IZOD IndyCar Series: Grand Prix of Baltimore
Topics: Grand Prix of Baltimore
September 4, 2011
THE MODERATOR: Well, we're here with our second‑place finisher, third time on the podium this year, finished second at New Hampshire, all the way from 14th today. Great drive in the No 2 Telemundo Firestone machine. Oriol Servia. Oriol, you were talking about the event, you said it was quite an event overall. I think the overall event of the city of Baltimore was spectacular.
ORIOL SERVIA: Unbelievable. I had high expectations just because when I saw‑‑ I mean, and I said yesterday, since I came to the U.S. in '98, everybody I say my name, they say Oreo, like the cookie? And I have to say, "No, it's Oriol, like the Baltimore Oriole baseball team, so when I come here, I was happy, and then I see the track map, and I see that we're actually around the stadium of the Baltimore Orioles, so I thought for sure it has to be my race.
And the fans seem to be one with me, but apart from just me, the reception I think we have had since Friday, it's been unbelievable. There is only a few events I have been part of in the last 12 years that can compare, places like Long Beach, but this has been around for many years, 2 or 3, I never been in a place in the first year and we get such a turn out.
Thumbs up to the promoter and the fans, and as I said I'm sure we going to come here and many years to come. I hope we get faster chicanes next time, which is not the city's fault, it's our fault, and we can provide more excitement for the fans.
THE MODERATOR: Tuesday there was a nice story on Oriol, and I guess you have to be from Baltimore to understand what "Oriole Magic" means. You had a heck of a fight here. What happened there in turn 3 when everybody got stopped?
ORIOL SERVIA: You know, just‑‑ we were getting into turn 3, and it was the typical hairpin action that everybody is trying to make a move, and I saw everybody going towards the inside so even before there was some sort of a crash, I went on the outside and I pass a couple of guys already.
Then they got kind of bunched up, I didn't see what happened, but I passed them outside because they were all stuck on the inside. I pass, like, seven cars and I have to go ‑‑ I was a little bit upset with race control because after the yellow they put me behind cars that I had passed before with the yellow came. They were crashed, but I passed them before the yellow, no doubt.
Like New Hampshire, they didn't like me passing cars in an accident or something, so I was very upset but hopefully‑‑ and thankfully at the end, it didn't change anything and whatever to pick a good strategy. The team ‑‑ I remember before the yellow we were considering, are we going to stop or not. We knew we were going to be tight on fuel after that yellow, but I couldn't believe that nobody in front of me did stop because it was like 50/50, so I was in the top 3, why not take it.
You only needed another yellow to make it to the end or save fuel, so we took it. I was surprising that I was the first one in that strategy, and if it wouldn't have been for Will Power and his rocket ship I would have won.
THE MODERATOR: Did you think you had a shot to catch Will?
ORIOL SERVIA: Before he came out of the pits I knew I had to push because it was going to be close, and the first lap I thought so, but I had to push a little and I was looking at my fuel mileage, and that lap that I pushed him I used more fuel than I should have, and the worst thing would be if I tried to push and then I come up short and lose fuel, so I was hoping for another yellow at the end to maybe get him, if not I knew it was his race.
Q. I know you were frustrated with the qualifying yesterday but seeing today does it give you a clearer conscious to know even if you had a better qualifying run it would have still been difficult to have caught him?
ORIOL SERVIA: Yes, no doubt. I was upset because sometimes you going to put everything together in a qualifying lap and instead of top 3 you're 7th, but I crashed in my second lap on cold tires, and instead of being at the front I was 16th, actually, so that's why I was pissed off.
If you're qualifying up front, and I would have chosen the same strategy, then maybe I would have been ahead when Power came out, so who knows. You never know what would have happened and what could have happened, but I'm just happy how we raced and we never gave up. The first 15 on black tires the car was difficult, and I was thinking it's going to be a long day, you know? Because I couldn't see myself moving much further; I thought I was going to be lucky if I finish in the top 8, but then when we put on reds, the car same came alive and I saw we had a shot.
