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April 25, 2015

Helio Castroneves

Scott Dixon

Tony Kanaan

Josef Newgarden

Simon Pagenaud

Will Power


THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Scott Dixon. 
Scott, seems like you've got off to a strong start at Barber.  Tell us about the conditions. 
SCOTT DIXON:  Started out really fast.  Car felt really good.  I didn't really get it together, unfortunately.  Anything you can do here to move up is going to help you out.  All in all, a fairly good weekend so far.  Mixed conditions at the end, challenging. 
It was a lot of fun.  Yeah, it's been good. 
THE MODERATOR:  Also joined by Josef Newgarden who will be starting fifth in tomorrow's race. 
Josef, not too far off your best start here at Barber.  How strong has the team been on the first day? 
JOSEF NEWGARDEN:  I think pretty good.  The Fast Six for us is really good.  Hard to keep up with the Penske and the Ganassi boys.  We're getting there. 
I don't know.  We definitely didn't have enough for Helio or Will and I think Scott if he had a little better run.  T.K. was good.  I don't think we're up there for pole territory, but at least we're good enough for Fast Six territory.  That's definitely good for us. 
We have a little work to do on our racecar.  I think we can do it.  We have a little more work to do right now.  Our team is strong.  We got a lot of good guys, a lot of good help, a lot of good resources right now.  Trying to put it together and have a good day tomorrow. 
THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Tony Kanaan, who will be starting sixth tomorrow. 
Tony, what do you expect from the race tomorrow judging off of today's times which were competitive? 
TONY KANAAN:  It's going to be tough.  Obviously this is a hard, hard place to pass.  Running that close, I think track position is going to be extremely important. 
I think, in my opinion, it's going to end up on fuel strategy and pit strategy, having your pit stops.  We're so close.  Such quality drivers this year in the field.  We'll have to see if there's an opportunity to pass. 
We'll put on a good show for the fans.  Barber is always good for that.  Mr. Barber did a great job for that.  The new bridge, really awesome. 
THE MODERATOR:  We are also joined by Simon Pagenaud, starting third tomorrow.  This is his career best start here at Barber.  
Simon, obviously a very competitive day out there today, a condensed schedule, a bit more than normal.  This is a track everyone has tested at a lot.  What makes this track so good for testing and how much does it help out for race time? 
SIMON PAGENAUD:  It's interesting because there are high-speed corners, there's the hairpin that's slow speed, so you get to see what the aero kit is doing.  It really helps teams to understand a little bit and try to optimize things. 
I love this track.  The only thing I would say is the level of commitment, it's been on limits.  Really you have to push yourself really hard, but it's a lot of fun. 
THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please. 

Q.  The way the weather forecast was looking, when it did hit, are you surprised you got pretty much the full session in? 
JOSEF NEWGARDEN:  I wish it would have rained.  That would have been nice. 
No, I think we missed it by a little bit there.  I was surprised Helio did that.  It was starting to get damp in a couple spots.  You had some wet patches going.  He did a really good lap for what the conditions were. 
TONY KANAAN:  We can't control the weather.  It was getting wet actually.  When we all went out on the last outing, like Josef said, it was iffy in some of the corners.  You're like, Is it going to stick or not going to stick?  You try not to cause a wreck. 
I don't know if I should say I'm surprised.  I should say I'm glad. 
SIMON PAGENAUD:  Actually, you know what, I would have liked rain.  But it is what it is, right?  Could have been right, but I wasn't. 
THE MODERATOR:  Gentlemen, we will see you tomorrow.  Thank you. 
We'll move up to our front row.  Will Power will be starting second.  This is a strong track for you.  Do you believe you picked up where you left off on track in qualifying? 
WILL POWER:  Yeah, we were strong in qualifying.  Unfortunately it rained at the end.  We were able to do our laps with just one lap in each of the seeding segments. 
Just got to keep yourself on the two laps that I did there on the early part of the Fast Six.  I didn't go harder.  It's everything we had.  I'm very happy to start on the front row, considering last week at Long Beach. 
THE MODERATOR:  Talk about starting on the front row here at Barber. 
WILL POWER:  Qualifying well is huge here.  We can win from there.  That's definitely the plan tomorrow.  It's been a slow start to the season I guess you could say in the last two races.  Very determined to get that first win of the year.  See if we can get it done tomorrow. 
THE MODERATOR:  You'll have a teammate next to you in Helio Castroneves, Simon behind you.  Does that give you comfort or make you a little nervous starting so close to your teammates? 
WILL POWER:  Hard to say really.  It's kind of apparent that it's going to be a race between the teammates, then you have kind of Kanaan and Dixon in the mix as well. 
I feel like we've got a little bit of an advantage, been stronger.  You have to keep that in mind when you're racing those guys.  Every time they get points on you, it's going to add up at the end of the year. 
Got to be smart and treat your teammates as well as you can, but you've also got to win.  That's what's on my mind. 
THE MODERATOR:  Questions. 

