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May 9, 2015

Juan Pablo Montoya

Will Power

Graham Rahal


THE MODERATOR:テつ Another podium finish for Juan Pablo.テつ Good solid finish.テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Yeah, it was good.テつ I mean, we ran good all day.テつ We pushed really hard.テつ I got behind a little bit at the start.テつ Behind but not behind.テつ I was on the outside.テつ There was really nowhere to go.テつ Dixon spun in front of me.テつ I avoided that.テつ I thought that was really good.テつ It was really good I didn't get tangled with anybody.テつ But we lost three places.テつ
Made it tough because you're behind.テつ Our first pit stop, we had a problem with the right front, so we lost a little bit of ground.テつ I stayed behind Simon and Bourdais, made it a little tough.テつ But after that, you know, the next one I passed them.テつ Rahal was the one I didn't manage to get.テつ I thought we had the same pace.テつ
We saw somebody slowing down on the backstretch, so we decided to pit just for safety.テつ That way we thought we would be ahead of the curve.テつ Thought a caution would come out, but it didn't.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Graham, you were here the other day as the banner carrier for Honda.テつ I don't know if you or others thought you would be here among the podium, but you are.テつ Terrific race.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ Yeah, it was a good one today.テつ I think a lot of things went right for us.テつ Obviously the start was pretty good.テつ I think from the start we went from 17th to sixth.テつ From there really we just got everybody in the pits.テつ The guys did a phenomenal job.テつ I think on the first stop we went from sixth to second.テつ
The Honda had really good fuel economy today.テつ When the Chevys were pitting, they told me I had eight laps left before I had to pit.テつ We were having to cover, as Juan said, to pit.テつ We couldn't afford to get a yellow and get caught out.テつ All day long we played that game.テつ
It's hard.テつ The Chevy was definitely pretty quick on the straight.テつ But we were able to just kind of hang even.テつ Juan and I had the same pace.テつ Will, it was hard to say.テつ I was catching him a little bit.テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ I think at the end he was pushing.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ Last handful of laps he was pushing pretty hard.テつ But he and I were just the same.テつ I think I was catching him a 10th or two a lap, but I needed to catch him a lot more than that.テつ
This is a good day for Honda.テつ But if we want to win, we've got some work to do.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions.テつ

Q.テつ Graham, you finished second at Barber, you finished second here.テつ How important was it to have two strong races together?テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ Well, we're right there in points.テつ Obviously I think Juan, and I don't know how Helio did today, and Power, those guys are off in the distance there a little bit.テつ
We were pretty close to fourth in points.テつ We had to have a good day compared to Hinch and Newgarden, and we did.テつ The biggest thing in this championship is you can't have an off day.テつ Even if you don't win every race, you got to be in it every time.テつ The last couple races we've been there.テつ
There's a lot of work to be done.テつ But it feels good.テつ We definitely have momentum on our side going into the 500 here.テつ Hopefully we can put a quick car on the track and have a good day there.テつ

Q.テつ Juan, you have the points lead by winning the first race of the year, and you still seem to have a lot of momentum going into the biggest race of the year.テつ How important is the Indy 500?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ It's exciting, to be honest.テつ My goal this year was not to lose that many points coming to Indy.テつ I know our strong part of the season should be the ovals, you know what I mean, some of the road courses.テつ I was looking forward to not be that far behind because I know once the ovals start I can make up some points.テつ
Having the points coming into Indy, it's encouraging.テつ We were fastest in the open test.テつ The car felt really good, too.テつ I'm pretty happy.テつ

Q.テつ Graham, you spoke a week ago about how badly you wanted to get a win.テつ You seem more upbeat than I expected.テつ Just the aftermath of the race or...テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ A podium is a podium.テつ It feels good.テつ I feel like I'm always second every time I'm on the podium.テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Some people would kill for a second, believe me.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ I know.テつ It's only been like seven years for me, so...テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Look at the bright side.テつ It wasn't luck.テつ You had luck a little bit at the start, but you had the pace.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ We were pretty good.テつ I feel good about it, okay?テつ I think in the last two weeks combined, we've come away from finishing first by three seconds combined or something.テつ Pretty close. テつ
At the end of the day this tiny little one-car team is fighting with Penske.テつ That feels pretty good.テつ We're not them yet.テつ Feel like we got a good group.テつ As I keep saying, I'm really proud of the people in this organization because the last couple years weren't so hot.テつ
We got a team together now that I think you guys can see is working really well together and I'm just proud of 'em.テつ Momentum is on our side here a little bit.テつ We're kind of carrying the banner, the flag for Honda at the moment.テつ I think once we can get a little more there, we'll be looking pretty good.テつ

