IZOD IndyCar Series: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
Topics: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
April 1, 2012
THE MODERATOR: We are pleased to be joined by our race winner, Will Power.
Will, after a tough start in St. Pete, you bounced back with a win today. It was great work in the pits and great driving. Talk about today's race.
WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, it was an absolute team effort. We went in thinking that we have to kind of be a little off strategy to the other guys to be able to pass around here. So we started on black tires, everyone else started on reds. We went to reds when everyone was on blacks. That got us a couple of spots.
Then just with good stops and good strategy calls put me out in clean air so we could use our speed. We slowly passed one by one. It was a very good team effort, absolute team effort. The strategy was perfect. The stops were perfect. We were quick when we needed to be, put ourselves in a position to win, which I did not think was possible this morning.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.
Q. Second stint was really short. Was that to avoid getting bottled up from the guys ahead?
WILL POWER: The second, yes. Tim Cindric was looking at where he could put me out in clean air. It was short because he found a gap that we could lay down some good laps.
I think the other reason that the racing was really good today was because Firestone came with a really good tire to race, that has a good drop-off in lap time. That allowed people to pass because the tires actually went off.
I think you have to thank Firestone for good racing, allowing people to pass.
Q. On Friday you said you thought it was virtually impossible for anybody to win this race if they were starting beyond the first two rows. How glad are you to have proven yourself wrong? What does it say about the common perception that it's just too difficult to pass here?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, I really thought, as green as the race was, yeah, you put it down to the tires really, the fact that the tires had a discrepancy from brand-new to old of up to two seconds, three seconds. That allowed for good passing.
I mean, it really eradicated fuel saving because often we go in, we start lifting, fuel saving. Doing that with the tires eradicated that. It was just hard racing. I ran hard the whole day, never saved fuel.
Q. You mentioned that you didn't think it was possible to win this morning. As things started to come together, what did that do to you emotionally in the car after the first stop, second stop?
WILL POWER: It just keeps unfolding. It's really an emotional thing. It's a process. I think you just got to be really correct focused really on what you're doing and just getting the most out of every single lap, because that's how it was for me, to get the most out of every lap, just keep gaining on the guys.
Ultimately, I can't think of a better strategy than what was given to me from the team. It was perfect.
Q. I think it was on the radio broadcast, they said your last set of red tires had more wear on them than your first set. At the end of the race, with 16 laps to go, were you worried about Dixon? What about the way the rules have changed, allowing you to defend your position?
WILL POWER: That was good for me, which I didn't have to do. I definitely had that in my mind.
The second-to-last set of tires were very worn on my car. The last set were actually a good set. Just from the information I gained in that second-to-last stint, I understood how I needed to look after which end of the tires, which was the rear.
I just think it's great. I think that Firestone has got it dead on.
Q. Looking at the next two tracks, those are tracks you're strong at. Talk about carrying momentum into those two tracks.
WILL POWER: You know, we really have been quick everywhere this year. I think you put this race out of your mind pretty quick and start focusing on it. I guess it gives the guys confidence that we can win if we don't qualify on pole, and we can win from quite far back.
Yeah, that's good.
Q. Scott said at the end he basically killed his tires trying to chase you down. Could you have kept that pace up much longer?
WILL POWER: Yeah. That's the thing. It was actually reversed when I was behind Scott. My tires went off worse than his and he was quicker than me. He got in my turbulent air. Obviously clean air looks after your tires, you have more downforce and grip, so you're not sliding, destroying them.
If he was in front, I'm pretty sure it would have been the same result for me.
Q. Traffic seemed to be pretty intense all day long. How was it from your perspective?
WILL POWER: Actually, it was good. You could actually pass. We were on reds, other guys were on blacks, I passed three or four people into turn five. I didn't have a problem. I think that was the key to the race, keeping out of traffic, pitting at the right times, putting me in the gap.
THE MODERATOR: Will, congratulations on a great race and best of luck in Long Beach.
WILL POWER: Thank you.
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