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IZOD IndyCar Series: Milwaukee IndyFest

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Milwaukee IndyFest

IZOD IndyCar Series: Milwaukee IndyFest

Helio Castroneves
">Will Power
June 15, 2013


THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with today's post‑race press conference. We're pleased to be joined by Helio Castroneves, who finished second. He retains the points lead by 16 over Ryan Hunter‑Reay.
Talk about today's race.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: It was interesting day. Certainly very difficult to pass. It's interesting, this place, it's tough because we have a lot of downforce. It's difficult for you to go around someone because of the banking, no banking at all. Everyone using very similar lanes.
But I worked through, able to work through the field. I thought it was a great race, to be honest, because people that used a different strategy, like myself, for example, were able to pass people. It turned out to be a similar situation like Texas. A lot of people with new tires passing and keep going.
So for us, we put ourselves in that position. Great strategy by Roger and the whole PPG boys.
THE MODERATOR: We're also joined by Will Power.
Will, you started strong, finished strong. Talk about today's race.
WILL POWER: There were a few guys that went off strategy like Helio, kind of mixed things up with tire life. People come out on new tires when you're on old tires passing you.
In the end, we had a good, solid run. Kind of got the car sorted by the end of the race. It was a little bit late. But I thought we had one of the strongest cars out there, kind of challenging Helio out there. It was difficult to pass, yes.
But I was very mindful coming on Helio, he's leading the championship. For Penske, it's all about the team. I didn't want to do anything desperate or anything. I want to make sure that he maintains the points lead.
If I could have passed him easy, I would. All in all, very good day. I'm very happy with third.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. (No microphone.)
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Again, I don't know what sequence of tires he was running, if he had a better tire than us. I think probably he pit afterwards, probably helped us.
Takuma and I, he was fast, too. He was have some big moments. I was just waiting for when it's going to happen. He stop. Fortunately the yellow came.
But he did a good job. He took advantage of the traffic. I think his tires were a little bit better, so he was able to take the lead. The yellow came right away. Everybody stops, got in the same sequence.
It was certainly interesting. Like I said, the whole race was very back and forth. It was a very difficult race because you have to drive the car.
WILL POWER: When was that? He was always ahead of me. I can't remember. Was he? I couldn't remember him passing me. I always thought he was ahead.
I don't think he did. Did he pass me?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: He passed me (laughter).
WILL POWER: I think he was ahead of me. But, yeah, so I don't know. He didn't pass me. He was always ahead of me.
But still, he was obviously fast. We should check what he's got on his car.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: You were joking, right?
WILL POWER: I was joking. Very dry sense of humor. Terrible really (laughter).

Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: Like I've always said, never been a lack of pace. In the past years it's always been something really unusual that's happened to me on ovals whenever I'm in a good position.
So, you know, at Texas, we're sitting second in the last stint. Still finished seventh, which is a very strong result for us this year. Very strong all day today.
I like ovals. I really enjoy them. I expect to always be extremely competitive on road courses or oval, as competitive at each.
We're just kind of putting it together. I guess there's not as much expectation on myself to win now, especially kind of not being right in the championship. A little bit more of not a relaxed approach, but methodical, not desperate in any way.

Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: Probably from myself. Like, you know, when you have a real big slump, you have to recheck yourself, get back to what actually got you in the position to be a great team. That's kind of the stage I'm in right now. It's good. You go back to working really hard.

Q. Helio, we caught the tail end of your explanation of what happened with Will there at the end. Did you see him? You had traffic in front of you. Tell us what happened. He was in the grass, by the way.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Well, he runs good in the grass. He's a road course guy (laughter).
WILL POWER: I'm a dirt‑tracker from way back (laughter).
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Our intention was never to put the guy in the grass. That was my line basically. I was running low, high, basically everything, trying to find grip, especially when I had traffic in front of me. I was trying to stay ahead of that traffic.
Yeah, he took a chance, took a look. Mears was saying that he was there. When I saw he was there, obviously I open up a little bit. But we kept going.
It's a tough corner because of that. You're trying to find grip. Sometimes it's on the inside, outside. In that case, it's three laps to go, you want to be difficult as much as you can.
I was just chasing grip. I wasn't trying to put the car in jeopardy. I was looking to the front. That was a little bit of my line. At the end of the day, great performance for both of us. We're very happy. We wanted to be first and second, but unfortunately the yellow car got first.