Q. What did you think of this track for a first‑year event, since that is the first you've been on it, and did the pit row seem to be more manageable than most of the drivers thought coming in?
ORIOL SERVIA: I never thought the pits were going to be a problem. It's just a hairpin, but it was fine. The pits were fine, the track was fine, even with the chicanes, but if you ask race car drivers, we want longer flats and faster corners, that's just our nature. And honestly, if you ask what is a good track and what makes a good event, it's a good, fast racetrack, because the fans come to see us do things that normal cars cannot do. And if you give me a fast car, we can go through a turn 170 miles an hour; a normal car cannot do that. So when a fan can see that, this close, from the grandstands, that's impressive, and it makes them come back, so I'm always upset when we come to new track, and the turns are slow, because a race car instead of 30 will go 60, but it's not that impressive to see a car 60, right?
So I think it's better to have fast corners for the future of the sport. We need to make sure they are designed in a safe way, so if you crash you crash in the right angle on the wall and stuff like this, but it's difficult, because even if the city loves the event, you're closing the streets for a weekend, and as you know, the longer the track is the more blocks you need of a city and the more difficult it is in terms of a compromise.
THE MODERATOR: Needless to say we're joined by our third‑place finisher. If this guy hasn't had a day, nobody has! You scared the hell out of us, Tony
TONY KANAAN: Trust me, me included!
THE MODERATOR: Coming all the way from 27th to 3rd, a great drive, driving the No. 82, Geico/Firestone machine, and starting at the back coming through the field was Tony Kanaan. Tony, can you talk about the emotions from this morning to now?
TONY KANAAN: It was a tough morning, good wake‑up call. Obviously it was a shame what happened, it was a human mistake in the team sport, and I'm part of that, so I'm including myself on that. He saved my life, and I'm going to owe him that for a long time. It wasn't a fun ride this morning but we recovered from it, our back‑up car wasn't here because it was already packed and ready to go to Japan. I had to get in Viso's car, which is going to be a fight now who is going to keep that one.
Great race, great strategy, we never gave up, took the opportunity when we could, and here we are. Now this morning, it made me think a couple things, you know, that I usually never did.
I had bad crashes in my life, including the Indianapolis one, it was huge, back a couple of years ago, but this morning I woke up and I was in a bad mood, and I was complaining about things that didn't really matter and I think somebody wanted to tell me I have a "good" one, so I have to really think about that.
THE MODERATOR: You and Jimmy and Mark were under that car getting it ready. Did it take your mind off what happened as you were trying to get this car going?
TONY KANAAN: No, I went there. We were really tight, and all I could do to help was actually ‑‑ the only thing I know‑‑ I used to work on my cars, but it's been a long time so I put on my belts and I was helping the guys. It wasn't just because we were short of a person to put a race belt on, but I felt that my guys felt really down when that happened, and everybody got really scared, because they don't want to hurt me.
It was a human mistake, and I felt that I needed to support them and say, look, forget about it because there are days that I destroy this thing because I make a mistake and you guys have to fix it.
ORIOL SERVIA: Are you sure you were just afraid‑‑ (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: I was trying to support ‑‑ to give them support because at this time it was not going to be‑‑ it was not going to do us any good to point fingers. Tomorrow we'll have a chat.
THE MODERATOR: You had to go to a different strategy starting at the back that seemed to play out as the race went on for you. I know you pitted early as others did, did you feel like you had a shot as the race went on?
TONY KANAAN: Starting where we were, we tried to go off sync just to make things happen and what did you have to lose, we were going to end up 28th? And we started 27th. So we started moving up the field. I was all the way up to 22nd and they had a big pile and we found a way to pass 15 cars, broke my record, and it was ugly, but the strategy ended up working well, so we got lucky on that, but I'll take it.
I wouldn't have bet on myself today that I was going to finish third, I'll tell you that.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for both guys.
