By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer
DETROIT — After the massive high of winning the 102nd Indianapolis 500, Will Power’s dream week came back down to earth with a seventh place finish in the first of two races in the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit as the top Chevrolet-powered driver.
Starting sixth, Power had a boost problem at the start from not warming up the engine enough and dropped two positions behind the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing duo of Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal.
Power then committed himself to a two stop strategy and moved back to sixth after a couple of other drivers pitted early for their three stop strategy and got back to eighth after the three-stoppers made their second round of pit stops.
After Rene Binder stalled his car in the Turn 7 runoff, almost everybody rushed to pit lane to negate the strategies they were on and after Santino Ferrucci’s car ended up in the tire barrier a full course yellow came out.
Power moved to seventh following Charlie Kimball’s penalty and remained there for the rest of the race behind the Honda sextet of Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Marco Andretti, Sato and Ed Jones.
“I was driving as hard as I could,” said Power. “So I think the best case scenario would’ve been a top five, probably as good as we could do.”
Power said that the Honda engine suited Detroit very well versus the Chevrolet.
“It’s the power curve of the Honda engine is the difference,” said Power. “Like we’ve got obviously a very good engine for Indianapolis which is very top-endy and the Hondas have very good torque so you see there’s a lot of accelerations here and not long straights, that’s kind of why they’re so strong.”
After winning at Indianapolis, Power went on a national media tour that took him to New York City and Dallas, among other places. While many might have feared that the post Indy 500 winners hangover could have affected him, Power says that wasn’t the case.
“I was fine, I’ve had three good nights of sleep now so I’m pretty good, took it pretty lightly all week and enjoyed it.”