Q. Helio, coming back from as far back in the field as you did to finish second, probably doesn't feel like a victory, but how close does it feel?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Great result. Extremely excited, to be honest. Adrenaline is still rushing, you're still thinking because it was so difficult. Very similar to Texas. You have to think a little bit ahead, especially when you have so many guys using those same lanes. You have to use the tools that you have in your car.
I should have used a little bit towards the end, but I was concerned and it was too late. For me, it was a very good race because this is the type of things that you have to be patient, aggressive, at the same time know what to do.
Roger was great on the radio, great strategy, like I said. The boys did a great job. So definitely is going to be a great Father's Day tomorrow.

Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: Yeah, points lead is pretty far away right now. Our focus is just every weekend having solid results.
For sure, once we start Toronto, there's a bunch of street and road courses that have been my strength in the past. I don't know, I mean, at the moment it's just focusing race by race for me. See how it plays out. That's a pretty big deficit to chase down right now. It's not impossible. Mathematically possible, and if you keep pushing, anything can happen.

Q. Can both of you talk about the package, this style of racing on the one‑mile oval? Are you satisfied with the way the car works or would you like to see any changes? Is this all driver skill to get around everybody?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Well, certainly Milwaukee Mile always gave a fantastic race. I don't remember a time that there was a very difficult one. Probably a long time ago in CART times, Champ Car times.
Right now I feel on the one‑mile oval, but also the one‑and‑a‑half‑mile oval, we have a good package. We still remember like the side‑by‑side and things like that. Before side‑by‑side, it was this style of racing. I think it's even more fun.
We got to go back to what we used to. I think we have a fantastic product right now in the IndyCar Series.
WILL POWER: I agree. This race here, Milwaukee, it would look similar to Texas. The leader took off, a little lap traffic, people are off sequence.
To me in Texas, we had to drive the thing. If the fans knew how hard we were having to push, they did a good job with televising it, telling the story, catching all the passes in the middle of the pack, it would look like a great race.
I just think, like Helio said, when we used to go to Texas, it was pack racing, the leader would stay on the white line, wide open, there would be guys right behind him wide open and never pass. Is that talent? No. Your grandma could jump in and do it.
Now you really have to drive. Everybody that finished that race, Man, had to stay on top of the car. The guy that won drove better than everybody else. Wasn't the best car, no. Now it's the best driver.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Will, my grandma is too old, she can't drive the car.
WILL POWER: My grandma's dead. I do love my grandma.

Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: He came motoring by. Even on older tires...
HELIO CASTRONEVES: He was impressive. I thought he was very good. Unfortunately he got caught up in the yellow. I don't know. He probably could be a factor in Ryan's race.
I think my car was very good on the long run. I was very, very good on the long run. He seemed to be very fast. It's a shame. They stop early, because we were stopped in the same sequence. He was having a lot of hard moments. Oh, my God.
WILL POWER: This guy can drive a car looser than anyone else, even on a road course.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: He catch me so many times.
WILL POWER: It just blows my mind sometimes to see him. He's just phenomenal.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: He did a great job.

Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: That's normal for him. Yeah, he's good.

Q. (No microphone.)
HELIO CASTRONEVES: For me in the end it was. We were 10 laps, 12 laps. The problem is, I can see the blue flag. In all fairness for the lapped traffic, they're not waving, they're just put in position. This is fighting for first, second, third. First already checked out. They should be thinking.
Again, it's not the series' fault. Sometimes people need to use courtesy. Kind of like, Hey, let a guy by. Unfortunately for me, it wasn't that case. Towards the end it was very difficult.

Q. (No microphone.)
HELIO CASTRONEVES: I have not had a chance yet. I think I need to let my blood pressure go a little bit down.
WILL POWER: You were angry.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: I was a little bit upset. It was just upsetting my car a lot. But, anyway, we talk about this at the drivers meeting sometimes. If it's middle of the race, maybe it's fine. But 10 laps left in the race...
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys. Congratulations on a great race.

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