winston must grow up

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders have to settle for moral victory

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Home of 49ers lineman Ray McDonald burglarized

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

Undisciplined play sends 49ers to 1-2 start

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Kicking game: It is called football, after all

By Barry Wilner | From Page:

US Soccer stands by Solo decision

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
FIFA ethics judge hesitates on World Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Braves fire GM Frank Wren after missing playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Royals beat Indians 2-0, gain on Tigers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Bettman says NHL proactive about off-ice conduct

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Silver: NBA will review domestic violence policies

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Concern over McIlroy, McDowell more about results

By The Associated Press | From Page:

NFL vetting process: There are no sure things

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Owner: ‘No misinformation’ by Ravens on Rice

By The Associated Press | From Page:

This date in sports history for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Kent creates scholarship for Cal women’s athletics

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Treasury to unveil steps to curb tax inversions

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Tesco suspends execs over inflated profit report

By The Associated Press | From Page:

GM expert says 21 deaths eligible for compensation

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Apple: 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

US existing home sales fall in August

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Investors fret Yahoo’s future, stock dips

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Businesses and investors pressing for green policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Garfield Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Beetle Bailey Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Frank and Ernest Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
B.C. Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6