Will Power grew up in Toowoomba, Australia, with a passion for racing and a burning desire for success, but he also always looked forward to one day having a family.
So the Team Penske driver was ecstatic when his wife, Liz, gave birth to a son, Beau, in December of 2016. Power, 38, knew how much he would embrace the role of being a father, and the joy of having a son has added an element to his life that he anticipated.
“I absolutely love him to death,” Power said. “Some days, you think, ‘How cool is this to be a dad?’ I wanted to have a kid so badly. It’s just awesome to have a kid.
“I love being a dad. I can’t be away from Beau for too long -- I look forward to coming home. The best part about my day every day is I look forward to coming back to see my son.”
It’s often said that nothing in life compares to being a parent, but Power always knew how he would be as a dad.
“I was always that sort of person anyway, very loving to animals and I liked kids,” he said. “I couldn’t wait to have kids. Yeah, I figured this is how it would be for me.”
As much as Will appreciates his parents, he learned from them how he wanted to be as a father. The Power household when he was a kid didn’t include “I love you” being said too often. Power’s father, Bob, was a former open-wheel racer.
“He’s never said that and I’ve never said that to him or my mom,” Will said. “That’s just the way they were. That’s the way it is. I know I say it to my boy. You look at that part as something you didn’t like about him, and you would never do that to your son.
“My dad would say, ‘Good job,’ but never let it be known how proud he was. He was just a good, old guy. I really enjoyed being around him. Now, I really, really look forward to hanging out with my dad, just to be able to talk to him.”
Bob Power never had to encourage Will to race because it’s what the son always wanted. Will has had a celebrated NTT IndyCar Series career with a 2014 championship and winning the 2018 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Will Power’s 37 career wins are tied with Sebastien Bourdais for sixth on the all-time list.
“My dad was a good dad,” Will said. “He was from the era of belting, like a lot of them were. He was tough in some ways, but a very good dad. He made me quite disciplined.
“He was very supportive. He never pushed me into racing. He was very good in that respect. He just said, ‘Do your best.’ He would never ever tell me I was bad. Ever.”
One of the revelations of becoming a parent is that the fast-paced lifestyle of a racing driver takes a back seat to the son when dad comes home. Will relishes that.
“Yeah, which is great for me,” he said. “I love it. I can’t get enough of that. I would have four kids if I could. I’ll definitely be trying for another.”
Consider negotiations on the Powers’ future family planning as ongoing.
“She knows I want four,” Will said of Liz. “We probably won’t have four. I’ll be really lucky if we have three. I’ll be really stoked when we have another one.”
INDYCAR.com will spend the next several Mondays profiling the NTT IndyCar Series drivers who are fathers. Next week: Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay.