Newton, IA- Leaving Texas in early June, Will Power thought he had this 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship won. He was hit with a pit road speeding penalty late in the race and had to serve that penalty while running second in the closing stages of the 600k race. Luckily, a late race caution came out allowing Power to close back in. His crew would call him down pit road for fresh tires which proved to be what we thought was a championship winning move.
He would drive up to finish second in the end as that salvaged what could have been a bad night as he had a wide points lead going to Houston.
Ironically, that same scenario went against him in tonight’s Iowa Corn 300 at the Iowa Speedway.
A caution came out with 18 laps-to-go for Power’s Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya. The Aussie was running fourth at the time and looking to capitalize at a track he usually struggles at.
But, several drivers at the end of the lead lap took fresher tires as they came forward quickly on the restart with 10 to go. Those drivers coming though made Power get out of the gas inside of five to go as he fell down to finish 14th tonight. That move cost him the points lead as he now trails his other Penske teammate Helio Castroneves by nine points going to Toronto next weekend.
But, his mistakes could be the reason why Power is in this position.
He finished 14th and 11th respectively in the doubleheader weekend at Houston then backed that up with a 10th at Pocono last week. He likely would have been third last Sunday but a bad blocking penalty by him forced him to have a drive through penalty yet again. Pocono was a double points weekend so it cost him dearly as Castroneves finished second.
Tonight, Helio came home eighth which is enough to give him the lead.
Prior to Houston, Power had eight straight top 10′s and five top two’s. Since, he has finishes of 14th, 11th, 10th and 14th again.
Another late season collapse could end his title hopes.
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. He’s covered both NASCAR and IndyCar action since 2010 and has been credentialed to many races around the country. He’s also recognized as an accredited member of the media by both NASCAR and IndyCar. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru
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