Photo: Walter G. Arce, Sr./ASP, Inc.

Power Vents His Frustration on ‘Bad’ Pit Road Rule

By Luis Torres, Staff Writer

Will Power may have finished second during Saturday’s Iowa INDYCAR 250 at Iowa Speedway, but the biggest victory may have been the fact it was for once a normal outing.

Following Friday night’s disastrous exit where his left front wheel wasn’t fully installed that resulted in a Turn 4 crash, Power didn’t have to worry about any catastrophic problems that’s come to define the past few NTT IndyCar Series campaigns, including this year.

While his Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden put on an absolute clinic at Iowa, Power equaled his best finish of the season and jumped from 10th to a two-way tie for fifth in the championship trail.

“It’s just good to have a normal race. Really good just to have a normal race,” said Power. “Obviously very frustrating start to the year, as it has been for the last six years. I don’t know what I got to do. A hundred points out. Who cares? Just going to go try to win races.”

After the race, Power vented his frustrations about INDYCAR’s procedure of closing pit road with a twist. Those comments were made while taking an ice cold bath which the press saw during the post-race video conference.

The 2014 INDYCAR champion felt the rule has taken him and other drivers, like Newgarden, out of contention for stronger results and stopping points leader Scott Dixon from running away with the championship.

“It’s frustrating when you’re so quick and you keep getting screwed by yellows and INDYCAR because the pits close. That is the most frustrating, annoying thing in history,” Power ranted. “It’s such a bad rule. It should be changed. It should have been changed this year, and hasn’t.”

With 6 of 14 rounds now completed, co-fifth place drivers Power and Saturday’s third-place finisher Graham Rahal trail Dixon by 102 points. Perhaps it added more fuel to the fire of Power’s comments about the “bad rule.”

“I would have won a race,” Power added. “Otherwise Josef probably would be right up there in the championship, too. Dixon wouldn’t have gotten that freebie win. That’s what I say about the season, man. Screw that bloody stupid closing the pits on yellow crap.”

An Iowan reporter would later asked an absurd question about Power packing his bags and run another racing discipline due to the frustrations. His response was the rule must be changed.

“They need to make it fair to people who put a hard, good effort in, spend a lot of money to be at the front, not to get screwed and basically get a drive-through because a yellow falls at the wrong time,” said Power.

“Just a horrible rule. There’s a solution for it, but they don’t want to change it. They should change it. Just a terrible rule.”

Once the subject concluded, some fun banter between Power and Newgarden resumed an already entertaining video conference.

In fact, before Power’s comments, Newgarden had a hard time concentrating answering questions from the press.

“Will, you need to be on mute,” Newgarden to Power. “I can’t concentrate when Will is on a conference call.”

Power would wrap up his time with the press by plugging his sponsors to the dismay of Newgarden.

“Thanks to Verizon and Chevy. Seriously, Chevy did a great job,” said Power. “You need to go out, people, and buy Verizon phones or get signed up with Verizon because, let me tell you, the service is amazing.

“How is that, Newgarden,” Power asked.

“Unbelievable,” Newgarden laughingly responded.

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From the Pacific Northwest, Luis is a University of Idaho graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. Ever since watching the 2003 Daytona 500, being involved in auto racing is all he's ever dreamed of doing. He's also covered Idaho Athletics and high school football as both a writer and videographer. Additionally, he spent 2017 writing several racing columns as an independent journalist. Luis does video and photography, and is a fan of Seattle sports, a music critic and a motivator who wants to impact people's lives.