Q.テつ Graham, could you explain the start.テつ How much of it was skill, how much of it was just closing your eyes?
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ Honestly, it played out perfectly.テつ Honest to God, I said to my dad before the race, he said, What are you going to do at the start?テつ I said, I'm going to go as far left as I can.テつ When they all crash on the inside, I'll be on the outside, so I will have a great angle to cut to the apex.テつ Worst comes to worst, I'll have to do the shortcut.テつ Rather than being inside and getting collected in the whole deal, it's going to be fine.テつ
It literally worked perfectly.テつ I saw smoke everywhere, then next I see him.テつ I got Hildebrand going into four.テつ But it kind of just worked.テつ As Juan said, part of this deal is luck.テつ We had the pace, for sure, but that definitely went our way.テつ

Q.テつ Graham, your dad says this is the best you've ever driven.テつ Agree?テつ Disagree?
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ I think Juan can tell you this from his years of racing.テつ When you have a team that gels so well, that works so well, that you're so confident in, and giving the driver a better car, it breeds confidence out of your driver.テつ You can drive better and harder.テつ
It's not that this person you see driving today isn't the same guy that drove last year.テつ But the car I drove today is better than what I've had.テつ I've been able to attack a lot harder.テつ I'm very proud of my team and confident.テつ Today I wanted so badly just to win for them.テつ
When I saw Will, I was just like, Try as hard as you can to chase him down.テつ Like I said, we didn't have it.テつ
It's not just the driver.テつ There's so much more that goes into making everything go.テつ

Q.テつ Graham, I know Newgarden frustrated you a little bit.テつ How much do you think he slowed you down?
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ Look, the rules are if you're a lap down...
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Glad somebody is more pissed off than me (laughter).テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ ...you get out of the way.テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Even if there was no rules, if you're more than one lap down, you shouldn't be getting in the way of the leaders.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ For 20 laps.テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ The guy won last week.テつ He should know better.テつ If they did it to him last week, he lost the race because of that, he would have been crying and moaning.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ You get 10, 12 car lengths back, you can feel the air.テつ I was five car lengths back for five or six laps in a row on his tail.テつ You know, it was like I didn't exist.テつ That's pretty frustrating.テつ
But it worked out fine.テつ

Q.テつ Graham, it seems like you and your little tiny team seem to be the only ones getting the Honda to work so far.テつ Could both you guys give your take on the parity or lack thereof between Honda and Chevrolet right now, how you're managing to make it work.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ You know, I don't know that there's any secret to it.テつ I think what we're finding with the Honda, there's an inherent weakness, which is that the car is pretty pit sensitive.テつ It likes to be sideways a lot.テつ We've changed a heck of a lot, and it doesn't make a difference.テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ It doesn't make a difference, but it's quicker.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ All I do for the race is make it do one thing a little bit if I can.テつ For qualifying, obviously you got to drive it on the ragged edge a little bit.テつ
I think the difference is that it's a little bit everywhere.テつ As Juan said, he thought we were better out of the corner than him.テつ The Chevy on top speed, 'push to pass', I was on the rev limiter, I couldn't catch them, they were pulling away from me.テつ
They both have their strengths and weaknesses.テつ I think we got to get a little bit more drivability out of the car.テつ In the very flowing section, it's hard to flow speed because it's always wanting to be sideways on you.テつ You never know when it's going to.テつ That's the difficulty of it.テつ
We're going to keep working hard, try to tame it.テつ I know HPD, everybody is trying equally as hard.テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Are you going to share setups with everybody else?テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ No.テつ Hunter-Reay already asked me about the spring race.テつ I told him to get a life.テつ I told him 4500 pounds, that would be good (laughter).テつ

Q.テつ Juan, yesterday I asked you how you felt you progressed from last year to this year on a track like this.テつ Now that you finally made the Fast Six and the podium on a road course, do you finally feel like you're turning the corner?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Yeah.テつ I'll be honest with you, we struggled a lot.テつ We were miles off on setup.テつ If you look at NOLA, look at Barber, we were off the pace.テつ Finally learned what we need to run in the car.テつ We figured out the street courses, we're really strong there.テつ We found it here with the road courses.テつ It's pretty good.テつ
I'm really happy with where we stand right now.テつ Something that we have that really helps, being with Penske, you have four strong drivers, four ideas, four directions.テつ Somebody's going to get it right.テつ It makes life really cool.テつ It means 90% of the time you're going to have a fast car.テつ
It's good.テつ We're really encouraged.テつ I don't know what happened to Simon there.テつ He was running right there with us.テつ It was good.テつ It was fun.テつ

