Indianapolis 500: Why Will Power Is the Driver to Beat at the Brickyard

Tiffany DaviesCorrespondent IMay 24, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS - MAY 20:  Will Power driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara Honda sits in the pits during practice for the the 95th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 20, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

It's not often that a driver posts all of his wins on road courses, but Will Power has done just that. Does this mean that he is unable to win on ovals? Absolutely not. Power is due for an oval victory, and for this reason, he is the driver to beat at the brickyard. 

Since joining open-wheel racing in 2005, Power has scored 11 wins and 10 podium finishes, but none of those wins have come on a road course. The Aussie driver has come close, finishing third at Twin Ring Motegi in 2010, but has yet to achieve oval success. His 11 wins indicate that he has not won merely by chance, but based on actual driving talent.

Power's oval struggles have not been for lack of power, as he has driven for juggernaut Team Penske since 2009. This engineering powerhouse is likely to do nothing but help him at Indianapolis, helping him advance from his fifth place qualifying position.

Among Team Penske drivers, Power qualified higher than both Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe, both drivers expected to contend at Indianapolis. Power's high qualifying position is another reason that he cannot be counted out on race day.

Finally, one cannot count out the intangibles: accidents, mechanical issues and finally, the will of the "racing gods." Winners at Indianapolis have to survive 500 miles of high-speed racing, pit stops, strategy and accidents; yet surviving these have not rewarded drivers in the past. Indianapolis Motor Speedway awards wins to those with the talent to tame her, and Will Power has the ability to do just that.