By: Ashley McCubbin
When you get behind the wheel of a racecar, being fast is always important as the one with the quickest speed is more than likely set to be the winner.
However, there are plenty of weekends where the fastest car doesn’t win, whether that be due to accident, mechanical failure, strategy, or an untimed yellow flag.
“I would say successful in this series is often about luck because if you get caught on the wrong side of yellows, it can totally ruin your day because they have this terrible rule where the pits close on the yellow,” Power told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “Obviously speed matters massively. You might question that if you look at last year’s championship where Dixon won probably three races because of yellows and qualified horribly.
“For the most part, yep, if you can qualify at the front it helps. Lottery yellows, I love to stick the knife in and let people know how bad they are.”
Unfortunately, through his career, Power has been bit on many occasions by the lather resulting in dominant runs being turned into top-five finishes. Take the 2020 Indianapolis Grand Prix, where he had a healthy advantage – until one of those yellow flags, which turned the tables with Scott Dixon winning. It is why through his career, he has campaigned for the rules to be changed, and pit road to not be closed under the caution period.
“Honestly, it’s a really bad system because if you qualify well, you’re more subject, because I have qualified well my whole INDYCAR career, you’re definitely more subject to getting screwed by a yellow. If you don’t qualify well, you are going to pit early and take a risk, go fishing for that lucky yellow,” he explained. “That’s where I think it’s a horrible system, a horrible system that has nothing to do with merit. Totally to do with luck. It almost goes the other way: it hurts the guy that does a good job. Horrible system. Must change.”
Despite his campaigning, the series has yet to adjust the rule, as evident by going to a meeting with the head brass a couple years ago.
“Helio (Castroneves) was in there,” Power recalled. “Walked out, said, ‘Nothing has changed in 20 years.’ He’s right.”