Will Power ready to take on Portland's IndyCar Race
Will Power is on a roll. The 41 year-old driver from Toowoomba, Australia, is looking for his second NTT IndyCar Series championship, and his second victory here in Portland. Driving the No. 12 Team Penske car, sponsored by Verizon, Power has finished on the podium seven times this year, winning the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix in June.
Right now, Power holds a slim 6-point lead over Scott Dixon, but that could change this weekend at the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis, Missouri. After that, the Grand Prix of Portland takes place Sept. 2-4. Power won here in 2019, but there was no race in 2020 and competitor Álex Palou took first place in 2021. So there's a lot riding on the Portland event for both Power and Team Penske.
We reached Power by phone this week to ask how he's preparing for the Grand Prix.
"I've got a great crew this year," he said, "And I'm also performing probably on the highest levels of my career. So that combination of things is really working."
For cars that operate at the extreme performance level of an IndyCar, even subtle changes in temperature and weather can have a big impact on how to approach a race. Power will be testing his car at PIR next week to dial in his car for the track.
"I think we'll get some really good insight into how the track is going to be, and we'll be able to try a lot more than we got to try last year," Power explained. "Last year, the Ganassi team tested at Portland and they finished first and third. So we're hoping this test day will be really beneficial."
With the test day under his belt, Power is optimistic about his chances on Labor Day weekend.
"Portland is one of my favorite tracks," he declared. "It is a track that clicks well with me, really suits the way I drive. So I am looking forward to it. I know it's going to be extremely tight and tough, as far as competition. But Portland is one of the top three tracks where I feel like I always perform well."
That tough competition includes Dixon, who is filling up Power's mirrors in the points chase, Palou, who won the last race here, and several other contenders.
"Colton Herta will definitely be good," Power said. "Alexander Rossi will be good. I'd say that 20 people out of the field have a pretty good chance. You can't really pick a winner anymore. That's why I think it'll be a very exciting race and it's a very exciting part of this season. There's just one race to go after Portland, so Portland is an extremely important event. You're going to see everyone at the absolute top of their game."
In addition to the NTT IndyCar Series, the Grand Prix of Portland will host the ARCA Menards Series West and the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires at PIR on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4. The Road to Indy includes three classes of the open-wheel development ladder: Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship.
For ticket pricing, grandstand seating locations and additional festival information, visit portlandgp.com. Tickets start at just $20, and children 12 and under receive free general admission and access to the paddock. You can stay up to speed on the Grand Prix of Portland on social media by following #PortlandGP.
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