A robust begin to an NTT INDYCAR SERIES season is what Will Energy is aiming for in 2021.
2014 sequence champion Energy has struggled early in current seasons. He completed twentieth and thirteenth within the first two races of final season, a part of an eight-race opening stretch with a mean end of 12.7.
Surprisingly, Energy hasn’t received a race previous to arriving at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Might since 2014, the 12 months he received his INDYCAR championship. Final 12 months, it took him 10 races to achieve Victory Lane. In 2019, it took 14.
Energy actually is aware of how one can end races – he has 10 wins over the previous 4 seasons, which ranks second solely to Josef Newgarden’s 15 – however most have come after he has already dug a giant factors gap.
Energy has completed fifth in three of the previous 4 INDYCAR seasons.
“If we will simply have a stable first few races, I feel it offers the crew and myself confidence,” he stated.
Energy additionally has had too many robust races in current seasons to contend for a second championship. Final 12 months, he completed within the again half of the sector six instances. Within the years prior, his complete was 5, six and 7, respectively. Evaluate that to Scott Dixon, whose two current championship seasons have had no such low finishes.
Energy acknowledges the problem, but it surely’s not a straightforward repair since he has had hassle of a number of sorts.
“It actually isn’t pace that’s the problem,” he stated of profitable a series-leading 18 NTT P1 Awards for pole over the previous 4 seasons. “It’s that our dangerous days are simply too dangerous. That’s our downside.
“The pace is actually not (the issue); profitable is actually not (the issue). It’s consistency, whether or not it’s errors on pit lane or errors by me.
“We’ve got to have a stable starting to the season!”
Staff Penske will supply even its drivers extra data with the addition of Scott McLaughlin, the three-time champion of the Virgin Australia Supercars championship. Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud, who’ve mixed to win three of the previous 5 season titles, additionally return to the crew.
Like Newgarden and Pagenaud, Energy stated a stronger run within the Indianapolis 500 introduced by Gainbridge is desired. Newgarden completed fifth, Energy 14th and Pagenaud twenty second. Energy received the “500” in 2018, Pagenaud in 2019.
“I feel that’s most likely probably the most disappointing we’ve been since I’ve been at (Staff) Penske,” stated Energy, whose time driving for Roger Penske dates to 2009. “It was a shock to us. Definitely (we’ve) labored very exhausting on that. I really feel like we’ll be a lot better than we had been final 12 months.”
A greater begin may result in a stronger end.
“Trying ahead to it,” Energy stated.
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES season begins April 18 with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham. The primary of the season’s 17 races will air on NBC and the Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Community starting at 3 p.m. ET.