Sunday, July 21, 2013

Power Having His Worst Season

Statistics never lie. They can distort the truth, but they can never lie. They can help paint a picture to help draw conclusions. If you follow my blog and some of my tweets, you would know that I love using statistics to help make a point.

In Will Power's case, statistics for his 2013 campaign are about as nice to him as Brian Barnhart. His season has many people in Indycar scratching their head. It begs the question, just what in the hell is going on with Will Power this year?

Will Power - Honda Grand Prix Of St. Petersburg - Day 3
Quite a foggy season for Power so far (I know it is a terrible pun). Power during
practice at St. Petersburg (Photo: Chris Trotman)


Statistics time. First, some good ones:

  • In 115 Indycar starts, Will Power has 18 wins. The only driver in Indycar with double digit wins in his career that has a better winning percentage than Power (15.6% of his his starts are wins) is Sebastien Bourdais (29%). But it's been eons since Bourdais has last won.

  • Power has finished second in the championship standings the last three seasons for Team Penske, finishing runner up to Dario Franchitti in 2010 and 2011, and Ryan Hunter-Reay last year. Not as good as first place, but still highly impressive and very consistent.

  • He has 32 career poles, 1768 laps led, and 35 career podiums. Again, adding to his impressive resume. The dude can clearly drive.

So why hasn't Power done any of the things he has done in his past seasons with Penske? Some alarming statistics here:

  • Power's current win-less drought stands at 24 races, with his last win coming Sao Paulo in 2012. For those counting, as of July 21, that's 448 days. This surpasses the second longest win-less he drought, spanning 17 races between the infamous last race of Champ Car in Long Beach 2008 and his first win with Team Penske at Edmonton in 2009. That last 462 days. If he does not win at Mid-Ohio, his streak will extend to 25 races and a mirror-esque 462 days.

  • Good news: In 2013, Will Power has an average qualifying position of 4.8. Top-five every race is mega. Bad news: His average finishing place is 13.2, which is very, very average. He has lost a catastrophically alarming 109 positions from where he has started to where he has finished this season, or about eight to nine spots per race. 

  • Power is on target to have second worst fulltime season statistically in his Indycar career, In 2008, while employed for KV Racing in his first season driving the Dallara IR07, Power finished 12th in the Championship, averaging 18 points a race. He did collect a win at Long Beach. Power is currently 10th in the championship, averaging 21 points a race, with no wins. Sure, it statistically 2013 isn't as bad for Power as 2008, but Power wasn't coming off three straight runner ups in the Championship nor was he on a team expected to do much in 2008. That makes this season Power's worst in my opinion.

Will Power - Iowa Corn Indy 250 - Day 1
A lot must be going through this mans head (Photo: Chris Trotman)

The whole situation and struggles of Will Power is something I just can't wrap my head around. And to add insult to injury, Power's Penske teammate, Helio Castroneves, is leading the points championship. Keep in mind that Helio has never won an Indycar title. You add all this together, and, as I have stated above, you get a recipe for Power's worst season in Indycar. But before the rumors start, I don't think Power is going anywhere. Roger Penske is a smart man and won't let him go. It's just a matter of time before he snaps out of this dryspell. He'll now have the Badger Curse working for him as we head to Mid-Ohio. Can Power snap out of his funk and salvage anything from this season? 

Have any thoughts? Let me know what you think!

-Matthew Hickey

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