Power says it’s “surreal” to see his name with IndyCar idols
Grand Prix of Portland winner Will Power says that IndyCar’s all-time statistics have taken on an increasing relevancy to him as he’s seen his name rise higher in the rankings.
The Team Penske-Chevrolet driver, who scored his first U.S. open-wheel victory in Champ Car’s 2007 season-opener on the streets of Las Vegas driving for Walker Racing, earned the 37th win of his career on Sunday, lifting him to joint sixth in Indy car racing’s all-time winner’s list, with Sebastien Bourdais who dominated the last four years of Champ Car racing, 2004-’07.
Meanwhile his 57 pole positions ranks him second all-time behind the legendary Mario Andretti.
Asked post-race if he ever reflects on his statistics, Power replied: “Yeah, I do, actually. You know what? I get very disappointed in my career because of some of the things I've let go. I feel like I should have been champion more times.
“Look, after you win the [Indy] 500 you're very satisfied with your career and that paves the way, and then the next year you're like, ‘Man, I need to start winning races,’ and you get just… It's disappointing. Sometimes you can forget that you've had a great career.
“But it's a tough series. It's tough to win races, so any win you get, you're just over the moon.
“Any pole I get… is getting me closer to Mario’s all-time record, and any win I get moves me up the all-time list, and I think you'd be lying if you [said you] don't look at that stuff at times. You don't think about it when you're driving, but I know [Scott] Dixon would most definitely look at that stuff, too. He might say he doesn't!
“Because you're up amongst drivers that you idolized as a child, as a kid, so it's just kind of surreal that you can put yourself up amongst names like Mario Andretti, AJ Foyt, Michael Andretti, the Unsers… people that always seemed above me because it's somebody you idolized as a kid.
"It doesn't seem right to have your name amongst them, know what I mean? When you really idolized someone, even if you've reached the same level as them in your career, it just doesn't feel like… It still feels like they're above you, untouchable.”
Power said that the stats don’t spur him on, however.
“I just think competition and winning is what drives me,” he said. “I love to win, and the stats are just a bonus you can look at later in life and go, ‘Wow, that was a good career, yeah.’”
He went on to observe that the current field of drivers in the NTT IndyCar Series and the tightness of the competition will one day mean this era of U.S. open-wheel racing will one day be regarded as a classic.
“That's what I've been thinking lately,” said Power. “You've got to look at this generation as one of those generations when you had AJ, Mario, the Unsers as with Dixon and I'm sure [Alexander] Rossi and [Josef] Newgarden – these guys are going to be around for a long time.
"It's going to be an era that kids look up to, like ‘Wow, that was a great era of competitive Indy car racing, probably the most competitive era ever.’
“Yeah, I've kind of been thinking that. You look at the field, the series, the teams: it's just so cool to be a part of it right now, and it's growing, and the continuity of drivers, new teams coming in. It's fantastic.”
Indy car racing’s all-time race winners:
|5||Al Unser Sr.||39|
|9||Al Unser Jr.||34|
Indy car racing’s all-time pole winners:
|14||Gil de Ferran||21|
Will Power celebrates his first Indy car win, victory for Walker Racing in the 2007 Champ Car season-opener in downtown Las Vegas, ahead of Robert Doornbos and Paul Tracy.
Photo by: Kurt Dahlstrom
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