Friday, September 6, 2013

The Center of Controversy

It happens again, and again, and again, and again. Will Power seemingly finds himself in the middle of some dramatic or controversial incident in Indycar.

Ever since joining Team Penske as a full time driver, Will Power has found himself to get into increasingly perilous and dramatic incidents, both with himself and other drivers. Let's highlight some of these incidents that Power has gotten himself in:


2010 Honda Indy Edmonton
The infamous restart in the late stages of this Canadian round in the 2010 Indycar Season saw Will Power trying to get past teammate Helio Castroneves. Helio committed to the inside line, like most racers would, forcing Power to try and make the pass on the outside. Dixon slipped past Power for P2, as Helio went on to take the checkers. But after the race, Helio was given a penalty for blocking. Whilst Power did nothing wrong in this incident, it was a sign of things to come (him getting involved in drama).

Power leading Helio during the early stages of the race (Photo: AP Photo)

2010 Cafe do Brasil Indy 300
Fighting for a championship with rival Dario Franchitti, Power brushed the wall whilst running P4 at Homestead. The minor damage was enough to ruin his race. Dario, who was running P1 at the time, went into major cruise control, easing his way into a championship. Power finished second in the championship, finishing the season in a poor manner.

Will Power of Australia driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske gets his car worked on by his crew members after coming into contact with the wall during the IndyCar Series Cafes do Brasil Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 2, 2010 in Homestead, Florida.
Power's car being repaired after brushing the wall (Photo: Robert Laberge)

2011 Honda Indy Toronto
This is the race where many people, including myself, sat up and either began to love or hate Will Power. Power was spun by Dario Franchitti, who was once again battling Power for the Championship, in turn three at Toronto. But that wasn't the half of it. Power was later spun and knocked out of the race in turn five by Alex Tagliani. He had harsh words in his interview, first for Dario, saying "I always race him clean, and he always races me dirty," and then later going on to call Alex Tagliani a "wanker".

Will Power of Australia driver of the #12 Team Penske Dallara Honda gets pushed by the safety team after crashing in turn 5during the IZOD IndyCar Series Honda Indy Toronto on July 10, 2011 in the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Power lies wrecked after tangle with Alex Tagliani (Photo: Robert Laberge)

2011 MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 
Will Power was having a solid run going at Indycar's return to New Hampshire, but wow, did things change. With light rain coming down, Brian Barnhart decided to go on with the restart with a handful of laps to go. Danica Patrick spun in front of the field, and Power was collected in the chaos. It was clear that a restart should have never taken place. But Power was irate. He went storming off the track, eventually being caught on camera giving two middle fingers towards the race control box whilst being on live TV. Thus, the angry boards were born.

The incident that claimed Power, Patrick, Sato, and others (Photo credit not given)

2011 Kentucky Indy 300
After a great qualifying effort and good race going, Power collided with an exiting Ana Beatriz in the pits, damaging Power's car and effectively ending his race. Unbenounced to anyone in Indycar, Kentucky would be the last classified race of the season, meaning this incident cost him a shot at the title.

The damage as a result of the contact in the pits (Photo credit not given)

2012 Iowa Corn Indy 250
Will Power was cruising along in the race, keeping a fine pace going on, maintaining a clean nose. A charging EJ Viso, who started last, went on the inside of Power in turns one and two. Power did not know Viso was there, and drover accordingly, using the width of the track. Power squeezed Viso to the apron, wrecking them both. Power once again brought out the middle fingers, evoking a crotch grab-esque motion from Viso. To be fair, Power was very classy after, taking the blame for the incident.

The contact between Viso and Power (Photo credit not given)

2012 MavTV 500 Indycar World Championships
For the third straight season, Power was in contention for a Championship at the season finale at Fontana. With Ryan Hunter-Reay at his outside early on in the race, Power lost control in the middle of the corner, wrecking his car and any chance he might have had at a win. It's just hard to fathom Power finishing second in the Championship for three straight seasons.

Power crashing out of the race, ending his title hopes again (Photo: Phillip Abbott)

2013 Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Race 2
On a restart heading into turn one, Will Power was spun by Sebastien Bourdais, setting off a train reaction that involved many other cars in the field. Power was knocked out of the race. After exiting his car, the safety team tried to usher Power away, but he refused to go. He then tossed his gloves (I wouldn't say threw because he kind of did it "politely") at Sebastien Bourdais as he rolled by under yellow. Upon returning to the pits, Power was interviewed, where, referring to Bourdais, "He once was a champ. Now, he's a chump."

The accident left many cars stricken. Power was none too happy (Photo: AP)

2013 GoPro Grand Prix 
This is one that isn't on Will Power, but once again, he is right in the middle of the controversy. Scott Dixon made contact with Will Power's crew in the race, giving Dixon a penalty. Power went on to win the race. Dixon was none too happy after the race, and drama ensued all over the paddock. Dario Franchitti also took exception to an incident on the track, in which he said Power almost ran him off. Power said the Dixon and Dario are always whining about something. Let that statement digest for a moment...

Despite winning the race, Power's victory was marred by controversy (Photo: Jonathan Ferry)

2013 Baltimore Grand Prix 
The most recent of controversial events took place at last weekend's Baltimore Grand Prix, where on the restart with not too many laps to go, Will Power made a move to the inside, where Scott Dixon had already committed to behind him, causing both Power and Dixon to hit the wall, ending both of their races. Power apologized, saying it was an accident. Dixon called Power a "wanker" after the race. He also called Tim Cindric, Will Power's race strategist, a "piece of shit" after Cindric gave Power instructions on how to handle the media over the radio.

Scott Dixon of New Zealand, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara, walks away from Will Power of Australia, driver of the #12 Team Penske Chevrolet Dallara, after being knocked out of  the IZOD IndyCar Series Baltimore Grand Prix on September 1, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Power takes out Dixon. It remains to be seen how significant this was (Photo: Rob Carr)

Do you get the point? That's just a list of some of the major incidents that Power has been involved in. I am sure I missed many minor incidents that Power had a hand in, with drivers pissing and moaining about him. Why is it that Power is oil and the rest of the field seems to be water? Is there an answer to that question?

Let me know what you think!

-Matthew Hickey

2 comments:

  1. You already announced yesterday, that Power would not get much love in this blog.
    But according to your list, there where two incidents where he was at fault and another drivers race was impaired. On every other occasion you are mentioning, he was either the "victim" himself or ruined just his own race (and title hopes).
    I don't see that this would be enough for anybody to be pissed and moaning about him.
    I just discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago and enjoy reading your posts. But sorry, this one is pretty weak from an argumentational standpoint.

    Best wishes
    Thomas

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    Replies
    1. The point here wasn't to bash Will Power. It was to point out how many controversial situations he gets involved in. While some may not be his fault, controversy is controversy. There's no getting around it.

      Thanks again for reading!

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