Powering to the Top

Written by Matthew Paladino.

Will Power celebrate

Will Power is quickly powering his way into the history books in dominanting fashion. As the only Australian race car driver to win a Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, Power can normally be found in the front of the pack in any race. 

Two months into my internship with the Honda Indy Toronto, I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Power to learn more about his personal story and experience in race car driving.

The son of open wheel racer Bob Power, Will started his career in the Queensland Formula Ford Championship, quickly becoming a household name with victory after victory in the Australian circuit. Power was only 16 years old when he first experienced the thrill of racing. “My Dad raced open wheel cars when I was growing up. When I was 16, I had the chance to drive my Dad’s race car. It was a cool experience and really cemented the fact that I wanted to race,” said Power. Power’s addiction to racing would carry him to numerous victories and championships throughout his illustrious career. Power did confess that there was a slight learning curve when transitioning from racing in Australia to North America. “There were more street courses. It wasn’t until 2009 when I started racing on more ovals, which took me time to learn and adjust to,” he said.

Despite the move to IndyCar, success continued to follow Power. In 2014, Power became the first Australian born race car driver to hoist the coveted IndyCar Championship. In that season alone, Power was atop the standings in poles, laps lead, and wins. When asked about his success in IndyCar, Power was quick to comment that it was a result of experience and hard work. “It’s simple as that. There’s no magic potion in winning, just hard work and experience, and that was literally what I did. Getting that break with Penske was a big deal, which gave me the experience I needed to work hard and succeed.” Power echoed similar words of advice for the up-and-coming drivers of tomorrow. “Be passionate, consistent, and work harder than anyone else. You have to constantly be chipping away at each level. It’s never going to be easy,” he said. There’s a great lesson to be learned from Power’s story. It’s no secret that hard work will result in success in any sport or career.

So what does Power do during his spare time when he’s not on the track? Channeling his inner Travis Barker, Power is an avid drummer. “I had a drum kit when I was a kid. I paid it with my first pay cheque, which was quite expensive! I started playing more with my friend, and ended up buying an electric drum kit,” he laughed. Power also opened up that he’s a big fan of Blink 182, Green Day, and The Smashing Pumpkins.

Despite trailing current IndyCar leader Simon Pagenaud in the standings, Power is still in contention for this year’s IndyCar Championship. With wins on Belle Isle and Road America, Power looks to continue his recent dominant performance on the Streets of Toronto this year. “It’s a cool coming to the city, reminds me of Melbourne. I enjoy the race, it’s a great track with lots of passing and action! And not to mention, 30-years of racing history as well.” When asked about what he’s looking forward to most at this year’s Honda Indy Toronto, Power did not shy away from stating that he wants to win. “Winning! But also the great crowd and fans, and just competing on this historical track.”

Matthew is interning with Honda Indy Toronto this summer. @mattjpaladino