Q.  With Juan starting so far back, there's a pretty good chance the points lead could change.  How surprised are you he's starting that far back? 
WILL POWER:  Yeah, he struggled here a bit last year.  Struggled in practice.  I feel like he's strong on the street courses.  If he has a weakness, it's the road courses. 
Yeah, that's good for us.  We definitely needed something like that.  But obviously it's a long race.  Those guys can play strategy and all that.  Could take a risk.  He could well be right up there at the end. 
Definitely on this track qualifying's pretty important. 

Q.  Will, starting in the front row, coming down in the start, I know in past years some cars go off to the driver's right.  How many cars can go through that section? 
WILL POWER:  Depends on the guy inside of one.  He can put you into the grass.  Screws you then, too.  We'll see tomorrow.  I'll have to talk to my teammates.  I'm sure they're going to listen. 
You can get side-by-side through both those corners.  In two you can almost get three-wide sometimes.  Yeah, it's going to be an interesting start tomorrow.  I'm hoping for a clean start.  I don't want any trouble.  I don't mind filing in second place.  I just don't want to be pushed out wide like I have been in the past. 

Q.  What about passing here?  Looks like going into the hairpin, five, six would be, then maybe into eight.  Any other places you can pass?
WILL POWER:  It's hard.  Turn five's about it.  That's the only passing point around this track.  Tires, 2012 they degraded quick and created awesome racing, but I don't think that's going to be the case anymore. 

Q.  (Question regarding finishing position at Long Beach and how long it took to get over.) 
WILL POWER:  Probably just now, after qualifying.  Kind of pissed off all week.  Snowball effect all the way around. 
THE MODERATOR:  Will, good luck tomorrow. 
We're now joined by his teammate that will be starting next to him from the first position, Helio Castroneves. 
Helio, between you and Will, seems like there's a lot of success on the first row.  How will that help you get ahead of the rest of the field at the start of the race? 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  It's all about team effort.  Today is just another team effort.  You can see it's 1-2-3.  Juan Pablo is not there.  But for us every practice is qualifying.  That help us to push ourselves to be in this position. 
It's not about because we have success here.  I think it's part of it, but all the drivers as well, like Simon and Juan Pablo, they have their share.  It's in the equipment. 
In the end of the day it's a team effort.  Everyone is working hard.  When you see a field like that that's so close. 
THE MODERATOR:  You mentioned the field was close in practices and qualifying.  Can you expect to see something like that in the race as well? 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Yes, absolutely.  That's why it's important to start up front tomorrow.  Even if the weather is good, it's important to start up front.  I'm super excited. 
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Helio. 

Q.  One of the drivers in the Fast Six was surprised that you were able to go as fast as you were at that time when the rain was starting to pick up a little bit.  How was that lap?  Were you hanging on a little bit? 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Yeah, I mean, you got to do what you got to do.  I went for it.  I saw some very thick drops of rain coming.  Better hold off.  I'm the first run out there because I had the first pit.  I'm just pushing as hard as I can. 
In the end it paid off.  I take some calculated risk.  I went out again, then it was a little bit slippery.  Since we were in a very good position already, didn't have to take any other chance. 

Q.  With Juan Pablo starting so far back, there's a chance you could be the points leader leaving here tomorrow.  How important would that be leading into Indianapolis?
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  It's always important to collect points.  It's always important to collect the points.  But at this stage, I'm not thinking right now of that.  I'm thinking about collect the victory that slipped from our hands in Long Beach.  I'm going to push as hard as I can tomorrow to keep after that quest. 

Q.  Helio, another pole.  You also have Dixon not too far away. 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  They are looking at me.  I am not looking at them (laughter). 

Q.  Asking Will about how many could go through at the start, he said he wouldn't mind being second to get a clean start. 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  That's the beauty of having teammates.  At the end of the day, we're still racing.  Also to win the race, you don't win in the first corner.  Will knows that.  We're still competitors.  Whatever happens, we'll make sure that one of the guys wins the race. 

Q.  Helio, this is the team's seventh straight pole going back to last year.  Given the level of competition throughout the field, how impressive is that stat? 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  It shows how tough and how proud everybody is.  The work has been showing.  We have a tremendous amount of quality people in the shop.  Like I said, it's details.  We test here in pre-season.  We test more than many other circuits.  I'm not just saying Penske. 
It's actually really gratifying seeing all three guys right there showing that everybody has the best that they could possibly have in this race. 
So it's the work that's been paying off. 

Q.  This is your second pole here, Penske's fifth.  They've had a car on the front row every year they've been here.  What makes y'all so good here? 
HELIO CASTRONEVES:  I guess, again, the effort from the drivers.  We understand the car.  We make it fast enough but comfortable enough for us to take several calculated risks.  All four of us have been taking advantage of it. 
Like I said, in the pre-season tests, we were right there.  Again, we're showing here in qualifying. 
THE MODERATOR:  Helio, congratulations.  Good luck tomorrow. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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