A great season, a great ending – Round 16
I’m writing this after a big night – we toasted our season on a high last night after a wild ending to the championship!
It was a great result for the team – and that was always the goal for the Laguna Seca final round.
We just HAD to ensure one of us won the title – and that was always most likely to be Will Power.
So having grown up watching and admiring Will – it’s now cool to be his teammate, and it’s fantastic to have played a small part in helping him win his second title.
So I couldn’t be more thrilled for him and his crew and for Roger Penske and Tim Cindric who put so much work into our team.
With Will leading the title and Josef Newgarden in contention – I was playing the role of running with Scott Dixon.
It obviously meant my chances of winning the title were unlikely – but being 41 points behind – it was always a long shot.
That left us playing the team role, and that’s cool – it’s already been a really successful season personally.
So it was my time to sacrifice for the team.
It’s not that it was a quiet afternoon – we were pitting every time Dixon stopped – and we had a couple of clashes with Marcus Ericsson who we were directly fighting for the title top five with… so there was a bit on!
The end result was a sixth place finish.
But the better result was a fourth in the championship.
All year long I’ve been striving to be top five in the series – so to be fourth was just hugely satisfying.
I’m really happy with the year – we were way ahead of my predictions, the teams predictions, even Roger’s predictions – so that’s not a bad thing, right?
I feel like we have plenty of momentum to hit the ground running when the series starts next February.
So I’m really thankful to my team and my guys – especially Benny Bretzman my engineer – who has been an unbelievable rock for me this year.
He’s believed in me and pushed me and prods me – but more importantly has given me the confidence, as well as a rocket ship to play with each weekend.
I was really hoping to win a race at the start of this season – so to have been able to win three times is bloody fantastic.
Add to that three poles and a bunch of podiums – and it again just goes to show to everyone that we belong in this sport.
You guys all know how much I sucked last year – and it got me down – but it just goes to show to everyone, that the harder you work at something, the richer the reward is when it comes.
We worked our tails off this time last year to improve – so it makes me proud how far we’ve progressed in our second season here.
It would have been easy for everyone to jump off me after 2021 – from the Penske crew, to sponsors and fans.
But people stuck with me – and that means the world to me.
Karly and I are living the dream over here – it’s the absolute best racing on earth – and we’re lucky to be with the best team.
But by no means am I content – we still have big dreams and big goals to fulfil.
An Indy 500 and an IndyCar title are my goal – and I hope I can deliver for Roger on the promise I’ve made him.
I’m nursing a sore head this morning – and I need a break after a long and demanding year, but it’ll be nice to reflect on 2022 on our break.
Next month I’ll head home for the first time since 2020 to catch up with all of our friends and family – and to see our little apartment that’s sat empty for a few years!
I’m doing some commentary at the Adelaide 500 which will be fun, and will be nice to be back in the Supercar paddock after so long away.
The it’s New Zealand for Christmas before getting back into it.
Thanks to everyone who has followed my progress over the year – I appreciate the feedback and the messages.
I’ll chat soon,