Power confident in Chevrolet and Penske for Indy 500

Team Penske’s Will Power says that despite Honda’s strength in qualifying for the 101st Indianapolis 500, he expects both Chevrolet and his Penske #12 car will be strong on raceday.

Power confident in Chevrolet and Penske for Indy 500
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet logo bowtie
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Power has qualified only ninth for Sunday’s race, but says that has little bearing on what he’s expecting from the race.

“I’m sure Honda will be strong,” he told Motorsport.com, “and I definitely didn’t expect to be as far off as we were in qualifying. Honda definitely turned it up.

“But I expect us to be strong in the race; we can push hard reliably on raceday.

“I haven’t really got a read on fuel mileage comparisons yet, but in previous races, the mileage has been pretty similar between the two manufacturers.”

Power’s #12 has been the most consistently fast of the Penske-Chevrolets through practice, and said that he and race engineer Dave Faustino have managed to find a strong operating window for raceday.

“You’ve got to find that sweetspot on setup,” he said. “When you’re struggling with the setup, you add more downforce, but when you get that car setup just right, that’s what’s important.

“And I feel like we’ve been in the setup window the whole time, but we’ve just got to try a few more things on Carb Day. I think we’ve found our threshold for aero balance, mechanical balance, and we just try to get that combination right.

“Carb Day [Friday] is going to be about not going crazy and trying something way out of the box. That hour is gonna be about just trying to check a couple of boxes we aren’t yet sure of.”

Power says all previous experiences have a bearing on how he will approach the race but that the pressure is unavoidable.

“Everything we’ve been through as a group, as a team, in previous years here comes into play – even the years in the old car [Dallara IR09]. We had a couple of pit incidents in 2010 and 2011 when we had a really fast car, but those are the kinds of things that can happen. The pressure increases at this race, because it only comes around once a year; it’s not like any other race we do.

“But that’s also why when you get the shot, you really need to take it.”

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