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Will Power stands at April testing

Source: Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment / other

SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Even though Will Power has waded through his team’s less-than-desirable press these last few weeks rather well, admits it will be different without having key members of Team Penske in his garage that he usually relies on.

This week team owner Roger Penske suspended Team President Tim Cindric, managing director Ron Ruzewski, as well as two race engineers for Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin.

The former were disqualified for using push-to-pass when they shouldn’t have at St. Petersburg. It was all because of a team oversight with software on the cars. Power had the same oversight, but was mindful of the rules and did not use push-to-pass.

This allowed him to keep his finish at St. Pete, but he was docked ten championship points in the driver’s standings. The penalties actually helped Power in a way as it improved his finishing position at St. Pete and he now sits second in the point standings behind Colton Herta heading into this weekend.

RELATED | Roger Penske Suspends Team President, Engineers For Indy 500 Over P2P Scandal

Power said he’s been mindful to simply focus on the task at hand.

“I know the team has worked very hard to prep two cars for this race this month,” he said. “Yeah, my mind is just on this weekend, and then as soon as that’s over, we’ll focus on qualifying for Indy.”

Still, because of the suspensions the team has had to do some reassigning behind the scenes.

Ruzewski, on top of acting as managing director for the whole IndyCar team, also handled calling the team strategy on the pit stand for Power. Cindric normally calls the strategy for Newgarden and Kyle Moyer leads McLaughlin’s pit crew.

With Ruzewski out, Power will now have to rely on David Faustino to call his strategy not just for the Sonsio Grand Prix, but also for the Indianapolis 500. Faustino is Powers race engineer whose primary job is to make sure the car is properly set up for each race. Power says the change will take some getting used to, but that he has total trust in his engineer to lead the team.

“He’s run a lot of tests and been on the radio. It will be different, yeah,” Power said. “He’s not used to counting me down to the box or sending me, so there will be a few things that we have to really, I guess, practice as much as we can. But we’ve raced so long together. It will suck not having Ron. I’ve really got used to him. But I sat down with Dave and we just said we’re going to do absolutely the best we can with what we’ve got. It is what it is.”

Power, who is the winningest driver of all time on the IMS road course with five victories and six poles, is confident despite the setbacks within the team having qualified in the top ten in each race so far this season and on the front row in the last two races. He also holds the all-time record for most poles in the NTT IndyCar Series (70).

Power has not won an IndyCar race since Belle Isle in June of 2022.

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