Will Power and The Quan

By Anonymous

Note from George:  On Monday night, I received an e-mail from an individual with an unsolicited post as an attachment. This person said I could do what I wished with it; either trash it or use it. If I used it there were two conditions – I would not pay for it, and the person had to remain completely anonymous.

Although now retired, this person was once a fixture in the IndyCar paddock and was highly respected. Many of you would recognize the name and/or face. I am honored and a bit surprised that this individual has chosen this site to share his or her thoughts. As you see, I have chosen to use it, while meeting the conditions. I will return here on Friday with a post of my own again. – GP

Jerry Maguire: “But, what’s the quan”?

Rod Tidwell: “It means love, respect, community… and the dollars too. The entire package. The Quan!”

from Jerry Maguire (1996)

If you rewatch the Indycar finale at Laguna Seca and specifically the post-race celebration for and by Will Power, it’s easy to be reminded of the movie Jerry Maguire and of The Quan. One can only conclude that at the age of 41 years, Power has attained at least some measure of The Quan and be happy for him.

Love. No one who saw it can forget Power’s celebration in victory lane when he won the 2018 Indianapolis 500. Power and his wife Liz were the very picture of unrestrained excitement and joy over that victory, coming as it did at a pivotal moment in Power’s career. That victory appears to have played at least some role in the renewal of his contract with Team Penske and it confirmed his position among the elite of his profession where he remains today. As important as the joy and professional success, however, was the fact that Liz seemed just as excited by the victory as Will. She seemed genuinely overjoyed for her husband and he seemed to want nothing more than to share the moment with his wife. At that year’s victory banquet Connor Daly even commented that Will and Liz had set some kind of standard for what celebration in victory lane should look like. Everyone recognized that the shared emotional investment in a spouse’s successes and struggles is a form of love.

Fast forward to 2022 at Laguna Seca where they were at it again – Will and Liz at the center of the celebration, Will at the peak of his profession, Liz seemingly just as happy as Will, and Will wanting nothing more than to share the moment with his wife. Add to this their son, Beau, who got to share the moment with his dad, who seemed to make his inclusion a priority.

Lets all remember that nothing can lie quite as well as television. I don’t know if they’re a happy family, but we could all see the obvious – that Will has a wife of 12 years who seems invested in his success and a beautiful son with whom to share his moment. No matter what the behind-the-scene reality might or might not be (I have no clue), it was clear that Will has a good measure of love in his life. It was impossible not to be happy for him as a man.

Respect. Multiple series championships. An Indy 500. Fifth all-time with 40+ series victories. Comments from competitors and colleagues before the race seem to reflect a high level of esteem from among his peers. The broadcast crew noted that at 41, Will seemed to have gained a new and better measure of maturity and patience to balance the intensity that helped him win the title. To top it all off, having become the all-time Indycar pole champ, Will received congratulations from the legend himself and the man he surpassed, Mario Andretti. It’s easy to imagine that such congratulations would be a career highlight for any Indycar driver. While I know of no poll that measures the respect held for any given driver from within the Indycar paddock, it’s difficult to imagine that he isn’t one of the most respected.

Community. The circumstances around Power’s landing a job with Team Penske in 2009 are well known. He finished the 2008 season with one win but an uncertain future. He then proceeded to turn what looked like a short-term role as Helio Castroneves’ fill-in into a long-term career with Team Penske, where he remains after 14 seasons and where it appears he might someday finish a remarkable career. At Team Penske, Power appears to have been an important contributor to a culture of excellence and winning. The community he helped build with his engineers, mechanics, pit crews, teammates, and bosses was an important part of his success. Let’s all remember that longevity of this kind with an Indycar team is the exception, not the rule.

Dollars. Power drives successfully for one of the top teams in motorsports. While no one has authoritatively reported on Power’s income at team Penske, it’s unlikely that he’s struggling financially.

Love, respect, community, and the dollars too. The entire package. Of course, we’ll never know what might be going on behind the scenes in Power’s life and career and we must never forget that whom the gods would destroy they would first make happy, but Will Power seems to have achieved at least some measure of The Quan and it’s impossible not to be happy for him as a fellow human being. Congratulations, Will.

6 Responses to “Will Power and The Quan”

  1. Thanks to George and the anonymous writer. Will Power is a gem and indeed an all-time great.

  2. Not your best posting. Blah Blah Blah things I already knew about Will Power. I thought I was reading a teenagers book report

    • Sorry this one didn’t meet your regular standards, Mr. Pulitzer. I’m sure that all future posters on this site will take your extremely high bar into account before they write word #1 here in all their subsequent posts.

  3. I appreciate this recap of WP and his season. I’m not a huge fan of his, and still respect his driving skills and the path he’s traveled to get here. In a world of social media “love this, hate that” I appreciate this anon blogger’s view. And, appreciate George being willing to step aside for a different writer and perspective.

  4. I’m confused !
    Why anonymous? What’s to hide.
    Pay for it ?!!!
    Why so many negative references to his private life
    “ I don’t know if they are a happy family “
    “ no matter what the behind the scenes reality “
    “ we’ll never know what’s going on behind the scenes “.

    Maybe I’m missing something but all seems rather strange to me.

    However totally agree with the gist of the letter and WELL DONE MR POWER

    Your sincerely
    Confused !

  5. Bif Buffington Says:

    Oh man, did that go over your heads!

    It’s painfully obvious to me this person is trying to warn us that something ain’t right in Power land and that one of them isn’t being honest with the other, if you catch my drift.

    No wait, you just missed it above, let me say it out loud: sounds to me like one of them is having an affair. It is fairly obvious in the email. I mean, do you have to be hit over the head with a brick here, HAHAHAHAA!!!!!

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