The Verizon IndyCar Series has one of the most diverse driver lineups in all of auto racing. Maybe all of sports.
At 8,372 miles, no IndyCar pilot will be further away from his hometown this weekend than Will Power. That said, when the reigning race champion steps on the throttle for Saturday night’s DXC Technology 600, he’s still going to feel right at home.
“It was an exciting win for me last year simply because I was trying to win it for so long. My wife (Elizabeth) and her family are from here (Plano, Texas),” said Power, a native of Toowoomba, Australia. “I remember her cousin said ‘Just win this race, would ya?’ And he was actually there when I finally did. It’s kind of a second home for me. (It’s an) epic place.”
Power is coming off a very memorable month of May. After winning the Indianapolis Grand Prix on May 12, Power followed that up by becoming the first driver in history to sweep Indy via his victory in the 102ndannual Indianapolis 500. It was the 2014 IndyCar Series champion’s first Indy 500 win in 11 tries.
“That was the one, you know? The one I wanted to win so badly. I started to wonder if it was ever going to happen,” Power said. “I had so many years of thinking about ‘I have to win the 500’ and there was kind of a bit of frustration building there. I still have that thought because it was so strong in my mind that I’m like ‘Hang on. No, I won the 500.’ That’s going to be there forever.”
Now Power shifts his focus to Texas Motor Speedway, where he looks to become just the third driver in history to win back-to-back races at the speedy 1.5-mile oval. Power survived a caution-filled, dramatic and intense 2017 race that saw eight cars battling it out for the win over the final 19 laps.
It will be Power’s second visit to the Lone Star State in the last two weeks. On May 30, Power made pit stops across the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including The Star in Frisco, home of the Dallas Cowboys practice facility. With his wife and his brother-in-law, Billy Cannon, in tow, Power met with many of the Cowboys taking part in offseason OTA’s.
“I’ve been to like four Super Bowls and didn’t really know the players or the teams,” said Power, who was a special guest of his sponsor Verizon at those games. “My brother-in-law is just an absolute football nut. Dallas Cow
boys fan. So is my wife. So it’s pretty cool to bring them along to do this.”
Power has certainly made Texas a second home over the last decade. In 10 starts, Power has three poles, two wins and has only finished outside the top 10 three times, his worst finish being a 14th back in 2010.
“I love it here,” Power said. “It’s a great track with a lot of speed and a lot of close, tight racing. I always look forward to coming back here.”