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May 18, 2016

Will Power

Gabby Chaves

THE MODERATOR: We took a look at your time and it was pretty darned good, 2:26 and change, fifth overall. What do you think?

GABBY CHAVES: Yeah, good. Good day. Good day. I mean, we had a little bit of running, about 30 minutes of running on Monday, so today was our first full day, and we got through a lot of changes, got through all our program, did some traffic running, and like I say, I'm pretty pleased. I haven't had any uncomfortable situations out there today, and so I'm honestly just very, very pleased with the way the day has been going.

Like I said, we're just going on about our changes and taking it from there.

THE MODERATOR: With several teammates, has it been a lot of exchange of information in the early going?

GABBY CHAVES: Yeah, absolutely. It's the first time that I've worked with a multiple-car team during like an official event. Definitely something that I'm learning about and that definitely you benefit from when you've got a lot of data to share, a lot of ideas and heads working to make you go faster.

THE MODERATOR: Every day it's been a little bit different in terms of the weather and the conditions. That's both good and bad for preparation I would assume?

GABBY CHAVES: Yeah, essentially you want to try to get as close as you're predicting race day to be, and I think there right at the end, it was warmed up a little bit, more like what we can probably expect on race day. Some good information that we learned.

THE MODERATOR: Will Power, good to have you with us. Third fastest overall, 2:27:7. I don't know exactly how you felt alone versus in tow. That's always part of the deal. Your assessment of your day?

WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, the tow is worth about six miles an hour, so it's not really representative.

But yeah, it's just a matter of finding good traffic and understanding your car and seeing what works and what doesn't work. I think the cars are a little slower this year for sure, and the Hondas look strong, very strong. We wish that we didn't use the domed skids and we had the strakes now. Yeah, you guys.

Q. I hate to say this, but Gabby doesn't look horribly sympathetic to your situation here.
GABBY CHAVES: No, I'm enjoying it out there. It feels better than last year.

WILL POWER: That's what it's like when you're fast, man. It feels good.

Q. Full tanks running, mainly race preparation today, not much for qualifying I'm assuming; is that fair?
WILL POWER: Yes, exactly, just all race stuff.

GABBY CHAVES: Yeah, same here.

Q. Will, talk about the situation when we talk about this is a common thing in this room during practice sessions, what was on your own, what was with the tow, that whole business? But a tow is what you race in; that's the conditions that you race in. So isn't that still a pretty good indication of where you're at? You're saying, well, we're slow, but with other people up there, we take a look at you're No. 3 on that list.
WILL POWER: Yeah. In the race it's more about getting past people. There you can sit at the very back of the train, get a gap, or if you come out a bit late and you'll just get this massive tow, which is not really what happens in a race. I mean, in a race you're just constantly trying to get past people and get round. It's all about how close you can run, and that's it. Like if you can run close, you've definitely got your stuff sorted.

Q. Gabby, you made your way up the ladder, which is sort of what we want to see happen, and Rookie of the Year campaign last year. Is there a greater comfort level just with the speeds at Indianapolis now in the early going than there was perhaps your first time?
GABBY CHAVES: Sure. I mean, I think every time you come to this place -- it never gets easier, you're just a little more used to it. Yeah.

Q. Will, last year you talked a little bit about how much more importance you placed on this race and how much it meant to you. Coming off the series championship, you really put a lot of emphasis on this. Your perspective this year as far as a year removed from that, and maybe not putting as much emphasis, just trying your best and whatever happens happens?
WILL POWER: Yeah, just focusing on the event itself. Just trying to get the car right. Obviously aero has changed a little, so you've got to try to find that window that's really nice and the right way to do it, aero versus mechanical. Yeah, not really -- at this point you're not thinking the overall result. You never are really until the last lap. Yeah, it's just the process of getting things right from here on out.

Q. Do you wonder about someone putting too much on it?
WILL POWER: Yeah, it never works. It never works.

Q. Did you do that last year?
WILL POWER: I didn't. I didn't really. That never works. A race where you come in and you put pressure on yourself to make sure that this is it, if I want to stay in the championship or something, as I did in the road course, it doesn't work. It just doesn't. You can never put -- you can just do what you can do. As soon as you try to force, it just doesn't happen. You've just got to be chill. Not completely, but you know.

Q. Are you confident that Chevy can bridge the gap to Honda? You were talking about the speed difference there.
WILL POWER: Yeah, it's really hard to tell right now. Like Honda, they're fast. They're there. You know, we'll see as it progresses here. You know, obviously the cars have a little bit of a different aero configuration, but yeah, it's going to be interesting.

I think it's not going to be like last year, the advantage we had, if any at all.

Q. Where do you notice that on a day like today? Is it just the ease with which someone maybe is able to get around you, or are there particular parts of the traffic where you look over and say, man, that guy has got a lot more power, or is it just when you go back and look at the speed charts?
WILL POWER: Just looking at no-tow laps. When someone is leading the pack, you can see the overall speed by themselves and then you can see how good they are in traffic with the speeds, so you get a pretty good idea of the downforce they're running, so it gives you an idea of the pace of the car, so you can see that Honda is pretty strong.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks a lot for coming in, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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