Q.テつ Juan, if you can take the people who were in the first lap contact out of it, when the third place car hits a second place car, should that be a contact penalty?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ It's the start of the race.テつ Get over it.テつ You know what I mean?テつ
You put us on the longest straight you can think of, you put a first-gear corner at the end of it, what do you think is going to happen?テつ We're not that smart (laughter).テつ

Q.テつ Graham, you're champing at the bit there.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ Hey, I liked what I saw today.テつ It was great (laughter).テつ

Q.テつ You said you have tomorrow to feel what you did today, but then the 500 faces you right away.テつ How quickly do you make the adjustment?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Start turning left, I guess.テつ
I tell you the truth, I don't think about it.テつ Just get in the car, drive it, see what it does.テつ Make it better, go through the program.テつ We plan really well what we're going to do every day.テつ We try to achieve that program.テつ That's it.テつ That's all you can do.テつ
You can't go, Oh, this is Indy.テつ It's the same guys we run today that you're going to run with the 500, plus seven or eight more.テつ That's it.テつ
For me personally, I try to downplay it completely.テつ Just drive the thing and see what it does.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ For me, my little sister's graduating from Ohio State, from The Ohio State University tomorrow.テつ I have to go see her graduation.テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: テつI got Mother's Day, so...テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ I got my mom, but she'll be with me.テつ Last year was worse.テつ It was literally the next day.テつ You got out of the car Saturday and ran on the oval Sunday.テつ At least we got a day off.テつ

Q.テつ Graham, if you had your frustrations here in the past, personally how big of a run was it today to get a result on the board, be able to think coming into Indy two weeks from now that if things go your way, you can get a good result here?
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ Well, I finished third in the 500 before.テつ I haven't won the darn thing, but I've been close.テつ
Again, it goes back to there's a lot of factors that go into the 500.テつ You got to have a good car.テつ The driver has to be on top of their game.テつ Pit stops have got to be good.テつ I think our guys have done a great job with pit stops, really stepping up their game lately.テつ We haven't had the best oval cars the last couple years.テつ Hopefully we can sort that out.テつ
We have an engineer from when we finished third, Martin, back onboard, Talbott, all those guys.テつ The strength of our team is the engineering corps that's come onboard.テつ We've been looking at setups.テつ Hopefully we can be a little bit better.テつ
Things are going pretty well.テつ The 500, that's what counts.テつ That's our focus from here on out.テつ

Q.テつ Yesterday, Faustino and Will Power called the road course here the crown jewel of road courses.テつ Do you believe it's achieved that type of status?テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ When you're on pole, you can call it whatever you want.テつ It's a cool road course, you know what I mean?テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ Crown jewel is Road America, I think.テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ I'm with him.テつ The problem is we don't go there.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ As far as how nice it is.テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Tell you the truth, it's a really good road course.テつ I've run here in Formula One.テつ It was awful, awful, awful.テつ They changed it, made it into a really good one.テつ
We're really happy with it.テつ

Q.テつ Graham, was there ever a thought to going off sequence when you were stuck behind Newgarden or would that have jeopardized your strategy?
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ To be honest, like I said, the Honda fuel mileage is pretty good.テつ I could have gone a lot longer.テつ
You have to be very careful of trying to go too long, then you stick yourself out there.テつ In case of a yellow, you're absolute toast.テつ
We were kind of trapped behind Newgarden.テつ Unfortunately it seemed like when we decided to pit, he decided to pit.テつ Luckily, coming out of the last stop, he was on blacks and we had a little bit of a quicker stop.テつ I was able to kind of catch up in the pits a little bit, get enough to get ahead of him.テつ
I mean, that was like 20 some laps.テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Tell you the truth, I passed him in the out lap.テつ He got out of the way.テつ I was really pissed.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ I figured after I got him, he wasn't going to block you.テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ I was on the button and he didn't back off at all.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ These things happen, unfortunately.テつ Couple tough ones out there.テつ

