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IndyCar Series: 35th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  35th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

IndyCar Series: 35th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Will Power
April 19, 2009


LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA

THE MODERATOR: Will, a second place run out there for you. Your best ever finish while in the IndyCar Series. Talk about your run out there today.
WILL POWER: Yeah, it was good. It was very sort of the result that I needed. We didn't have communication. I couldn't hear them on the radio, so we were using the boards, but the guys did a great job.
The power was good throughout the race. I was saving some serious fuel at the end there because I wasn't sure whether I could make it because we didn't have the communication working on my dash. But we had a really good result with the Verizon Wireless 12 car.
THE MODERATOR: Did the heat play a factor out there today?
WILL POWER: No, I was fine. I really felt fit. It didn't affect me at all.

Q. You mentioned that you had no radio and no telemetry; is that correct, in the car?
WILL POWER: Yeah, it was just a small wiring problem. You know, we brought the car here and it's just a little issue. So it wasn't a big deal. We used the board, and I could just hear the radio in a small section of the front straight. You know, we got it done, we got what we needed done.

Q. So you worked pit board only?
WILL POWER: Pit board, and a small bit of radio. I couldn't talk back, but I could hear.

Q. Ever see a guy so happy to finish 7th? And how are your feelings? You have to have mixed emotions today. You left here second place, and now you've got to wait a couple of weeks to get in the car?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I'm just happy to be given an opportunity, especially with this team, Team Penske's very special. To run the Indy 500 with these guys is going to be great. It's going to give me a good opportunity to run right up in the front. They've had a lot of success there, as you know. So I'm looking forward to the month of May.

Q. What was your mindset coming into this weekend? And what was your focal point at the start of the race?
WILL POWER: Coming into the weekend I was aware that possibly Helio could return, because his case was coming to an end. So halfway through Friday I was told that Helio was coming back, and we'd be going to a third car.
But I remained focused the whole time. Each session I just took it as it came. I did the best job possible. You know, if you keep working hard, you have a bit of good luck.

Q. Can you talk us through the sequence of events when I guess it was Dario and Rafa got past you down at the far end of the racetrack. Did it have anything to do with Mike Conway being in the tires in turn one? Just can you take us through that whole thing?
WILL POWER: Like I said, I could hear the radio on a small one section of the strait. I heard full course yellow, turn one. And I just said, okay, turn the fuel mixture lean, and backed off. And then suddenly two cars off the complex come cruising past me, and I realized that it wasn't.
Then a couple of corners later it was a full course yellow. And I had no radio communication, so am I supposed to pass these cars back? Was it a full course yellow? It was a little confusing. But I think we jumped them in the pits anyway, because the crew did a really good job. They were really quick.

Q. What was it like working with Nigel Barrels, Baris Ford, and Ericsson? Those guys, Ericsson has a long history in NASCAR, and Nigel's been with Roger for a long time. What was it like working with those guys?
WILL POWER: Yeah, really good, considering the short timeframe to form a relationship with those guys. It was great, you know. It was like we've been together forever. We just come qualifying we all had our plan worked out. The car was good, and you know, it was -- you couldn't ask. I mean, that was the thing with this team. It doesn't matter what the circumstances are. They always come up with the goods.

Q. Will, I noticed that as you passed by your pit area under yellow, you were doing a lot of pointing and a lot of gesturing.
WILL POWER: Yeah, I was trying to tell them to keep the board out because I couldn't hear. When I pitted they said can you hear me? And I could hear them because the communication was good. So I was trying to tell them I can't hear, so keep the board out. Just keep me aware.

Q. So the board, like I noticed on one side it said in, is that your signal to then to tell you when to come in.
WILL POWER: Yeah, I believe on one of the stops I saw a lap countdown, I saw In.

Q. Because they set up a couple of times and changed their mind it looked like.
WILL POWER: Yeah? I don't know. I wasn't really there wasn't much communication in the race. I couldn't talk to them, and I could hear them for a very short section of the strait.

Q. Since you're not going to be racing until Indy now, what are you going to be doing next week?
WILL POWER: I don't know. I'm not a very good spectator. I don't know if I can handle standing on the side of the track watching everyone else race of the it will be tough. I'm just happy to have the opportunity.

Q. You beat Dario for the pole yesterday, but today it seemed Dario had the right set-up and your car didn't seem to be able to keep pace there at the end. Is it because of fuel?
WILL POWER: It was because of fuel. Believe me, mate, I was saving like you would not believe and driving as hard as I could through the corners to make up for it. I was on full lean.
That's the hardest I've driven. The car was there. If we were able to go full bridge, we would have been on it.

Q. Are you free to talk to anybody else? Or are you locked into waiting for Penske if something else opens up, or another team opens you up, can you go with them or are you bound by any sort of contract?
WILL POWER: No, I'm with Penske. I'm not really looking anywhere else. I'm very focused on the Indy 500. And for the team, I want to remain with them for the rest of my career.



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