When Will Power climbed out of the car after he earned his 68th career IndyCar pole, he did not expect to be greeted by a couple legends of the sport that were waiting to congratulate him.
The veteran’s latest pole means that he now sits alone at the top of the all-time pole-winners list, breaking his tie with Mario Andretti.
Andretti himself was the first to greet Power, along with a throng of cameras that surrounded the duo, when he climbed out of his car on pit lane.
He also was given some special words from Team Penske owner Roger Penske, who managed to find Power among the crowd.
“I saw Roger [Penske] there, I saw Mario [Andretti] there and all the cameras,” said Power. “I thought, ‘This is really surreal.’
“It just blows my mind that I can be — I surpassed Mario and obviously I drive for Roger, but just to have those two legends there congratulating me, it’s surreal, and a lot of gratitude for the chances and the opportunities I’ve been given over the last decade and a half.
“Very fortunate. Very fortunate, and I want to repay them back with a championship tomorrow.
“At such a crucial point, it’s kind of — I couldn’t celebrate it very much because I’m so focused on tomorrow and I don’t want to give out too much energy because I’m going to need it tomorrow, but yeah, a day you’ll remember for sure. Something I’ll remember the rest of my life.”
During his media obligations, Power sported a special hat which read ’68 Poles’ to celebrate his latest achievement. Such details are expected from Team Penske, which is notorious for presenting the perfect image in every situation.
Power’s pole gives him one extra bonus point in his championship battle, and means that he will start Sunday’s race with a 21-point advantage over Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden.
If the Australian is able to earn the championship on Sunday, it will be his second title after racing in the series for the past 17 years.
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