Q. T.K., you were Tweeting about "99 forever," you saw the engine number was 99. Could you share that with us?
TONY KANAAN: I forgot to tell Oriol that, but I didn't look at my engine all weekend long. When the car was sitting in the stands and we were ready to go to the back‑up car, they were going to pull the engine and the gearbox because it was undamaged to put it on the back‑up car because it was still good, and I was just walking around, and I look and every engine has a number, and that number was 99. And for people that don't know why, it was Greg's number, and it was a sign. So he didn't want me racing up there with him yet, he wanted me down here so it was‑‑ I don't know, it's just a number but it caught my attention.
THE MODERATOR: You have to understand that obviously all these guys were best friends with Greg Moore who died in 1999, and he was No. 99
TONY KANAAN: I keep moving my numbers every year, 15, 19! (Chuckles.)
Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: It's unbelievable. Honestly, it's not because we are here in front of the local people. I don't know, Oriol can probably share with me, I've never been in a place where it was this crowded and the fans were passionate. I couldn't walk on the streets‑‑ back in Brazil it's kinda like that, but yesterday night I'm walking to have dinner and it took me 45 minutes to walk four blocks because everybody was stopping me taking pictures, and on Friday people were apologizing to us because the track wasn't ready.
It didn't make sense to me. Everybody worked hard and it is a beautiful track, bumpy and difficult, and for us sometimes we complain allot about it but it made the racing very interesting. We didn't see a lot of crashes, it was a very competitive race. But I'm amazed with the crowd, I've never seen anything like that. Apart from Indianapolis, I haven't seen a street course with that many people.
Q. Tony, you were talking about being on a different strategy but talk about your mind set in terms of trying to come back and move back through the field. How patient did you feel like you had to be initially? When did it become kind of intense and urgent?
TONY KANAAN: Well, the mind set was by the time they would call the green I was so afraid people were going to get in an accident at turn 1, so that I was going to count to 5 before I went full throttle. So I took the green flag, I was 4 seconds behind the last guy, and Oriol was even further back. He missed the boat big time. Nothing happened, and back then I just started to push, close the gap, pass a couple of guys. The way this series is right now, it's so competitive that I knew I couldn't make a miracle, and I didn't expect that I was going to drive through the field.
We had to do something different, so I was never pushing it till we were yellow and me and Oriol were pitted, and we were going to make it to the end and then you started to‑‑ we needed to push? They said, "Go as fast but save fuel," and I said "Thanks." They said "Can you race slow?" I mean, I can't! He was probably comfortable because he knew I was in the same strategy, I couldn't force to pass him, and Will just took off and back then we just settled for second and third, and sometimes you got to do that, but until the last stop I don't think I raced. I was just really patient trying to look around and see what's happening.
Q. You're in a new market here in Baltimore, and this is a market that's traditionally not held racing directly for IndyCar or for any other racing, but the atmosphere was great and the series was fan friendly. Can you comment on that and how the track made that better?
ORIOL SERVIA: I think we both commented on how great and what a surprise it was to have an event like this. It was important for IndyCar. We don't have many events here at all on the east coast, so it's important to choose the right market, and this was a right choice and the promoter did a great job, and I'm sure we going to come back many years.
I hope we have another race on the east coast, 'cuz it makes sense. Last weekend we were in the far west, so it's tough for the crews to travel and get the cars ready, so it would have help to have two or three races on the east coast and two or three on the west coast, but great to be here, and I'm sure we are going to come back many years.
Q. Could you comment on Will Power? What is it that the guy does that makes him so good on a road course
ORIOL SERVIA: Ask him when he is here! (Chuckles.) I was lucky enough to be his teammate in 2008, and he is committed every corner. Early on in his career he had a fair number of crashes, because he just takes 110% every corner.
Now, unfortunately, for the rest of the field, he's been with the same engineer for six years, he's obviously with one of the best teams in history, so he has around him a supportive environment, and he just doesn't make mistakes anymore and he still drives 110%, so to beat him takes a lot. It just takes a lot. And you see same thing with Dario; he cannot match Power. I was his teammate and I can tell you the guy is amazing, but he's not God. So we have hope and we have to work really hard and next year with the new car we're all starting in the same starting point, and if we get the right budgets, and stuff working at the same time, as Penske and Gamasid, then we do have a shot at beating Will Power, so that's our hope.
