CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Will Power returned to Fontana last December, yearning to know why he had crashed in the IndyCar season finale. He hopped into a street car and drove around Auto Club Speedway to the exact spot that cost him the championship.
“I got out and looked at the track because when it happened, it almost felt like something broke, there was no warning there,” Power said. “But I got out. I looked at the seams. I ran around. I drove around with my engineers. I don’t know. I just crashed.”
It’s the soul-searching that wears on Power because there are no easy answers to the hard questions.
He doesn’t know why IndyCar’s most dominant driver the last three seasons came up empty each time in the championship race. He doesn’t know why fluke things always seem to happen to him to derail days that should be effortless.
And he doesn’t know why everyone seems to think he’s plagued by a streak of crazy bad luck.
“The worst luck ever? I’m trying to understand why people say that about me,” Power said this week.
Maybe because it was on full display in the IndyCar season opener at St. Petersburg two weeks ago when Power clearly had the most dominant car in the field — so good that rival team owner David Letterman jokingly grumbled on live television that Power needed to get off the gas a little to turn it into a real race. But in one of those bizarre moments that only seems to happen to Power, he was run over from behind under caution by JR Hildebrand, who said he was distracted by his knobs in his cockpit while getting ready for a restart.
When Hildebrand later went to apologize for ruining Power’s race, he was surprised to find Power wasn’t angry after finishing 16th.