Power: Palou’s pace, fuel mileage “blew my mind”

Will Power, who finished runner-up at IndyCar’s season-opener at Barber Motorsports Park, admits that winner Alex Palou’s combination of speed and fuel mileage initially convinced him he was on a different pitstop strategy.

The Team Penske-Chevrolet ace finished just 0.4sec adrift of Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s newest winner, but in the first stint Palou had been able to keep pace with the three-stopping leaders, Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi – something that neither Power nor the pursuing Scott Dixon (Ganassi) were quite able to do.

Once O’Ward and Rossi made their first stops, Palou was able to pull more than six seconds on Power before making his first of only two stops, so although Power went two laps longer, he emerged still behind the Ganassi car. At the second stop, Power went one lap longer than Palou and Dixon, but again emerged between them, albeit closer.

Into the closing laps, the two veterans hunted down the series sophomore but weren’t given free rein to use their push to pass boost until the dying laps because they were marginal on fuel, so couldn’t take full advantage of Palou getting held up in traffic.

Power told NBC: “I made that one little mistake at Turn 9 but with the amount of push to pass I had left it could have been pretty good. I did have to save some fuel, and had enough to use push to pass for the last two laps.

“But it just blew my mind how fast Alex was in that first stint. I had absolutely nothing for him; he just pulled away, so I figured he was doing a three-stop race, because I was getting the best lap time I could for the fuel number [target].

“But I’m super happy to get the Verizon 5G car on the podium. We’ve had a pretty bad start to the season for the last four years, so it’s awesome to get a really good start to the season.

“I said to the guys, ‘If we do this week in, week out – solid races with no mistakes – I absolutely promise you we will have a great chance to win the championship.’”

Power has 39 wins and 62 poles to his name, but is still seeking a second IndyCar championship to add to his 2014 title.

shares
comments

Related video

Newgarden apologizes for opening lap chaos at Barber
Previous article

Newgarden apologizes for opening lap chaos at Barber

Next article

Jimmie Johnson escapes “scary moments” to finish on IndyCar debut

Jimmie Johnson escapes “scary moments” to finish on IndyCar debut
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021