Will Power saluted his team after it scrambled to repair extensive damage to the No.12 Team Penske Chevrolet and get it back out for the second round of IndyCar qualifying at Long Beach on Saturday.
Power rounded Turn 8 late in the opening qualifying phase to find the track blocked by Jack Harvey, who had spun at the corner exit and hit the outside wall. The impact relieved the Penske car of most of its left-rear corner and also damaged several pieces of bodywork, but the team was still able to get the car put back together in time for Power to take part in round two. His charge was ended by a mechanical failure that pitched him into the wall.
“The team did a great job,” Power told RACER. “We actually had the geometry different on one side (afterwards). But I think we would have gotten through (that round), and then we could have potentially wheel-aligned it before the Fast Six. It really was a good effort by the guys to get that all done – two wishbones, sidepod, floor, rear wing. I’m not sure if they had to do an upright. But the big thing was changing all those suspension bits. I was pretty impressed, and really happy that I was able to get back out.”
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The crash that ended Power’s afternoon was caused by undetected damage from the earlier incident.
“It broke the CV joint where the driveshaft connects,” he said. “I turned in and it three-wheeled, and I obviously brushed the wall. So it was all over then, as soon as it broke under brakes.”
The combined misfortunes derailed what was shaping up to be a decent afternoon for the 2014 series champion, who said that Harvey’s accident happened just far enough ahead for him not to see it, but close enough that there was no time to have been given warning.
“It happened so fast,” he said. “I was three or four seconds behind him, so bang, then one, two… then I come along and at the last second I realize that’s happened. I was close to getting past him — really close. The front of the car went past him and I thought, ‘good’. Then, bang. So the front of the car made it past him.
“But the car was good. We would have been right there fighting for that pole. It’s really unfortunate. Just one of those things.”
Power will start the race from 12th on the grid.