05/31 2018


The 2014 champion has become partial to ovals in recent seasons


Newly crowned Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power continues to flirt with NASCAR from afar.

The Team Penske ace has predominantly been a road course ringer, spending his formative years in the Formula 1 ladder system before winning races and championships in the Verizon IndyCar Series. But it wasn’t until recently that Power began to master ovals, having not won a single one until he broke through at Texas in 2011.

Since then, he’s become one of the best, winning three 500-mile oval races before taking the big one on Sunday in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Power admitted that he’s become partial to oval racing during that time, wishing he could do it more often than the current six races on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.

“Yes, just absolutely love them now,” Power said. “I just understand them so well. I know exactly what I want, exactly how the car should feel, know how to drive them, know when to take risks. That just took time, like everyone. The time I wasn’t winning oval races, neither was anyone else in my team. It was kind of spread across the field. People would win only one or two ovals. The only guy I can think was winning ovals was Ryan Hunter-Reay. He won like two in a row or three in a row or something like that.

“But, yeah, now I would race them every week if I could.”

So would he — like, in NASCAR?

“Roger (Penske) has some pretty good drivers in there,” Penske said. “He needs me in IndyCar.

And then with a laugh, Power added, “I actually need him, need this team.”

When asked about it again on the Associated Press sports podcast, Power said he really would like to run a couple of NASCAR oval one-offs down the road.

“I’d love to race an oval in NASCAR. That would be fun,” Power said.

But the 37-year-old added that he hasn’t made any serious inquiries about picking up a ride, in part because: “I see how long it takes to get good at your craft. … Those guys are absolutely top-notch, and it would be tough to turn up and be competitive.”