Will Power is on the verge of winning an IndyCar Series title for Team Penske. If he can do it at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida on Saturday evening, the laid-back driver from the Australian garden city of Toowoomba in Queensland won't celebrate with French champagne.
"I'm not much of a drinker these days -- I can't stand the morning after," Power said. "But I'll have a beer, for sure. Really, I never plan anything around winning. You just have to go out there and get it done. You'll have time later to party."
Power, 29, doesn't climb fences like Penske teammate Helio Castroneves after a victory. He isn't much of a dancer, either. But he's a special driver, who has been nothing short of spectacular in his first full season for Roger Penske.
Power heads to Homestead with a 12-point lead over Target Chip Ganassi's Dario Franchitti, the two-time series champion. Power won't lose any sleep over it between now and Saturday's green flag. He's not the type to panic, even though he's aware just how good Franchitti is at closing the deal. The Scotsman won the season finale at Homestead in 2009 to claim the championship.
"Dario is a guy who never makes mistakes," Power said before testing Monday at Homestead. "He's fast and aggressive, but he is beatable. Against Dario, you can't hang back and wait. You have to be on it."
Power is a road and street course ace. His best oval finish is third, coming at Japan on Sept. 19. He has five wins and a series-record eight poles in 2010. But he must beat Franchitti on his turf.
"My performance on ovals doesn't look really good on paper," said Power, who drives the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Honda. "But Japan wasn't a bad day after a slow start. My guys in the pits got me back towards the front. It's going to be intense at Homestead. I wouldn't expect it any other way." Read more: Detroit Free Press
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