TONY KANAAN: I think Oriol said it. I wasn't Will's teammate but now I'm on a team that Will raced with for a while and sometimes I hear, "Yeah, but when Will was here," and I'm like, "But he's not!" He's amazing, he is a talented driver. He had a very good chance with Penske, and he took that. When they put him in that car he proved that he was good enough, and that's why he is who he is.
I think, in a way, he improved his game on the ovals because that's when he got beat last year. It's going to be interesting to see. It played a lot in Will's favor us going to Japan on the road course now, so let's see about the last two ovals. It's going to be interesting.
Q. You've been close with Dario and we've seen what Will has been able to do. There are three races left and it's about a 5‑point difference now. How great of a championship race is this thing shaping up to be?
TONY KANAAN: I know Dario really well, my friend, so you should not think that he is‑‑ he's going to come, and Dario doesn't worry a lot; that's a big advantage for him. I'm not saying Dario is happy right now, but he's just watching, and he's‑‑ it's like fishing. He give the fish a little more line, a little more line, he's going to get it back. I think it's going to be a tough, tough championship. I don't know between the two who is going to win it, it's not because I'm Dario's friend, but I love to see people win their first championship, I'm going to root for him, and it would be great to see maybe Will doing it for the first time.
ORIOL SERVIA: The closer the fight the more chances me and him have to touch them, if they get together or something, so we're just behind in points, and it's great for the whole championship that they are fighting again. I hope they fight till the last race. Last year it was so dramatic to see Will lead the whole championship and only lose the lead the last day of the championship, of the season.
He's learned that lesson and, you know, Dario is a great driver, on a great team, and they're just not going to make a mistake. Both Will and Penske last year made many. We'll have to wait and see if they have their game and they are able to race.
THE MODERATOR: This is an amazing note. Seven different countries represented the first seven finishers: Australia, Spain, Brazil, Scotland, New Zealand, USA and Canada. If you don't think this is an international event that came to Baltimore, you've got to check out the stats. Amazing.
Q. How was it to balance trying to push hard to keep Dario behind you in the end and save gas, and consider trying to catch this guy? How do you keep that all together, especially as Dario had fresher tires and more pushes to pass.
TONY KANAAN: I had to save fuel, so with him, I had no intentions to pass Oriol, because we were saving fuel, but if he would make a mistake and I would take the opportunity. With Dario in a course like this, there is only one or two places to make a move to pass so in those places I wasn't saving any fuel. I made sure I was in the right position, didn't make any mistakes, after the quick chicane, back down into turn 1, I made sure I kept distance and between turn 1 and 3 where the hairpin is. Those are the two places you can pass if a driver didn't make a mistake.
I didn't worry about that, I just tried not to make mistakes, and Dario gets right behind me and gets stuck, that's what happened on street courses. That's how I drove the past 10 or 12 laps, and he pitted and we left in front of him; that was the strategy.
Q. (No microphone.)
TONY KANAAN: No, actually it should be‑‑ I should say 3 because going into turn 4 it was also a place to pass, but usually you have one good one in a street course like this and this one has three places.
You know, it's an awesome track. I was concerned when I got here on the first day. After we drove it, it was fine. William!
THE MODERATOR: Our winner of the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix, driver No. 12, Penske Racing, he scored his 6th win of the season; he previously won at Barber, So Paulo, Texas, Edmonton and Infineon last week, fourth win from the pole and he closes the gap on his championship rival, Dario Franchitti, now trails Dario by just 5 points. Will, that was an impressive run. Can you talk about your strategy and what you thought going into turn 1?
WILL POWER: He got a great start, and he did a great move on the outside and passed me. Then I used push‑to‑pass and got around him and passed him into turn 3, so a good battle there.
