IndyCar runner-up Will Power says both he and Team Penske are still unsure of how to improve their form on ovals.
The Australian narrowly missed out on the title for the third year running, this time losing out to Ryan Hunter-Reay after crashing out of the season finale at Fontana. Only one of Power's 18 Indy car wins has come on an oval, and it has often been considered his weakest area when he has fought for championships.
"I wish I could tell you what the secret is for us to get stronger and more consistent results on ovals," said Power. "Looking back, there were just too many points left on the track in those races. What I do know is that we are going to continue to focus on improving in that area in the off-season."
Power believes that his people were wrong to expect him to dominate the championship after he kicked the year off with three wins from four races.
"We got off to a great start, one you can really dream of as a driver," he said. "The strong start was almost a curse, though. It seemed like a lot of people wanted to crown the championship after that, which was certainly unfair with the quality of drivers and teams in this field. I remember telling anyone who mentioned that not to forget that it's a long season and anything can happen."
Power added that he didn't want to dwell on another missed championship.
"It's important not to let what happened in the last race cloud what was a really great season both for our team and for the series," he said. "Finally, congratulations to Ryan Hunter-Reay. He is a deserving champion. You can be sure that we'll be working hard over the next few months so we're ready for another run at the championship in 2013."
Power's near misses
Goes into the deciding race at Fontana with a 17-point lead over Ryan Hunter-Reay, but crashes while battling with his rival early on. The Andretti Autosport driver's fourth-place finish is enough to snatch the title by three points.
Power loses the championship lead to Dario Franchitti at the penultimate round at Kentucky thanks to a pitlane collision with Ana Beatriz. He goes into the Las Vegas finale 18 points behind the Scot, but crashes out in in the multi-car crash that claims the life of Dan Wheldon.
Power holds a 59-point lead over Franchitti with four races to go, but the Scot slashes that to just 12 going into the final race at Homestead. When Power damages his suspension by brushing the wall, an eighth-place finish for Franchitti gives the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver the title by five points.