Maybe it’s the racing gods who don’t want Will Power to overtake Mario Andretti as IndyCar’s all-time record holder for pole positions, or maybe it’s just a bewildering streak of misfortune for the greatest qualifying performer since Andretti retired in 1994.
Whatever it is, the Team Penske driver would like the bad results to end after missing out on the top 10 for the sixth time in the last seven races. Power will start 16th for the 85-lap Honda Indy Toronto race, which follows starts of 21st at the last event in Mid-Ohio, 15th before that at Road America, and 16th to start the bizarre qualifying slide at Detroit.
A win at Detroit and a third-place finish at Mid-Ohio proved yet again that a bad Saturday for the Australian is by no means a guarantee he’ll be stuck at the back on Sundays, but the latest mishap where another driver crashed and brought out a caution just as he was about to finish a lap that would have moved him inside the top six has Power wondering when the qualifying adversity will end.
“It is crazy,” Power said. “It’s three races in a row we’ve been like P2 in practice before qualifying and then like P19, P15 [when it matters]. It’s frustrating, man — frustrating. I was on a lap — we got to Turn 6 and was four-tenths up, so we were gonna go through.”
Power sits second in the Drivers’ championship despite the recent needs to drive from the back to the front, but he knows he’s at risk for dropping back in the standings if the poor starting positions continue to be an issue.
“It just keeps adding up,” he said. “So we’ll obviously need a great race from the back and just got to do it again, unfortunately. It’s definitely a track known for a lot of mayhem. So [I’ll] try to keep out of trouble and once again get in the top 10 not trying to lose too much points-wise and see how we go. It’s so frustrating, especially when guys you’re racing for the championship are up there every week and making the job so tough.”