CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
“I don’t even get angry anymore. It happened and I’m just like, ‘Surprise, surprise, I just got run over, let’s go check the damage,”’ Power said. “There’s just nothing you can do it about it, man. I’ve sort of come to the conclusion that every road and street course I am usually the quickest car and I qualify either on pole, first or second. So when something happens to me, it is magnified.”
Last year’s victory at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama started a streak of three straight wins for the Australian.
But when the series shifted to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy 500 and kicked into the oval portion of the schedule, Power’s troubles began. He was involved in a crash with Mike Conway midway through the 500 — the first of several slips on ovals last season. He was penalized for blocking Tony Kanaan at Texas, wrecked at Iowa, and infamously lost the championship when he inexplicably wrecked in the finale.
Power figures his struggles on ovals last season stemmed from the 2011 season finale at Las Vegas. He was part of the 15-car accident that killed Dan Wheldon, and Power suffered a broken vertebra.
“I remember looking forward to doing the ovals last year, but I think what happened in Vegas the year before, I could tell everyone was on edge going into that Indy race,” Power said. “Whether that played a part, I don’t know. To me, I think when you feel tentative on an oval, I think you put yourself in a bad situation. Like with me, some of the things that happened to me, maybe it was me being a little standoffish.”