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

About this article

Series IndyCar
Event Birmingham
Drivers Will Power , Alex Palou
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing
Author David Malsher-Lopez
Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy Prime

Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy

Tino Belli, IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development, believes the changes to the underside of the cars will allow them to run closer at Indy and make passes. The moment of truth comes on its biggest stage, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
May 10, 2021
Colton Herta – America's next racing hero Prime

Colton Herta – America's next racing hero

Last Sunday, Colton Herta demolished his IndyCar opposition in the second round of the season. David Malsher-Lopez explains why Andretti Autosport’s youngest ace bears all the hallmarks of becoming the country’s next homegrown motorsport hero.

IndyCar
Apr 29, 2021
How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival? Prime

How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021
Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call Prime

Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call

The fight for supremacy in the NTT IndyCar Series will be as intense as ever. David Malsher-Lopez is your guide to the main contenders and six intriguing sub-plots.

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight? Prime

Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight?

With Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up, 2021 could be the year Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet joins the IndyCar elite, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team Prime

Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team

Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 10, 2021
Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed Prime

Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed

Last Friday, Marco Andretti announced he is withdrawing from fulltime IndyCar racing. David Malsher-Lopez explains how this third-gen racer was a puzzle in the car, but a straight shooter off-track.

IndyCar
Jan 19, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020