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IZOD IndyCar Series: Honda Indy Toronto

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Honda Indy Toronto

IZOD IndyCar Series: Honda Indy Toronto

Will Power
July 18, 2010


THE MODERATOR: We'll wrap things up. Thank you very much and we'll see you in Edmonton.
We are now joined by Will Power. This is Will's fourth win of the season. He previously won at Sao Paulo, St. Petersburg and Watkins Glen. This is the second time Will has won back-to-back races. This is Team Penske's 41st win in the IZOD IndyCar Series, extending a record by a team with most wins. Also Will retains the lead in the overall championship points standings as well as the contest for the Mario Andretti trophy for the road street courses this season.
Tell us about your race today.
WILL POWER: As I predicted, it was a very wild race. Started the first corner for me. I had Helio and Hunter-Reay come cruising up the inside. Heads up. I was like, All right, let you guys go. Then I lost a couple more positions.
I know how the race goes. I really hung in there. I just waited and waited till I got a little bit closer to Dixon and passed him. I just knew if I made no mistakes, we had good stops, we'd have a chance of finishing on the podium or maybe winning.
That last restart, when I passed Justin, was a key to winning the race. I was all on it because the tires got a lot of pickup, they were cold. I knew everyone was going to be struggling. A lot more chance of people making mistakes. That's what he did on the restart. I got a run on him.
It was I would say a calculated but risky move to pass him on the outside because I wasn't sure I'd make it out the other side. It was close, but sometimes you have to do that in racing if you want to win, and that's what happened.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions.

Q. Will, looking at the championship, you're taking some risks for wins. Did you put extra pressure on yourself knowing this is your time of the season with ovals coming to the end of the year?
WILL POWER: No. I race how I race. I don't think you change your attitude because of your position. I think once you get in the race, you don't think of anything about what you're doing except at that second. That's how I approach every weekend.
It will be the same when I get to the last four ovals. It will be exactly the same.

Q. You have Edmonton next week, where you won last year. Can you talk about your approach to that race and how important it will be in the championship.
WILL POWER: Yep. My approach to that race is similar to last year. I know it's really important to be on pole there. But it's the closest qualifying that we do, it's the toughest qualifying.
I know it's going to be a really tough fight. You know, my two teammates are quick there. I'm pretty sure the Target guys will be working hard. You have guys like Hunter-Reay and Wilson into the mix. Once again, we've got to make no mistakes, keep getting those points.
The key for me when I came to this race was avoiding carnage and accidents which I know happens every year. Like I said in the first corner, that could have been the finish if I turned in. I just backed off and lost a couple positions.
It's all those things that you have to I guess keep in mind at the time that you just need to chill sometimes.

Q. Does going back there, as well as you ran there last year, give you even more confidence?
WILL POWER: Yeah, you know, it's tough. I just remember the qualifying. I had to get pole last year. I came in and said to the team, I was so puffed I could hardly talk, I said, That's as quick as I could possibly ever go. That's what you got to do to be fast there.
Yeah, it will be close. It will be tough.
THE MODERATOR: This is the 150th all-time open-wheel win for Penske Racing. Another milestone for the team.

Q. Four wins this year. Your confidence in yourself and team must be sky high. Do you wonder if it's ever going to end?
WILL POWER: I believe if you're put in that position, you should be winning. I think it's when you have bad results, it's not good enough. You're given the equipment to win. I've been given a full-time ride in one of the best teams in the series. To repay them back, you've got to win.
I look at some of the races where we missed out where I feel we were strong enough. We could have won more, and so could other people. But, you know, we'll always be challenging for wins every weekend and we should be. It's as simple as that.

Q. You said previously that you need to build up a little bit of a gap on these road courses because of the four ovals at the end. Is there a number of points that you would be comfortable with going into the last four ovals?
WILL POWER: Yeah, if I could win every road course race going into that, it would be great (laughter). You know, whatever that number might be.
Man, you know, I know it's going to be a tough championship to win. I was aware coming into the season that I had lack of experience on mile-and-a-half ovals. I think the only place it really showed was Kansas, where I was very cautious and just finished the race. Everywhere else, I felt like I could have challenged for the win.
So, you know, I want to win an oval race before the year's out. I've been knocking on the door. So I think that may come.

Q. Aside from the first lap, when you took the risk to go outside of Justin, any close calls or did you see anything out of the ordinary?
WILL POWER: The last restart when I was leading, I mean, I thought I was done. I was full lock, opposite lock, heading towards the wall. Then you sort of ruin your run down the back straight.
What happens then is it backs everyone else up. He's going to hit the wall. Then they back up. I got a run enough to keep in front. That was probably the closest call of the race, but I held it together.

Q. This is your fourth win in Canada. Can you talk a little bit about is it just happenstance or is there something you do that you don't do at other places to have the kind of luck you have here and in Edmonton?
WILL POWER: I guess I could put it down to my grandmother who is Canadian, so I'm part Canadian. My uncle lives here, as well. He's also married to a Canadian.
I don't know. I love Canada, obviously because I've won three or four races here. Always do well. I love the cities that we go to. So don't know. I guess I win here because -- I couldn't tell you (laughter).

Q. It's a pretty tough course. Tight corners, walls are in close, different pavement all the way through. Could you talk a little bit about how you adjust during a race to those kind of different situations.
WILL POWER: Actually, I'll tell you one thing. I feel as though the two Canadian tracks we race at are the most driver circuits because of changing conditions, bumps, different surfaces. I mean, I think if you asked any driver, these two races are the toughest qualifyings and the toughest races. Yeah, I mean, you're right. And also in this race, on those restarts, how cold the tires got and the pickup they got made it really difficult.
So, you know, it's one of those races where you really had to adjust.

Q. With the number of cautions today, especially early, was that a factor for you at all? How do you adjust to that?
WILL POWER: No. Where that caution fell, it was a no-brainer to sort of pit then, not stay out. It made it pretty straightforward to the end. We knew around lap 50 something that we were going to have to pit.
In my mind it was important to go a lap longer than Dario to try to pass him 'cause he would come out on cold tires and he would get the cold tire penalty. That actually was one of the passes for the race, to stay ahead of him when I actually did pit a lap later. So, yeah.

Q. Where is your grandmother from?
WILL POWER: She's actually up Edmonton way. I have to find exactly the town. I think it was a town near Edmonton.

Q. As far as when you were told that Justin had spun, did your crew tell you or did you even realize it till after the race?
WILL POWER: Justin spun?
THE MODERATOR: He had cold tires, I think turn eight.
WILL POWER: Did he? I feel sorry for him. He was looking like he was going to win the race. I didn't realize that.
Yeah, I can see why. It was so slippery. No, I had no clue. I just saw Dario got by him.
Justin is usually very good on cold tires. But that's how he lost the lead. I think maybe the fact he was on reds as well might have been a factor. I'm pretty sure he was on red tires and we were on blacks.
But it thought the reds would most definitely be better there at the end. Obviously maybe it got more pickup or something.

Q. A lot of drivers were saying that the blacks were performing better for them today than the reds. How did you find them?
WILL POWER: I don't know. I mean, I thought the reds for me at the beginning, yeah, I could feel them go off a little bit. I thought at the end you might have been better off on reds. I think it's a fact that this track created a lot of marbles, rolled-up rubber, gets on your wheels. It takes two or three laps to get that off. That was more the problem rather than red or black tires.
THE MODERATOR: We'll wrap things up. Congratulations, Will, on another win. We'll see you in Edmonton.
WILL POWER: Thank you.

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