(This story originally appeared as exclusive content on the Verizon INDYCAR Mobile app.)
MOORESVILLE, North Carolina – As the Verizon IndyCar Series celebrates the holiday season with the rest of the world, leave it to Team Penske driver Will Power to give INDYCAR “the gift that keeps on giving.”
It comes thanks to his young son, Beau, who just turned 1 year old on Dec. 20.
When the Powers hired a professional photographer to shoot the family’s Christmas card photo, Beau’s reaction in many of the photos was priceless. Some of the photographs were released by Power and his wife, Liz, via social media and the reaction has put even the most bitter “Scrooges” in the Christmas spirit.
Power admitted he couldn’t have planned the photos to turn out any better.
“That was pretty funny,” the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion told the Verizon INDYCAR Mobile app. “Beau was being a really good boy. He was behaving himself and being really funny when we were doing the family photos. We have some great photos of him. That was a pretty good moment to catch.”
One of the best photos is of Will and Liz gazing into each other’s eyes as if they were about to kiss. Meanwhile, Beau – sitting between the couple – is giving a look of “Oh, my!” on his face.
“That was a great photo but we have some others that are just as good,” Will Power said. “He was playing around and smiling and the photographers got a perfect shot to capture the expression like that.
“We saw that photo and we were like, ‘Oh, my God, that is hilarious!’ So we put it on social media. The photo we put on the Christmas card is a little different. It was another great, great photo of Beau. People started texting Liz and me about the photo. It’s the most reaction I’ve ever gotten from a social media post.”
Liz Power called the photos “the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. He knew what the photographer was doing and the photographer said we should get him an agent. The timing was amazing on the shots. He was a total ham for the two hours we were with the photographer.”
Beau’s birth in 2016 provided the Powers with a Christmas gift that will last a lifetime. Because he was less than a week old last year, this is really the first Christmas he is participating in with the family. The Powers are spending Christmas with Liz’s family near Dallas.
Christmas has become more special to the Powers with Beau in their life. They can see the wonderment of the season in their son’s eyes.
“It is exciting because we are taking him to see Santa, all of my family is excited and it’s a more exciting feel for Christmas,” Liz said. “It takes us back to what Christmas meant when we were kids.”
Maybe, but the visit with Santa Claus didn't go as smoothly as the family photos, according to Will's Instagram post (be sure to click on the arrow on the right side of the photo to see a second photo with Beau's reaction):
Will young Beau be spoiled with Christmas gifts?
“Mom and Dad haven’t gotten him too much, but Grandma has gone completely and totally overboard,” Liz said of her mother. “She’s going to spoil him. He had one birthday party here with 40 people and another 40 or 50 (were) coming to a birthday party in Texas on Dec. 21. So, Mom and Dad don’t have to do much to get him spoiled with all of that.”
The INDYCAR paddock has seen a resurgence in young children in recent years. Drivers Sebastien Bourdais, Ed Carpenter, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Tony Kanaan all have children who spend time at some races.
“It’s funny how the paddock has turned into day care in the motorhome lot,” Will Power said.
But is the INDYCAR paddock ready for Beau Power?
“I don’t think they are ready for him,” Liz said. “He’s only a baby but he’s going to give Mommy and Daddy a run for their money.”