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IZOD IndyCar Series: Honda Indy 200 presented by Westfield Insurance

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Honda Indy 200 presented by Westfield Insurance

IZOD IndyCar Series: Honda Indy 200 presented by Westfield Insurance

Helio Castroneves
Will Power
August 8, 2010


THE MODERATOR: We'll get started here with Will Power. Will finished second. His sixth podium finish of the 2010 season.
A few other notes for Will. Today's race was his fifth consecutive top-five finish and also his seventh consecutive race leading laps.
Will, talk about the race and the Mario Andretti Trophy.
WILL POWER: It's a real honor to wrap up the road course championship and the Mario Andretti Trophy. We got our sights set on winning the overall championship. That's what I've been aiming for all year.
Yeah, I mean, can't have Dario beating us if we're going to do that. Got to stay out of the pits there and it's tough to get by at the end.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions for Will.

Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, she was hard to predict what she's going to do. Luckily I got by her.
Dario got by and got a good gap right then. That sort of ruined any chance of passing him in the pits during the pit stop. Yeah, don't know what else to say (laughter).

Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: Yeah, it wasn't a problem for me because I was -- it was I guess getting into the pit box. Yeah, it was tight for everyone, I'm sure. Some people had some troubles in pit lane when we all pitted under yellow.
Yeah, I mean, it's great for the series we've got so many cars. It's a good problem to have when you can't fit the cars into pit lane. It just shows that IndyCar is growing. I heard that there will be probably 29 cars at some of the oval races coming up. How long has it been since you've seen that car count? That's really great.

Q. Talk about the first pit stop, pit exit.
WILL POWER: Yeah, Dario, he just got out before us. I mean, that was it. I couldn't do anything about it. Obviously those guys did a really good stop. Initially I thought they might have short-filled some. I'm not sure. He pitted on the same lap after that.

Q. Looked like three cars.

Q. Why was there no passing?
WILL POWER: You just can't get a run enough. I was quicker than Dario for sure at the end, but you just can't get a run. There's not a long enough straight.
Let's say if that straight down the back was half as long again, I would have passed him. Yeah, you can't pass.

Q. Is it one of those things where they need to make a mistake?
WILL POWER: I was trying really hard at the end to make him make a mistake, letting him see me in his mirrors, letting him know if he made one little slip-up, I'm going to get him. That was the only way I was going to get by.
THE MODERATOR: Helio Castroneves finished third. If you could talk about the race and the contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: We started at the beginning, kind of a good start. It was very difficult for me. My car was pushing quite a lot at the beginning. I just fall back a little bit, started saving quite a lot of fuel. The team kind of warned me I was losing more time, so it's better to come back again. I was kind of surprised that the car was responding exactly what I was asking for.
When the yellow came, we all pit. We had a great pit stop. We get out a little bit ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay, but he also is moving. I believe he was avoiding people in front of him. But I was already kind of like on the side. I don't think the team were warning him I was there. It's a very tight pit.
I was very surprised, I thought my race was over right there. But somehow it made my car better (laughter). I think it bent a little bit -- not bent, but knocked off a little bit the tow on the left rear because I kind of like between the wall and his car. From there on, it was great.
Different strategy. I was behind Will. I was able to pass Ryan. Obviously I'm on probation so I have to behave myself. But certainly this guy here, I was more kind of like, you know, waiting there. I didn't want to do anything silly. Certainly he's in a much better chance in the championship. That's the way I was thinking.
Through the rest of the race, I was just kind of right there. Towards the end, I decided to back off and see if I could push a little bit, focus a little bit on the guy in front. It seem to be work. Certainly the red tires were getting better and better towards the end. Those guys, I just decided to manage the third place and finish third.
THE MODERATOR: We'll continue with questions for Will and Helio.

Q. At what point in the season do you start thinking if it remains like this, I got to finish ahead of Dario?
WILL POWER: Yeah, it's already become that, you know. It's sort of looking like it might be the two of us, but things change pretty quick. Yeah, I mean, at the moment I really need to finish ahead of Dario every week. We just can't afford to let him get that points jump. I think it's going to be real tight all the way to the end.

Q. Helio, talk about the sequence with Milka, what Will did to avoid her as well.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Yeah, as soon as we were approaching her, we knew we might lose a little time. It was a quick thinking from Cindric because we all three together. So we were able to pit.
But unfortunately they were able to overtake her. I probably would end up being in a very bad situation because I wouldn't be able to go around her on that spot.
It was a great call from Cindric to pit right away. I believe the window was perfect. It was great. We were able to go back in front of Tagliani but not in front of Will. But we were able to catch up with them towards the end.
It was just a quick reaction which turned out to be not bad.

Q. Could you talk about how difficult it is to pass here and where you can do it.
WILL POWER: Yeah, for me, I had no doubt that I was quicker than Dario at the end. I was trying to get runs on him. Just wasn't a quite long enough straight to get up beside him to pass him. Yeah, I put the pressure on.
I mean, it's like that here. It's like that in Sonoma. Yeah, it's hard to find places to pass. You have cars that are so evenly matched and drivers that are so evenly matched, I had to rely on him to make a mistake to get by.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Very much the same. The cars and the teams are so competitive that you see on the lap times, on the qualifying, we're talking about one second every 20 cars. It just shows out there one second, it's difficult already to make an overtake. When you have all the guys running on the same pace, it's extremely hard.
It's the nature of the track. He was trying to make Dario make a mistake. He's probably the oldest one here. It's difficult to teach, what is it, an old dog a new trick (laughter).

Q. Was there a point when you were in traffic that you were aware of your line? Did you do anything out of character than you normally would have done because of what happened?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: No, not really. I was going very aggressive, as much as I could. If I have an opportunity, I want to make it. Certainly between Will and I, I was just being sensible, just trying to make sure that I didn't make anything bad, especially when the guy has so much lead on the championship.
I could push, but I have to be a little more caution than aggressive. But other than that, I was back there with all the guys. I was driving the same way I was.

Q. Will, were you affected at all by the practice crash yesterday?
WILL POWER: No, not at all. Crew does such a good job of getting the backup car exactly the same. Mentally I was fine, too. In fact, my strongest part of the track was turn one. That's where I pulled in on Dario a lot. It wasn't a problem.
THE MODERATOR: We'll wrap-up with Helio and Will. Congratulations.

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