By Josh Farmer, IndyCar Reporter
Years in IndyCar: 10
Career Laps led: 3069
2016-17 Team: Team Penske
Will Power’s 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series campaign proved that no matter the circumstance, you can never bet against him.
The driver of the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet for Team Penske rebounded from missing the season opener at St. Petersburg due to an inner ear infection to nearly steal the championship away from teammate Simon Pagenaud.
A win at Detroit on June fifth kicked off a six-race hot streak for the 2014 series champion including four wins and two second place finishes that brought him right on Pagenaud’s tail by the end of summer.
The final three races made his efforts all for naught. A sub-par finish of eighth at Texas was followed by a crash with Charlie Kimball at Watkins Glen which knocked him down 43 points heading into the season finale at Sonoma Raceway.
It came apart for good on lap 38 when the electronics failed, leaving him stranded on the 2.303-mile road course. He could only watch as his championship hopes literally passed him by.
That left him finishing second in the points standings for an unprecedented fourth time.
Heading into his 11th Indy car season, Power is facing some changes on and off the track.
He is now a father to a baby boy- Beau William Power. Fatherhood is a life changing experience for anybody, let alone for a race car driver.
On the racing side, Team Penske has made a pretty big personnel change as Tim Cindric, Team Penske president and Power’s longtime race strategist, moves over to team newcomer Josef Newgarden’s pitbox.
Managing Power’s strategy will be Jon “Myron” Bouslog, a longtime Team Penske manager. Bouslog oversaw the efforts of the now part-time Juan Pablo Montoya.
While Bouslog has a solid reputation, whether he and Power develop a good chemistry still remains to be seen.
Inside the helmet, we see a much improved Will Power than the one of yesteryear. In year’s past, Power has taken defeat very hard, and it showed in his on track performance.
While he came up short of winning a title again this year, he didn’t seem to take it as hard as in years past. He was much more relaxed and accepting of it.
Year after year, we see Power be a constant contender for series championships only to slip up towards the end.
On the flip side, he has proved that when he keeps his focus and racecraft where it needs to be, he is unstoppable.
If that continues, never count against him.