Will Power's wife had two 911 calls related to staph infection this week, not at St. Pete

Nathan Brown
Indianapolis Star

A little over a year ago, Liz Power had a hunch. With her husband coming off his worst full-time IndyCar season with Team Penske (9th in points), she believed Will would redefine his career over his next 17 races. She spoke into existence Power’s takeover of Mario Andretti’s long-time IndyCar pole record and his long-awaited second championship.

But as Power will be without Liz helping manage him through his season-opening weekend responsibilities. After two 9-1-1 calls this week – including an overnight hospital stay Monday night – Power arrived in St. Pete this week without Liz or the couple’s 6-year-old son, Beau.  

Liz remains “somewhat bedridden,” according to Power, who told media Friday that she continues to battle complications related to a staph infection that required her to undergo back surgery several months ago.

“Seeing Liz struggle sucks. It really does. She’s someone that’s always up and going, so to see her somewhat bed-ridden and unable to do a lot of what she normally does…” Will said, tailing off. “It sucks having her not be at the race. I know how much she loves it, and I love having her here and Beau here. It’s lonely.”

Team Penske driver Will Power (12) celebrates with his wife Liz after winning the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Power said Liz was taken to the hospital early Monday morning around 2 a.m., returned in the evening, remained overnight and was released Tuesday. Initially in Thermal a month ago ahead of the preseason Open Test, Power said the next five weeks for his wife were critical, as doctors hoped they could get to a point where they “felt safe” when it came to her health.

Power did say that doctors were optimistic in the latest check of her spine, but that “the infection is key to get under control. She’s still going to be on antibiotics into April, and we’re just praying that eliminates it completely and the numbers with her blood keep going down. It’s going slowly, but it’s headed in the right direction.”

The IndyCar veteran, whose changes to his mental approach ushered in an easy-going attitude and an even more refined race weekend focus, leaned heavily on those tools at home this week, as well as a dedicated family support system.

The avid drummer was so wired into his beloved pastime Wednesday that he forgot about his series media Zoom with reporters and was a couple minutes late. “We’ve had friends stay over, and I’ve done my same routine, all the same prep work I would normally do (for a race weekend),” Power said. “I’ve been able to get sleep because we have people there. All that’s been good.

“Still, leaving home without (my family), it’s sad. You’ve got FaceTime and all that stuff, and I’m calling (Liz) multiple times in the day, but there’s nothing you can do about it.”

What is Will Power's contract situation?

Power said he has no concerns about his contract and future with Team Penske.

It was at this same race two years ago that the 2018 Indy 500 winner told NBC Sports that he’d signed a new two-year deal. In Year 1, Power delivered Penske another title eight years after the Australian driver’s first in 2014. Power was coy on details but did say that his future “is all in my hands.” Even before he’d clinched his championship in the season-finale at Laguna Seca last September, Roger Penske told IndyStar he planned to hold contract talks with Power. Those talks have begun and it seems to be all but done. Power has said he’d like to race at least until he’s 45.

“We’re all good and sorted. We know what’s going on going forward,” Power said. “I’m set beyond this year, yes. I know what’s going on after this year, yes. It’s all good – I’ll leave it at that."