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IZOD IndyCar Series: MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championships

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championships

IZOD IndyCar Series: MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championships

Will Power
September 15, 2012


FONTANA, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR:  We are pleased to be joined by Will Power of Team Penske who finished second in the championship points for the 2012 season.  Looking at the numbers, they were impressive.  Six podiums, five poles, 294 laps led.  You know, talk about tonight's race.  You had an incident.  You guys worked on the car, got back out there, and got the two points you needed.  But obviously a tough position for you guys. 
WILL POWER:  Yeah, it's definitely frustrating, but when I look at it three years in a row I convincingly won the road course championship, and it's very obvious that the ovals, I just don't know why I can't put my finger on one particular thing that I don't do right. 
But tonight it was just catching a seam and really caught me just unbelievable.  Just really caught me out.  I just did not expect that to happen. 
So I feel bad for the team.  I really do.  I feel bad for my guys to be three years in a row so close, and you see the effort that they put in just to get me out to do 12 more laps in such a short space for a completely wrecked car. 
I don't know what to say.  I feel sorry for Penske Racing to end up in this position again because of one of my mistakes.

Q.  (No microphone) in Baltimore, the decision to go to the wet tires, did that give Ryan the crack he needed to get back into this championship? 
WILL POWER:  It's just multiple things.  If you look at it, three ovals I crashed out of is a massive hit on points.  All of those other things, sixth place in Baltimore is a good finish.  If you look at your worst results of the year, my worst with three DNFs there, definitely a big hits on points. 
You can't just look at the last three races and say if this had happened, it's over a whole season that you win a championship, and that was proven tonight.

Q.  Will, there were at least two other drivers that got caught up by that very scene this week, so you were by no means the first person.  Do you let this sink in?  Do you let this take set that you have a deficiency on the ovals or do you realize it's happened to others and that's just how it went? 
WILL POWER:  Yeah, I wish I had done it earlier in the weekend.  I wish I had done it in the two full days of testing just once.  I usually wait until the race to make a mistake on an oval.  I just, you know, on the oval front, I just don't know what to look at.  If I go through the oval season this year, Conway crashed in front of me.  Iowa, E.J. had a misunderstanding with the spotter.  He was there, and we touched, I got spun out and that was that.  Milwaukee was just we kind of went back, had a bad stop, and then here a mistake of my own. 
I can't put my finger on what.  What do you do?  Do you become more conservative?  What?  Yeah.

Q.  How did the car feel after it came back out? 
WILL POWER:  She was pretty‑‑ that was like I was very, very tense on the wheel.  That's why I said I can't do more than five laps in this thing not because ‑‑ it was actually pretty square, just a couple of other things.  We could have gotten that thing back to where it was with the set‑up check.  We didn't put it on the scale. 
It was just a bit of cross weight, bit of turn and we would have fixed the thing.  But as it stood, it was definitely a loose car.  I thought I was going to crash again.

Q.  How aware were you of the situations playing out that could have won you a championship?  At the end, were you aware of Helio taking fresh tires and really trying to gamble to get up there? 
WILL POWER:  Yeah, I thought at first, that gamble I was like, oh, what are you doing man?  And then suddenly here comes Castroneves.  But Sato caused the yellow, but you put yourself in that position to rely on someone having a bad day, it's just you really need to be there.  I really just it's the last race of every year for me.  It's very strange.

Q.  You're pretty intense and very committed to this, but yet your spirits seemed kind of good tonight.  I'm wondering how hard you're going to take this going forward, and how hard are you taking it now?  Have you come to peace with it? 
WILL POWER:  Well, I've done it for two years in a row, so I've kind of learned how to cope with it.  Well, I think the way it's worked out in the last couple of years is what's going to happen is going to happen.  Then I still look at tonight and think I definitely could have prevented that one. 
Yeah.  No use in dwelling on it.  Racing is tough.  IndyCar in particular is tough.  It's easy to go and point fingers and all that as why we didn't win, but at the end of the day, Hunter‑Reay did a very solid job.  Won more races than anyone.  Won on ovals, road courses, and he's definitely a deserving champion.  There is no question.

Q.  Will, can you say something before you crashed, talk about the condition of the track?  Was there a difference between qualifying and practice starting here in the early evening and later in the night? 
WILL POWER:  Actually, the track was coming in real nicely.  Our car was quick, really quick.  So it was rubbering up, getting cooler.  It was getting grippy as you could see the good racing at the end.  It was at its peak of grip and everything.  Yeah, I think they've got the down force level right.  They really did.  It's been good racing.

Q.  Is this the toughest championship to win in racing because of all the different disciplines that you have to master? 
WILL POWER:  For me, it is, definitely.  I mean, for me ovals aren't what I ever thought I'd do.  I was never that keen on them.  Obviously, road course racing‑‑ for the road course championship, I think we would have won it with three races to go every year. 
But, you know I started to enjoy ovals more this year just for the fact that they put the drivers in the drivers hands more, like at Texas and here, and taking the down force off.  I definitely didn't enjoy it when it was pack racing.  I just thought it was crazy, insane type of racing.  It makes more sense the way we do it now.

Q.  Every year it comes down to the last laps. 
WILL POWER:  Yeah, it's funny.  It is.  I don't know.  It's good for IndyCar. 

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