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IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis

Points-leader Power on GP Indy: “It was a day to be smart”

New IndyCar points leader Will Power admitted that seeing his principal championship rivals encounter trouble in the GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis, he did start thinking in terms of points.

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

The Team Penske-Chevrolet driver, who started the race from the 64th pole position of his career, finished third, so that his finish tally after the first five races of the season reads 3-4-4-4-3.

The 2014 champion now heads the championship table, 14 points ahead of defending series title winner, Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s Alex Palou, who spun and lost a lap in the GP of Indy, eventually coming home 18th. With his teammates Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden also suffering problems (a spin and a shunt, respectively), and Pato O’Ward trying a too-bold strategy of running slicks on a wet surface, Power elected to choose caution over valor in the treacherous conditions. He came home third behind Colton Herta and former teammate Simon Pagenaud.

“It was one of those sort of days you're thinking points when you see Palou out and you see Newgarden out and a couple of the main contenders that you are going to be fighting. You start thinking a little bit that way.

“Honestly it's not that good to think about points, but sometimes you have to be smart about it. You know Palou is going to be the guy and obviously Newgarden as well. It's just one of those days where if you can finish in the top six, you're going to get a good chunk of points on those guys.

“If I had the car to win and the chance to win without big risk, I would definitely have gone for it. If it had been a constant [track] condition, it would have been a different story, but it was just too easy to get caught out by a patch of water. It's just a day to be smart and finish.”

Describing the conditions in the final stint, as the rain came harder, Power explained: “Man, you could not see a thing. There was spray in front of me. I don't know how it was behind one car, but just two cars… I couldn't imagine being back in 10th.

“You don't know if someone [ahead] is braking early or you are kind of looking to the fence to get a reference, you kind of lift early. But you don't want to lift too early because no one can see from behind.

“Yeah, pretty crazy day. One to stay on your toes and know when to pick the right tire and definitely not overdo it. Yeah, real happy with third with a day like that. Just survival.”

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