ORIOL SERVIA: I didn't see that! I was at turn 13 so I didn't see that.
WILL POWER: That's right, we went early, yeah! I think the turning point of the race was when we had that long yellow period. Before that it was straightforward, we led and pitted and came out in the lead.
We had 7 cars pitted. Oriol and T.K. were the guys that benefited the most out of it, and I had a 10‑lap period of fuel to pull a gap enough to come out in front of them. That was a qualifying lap every single lap, absolutely everything I had, and we were able to do it and the car was very good.
We had a great car, great stops, everything fell into place. Very happy. Feels like one of my best wins for how hard we had to work.
THE MODERATOR: We want to tell Tony and Oriol, thank you. I guess you guys can head out. Enjoy the evening in Baltimore.
THE MODERATOR: Will, talk about the atmosphere of this event and your take on the street circuit they had here.
WILL POWER: That's the best podium ceremony I've ever had in my career, massive! So many people. On my cool‑down lap, I looked at every stand, absolutely full. They put on the best race we have had all year, really impressed, really impressed with the promoters, fantastic job, great track. Looking at improvements next year for more passing, this is what the IndyCar Series needs.
THE MODERATOR: Reminds you of back home?
WILL POWER: Reminded me exactly of Australia, just not as many girls showing their boobs but‑‑ (Laughter.)
THE MODERATOR: But everything else, right! (Laughter.) When you took your helmet off, you looked spent. This has to be physically challenging for a driver.
WILL POWER: That's the hardest I've pushed. I had to absolutely go for it. It was sort of fun in a way. I feel like that's what IndyCar needs to be about, pure speed, you know, absolutely driving the ring off the car, you know?
I mean, just felt good to win in that way.
THE MODERATOR: You're getting closer to Dario. What do you feel like with three to go?
WILL POWER: Exactly what we need to do. It's great. So to me in the championship, second means nothing, second, third, fourth, fifth, who cares, I want to win, you know? It's a disappointment to lose out by 5 points. The whole team felt like that, we had such a lead to lose. We're determined this year.
Anything can happen, but all we can do is control what we can control and being mistake free, be quick in every session that we need to be quick in, like qualifying and execute on race day. That's what we've done for the last two races.
Q. On the championship standings, Dario hasn't won at the three remaining tracks. How does that impact your preparation going into these three races?
WILL POWER: Dario hasn't won? I don't think it matters. You know, I'm pretty confident that we will be good on the Motegi course. Kentucky, I felt we had a lot of laps last year but I made a mistake on an outlap and lost position, so we'll look at the next few races as strong for us. And for Chip Ganassi, Dario is a tougher competitor, he doesn't make mistakes, and he's always there. Going to be mistake‑free from here out.
Q. Will, talk about the pit stop and what was going through your mind in terms of trying to get back out, trying to maintain your advantage.
WILL POWER: They didn't tell me the full situation. Kim didn't even talk to me for those 10 laps. The only thing I heard was "pit this lap" that's it. And I absolutely went for it, 100%, and when I pitted and went out and he said, "Go, go, give it everything you've got, push to pass on the outlap!" All he said was, "Oriol is coming" and I didn't know that's who I was fighting for the lead with. So to me I was like, "What position am I in, fifth, sixth? Where am I at?" And he said, "You're the race leader!"
And I thought, wow, that's good, and then I start pulling a massive gap, and I thought we were going to win this thing!
Q. Oriol talked about coming back next year, making it longer and with faster turns, if that's possible, if the city has the streets to do it. What would you do for this course?
WILL POWER: I think they would need to extend the main straight or just repave it without‑‑ I think that would create a passing zone. Into turn‑‑ keep turn 3, and if they could extend turn 1, you've got two really good zones right there. As it is, it wasn't a bad track, you could pass out of 1 and pass into turn 3 if you got a good run, but first year and impressive for the first year.
Q. Will, at the start of the race there was a safety truck that was running in the opposite direction. Did you see what that was? What was your reaction?
