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Will Power: Despite missing St. Pete, ‘Yes, absolutely, I can win the championship’


during practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series GoPro Grand Prix of Sonaom at Sonoma Raceway on August 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California.

Jonathan Ferrey

By missing the Verizon IndyCar Series season opening race two weeks ago in St. Petersburg, Florida, Will Power took a big hit in the standings.

Because doctors would not clear him to compete on race day, Power earned just one point for qualifying on the pole.

But as the series prepares for the second race of the season this weekend, and by default his first, Power still feels very confident he can make up the ground he’s lost and still contend for the championship.

“When you look at the past and how they unfold in IndyCar and the fact you have double points races, yes, absolutely, I can win the championship,” Power told 1070 The Fan’s “Trackside” radio show in Indianapolis with Kevin Lee and Curt Cavin.

Even though he’s 50 points behind series leader and St. Petersburg winner Juan Pablo Montoya, Power hasn’t lost any confidence of rebounding back up the standings.

“I think it puts us in a very, very low pressure situation where we can probably take risks on strategy,” he said. “I’m not going to change the way I drive on the track, obviously.

“I’m not going to take big risks. I’m just going to race how I race. Definitely, from a strategy standpoint, it opens things up a little bit. We’re just going to put our head down and go for it.”

Saturday night’s race in Phoenix marks the return of the Verizon IndyCar Series to the Valley of the Sun for the first time since it’s last visit there in 2005.

“I think it’s going to be good racing,” Power said. “The interesting thing is will there be a second lane possibly.

“No one knows, we haven’t raced there for so long or with this configuration of car and engine, so it’ll be very interesting seeing how it all plays out.”

Power, who is currently 23rd in the IndyCar standings, is fully recovered from the inner ear infection that forced him to miss the race at St. Petersburg.

“I’m doing well,” Power said. “We did a test at Barber Motorsports Park last week, did 77 laps and were quick. So everything’s good. I’m all full healthy now.”

He also took the opportunity to pitch his new book, “The Sheer Force Of Will Power” with veteran motorsports journalist David Malsher, which was released Tuesday.

“It’s an interesting book,” Power said. “It has a lot of insight into how I got there.

“And to younger people, it’s motivational, that if you stick with it and you haven’t got the money and backing but believe in yourself, just keep pushing and you can make anything happen.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski