FRISCO, Texas (May 30, 2018) – The following is an event recap with photo and video links of reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Will Power’s visit with the Dallas Cowboys during Wednesday’s NFL Organized Team Activities at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
Freshly crowned Indianapolis 500 champion Will Power may be more familiar with Australian Rules Football or Australian Rugby, but he is well aware of “America’s Team” – the Dallas Cowboys.
Power, the first Australian to win the Indy 500 in its 102-year history, enjoyed a private tour of The Star and then had an opportunity to visit with a number of Dallas Cowboys players, coaches and even a few legends that stopped by.
And if the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion with Team Penske needed any help identifying any of them, he could lean heavily on his wife, Liz, and brother-in-law, Billy Cannon. Having grown up in Plano, Texas, the Cannon family members are all avid Dallas Cowboys fans and Liz even won a contest to be a junior Dallas Cowboys cheerleader on Thanksgiving Day as a kid.
For Liz and Billy, it may have felt like winning the Indianapolis 500 all over again.
“I’ve been to like four Super Bowls and didn’t really know the players or the teams,” said Power, who was a special guest of his sponsor Verizon at those games. “My brother-in-law is just an absolute football nut. Dallas Cowboys fan. So is my wife. So it’s pretty cool to bring them along to do this.”
The group enjoyed a special tour of the facilities, watched a portion of practice and then Power visited with Cowboys players as they came off the field.
He signed nearly three dozen commemorative milk bottles for the players while a few others such as running back Ezekiel Elliott, offensive tackle Tyron Smith and head coach Jason Garrett also received a signed Justin cowboy hat that is given to the winner of next week’s DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, where Power is the defending champ.
Power also got the opportunity to meet a few Cowboys legends that were on hand, including running backs Calvin Hill and Daryl “Moose” Johnston, during his visit.
Regardless of what type of football one follows, Power came away impressed with the size and strength of the Cowboys players.
“These guys are huge,” Power said after watching practice. “I can’t believe they run at each other and they’re almost 300 pounds and they run fast. We have to keep kind of small. It’s very physical in the car. I don’t think people realize that. You have to be fit. If you’re not fit, you’re going to make mistakes and you’re not going to be competitive. But these guys, I don’t think I’d ever put a helmet on and let them run at me.”
Will Power, along with his wife Liz and brother-in-law Billy Cannon, enjoyed a lengthy and candid conversation with Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett following practice.
Garrett appreciated the visit and skill set of a different type athlete as well as having his family members on hand that were die-hard Cowboy fans. He posed for photos with them and presented Power with a Dallas Cowboys NFL football signed by him with a congratulatory note. Liz already declared that the football has a place reserved on their mantle at their home in North Carolina.
“Congratulations. That’s an incredible thing to win that race,” Garrett told Power. “It’s a privilege to have you here today. I know the guys will be talking about this in the locker room.”
“I’ve been working toward that for about 20 years now,” Power told Garrett. “It’s like winning the Super Bowl. It’s everything you want to achieve as a race car driver.”
With a number of Cowboys fans as family members and relatives, Power is keenly aware of the prestige of being the head coach of one of the NFL’s most prestigious franchises.
“You have an amazing job you have,” Power told Garrett. “It’s a lot of work, but a lot of fun.”
Responded Garrett: “You should talk.”
What They Are Saying
“I had so many years of thinking about ‘I have to win the 500’ and kind of a bit of frustration in there. I still have that thought because it was so strong in my mind that I’m like hang on, no I won the 500. That’s going to be there forever.” – Team Penske driver Will Power on finally capturing his first Indianapolis 500 crown.
“It was an exciting win for me last year simply because I was trying to win it for so long. My wife and her family is from here (Plano). I remember her cousin said ‘just win this race, would ya?’ And he was actually there when I did. … It’s a special place. I usually come here for Thanksgiving, Christmas, so I’ve spent a lot of time in Texas. It’s kind of a second home for me.” – Will Power on winning the DXC Technology 600 last June at Texas Motor Speedway.
Joe Looney: “I wish I could get (in) one of those cars.”
Will Power: “I can get you in a two-seater, if you want.”
Joe Looney: “I might not fit in there. Maybe a four-seater.” – Exchange between offensive lineman Joe Looney and Will Power following the Cowboys OTA practice session.
It took 77 career Indy-car starts for the 37-year-old Will Power to finally secure his first oval victory and it came at Texas Motor Speedway in 2011. He won the second of two races in the Firestone Twin 275s (right), leading 68 of the race’s 114 laps and edging Scott Dixon by 0.9466 of a second on Texas’ 1.5-mile oval. The triumph snapped a 76-race oval victory drought that spanned from his start in the Champ Car World Series (2005-07) through his early years in the Verizon IndyCar Series that began in ‘08. He returns next week to Texas Motor Speedway as the defending champion of the DXC Technology 600 after putting on a dominating display last June to earn his second win at Texas. Last year, he led nine times for 180 laps in the 248-lap event that featured 23 lead changes among seven drivers.
Offensive lineman Zack Martin, who was not at OTAs as he is seeking a new contract, was not forgotten by Power when he was told that Martin is an Indianapolis native, played at Notre Dame and, most importantly, an avid Indy-car fan. Power left him a signed Indy 500 milk bottle that read, “Zack, Missed you at practice” and will be in his Cowboys locker when he finally returns. … This is the second consecutive year that the reigning Indianapolis 500 champion has visited the Dallas Cowboys during OTAs. Last year, Takuma Sato of Andretti Autosport made the visit to The Star. … This was the second day of the Victory Tour for Power, who spent Tuesday in New York City and was headed to Detroit late this afternoon for more engagements and interviews tomorrow before getting back where he is most comfortable, in the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet. Power, who won the INDYCAR Grand Prix prior to the 500, will look for his third – and possibly fourth – consecutive win of the season when the Verizon IndyCar Series competes in a doubleheader Saturday and Sunday at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park in downtown Detroit. Both races will be televised on ABC-TV, beginning at 2:30 p.m. CT each day.
Click here to view and/or download photos from the event. www.image.net/indy500championsvisit
Click here to view and/or download a video b-roll package from the event. www.image.net/indy500championsvisit
Upcoming Event At A Glance
DXC Technology 600 INDYCAR/NASCAR Trucks/Stadium SUPER Trucks tripleheader
VICS = Verizon IndyCar Series / NCWTS = NASCAR Camping World Truck Series / SST = Stadium SUPER Trucks
Thursday, June 7
9:00 am–6:00 pm Texas Motor Speedway Credentials Office Hours
3:05 pm–3:55 pm NCWTS 1st Practice
5:05 pm–5:55 pm NCWTS Final Practice
Friday, June 8
9:00 am–8:00 pm Texas Motor Speedway Credentials Office Hours
9:00 am–10:00 pm VICS Garage Open
12:00 pm–8:00 pm Outdoor Powersports Offroad Ruckus Open (South Infield)
3:00 pm–4:00 pm US Concrete Qualifying Day for VICS
4:45 pm US Concrete Qualifying Day for NCWTS
6:15 pm–7:15 pm VICS Final Practice
8:00 pm NCWTS Rattlesnake 400 (167 laps, 250.5 miles, FOX Sports 1)
30 min post Checkered Flag – SST Practice
Saturday, June 9
12:00 pm–8:00 pm Outdoor Powersports Offroad Ruckus Open (South Infield)
2:00 pm–7:30 pm Texas Motor Speedway Credentials Office Hours
2:00 pm VICS Garage Open
5:15 pm–5:45 pm SST Qualifying Race
7:45 pm VICS DXC Technology 600 (248 laps, 372 miles, NBC Sports Network)
- min post Checkered Flag – SST No Limits Off Road Rumble
Tickets are available by contacting the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.