Bobby Unser: Power 'knows he can win anyplace and anytime'

Image by Levitt/LAT

Bobby Unser: Power 'knows he can win anyplace and anytime'

IndyCar

Bobby Unser: Power 'knows he can win anyplace and anytime'

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Will Power’s victory at Gateway on Saturday moved the Australian to seventh on IndyCar’s all-time win list. Among those impressed by the achievement? Bobby Unser, who now sits tied with Power at 35 career victories.

“Naturally I watched the race and I was happy for Will, he really drove one heck of a race,” Unser said.

“Will’s fast and [is] one of those drivers who finds a way to win races, he showed that, no question. Will’s a total racer, and for someone like that to share 35 Indy car wins with me is special. Look, Will won Indianapolis this year, he won the road course at Indy, and now on a short oval. I like that – he has confidence and knows he can win anyplace and anytime – like Bobby Unser did!

“He makes good decisions and is for sure fun to watch. Certain drivers are standing out – (Scott) Dixon, (Alexander) Rossi and Will are all super-talented, at the top, they are probably the best drivers on the track right now. But it’s just not those three, there is a lot of talent on the track and racing in IndyCar this year. Robert Wickens was very fast and talented before his accident at Pocono, he showed me a lot.

“The cars are so equal now that the best drivers are rising to the top – racing is in the driver’s hands – just not the team they race for or the car they are in, because this year the cars are now more equal than ever. Good drivers with talent and skill are winning races. Again I’d like to really, really congratulate Will on his win, he’ll win lots more races – he’s a complete driver.”

In addition to a similarly crowded trophy cabinet, Power and Unser share the distinction of having won a lot of races with Team Penske. Eleven of Unser’s wins came while he was driving for The Captain, while Penske accounts for 32 of Power’s trips to Victory Lane. The pair own a combined 37 wins driving the team’s No.12 entry.

Bobby Unser, Penske PC-7, 1979. (Image by Dan R. Boyd)

“Roger Penske provides his drivers the very best-prepared cars, week in and week out, every single race, every single year,” Unser said.

“This gives his drivers the best opportunity to win when they arrive at the track. Roger doesn’t play favorites – everyone gets the exact same thing. Everything is top of the line. Roger gives you what it takes to win – totally, totally first class 100 percent of the time. Roger’s 17 Indianapolis 500 wins set the standard for all of racing, all of racing – IndyCar, NASCAR, Formula 1, anything with wheels.

“Indianapolis means so much to Roger – since 1969 his goal has been to win that race every single year, be in Victory Lane and take home a Baby Borg. He is, the team is a about preparation and perfection and that means wins, lots of wins everywhere, including the Indianapolis 500.”

Bobby Unser (Image by Dan R. Boyd)

WILL AND BOBBY, BY THE NUMBERS:

Unser has two Indy car titles: 1968 driving for Bob Wilke and 1974 driving for Dan Gurney.

Power has one Indy car title: 2014 driving for Roger Penske.

Unser’s Indy car 500-mile race wins: 8 total, 3 with Roger Penske

– Ontario – four wins (1974, 1976, 1979, 1980) – 1979 and 1980 with Roger Penske

– Indianapolis Motor Speedway – three wins (1968, 1975, 1981) – 1981 with Roger Penske

– Pocono Raceway – one win (1980) – 1980 with Roger Penske

Image by LePage/LAT

Power’s Indy car 500-mile race wins: 4 total, 4 with Roger Penske

– Pocono – two wins (2016 and 2017) – 2016 and 2017 with Roger Penske

– Indianapolis Motor Speedway – one win (2018) 2018 with Roger Penske

– Auto Club Speedway, California – one win (2013) 2013 with Roger Penske

Most consecutive seasons with one or more wins:

11 consecutive seasons – Bobby Unser 1966 – 1976
12 consecutive seasons – Will Power 2007 – 2018

Most seasons with at least one win:

14 seasons – Bobby Unser
12 seasons – Will Power

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