Will Power came into the Sonoma Raceway finale as the outsider for the Verizon IndyCar Series championship, and so it transpired on Sunday, and despite the Australian finishing the year with a podium finish, he ended the year still fifth in the final standings.
The Team Penske driver finished behind team-mates Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden on race day, but had required both of them as well as Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves to have extremely poor days to take the crown, and with all four drivers finishing inside the top five, it was not to be the Australian’s day.
Power acknowledged that mistakes across the season cost him the chance of the title, with his opening lap crash at Gateway Motorsports Park amongst four retirements across the season, while eventual champion Newgarden only failed to see the chequered flag on two occasions.
“It was pretty obvious a couple races ago that we were in trouble after Gateway, so yeah, I mean, it’s great for the team,” said Power. “Obviously, you want to be the one that wins it, but it’s very tough these days, and you’ve got to have a very solid year to get it done, and when I look at this year, no one made mistakes.
“You see the top six there, top six or seven are the top six or seven almost every race. We had some ups and downs with the No. 12 Verizon Chevy team, but it was a good year.
“We won some races and some poles. We’ll give it another go next year.”