WILL POWER: Yeah, it was like, what's going on? I couldn't believe it. Was that when I was‑‑
Q. It was on the outside and it‑‑
WILL POWER: I don't believe that! I was busy trying to pass but I thought, what happened there? That was quite amusing, but it wouldn't be if someone hit them!
Q. Were you surprised everybody thought everything was going to happen in turn 1?
WILL POWER: I think it's because everybody watched the previous races and no one got through, so they were checking up. Also they allowed us to go green early, only a couple of rows get out, just a string of that, and we were aware.
Q. Will, you've been with David, your engineer, a long time. They were talking about, you know, their engineers and working with them. You guys have quite a bond. What is it about you two that has been so successful, especially with the Penske group?
WILL POWER: I think we draw a lot out of each other. He's a guy that I absolutely click with. I remember when I first started working with him in 2007 he said, "You're the first driver I've had that wants to win more than I do!" Because I was calling him all the time, meeting with him, coming in the shop every day, and I think that's the sort of guy he likes to work with, and he's the sort of guy I like to work with. We're both motivated and sometimes, you know, a bit insecure about the competition so we're always working harder, always trying to find a way to be faster, always, between the two of us.
We never feel comfortable that we're going to have a gap on anyone, never, never! We're both the same in that respect. We never feel comfortable, we're always working.
Q. We have new people who have never covered auto racing from Baltimore, with the Colts being here, the Ravens, now the Orioles, people have a misconception that the driver gets a lot of credit, but you have a great team, and there are things behind the scenes that people don't understand about auto racing.
WILL POWER: It is a 100% effort, engineers, crew guys, and the pit stops, you're only as good as your weakest guy in the pit stop so they train very hard at that, and it's a whole combination of getting it right. And then we have Penske.
Q. Will, you find yourself and Dario in exact opposite situations compared to last year where you had the lead and Dario was chipping away and now you're continuing to chip away at him. Different mind‑set, coming from behind affect your performances at all this year?
WILL POWER: Hard to say. I think I'm just mentally better this year anyway, having been through what I went through last year, a championship and not winning in the end.
Definitely was more aggressive at Edmonton, when I won there and very focused, very focused on what I'm doing, very determined and focused. I was last year, too, I think the difference between last year and this year is winning the last four races on three of the tracks, I still had never been and I wasn't certain on how to approach the oval thing, so this year I know.
THE MODERATOR: I want to introduce the mayor of Baltimore, have her say a few words. Mayor StephanieRawlings‑Blake. (Applause).
MAYOR RAWLINGS‑BLAKE: I wished everyone when they were coming on stage good luck, but I really meant it what I said it to you. Congratulations! I'm so proud that Baltimore was able to host this event. We had an opportunity, with your help, to shine on an international stage, and I wanted to thank everyone who made this happen. There were so many people who, when we had traffic problems or parking problems or any delay, the nay sayers certainly had their day, until the race started, and I want to thank everyone that was involved to make sure that the nay sayers have been silenced.
People from around the country and all over have come to enjoy this race. It was an exciting race, a challenging course and I invite you back for next year.
WILL POWER: And we want to come back, we loved it
MAYOR RAWLINGS‑BLAKE: Thank you so much. Thank you so much.
Q. I had the pleasure of meeting you and your daughter yesterday. How did she like the race?
MAYOR RAWLINGS‑BLAKE: She was ecstatic. She got to show off Baltimore to her friends that don't live in Baltimore. Unfortunately she got her hair spray painted in three different colors, so I have to deal with that tomorrow. That being said, because the thing about the race ‑‑ and I don't know if you know because you spend your time in the cars, but this is a family‑friendly event.
You see families coming together. While there is plenty to do for adults, there is plenty to do for kids and kids took advantage of all of the opportunities, and she was so proud to show off her city to her guests.
Q. (Away from mic.) Your police commissioner, I'm surprised he didn't get his face painted!
MAYOR RAWLINGS‑BLAKE: He was casually dressed. I saw him.
Q. Can you touch on how much of a risk you took with the nay sayers?
MAYOR RAWLINGS‑BLAKE: I think anytime you do something big you take a risk. For me, I had an opportunity to make Baltimore shine. I think the nay sayers mistook it as an opportunity for me to shine and as my election‑‑ reelection is a little over a week away, they thought that I was using this as an opportunity for me to shine, but it was never about me. This was about racing, about tourism, about economic development, and this was about making sure that we told the story for Baltimore. And with your help, making this race very exciting and suspenseful, we were able to tell the story of Baltimore that shows the future of our city. It was a bold move, but I'm willing to take chances so my city can succeed.
Q. Do you have information on the three days' attendance?
MAYOR RAWLINGS‑BLAKE: What I have heard from racing officials is that the crowds look bigger than they anticipated, so as soon as this is over and we take a post‑event analysis, we'll be able to say exactly. Thank you so much.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Mayor.
Q. (Away from mic.)
WILL POWER: No, no, no near misses, I didn't feel like it. The restarts, and the start was a little hairy, that was about it. I was confident in the car and I can't say I even touched a wall. Nothing.
Q. The last couple weeks, well, I'll say since the finger episode at New Hampshire, you've got two wins. In your mind you look at the schedule and you see there are a few road courses coming up, and you feel like, okay‑‑ do you feel like you can get back on track and coming into a race like this, an inaugural event you're down by 52, 53 points and you cut it by 5. Could you have imagined that kind of maneuvering and points racing? How much did that play into your strengths and how you plan to exploit that or take advantage here?
WILL POWER: I think with my experience with championships, I don't think you're ever safe. It's possible to be caught, it only takes Dario to have a bad day and me to have a good day and I'm right there. Not that he's had bad days, he's finished the last two, I think, in fourth, and we have had very good days.
We've narrowed it down like that. So take these last three races, I have to have a very good next three races and I will be doing everything I absolutely can to make sure I do.
Q. Weren't those two fingers telling everybody that you were going to win the next two races?
WILL POWER: Basically saying after 11 it's 12, saying to the race control 11, now 12! (Laughter.)
Q. (Away from mic.)
WILL POWER: He gave me the finger before he went up on the lift before the race!
Q. Oriol said one of the reasons‑‑ he pointed to your team but he pointed to you as the reason why you are winning so well on the circuit. (Away from mic.)
WILL POWER: Who was saying that?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I don't make mistakes? I haven't made many this year. I thought last year as a team we made a few mistakes together, I made some, we made some in the pits, this year, definitely more solid pit stops, I think my oval game as picked up, and now we're in contention.
Q. Your teammate and the a couple of other drivers had comments about the way the race was officiated, and the length of the caution, and you've been outspoken in the past about the officiating. Did you think that caution was warranted or just to lengthy?
WILL POWER: I don't think they could have done anything else, although I don't know what happened, but from what I understand they were trying to be‑‑ and then oil went down, so you have to clean up oil; it's just too dangerous.
I mean, I think officiating, being in that position is a tough job because no matter what at the end of the weekend you're going to have someone complaining, and no matter what, you're going to have a team owner, maybe multiple people‑‑ I mean, it's just‑‑ I would hate the job, you know, the guy never gets thanked if he does a good job, but he always knows if he hasn't done the right thing. It's just tough.
To me he makes the right call the majority of the time and the calls that are wrong can go either way. I know I was harsh on him after my interview in New Hampshire, I was just very upset about what happened.
Q. Will, coming into this race it was an unknown and the course was unknown. Did that give you anxiety being in the middle of a championship points battle and not‑‑ you know, coming on in an unproven racetrack?
WILL POWER: When I think back to all the new tracks that the series has gone to. I generally win, so it was a good thing for me. First time I went to Vegas, in Champ Car, I won. First time to Brazil, I won. First time here, I won. So it's usually good for me to learn a track because we get on top of it quicker than most.
THE MODERATOR: Will, thank you very much. Congratulations. Great way to start the Baltimore GrandPrix.
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