Q.テつ Graham, with Ricardo on the radio with you, how much of a difference has that made?テつ Your dad is just watching.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ I've said this all along.テつ Dad is excellent at strategy.テつ To not have dad is not like it's a great bonus.テつ Things are probably a little bit more calm.テつ Dad is a pretty emotional guy, gets pretty fired up.テつ When he tells me I need to go pass people, I'm sitting out there driving at 11/10ths, it ticks me off a little bit.テつ It's probably easier when he's not saying those things.テつ
I think everything's just working smoother now.テつ Again, there's a lot of factors to that.テつ Having dad just watch the race isn't necessarily all of it.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you very much, guys, for coming in.テつ Congratulations.テつ
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:テつ Thank you.テつ
GRAHAM RAHAL:テつ Thank you.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Good to have you, the winner of today's race, Will Power.テつ
Got the pole, got out front, stayed there.テつ Can't get much better than that.テつ
WILL POWER:テつ No, it was exactly the race we asked for.テつ No yellows.テつ Very straightforward.テつ Knew we would be in good shape.テつ Had a very good car, good stops.テつ Just super determined to make it happen.テつ I know Rahal was closing pretty fast at the end when I had to save fuel.テつ I had to pick up the pace and get that fuel number.テつ
Yeah, feel like that's the most physical race I've done all year.テつ It was hard work, it really was.テつ But just great start to the month.テつ I'm halfway through what I want to accomplish this month.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ What makes it more physical than the other places?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ I think it's the long loading corners and it's got massive braking zones.テつ It's just a lot of g-forces.テつ A lot of heavy steering, a lot of grip.テつ
I was pretty mentally drained because you keep pumping out laps non-stop.テつ A lot of fun.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll take questions.テつ

Q.テつ Faustino called it flawless.テつ Would you go that far?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, that was as good as you get as far as no mistakes, good start, good restart, good stops, good out-laps, good in-laps.テつ Just did everything we needed to do to win.テつ
I think back, I can't think of anything that I felt was wrong with that race.テつ You don't often get that in IndyCar.テつ So, yeah, it was a very good day.テつ

Q.テつ With the championship last year and the resources you have at Penske, the win today, do you feel that makes you the favorite for the 500?
WILL POWER:テつ I don't think that makes me the favorite for the 500.テつ But what I will say is that I've got more focus on the 500 than I've ever had.テつ I've won a championship now.テつ It's kind of pushed that aside, and now the main focus to me is the 500.テつ
The first thing for me to accomplish was winning a championship just because it's the best driver over a whole season.テつ I mean, that was a big deal to me to have won that.テつ Now it's just absolutely the 500.テつ I really, really want to win that race.テつ We'll see how it all shakes out in the next week with the body kits.テつ I think Honda will be much closer to the Chevys with what they've got.テつ
Take it as it comes, each day, each session, just do everything you can.テつ

Q.テつ With that in mind, yesterday we talked about how the Chevys were up here and the Hondas were down here.テつ Where do you think Graham Rahal got his pace today?
WILL POWER:テつ He's been really strong in all the races.テつ This guy has done a real good job.テつ Definitely the class of the Honda teams.テつ
Yeah, I mean, you'd be worried if he was in a Chevy.テつ He would be absolutely a championship contender.テつ He is now in a Honda.テつ
He's obviously got a handle on it.テつ That team has done a really good job.テつ He seems to be there in each race knocking on the door.テつ

Q.テつ After your pit stop you went back quickly to the leading position.テつ What was the traffic situation with overlapping drivers?
WILL POWER:テつ Lapped cars, definitely difficult there.テつ Trying to keep Hildebrand behind me and also pass two of the Schmidt cars.テつ These cars can fight to stay on the lead lap now.テつ It's a rule we talked about in driver meetings earlier in the year.テつ
It can be really frustrating at times when you have a fast car and you just can't get by a guy who is about a second off the pace.テつ In a driver meeting they said you can fight for position.テつ They go ahead and do that, you know.テつ
It's fair enough.テつ Truly, if it does go yellow, those guys get to come back to the back of the line and make a pretty good day out of it if everything fell right.テつ It's just a game that we play right now.テつ

Q.テつ Talk about your thoughts after Dixon had his issue at the start.テつ Did you have relief knowing he wasn't there on your rear-end anymore?
WILL POWER:テつ No.テつ I got a good start.テつ I just protected the inside, and I went out, looked in the mirror to make sure he wasn't on the outside.テつ I just saw him spinning.テつ Kind of felt bad because he'd been talking about that when we went around the parade lap prerace.テつ He said he was really worried about the first corner.テつ
Sure enough, exactly what he said would happen happened.テつ I'm sure he's pretty angry.テつ I don't know what happened.テつ Obviously he got turned around.テつ

