Will Power: “It’s turning into a pretty good battle”

Will Power admitted it was disappointing to lose out on the victory at Mid-Ohio after being caught off-guard by a charging Simon Pagenaud after the second caution period on Sunday.

The Team Penske driver had got ahead of his championship rival and team-mate earlier in the afternoon after making his pit stop after Pagenaud, but was passed just after the green flag flew following the caution period to clear up Jack Hawksworth’s crashed AJ Foyt Racing machine from the turn one barriers.

Power was forced to settle for second, and praised Pagenaud for making the move, and feels the battle between the duo is turning into a good one as they sit first and second in the championship standings with five races remaining.

“[It was a] great strategy by the Verizon Chevy team and we did a great job saving on fuel,” said Power. “It was an interesting battle there.

“I was sleeping on that restart and I regret that. I should have been on it, then I got marbles on the tires. It was a good, clean battle. It was tough but it sucked finishing second, all the effort you put into that race.

“But Simon (Pagenaud) did a bloody good job and it’s turning into a pretty good battle. Like Simon said, we’re not racing for 11th place. It’s for a win and for a championship and you have to go for it.

“It was my bad for not being on it on the restart. I regret that, but he’s got to push. I thought of the team on the last corner when we went side-by-side, I had to back out or we were going to crash. It’s racing. It’s tough.”