Wednesday, May 01, 2013 12:19 pm
Power at right place to try to end winless streak
By TALES AZZONIAP Sports Writer
Near the one-year anniversary of his last victory, Power heads back to Brazil for the Sao Paulo 300, a race he has won every time since it was added to the calendar in 2010.
He has been dominant on the streets of Sao Paulo, and will come extra motivated to try to turn his season around after a disappointing start in which he earned only one top five finish in three races.
"With the start to the season that I've had it's nice going to Brazil, to a track that is a great circuit and is where I've had success at in the past," Power told The Associated Press in an email. "I really look forward to going there and I expect to be competitive."
Last year, Power led the most laps and was hardly challenged at the 4-kilometer (2.5-mile), 11-turn Anhembi circuit. In 2011, the Australian won from the pole in a race postponed for a day because of heavy rain, and he won the inaugural Sao Paulo 300 by passing Ryan Hunter-Reay with three laps to go in the rain-shortened race.
"Obviously, a lot can happen in a race, but I just want to have a good one and get some solid points," Power said. "We are just going to go there and do our absolute best and see what we come up with."
Power hasn't had much reason to celebrate since the victory in Brazil last year, which came 14 races ago. Among his disappointments was losing the title to Hunter-Reay after crashing in the final race of the season at Fontana last year, leaving him with his second-straight runner-up finish in the drivers' championship.
The struggles continued into this season, which has been a stark contrast to what he accomplished in the beginning of 2012, when he won three of the first four races to become a title contender.
Power is only eighth in this year's standings after four races, 37 points behind Penske teammate Helio Castroneves, the home-crowd favorite in Sao Paulo on Sunday.
"I've actually been fast at the first three tracks, but just haven't really put it together," he said.
Power acknowledges "it will be very important" to get a good result in Sao Paulo, which marks the final road race before the series goes to the Indy 500.
He started from the pole position and led the first 26 laps in the season opener in St. Petersburg, but finished only 16th after JR Hildebrand wrecked him under caution when he was running third.
Power then finished fifth after starting second in Alabama, and struggled to another disappointing 16th-place finish in Long Beach after starting third on the grid and again getting involved in an accident that wasn't his fault. Power collided with Tristan Vautier, who had left his pit too early.
"This is typical of racing. You can't always have everything go your way and there will be times that things don't flow well for you and that's what's happening to me right now," Power said. "You just have to keep focusing on the job and things start to swing. It's just the nature of the sport."
The Australian knows things will eventually start going his way again.
"I just think that we've had a couple of little things go wrong that are easy fixes," Power said. "It's just getting my flow back is the true thing and what I need to do. The speed is there and everything else is there to do the job, you've just got to get it all back in rhythm."
Although Power won three races last year and six the year before, he said he is not letting the winless streak bother him just yet.
"It only bothers you when you've had a legit chance to win and either a yellow or something else hinders it," said Power, who has won 18 IndyCar races in his career. "You can't dwell on it, you just have to keep plugging away."
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