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IZOD IndyCar Series: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union

IZOD IndyCar Series: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy Credit Union

Will Power
April 9, 2011


THE MODERATOR: We're joined by our pole sitter, who is trying to sneak out of here, Will Power of Team Penske. Will, yesterday, after the final practice there, you weren't the happiest with your car. Now you're on the pole, even though you're as fast as yesterday, you weren't happy. What changes did you make and what did you do out there?
WILL POWER: Yeah, we definitely changed the car from the 20-minute session. I still wasn't happy with the car. It still wasn't spot-on. It's just so hard to get a balance around here.
But it's just great to get the Verizon 12 car there, because you have to start in the front here. It's very difficult to pass, and it's usually a pretty green race.
So, very focused on winning this race. I really want to win it, because I felt we had a really good car last year; a better car than we have this year with speed. We just made a wrong call down on strategy. I just want to make it work. I really want to win it.

Q. (No Microphone)?
WILL POWER: Definitely inside, yeah. Definitely, no question on that

Q. (No Microphone)?
WILL POWER: It's such a short straight, I think it would be very tough for someone to get that run. Never say never, it's possible. But I'll try to do the best job so that doesn't happen.
THE MODERATOR: I know that the restart manner is still being determined for tomorrow. Any thoughts on that with our debut of double-file restarts here?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I think that they're going to go earlier which will spread them out a bit and hopefully stop the mayhem. Yeah, I'm not sure what they're going to come up with. I didn't know they're still deciding. Things change here all the time, so you never know where you're at.

Q. (No Microphone)?
WILL POWER: I don't know. We'll have to sit down and think about that one. I'm not telling (laughing).

Q. Is there a tire strategy for qualifying?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I said that last year was pretty cool because someone could go out and throw another set on and make it a bit tighter. I like it the way it is because you just lay down your time and that's that. And everyone's basically on the same tire. So, in a way, I don't know.
Whatever it is, they change it all the time. But hopefully they'll just keep it as it is for a while.

Q. (No Microphone)?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I just think that the track characteristics are going to make it a less chance of having a problem in the first couple of turns because you're not braking from high speed. The track surface is very consistent and the grip is consistent.
So I think there are a number of factors that have played into what happened at St. Pete. That's why I don't think we should do double-file restarts on street courses. Road courses maybe, but on street courses with the bumps and the dust, and the crowns in the road, there are too many variances in grips from road to road. But here, it should work.

Q. (No Microphone) Can you talk about what happened here last year?
WILL POWER: I mean, Chicagoland I would say were the biggest points hit that we took with a car that was going to win that weekend or be on the pole. It was right there. Here we finished fourth.
Yeah, we had a really fast car, but we just picked the wrong strategy. I'm just determined to get it right this year.

Q. (No Microphone)?
WILL POWER: Well, yeah, it's just so tight. It's very easy to not get through in some of these rounds if you just happen to pick it wrong or someone balks your best lap or whatever. It's just the nature of the series now.
I just said to Robin Miller last night, you can't pick one bad driver in this field, not one. You can't pick one guy that you look at and say, well, he's won races in junior, he could potentially win you a race in an IndyCar on the right day.
It's just we've arrived. It's the tightest it's ever been; I really think that. In the '90s it was very competitive. But now with one main car and one main engine, everyone's developed it as much as they can. It is the tightest field because of all that, the tightest field in history.

Q. (No Microphone)?
WILL POWER: It's all the little details. It's really about commitment. That's where you need to pick time up on people but not get being greedy as well. You can get the entrance and the exit. It's a very technical circuit, that's why I like it.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Will, on the pole, best of luck tomorrow.
WILL POWER: Thank you.

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