Team Penske has signed an extension with its veteran IndyCar driver Will Power, who has been driving for the powerhouse team since 2009.
The news was announced by the NBC Sports crew on the qualifying broadcast, and was significant news for the future of the ageing 2014 IndyCar Series champion.
Power turned 40 years old earlier this year, and will be 42 years old by time his new contract expires at the end of the 2023 season.
The Australian has been part of a group of ageing drivers that includes Sebastien Bourdais, age 42, and Scott Dixon, age 40, that seem to defy their age and continue to put in top results week after week.
“It’s fantastic,” said Power of the extension on the TV broadcast. “I really love being with the team and they’ve been very loyal to me.
“It’s just awesome to be part of such a great organization with great sponsors like Verizon and Chevy.”
The extension was signed ahead of the opening weekend race from Barber Motorsports Park, a race that saw power finally have a strong start to his season after multiple years spent playing catch-up.
But his fortunes seem to be turning so far this weekend, with the nine-time St. Pete pole sitter being relegated out of the knockout qualifying sessions early.
Starting all the way back in 20th position, Power was none too pleased with his performance on Saturday afternoon.
“I tried to get a good exit, touched the wall, and bent the toe [link],” explained Power. “I tried to finish the lap, but it was too much.
“It’s nuts to go from one of the best cars on Friday, to the worst car today. Unbelievable.
“This is probably my worst qualifying in history.”
Power will attempt to climb through the field tomorrow for the 100-lap Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg which begins at 12:30 PM Eastern Time.