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After a year’s delay, Will Power has his sights on third Grand Prix title

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For Will Power, it all seemed destined.

He had won the pole for the St. Petersburg Grand Prix. Again. A lot of analysts thought he was going to win it for the third time. It was going to be smooth sailing, right?

And then it wasn’t.

After a crash in practice, Power was held out of last year’s race with concerns about a possible concussion (he didn’t have one) just before the race and had to sit and watch as Juan Pablo Montoya won for the second straight year. Only Helio Castroneves has won more often.

But Power doesn’t have a grand scheme of winning. He prefers a laid-back approach.

“I’ve just said it’s going to be what it’s going to be,” Power said. “The year I won the championship, I just did a race-by-race thing. I’ve tried everything, but I think what works is just focusing on each little bit at a time.”

Power, who has 25 wins on the circuit, still figures to be one of the men to beat in the event.

“I’m just looking forward to this season,” Power said. “I’m just doing my normal thing heading into it. I haven’t really thought about it too much. It’s been a long time since then, a lot of races since then. I’m just working through the things I need to do in order to be quick there.”

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg weekend opens with a pair of 45-minute practices Friday, beginning at 11:15 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET. A third practice is scheduled for 10:50 a.m. Saturday, with knockout qualifying beginning at 2:55 p.m. The final warmup practice takes place at 9 a.m. Sunday, with the green flag waving for the 110-lap event on the 1.8-mile temporary street circuit at 12:30 p.m.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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