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IZOD IndyCar Series: Honda Indy 200 presented by Westfield Insurance

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

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

IZOD IndyCar Series: Honda Indy 200 presented by Westfield Insurance

Dario Franchitti
Will Power
August 7, 2010


THE MODERATOR: We are going to get started with the front row press conference.
We are now joined by our second-place qualifier, Dario Franchitti. With today's second place starting spot, Dario has extended his streak of top-five starts to seven.
Dario, Mid-Ohio is a track that definitely seems to suit your driving style. Talk about today's qualifying session.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Yeah, it's a place I've enjoyed in the past. Still got the outright lap record with Gil de Ferran, have it from quite a long time ago.
We struggled last year with the surfaces and the sealers and stuff. But the test here last week went very well. We came back yesterday, had to go back to the drawing board last night. My engineer Chris Simmons and I spent a lot of time at the bus going over data late last night. Could see the bits we needed to improve on the car, but also the bits I needed to improve. There's two corners I'm really not doing a good job at. I knew it myself before we looked at the data.
We put it all together. I think the Target car is fast, but it's also consistent. We just missed that 10th of a second, that perfect lap we needed to get ahead of Will. We did quite a few laps at 7-2, 7-2, 7-2. It was just that 7-0 we needed that I couldn't quite put together.

Q. Looking ahead to tomorrow, what do you expect traffic-wise?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: The pits are going to be tight with these 35-foot pit boxes. That's going to be tough. Traffic, when you're coming up to people, it's very difficult to get close to them. So hopefully if we get in that position, we get some courtesy from some of the guys. But we'll see.
Passing as we know is difficult here. In the last couple years, I've seen more passing than in other years combined. So I expect a pretty competitive race tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: We've also been joined by our polesitter Will Power. This is seventh pole of the season, tying a series record with Helio Castroneves. By starting on the pole tomorrow and starting the race, Will will clinch the Mario Andretti Road Championship Trophy.
Will, talk about coming back today from this morning's practice.
WILL POWER: Yeah, bad mistake on my behalf this morning. I touched that curb, ended up in the wet grass, ended up in the wall pretty hard. The guys had to put together the spare car in a two-hour space. I can't thank them enough. The car was how I left it when I hit the wall - well, not after I hit the bull wall, but before.
Good to get pole again. I was not sure going into this qualifying session, but I just put my head down, did my best, tried to get through each section.
Yeah, I think it was pretty close at the end there. Tight championship.
THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and continue with questions.

Q. Obviously you have confidence in your team. That's a short period of time there. Did you think you'd be able to rally back?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, all I did was obviously go over the data that my teammates had in that session and just did everything I could mentally to prepare and did my best. That's all I could do.
Obviously, I didn't suffer in turn one because I was lacking confidence. You just got to put that out of your head and get it done.

Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: Sonoma (laughter). I didn't get back for that one. I wanted to. They told me no.

Q. You had something that could have really ruined your day, but now you have the pole.
WILL POWER: Yeah. I was thinking after that I did that, that is the sort of thing that loses championships, can put you on the backboard. Then you start back further than you want, get in an incident, it can steamroll pretty quick and suddenly (indiscernible) with a small lead.
But, yeah, just got to get out there and do my best.

Q. How bad is the damage on your car?
WILL POWER: The guys do a great job at that. I could have used that car. The damage wasn't that bad. They weren't sure with the engine because of the rear impact, they just can't be sure that everything's right. We went half over the wall, yeah. I hurt my leg, man. Knocked all the dash out, everything. My knee. It was a hard hit.

Q. Dario, is it almost desperation for you to win tomorrow with the championship? How do you approach it?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I think if you're desperate you're going to screw it up. This is not the first time we've been in this situation. Dixie and I were talking about it yesterday. At this point in '07, I had a 60- or 70-point lead and it came down to the last corner, the last lap.
It's all about us executing every week. With the lead that Will's got, if he does that, then he's looking good. Our job is to get out there and beat him, beat him every race from now on.
All we can do is control what we can do. We can only do the best job we possibly can and win the race. Will, whatever he does, we can't control that. Got to focus on our own game and we'll see what happens.
THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you so much. Congratulations and best of luck tomorrow.
WILL POWER: Thank you.

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