Will Power praised his team after scrambling to repair extensive damage to the team’s No.12 Chevrolet Penske and recover it for round two of IndyCar qualifying at Long Beach on Saturday.
Power rounded Turn 8 late in the opening qualifying round to find the track blocked by Jack Harvey, who had spun out of the turn and hit the outside wall. The impact relieved the Penske car of most of its left rear turn and also damaged several body parts, but the team were still able to reassemble the car in time for Power to participate in the second lap. His charge ended with a mechanical failure that knocked him into the wall.
âThe team did a great job,â Power told RACER. âWe actually had different geometry on one side (afterwards). But I think we would have made it (this round) and then we could have potentially fielded it before the Fast Six. It was a really good effort from the guys to do it all – two wishbones, a pontoon, a floor, a rear spoiler. I don’t know if they had to do a vertical. But the big problem was changing all those suspension elements. I was quite impressed and really happy to have been able to leave.
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The crash that ended Power’s afternoon was caused by undetected damage from the previous incident.
âIt broke the constant velocity joint where the driveshaft connects,â he said. âI turned and he rode on three wheels, and obviously I brushed against the wall. So it was over by then, as soon as he broke under the brakes.
The combined woes derailed what was shaping up to be a decent afternoon for the 2014 Series champion, who said Harvey’s crash happened just far enough away that he didn’t see it, but close enough that he didn’t have time to be warned.
âIt happened so fast,â he said. “I was three or four seconds behind him, so bang, then one, twoâ¦ then I come in and at the last second I realize it’s happened.” I was about to pass him – really close. The front of the car drove past him and I thought âgoodâ. So, boom. The front of the car therefore passed him.
âBut the car was good. We would have been there to fight for this pole. It is a real shame. Just one of those things. “
Power will start the race from 12e on the grid.