Race Weekend Central

Will Power Earns Third Runner-Up Finish of 2024 IndyCar Season at Indianapolis Road Course

INDIANAPOLIS– For Will Power, victory was just out of reach at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

A late full course yellow wiped out Alex Palou‘s lead of over three-and-a-half seconds over Power, but the Australian could not find a way around the Spaniard and had to settle for his third runner-up finish out of four races in the 2024 IndyCar season.

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Power had started third in the No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet but leapfrogged Palou in the first pit stop sequence to run second to Christian Lundgaard. During the following pit stop sequence, Lundgaard leapfrogged Power, but Palou got by both drivers to take a lead that he would only relinquish during the final pit stop sequence.

Power, the 2018 Indianapolis 500 winner, got by Lundgaard on pit road during the final round of pit stops, but he couldn’t do anything to match Palou’s speed as the two-time IndyCar Series champion finished over 6.6 seconds clear of Power.

“I don’t know what else we could have done there,” Power said. “I think that was a very solid day from us. We tried the undercut. It was just a little cooler today where the undercut wasn’t quite as strong. But yeah, we gave it all we got.”

Palou built up his lead over the final 18 laps. Race control called for a full-course yellow after the No. 51 machine of Luca Ghiotto spun in Turn 10 and stalled, stranding the Italian racer. The upcoming restart was Power’s best shot at getting his first win since June of 2022, but the car wasn’t quite there for the five-time Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course winner.

“Just didn’t quite have enough on that restart,” Power said. “I had to lift coming into the last corner, just had too much push. Had to lift, otherwise would have been an interesting battle into Turn 1. I didn’t know whether to go for the inside or the outside, but he made it very clear he (Palou) was going to blow up the inside, so I kind of went the outside. Just wasn’t far enough along to make it work.”

Power had to take on the 85-lap race around the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course at the Brickyard under some significant changes to his crew. Following the Team Penske push to pass scandal from St. Petersburg that resulted in teammates Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin‘s disqualifications from the opening race of the 2024 season, team owner Roger Penske suspended Power’s race strategist Ron Ruzewski, who also is the Managing Director of Team Penske’s IndyCar program.

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Power’s longtime race engineer David Faustino had to double up duties as race strategist and might remain in that role for the Indianapolis 500 on May 26th.

“I anticipate he will be [my strategist] at the 500,” Power said of Faustino. “I expect that to be the case, I think. I can’t see why not. He did a very good job. Didn’t really have any issues. He’s done it for so long — ultimately he has a lot to do with the strategy anyway. He just doesn’t call it.

“Yeah, I would expect him to be in that same position.”

Power is 12 points behind Palou in IndyCar points. Practice for the 108th Indianapolis 500 begins on Tuesday, May 14th.

About the author

Christopher DeHarde has covered IndyCar racing and the Road to Indy for various outlets since 2014. In addition to open wheel racing, DeHarde has also covered IMSA and various short track racing events around Indiana. Originally from New Orleans, DeHarde moved to the Indianapolis area in 2017 to further pursue a career as a motorsports writer.

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