- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt ‘Boss Hogg’ town from map
- N.C. math whiz to unveil secret of March Madness picks
- An appealing offer: Chiquita merges with Fyffes to make world’s largest banana firm
- Amnesty International says Syria guilty of war crimes for food blockade
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: ‘We are going to crush them’
- Adam Lanza’s dad: He would’ve killed me ‘in a heartbeat’
- North Korea holds election: 100% turnout, Kim Jong-un gets — 100% of vote
- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
Power and Hunter-Reay travel long roads to finale
Well, look at them now.
Power and Hunter-Reay go into Saturday night’s season finale at Auto Club Speedway battling for the IndyCar championship. The winner will be a first-time champion _ in any series _ and officially end Dario Franchitti’s three-year title run.
But it would mean a lot.
Hunter-Reay was stuck in the politics of American open-wheel racing. There weren’t enough paying rides, and open seats often go to less talented drivers who can bring sponsorship money to the program. Out of work all of 2006 and most of 2007, there was simply nobody left to call looking for work.
He has found something at Andretti Autosport, where his three-year run is the longest for Hunter-Reay with any one team. A team spokesman told The Associated Press on Friday night that Hunter-Reay has signed a multi-year extension to stay with Andretti.
Although he opened the season talking about racing for the championship, few listed the journeyman driver as a true contender.
“I really wouldn’t even think about it because I am not going to get on that mental high before I am even there, or ever think about how it would feel,” he said. “It’s something I want worse than anything. I want it incredibly bad.”
Nobody can relate to that desire like Power, who goes into the finale with the championship on the line for the third consecutive year.
Power had a lead over Franchitti headed into the 2010 finale, but brushed the wall, finished 25th and lost the title by five points. A year ago, he was involved in an accident on pit road in the penultimate race to lose the points lead. He was then in the 15-car accident in the finale at Las Vegas that killed Dan Wheldon.
Power broke his back in the accident, the same injury he suffered in a 2009 wreck at Sonoma. No one would blame him if he headed into Saturday night’s race worried about all the scenarios that could lead to him losing for the third consecutive year.
He’s not, though. Power arrived in Fontana with a Zen-like approach to this final race.
“It’s going to be what it’s going to be, and we just focus on what we can control and however it plays out is what happens,” he said. “We’re going to be the champion, or we’re not.”
This is a driver who once begged and borrowed his way across Europe, and wound up out of money and unwilling to take on any more IOUs. He was close more than once to returning to the family canvas business at home in Australia.
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Investigators puzzle: How does a 777 jetliner just disappear into thin air?
- Russia besieges Crimea as U.S. seeks diplomacy; Putin remains undeterred by Obama's sanctions
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- Adam Lanza's dad: He would've killed me 'in a heartbeat'
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again