Race Weekend Central

Will Power Irate After Fuel Mileage Miscall at Toronto

Will Power came close to earning a great finish at the NTT IndyCar Series Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday (July 16), but instead had to pit to for fuel just to get through the race’s final lap.

Instead of a top five, the Australian brought his No. 12 Team Penske Verizon Chevrolet home a disappointing 14th.

Power didn’t hide his frustration with the result, neither when he was called in for fuel nor after the race.

“[You] need to give me the f****** number,” Power shouted at his team as he sped down the backstretch on lap 84.

“Why didn’t you give me the f****** number?! I don’t know what you guys are doing on the f****** stand… Mate, it was f****** easy for me to save another lap of fuel; you’ve just go to tell me … that’s bulls***! I f****** could’ve got it!”

By the time he was out of the car, the defending champion was more collected.

“Yea I was [surprised at running out of fuel,]” he told NBC Sports after the race. “They were giving me a number and I could quite easily have just got the number and made it. We’ve got to review all that and I’m not sure what happened there. [The race] was good, the car was really good. The strategy was right.”

See also
Christian Lundgaard Dominates Toronto for 1st IndyCar Win

Power wasn’t the only one to misjudge the distance with fuel, as Marcus Ericsson also had to pit coming to the white flag. The ending ruined a successful day for Power, who had hung around the top 10 for most of the day, and was looking for his seventh top five at Toronto, and his first since he won there in 2016.

“I had a much bigger number earlier and I had no idea we were going to run out,” he said.  “If I didn’t get the numbers and attacked too hard too soon, it was my fault. I was trying to put pressure on the two guys in front to run them out of fuel, probably not watching mine closely enough.”

As the race unfolded, it seemed the strategy was going to work in favor of the Penske driver, putting him ahead of his teammates Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin who led 28 laps. Instead, Power pitted and Newgarden finished fifth, followed by McLaughlin, who also misjudged not pitting on the last yellow, therefore ensuring his own impressive run didn’t end in victory.

The 2023 IndyCar campaign has not gone as well as Power’s 2022 championship season, and he’s now 175 points behind Alex Palou in his quest to retain his crown. Had he been able to notch a top-five result, it would have been just his fourth this year. He has yet to win this season, and has, like the rest of the field, been struggling to keep pace with Palou’s No. 10 car. 

But there is still time for him to get back to victory lane, and no better place than the next stop on the schedule at the doubleheader at Iowa Speedway, July 22-23. He took the pole for both 2022 races, leading 103 laps and finished second and third respectively. 

If he can shake off the memory of the last lap splash for fuel, he can focus ahead to recapturing his winning ways in the Iowa bullring in a week’s time.

About the author

Tom is an IndyCar writer at Frontstretch, joining in March 2023. He also works full-time for the Department of Veterans Affairs History Office and is a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard. A native Hoosier, he's followed IndyCar closely since 1991 and calls Fort Wayne home. Follow Tom on Twitter @TomBlackburn42.

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