Power hopes to finish what he’s started in Australia Dixon kicks off charity campaign Indycar.com features seven days in Paradise
1. Power hopes to finish what he’s started in Australia: Australia native Will Power has won two pole positions at Surfers Paradise, but hasn’t finished better than 12th. As he prepares to return to Australia’s Gold Coast for the Nikon Indy 300 on Oct. 26, Power hopes he can finish what he’s started.
“I’ve been there now three times,” said Power, who grew up in Toowoomba, Australia, about a two-hour drive from Surfers Paradise. “First year I got taken out by my teammate, second year I got taken out by Sebastien Bourdais, and last year I was sent out in front of a car, and that basically put us in the back. We had a damaged front wing, damaged suspension and later ended up being taken out by Katherine Legge.
“It’s a track where I’ve been very quick but just can’t break that streak of bad luck there, so I want to go there and finish that race in a good position.”
Power should be able to build on a strong rookie campaign in the IndyCar Series. As one of nine drivers new to the series, Power drove the No. 8 Aussie Vineyards car to 12th in the championship, recording two top-five finishes. He ended the season with an eighth on the streets of Belle Isle and a fifth on the 1.5-mile oval at Chicagoland Speedway.
“It means a lot to me to be racing in Australia, especially considering it’s basically a hometown for me,” Power said. “We have a house there on the Gold Coast. I’ve been going there my whole life, been hanging out there. It’s a great event for me. I just want to finish what I’ve started for the last two years.”
The Inside Scoop
Will Power on:
What to eat while Down Under: “(In the United States), a lot of people don’t eat meat pies, but a meat pie is very nice with tomato sauce (ketchup). I think that’s something you’ve got to try – a Four’N’Twenty pie. Try that, and if you’re not sick after that, try a lemmington.”
(A lemmington is little cubes or squares of sponge cake dipped in chocolate then rolled in coconut.)
Australia’s best export: “I’d say Will Power. There are people like Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman. I don’t want to say them, because I don’t know them. Aussie Vineyards AU wine.”
2. Dixon kicks off charity campaign: 2008 IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon used a recent trip back to his home country of New Zealand to kick off a charity campaign for CanTeen, a New Zealand peer support network for 13- to 24-year-old patients, siblings and bereaved siblings living with the affects of cancer.
Dixon met with members of the program and filmed a TV commercial to promote the sale of special celebrity-designed bandanas that begins Oct. 9. Dixon designed a bandana with white IndyCars on a gray background.
"I have been very fortunate to be able to pursue a career in a sport that I am passionate about and the success I have enjoyed this year off and on the track makes me appreciate how lucky I have been," Dixon said. "The reality though is that there are many young people who face a much tougher battle with cancer.
"It's definitely tough to see that and to know that we can help out in some way with Repco (the largest automotive parts and accessories retailer in Australasia) we can definitely raise a lot of money, which is going to be fantastic.
"It was an enjoyable day and definitely opened doors to a lot of things."
Dixon made a grand entrance along the waterfront in Auckland for the launch of the Bandana Challenge - leading 11 rows of three youth karters.
"The whole way they arranged the media day was lot of fun for me and hopefully for the go-karters, too," Dixon said.
Dixon prevailed in a close and spirited IndyCar Series championship chase through 17 rounds, securing his second series title by 17 points over Team Penske's Helio Castroneves on the final lap of the final race. He encouraged the next generation of open-wheel racing drivers, along with cancer patients to face all obstacles head on.
"Motor racing is a tough one," he said. "You need the support of a lot of people and sponsors from a young age. It's a long road, especially when you start out at 7, 8 years old. But I'm proof you can definitely make dreams a reality.
"It still comes down to competition. Every day I get in the race car I love it, and when you go out there you want to beat everyone else. Don't give up. That's the biggest thing."
3. Indycar.com features seven days in Paradise: Beginning Oct. 16, IndyCar Series fans can get ready for the Nikon Indy 300 at Surfers Paradise by watching full broadcasts of past races at Surfer’s Paradise on indycar.com. A new race will be available each day, including victories by current IndyCar Series drivers and team owners. Coverage also includes bonus interviews of the drivers and owners as they reflect on their racing history in Australia. This marks the first time that full race broadcasts will be available on indycar.com.
The “7 Days in Paradise” promotion leads into live coverage of the Nikon Indy 300 on race weekend, including live coverage of PEAK Motor Oil Pole Qualifying and live Timing and Scoring.
The complete indycar.com schedule:
Oct. 16: 1991 race won by John Andretti
Oct. 17: 1994 race won by Michael Andretti
Oct. 18: 1996 race won by Jimmy Vasser
Oct. 19: 2002 race won by Mario Dominguez
Oct. 20: 2003 race won by Ryan Hunter-Reay
Oct. 21: 2004 race won by Bruno Junqueira
Oct. 22: 2006 race won by Nelson Philippe
The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with a non-points paying race Oct. 26 at Surfers Paradise, Australia. The Nikon Indy 300 will be telecast live at 10:30 p.m. (EDT) Oct. 25 by ESPN Classic and will re-air at 11 p.m. Oct. 26 on ESPN2. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and indycar.com. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season has concluded.