Q.テつ Were you surprised either by the lack of yellows or by the fuel mileage that Honda was able to make with Graham running longer on the stints?
WILL POWER:テつ We pitted early not because of fuel mileage.テつ We pitted early because we heard a car was slowing on the track, not to get caught out by a yellow.テつ I don't know how much longer we could have gone.テつ He took a big risk.テつ If it did go yellow, he's at the back.テつ
Yeah, maybe.テつ I don't know.テつ I don't know.テつ I don't think I took a full stint.テつ I don't think I took it to the absolute limit.テつ The last stint was probably it.テつ

Q.テつ Roger Penske has 15 Indy 500 victories, one NASCAR Nationwide victory here, and now this, he calls it win number 17.テつ How does it feel to give Roger Penske a win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway even though it's not the Indy 500?
WILL POWER:テつ It feels very good.テつ It's funny, I came in this month determined to have a good month.テつ I haven't had that for so long.テつ It's working out.テつ It's just awesome to win at this place.テつ It just is.テつ I mean, you know, you look at the event, you look at the facility itself, it's first class.テつ The road course is phenomenal.テつ It's smooth, technical.テつ Then you have the Cathedral of Speed, you could call it.テつ It's just an unbelievable month for motorsport.テつ
Yeah, I mean, it would be very cool to get the double.テつ

Q.テつ Your previous Indy 500 experiences, how would you assess them?テつ Were there times you felt like you were a contender?
WILL POWER:テつ Absolutely.テつ 2009 and '10 were years I felt I had a car to win it.テつ Especially 2010, it was an unbelievable car.テつ Just something would happen every time.テつ The last couple years, last year was my mistake getting a drive-through penalty.テつ I have to put myself in that position to challenge at the end of the race.テつ I'm really determined to do that this month.テつ I really want to get it right and win that race.テつ

Q.テつ You mentioned in yesterday's press conference you wanted to win four sections in the month of May.テつ How difficult do you think it's going to be?テつ Do you think it's possible?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ It's absolutely possible.テつ You have to think that, because it is.テつ It's possible.テつ I'm going to try to do everything to make that happen, yeah.テつ

Q.テつ When it comes to qualifying, that's the next big one.テつ Do you look at the biggest threat being on your own team?
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, I do, for sure.テつ Seems to be every year, this year in particular with four very good drivers, that's going to be the case.テつ
With qualifying here, it's just got to fall your way.テつ The wind has to be right for your run, the temperature.テつ It's really funny, this place.テつ It's so particular.テつ If the sun goes behind a cloud, suddenly you pick up half a mile an hour or something.テつ That's the type of thing that's got to happen for you.テつ

Q.テつ A technical question.テつ When the aero kits were launched by Chevrolet, does Team Penske have a technical facility to make simulation work?
WILL POWER:テつ Like doing wind tunnel work?テつ

Q.テつ Simulation work.テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, I think all teams do simulation stuff.テつ They all do it.テつ You know before you come the gears, downforce levels, drag. テつChevy does their own development on that, gives you the numbers.テつ Everyone has their own tools for that on the computer.テつ I'm sure they all do simulation work.テつ

Q.テつ You've had a chance to test the aero kit one day at the Speedway for the oval.テつ Do you have any idea what we might see as a pole speed for the Indy 500?
WILL POWER:テつ What was it last year?テつ 31.5 or something.テつ I think it will be in the 33s, 34s.テつ It will be interesting.テつ It's going to depend on the weather, as well.テつ That can help a lot, too. テつIf you get 35, that will be pretty good.テつ That would be a pretty big gain.テつ
I think we would have, had they not had that hole to stop them flying, took a bit of efficiency away.テつ Definitely knocking on the door of the 35s, I think.テつ

Q.テつ I'm looking at the selfie you took in Victory Lane.テつ As much as you want the 500, do you think you'd have the presence of mind to get the phone out in Victory Lane?
WILL POWER:テつ Yes.テつ My wife gives it to me.テつ It's actually her phone I took it with.テつ Imagine that.テつ Now that's a selfie right there (laughter).テつ You're there with the milk.テつ Ain't got anyone else on the podium, just you and the milk.テつ

Q.テつ The pace car driver, can you give me any assessment whatsoever about the job he did driving the pace car today?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Absolutely terrible (laughter).テつ Did he do the whole race or just the warmup lap?テつ He said, It's not going to be me on the parade laps.テつ Don't judge me, dude.テつ

Q.テつ The first lap, he did all right?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ He did a good job.テつ Someone must be telling him the lines here.テつ Usually people are way out here.テつ Gee, that's not the racing line.テつ He wasn't bad.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Will, congratulations.テつ
WILL POWER:テつ You got it.テつ Thank you.テつ

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