Will Power Bests Romain Grosjean at Indianapolis

At last, Will Power can sign his name as the latest NTT INDYCAR Series race winner. (Photo: Stephen Conley | The Podium Finish)

At last, Will Power can sign his name as the latest NTT INDYCAR Series race winner. (Photo: Stephen Conley | The Podium Finish)

By all means, Will Power showcased his might and utmost confidence in Saturday’s Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix at Indianapolis.

Indeed, the 40-year-old Toowoomba, Queensland, New Zealand native brought the fight in his No. 12 Verizon 5G/Car Shop Dallara Chevrolet. Ahead of the 12th round of the 2021 NTT INDYCAR Series season, Will Power only logged two podiums.

However, the 2014 champion set his sights forward on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Certainly, Will Power showcased why he’s the all-time road course winner at the Speedway, Ind. venue (four wins prior to Saturday’s race).

Starting from the second position, Power kept himself in the fight while polesitter Patricio O’Ward led the opening 15 laps. By lap 21, Power took the lead from Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud.

All in all, aside from pit stop cycles, Power truly dominated at the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course. In this case, Power might’ve felt like he was back home again in Indiana.

Despite a lap 77 caution involving Josef Newgarden and Rinus VeeKay, nobody had an answer for Power. Surely, when the race ultimately restarted on lap 79, Power drove onto seven coronation laps.

Once Power took the checkered flag, suffice to say, he was jubilant in Indianapolis’ hallowed victory lane.

The OG brought the 5G machine to victory lane. (Photo: Stephen Conley | The Podium Finish)

The OG brought the 5G machine to victory lane. (Photo: Stephen Conley | The Podium Finish)

“I can’t begin to tell you what it means to win these days,” Power said. “When you are in your 40s and still kicking butt, it’s awesome. You can’t doubt yourself, you just have to keep digging. I wasn’t feeing safe until there was literally one to go. The misfortunes we’ve had at times have been a struggle. It’s a tough series. There are many many components that have to right. Everyone has to do their job perfectly. And that’s what we did today. Winning is important for Roger Penske, especially here. Very very happy.”

Particularly, Power shook off the bad luck that’s plagued his 2021 season. While the championship may be out of sight, Power understood the significance of his 38th career win.

“Roger [Penske] has had a rough year as far as the team goes,” Power observed. “I’m really happy for the whole group. Because it’s not for lack of effort. They worked really hard during the Month of May. And we were all scratching our heads at the end. I’ve been here six times now (five for road course wins, one Indy 500 win) in this victory lane; pretty special place for me. This win goes to the whole group; they deserve it more than me.”

Surely, Power’s victory eases the disappointment of the first Belle Isle race, a heartbreaking Indianapolis 500 and the Mid-Ohio accident. As Power noted, he felt like it was the ideal race day.

"It's right in my zone, right in my wheelhouse when I'm like that." - Will Power (Photo: Stephen Conley | The Podium Finish)

“It’s right in my zone, right in my wheelhouse when I’m like that.” – Will Power (Photo: Stephen Conley | The Podium Finish)

“It’s just great when you get in that zone where you’re just seeing the tenths grow behind you,” Power observed. “Because you have it on your dash, you can see, and you just start getting a little nitpicking, like little tiny details and slowly pulling away. It’s a great feeling. It’s right in my zone, right in my wheelhouse when I’m like that. That was another day like that for me. Yeah, love it. It’s my life. Like I just love competing, but it’s just winning is absolutely what makes me happy. I’m very moody when I haven’t won for a while; just ask my wife.”

Meanwhile, former Formula 1 stalwart Romain Grosjean enjoyed another runner-up at Indianapolis. Significantly, Grosjean adds to his incredible legacy in the second stanza of his racing career.

“It’s been a cool weekend,” Grosjean said. “Very competitive with the team for the last few races. We’ve had a good car all day long and we fought at the front. Obviously, I would like to be first. If every time, I come to Indianapolis and finish second, I’m happy with that. We ran out of push to pass early.

“I had to use quite a bit early in the race to get through the lapped cars. Through the end, they all had more than I did. Whenever the restart happened, I just knew I had to go flat out and tried not to make any mistakes.”

Ultimately, Power, who gleamed after his first win of the year, observed how he’d take in his win in mellow fashion.

Champion, Phoenix and Future. (Photo: Stephen Conley | The Podium Finish)

Champion, Phoenix and Future. (Photo: Stephen Conley | The Podium Finish)

“Man, I am absolutely going hard when I go to sleep tonight, like just going to sleep,” Power offered. “That’s what I do. That’s a big night for me. Definitely going back, good food, green tea with the peppermint in it, just go to sleep. It’s an awesome night. How people do it differently, they go out and absolutely get slaughtered, but yeah. Conor Daly, Scott McLaughlin — no.”

At least on Saturday, Power, Grosjean and Herta stood tall and proudly as the latest Indianapolis podium.

Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix at Indianapolis Top 10 Finishers

Power-Grosjean-Herta-Rossi-O’Ward/Harvey-Rahal-Newgarden-Ericsson-Sato

Rob Tiongson

Rob Tiongson is a 30-something motorsports journalist who enjoys sports like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field and hockey. A Boston native turned Austinite, racing was the first sport that caught his eyes.

From interviews to retrospective articles, if it's about anything with an engine and four wheels, it'll be here on TPF, by him or by one of his talented columnists who have a passion for racing.

Currently seeking a sports writing, public relations, or sports marketing career, particularly in motorsports. He enjoys editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography. Moreover, he enjoys time with his family and friends, traveling, cooking, working out and being a fun uncle or "funcle" to his nephew, niece and cat.

Tiongson, a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, pursues his Master of Arts in Digital Communications at St. Bonaventure University. Indeed, while Tiongson is proud to be from Massachusetts, he's just as happy to be a Texan.

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