Power keen to raise game on ovals

Will Power admits that he is going to have to raise his game on ovals if he is to hold onto his 59-point advantage to win the IndyCar title

Power keen to raise game on ovals

The 29-year-old Australian has taken all five of his victories this season on street or road courses and has a best finish of fifth from the four oval rounds so far.

The final four events are all on 1.5-mile ovals at Chicagoland, Kentucky, Motegi and Homestead. Power's three closest pursuers - Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe - have all won on ovals already this season.

"I'm going to race those ovals like I want to win the championship. Winning makes a huge difference in any championship but so does consistency," said Power - who has taken a record eight pole positions this year, including one on an oval at Iowa. "I think I've got enough experience now and I think we'll be very strong."

"I don't think this championship is almost mine, there's a lot of racing to go. Four races, a lot can happen. Whatever the buffer is, you can lose a lot of that in just one race."

Franchitti, who has taken 11 of his 15 IRL wins on ovals, is expecting Power to be strong throughout the run in.

"People are writing him off because of his lack of experience on the ovals, but he'll be right up there," Franchitti said. "It's a fairly large deficit, but it's four tracks we've run well on. There are places we can do very well at, we have to do a better job."

Mario Andretti crowned Power this year's road champion after his victory at Sears Point (the oval champion will be crowned after Motegi) and agreed that Power will have to be able to fight for victory on all varieties of circuit to win the championship.

"That's the beauty of IndyCar - to win the overall championship you have to be proficient on all sides of what it has to offer," Andretti said. "That's what I really enjoy about the series since it started having the mix of ovals and road courses. As a driver, that always was the ultimate challenge.

"Right now, [Power] is on a roll and God bless him, it's wonderful to see. You have to enjoy it while you can; it never lasts long. I attribute what he's been able to do this year to having all the pieces of the puzzle fit. He has two other team-mates that have done well, but somehow it seems he's got the formula a little bit better."

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