Power finished the Iowa weekend with a runner-up finish, backing up his third place in the Saturday round of the Hy-Vee IndyCar Race Weekend – the only double-header on the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series schedule.
Although he described the event as a “great weekend points-wise”, having closed the gap to championship leader Marcus Ericsson from 35 points to eight, he admitted he “would have loved to have got a win here.”
Power, who started from pole for both races, led 80 of the 300 laps on Sunday but, as on Saturday, he was passed by teammate Josef Newgarden and was jumped in a pitstop exchange by eventual race-winner Pato O’Ward. The Arrow McLaren SP-Chevy driver made his third pitstop two laps before Newgarden and Power, and that potential 12mph gain in lap speed for two laps was enough to ensure he jumped Power.
“This took on extra significance on Lap 235 when Newgarden’s car appeared to suffer a component failure and crashed, and Power was unable to hang onto new leader O’Ward.
Power commented afterward: “The car was really good. I probably could have been more aggressive in that second-to-last stint because it seemed like there’s a lot less deg. Must have cooled or the track took a lot of rubber or something. The track was really fast…
“I was very patient at the start of the race. Just kind of driving to a pace to save the tire and kind of backing Josef up a little bit… Certainly chopped through the field very quickly when we got to those guys, so it worked.”
Power, who has now scored top-four finishes in nine of the 12 rounds held so far this season, said: “Yeah, very consistent run this year really. I mean, had a lot of podiums a lot of top fours.
I know we got good cars here, so it was a matter of just being mistake-free. I felt like we were going to finish in the top five. That’s exactly what happened. Been trying to win around here for a long time. Been really wanting to win at this place, but keep coming up short.
“But yeah, really happy with the weekend.”
Power said that in order to pass Ericsson and score his second championship, he plans to retain that consistency but without a variety of issues in qualifying that have seen him have to try and charge toward the front from a poor grid slot.
“We’ve been executing, not really doing anything special,” said Power. “[We must] get on top of the qualifying thing because we cannot have what we had in Toronto. Definitely got the pace.
“It’s getting down to the wire, man,” he added, before turning to O’Ward and saying: “Better bring your A game or I’m going to take it from you young blokes.”