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VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES: INDIANAPOLIS 500 QUALIFYING


May 17, 2015


Simon Pagenaud

Will Power


INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

THE MODERATOR:テつ Always good to start on the front row.テつ I know you had a little bit higher aspirations.テつ I don't know what the situation was.テつ I stepped out for one minute and I wasn't here and I saw that the wind was at some point really, really strong, and I know that's always a consideration.テつ Talk about what affected your runs, Will and Simon.テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Well, really it came down to reacting as quick as you could to a situation.テつ Obviously those guys at Ganassi did a really good job of that.テつ You know, we did everything we could with what we understood, you know, did what we could do.テつ Yeah, wasn't good enough today.テつ You know, it was quite easy, flat, obviously, because you're going so much slower and you have more grip, believe it or not, but yeah, that was the situation it was.テつ
I'm happy with the front row, but I've been here before.テつ I definitely would like to get pole.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Simon, following on what Will just said, suddenly you were going a little bit slower than you had been.テつ Does it feel very different to you as a race driver?テつ
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ Yeah, it does.テつ It was weird, we talked about before, we're flying‑‑ we're talking, what, five miles an hour, right, and it feels like you're going really slow, obviously, until you hit the wall.テつ But yeah, I mean, for us personally, I'm just super proud, super proud of being part of Team Penske and putting the Avaya car on the front row.テつ It's a great partnership that we're just starting, and it's really fantastic.テつ
I mean, obviously like Will said, we want to be on pole.テつ I think we had‑‑ and the other configuration I feel like we took to get there, either I or our teammates, but today was what we got.テつ It is what it is.テつ You've got to deal with it.テつ We only got one attempt.テつ
I guess the weather was difficult, as well, with the gusts of wind.テつ Sometimes you get the wind perfect, sometimes you get a headwind, and that is just the way it is.テつ
But personally, I'm just super happy for the guys.テつ

Q.テつ Did you guys think that Helio or Juan was affected by the wind more than you two were?テつ
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ It's possible.テつ We're running very similar cars, so I mean, it's very possible they had more wind than we did.テつ I haven't had the time to look, but it's certainly a bit of a‑‑ you need to be a bit lucky today for sure.テつ

Q.テつ With what happened this morning, how much do you jump in and get involved and try to get the car ready and how much do you get away and try and clear your mind?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, after the decision, yeah, I was sitting there with the engineer trying to understand what we can possibly do to trim out the car, take some drag out and downforce because we had way too much.テつ It was just stuck.テつ It was quite easy to drive.テつ So then you're just looking for weird ways to make it fast through the air, and that was‑‑ yeah, maybe we weren't extreme enough.テつ But you know, I felt we did everything we could.テつ

Q.テつ Is there more relief that this entire weekend with the rain delay and today's debacle in the morning, it's over and you can look towards the race now, or is there more urgency to scramble and figure out what you're going to do?テつ
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ Well, I think from our side, it's more the show.テつ We want to make sure we put on a good show for the fans.テつ Already we had weather yesterday and we had everybody waiting.テつ We've been waiting for this for a year, as well.テつ We want to race.テつ
We're ready to go out after what happened this morning.テつ It's just a natural thing for us.テつ I guess we just wanted to make sure IndyCar was putting on a good show and that people love the Indy 500.テつ

Q.テつ After the decision was made to change the rules for qualifying, was there any involvement by drivers or by teams to maybe convince IndyCar to do another decision?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Well, yeah, I think there probably was some team owners involved.テつ It was a pretty hard decision, but I think they did the right thing.テつ You know, they had to make‑‑ the problem was the fact that when you crash, the car flies, but I think that this is the first year we've ever had with this car that you could trim enough to make it quite hard to drive and people were making mistakes and crashing, which when I first started here at Indianapolis in '08, that was happening every day.テつ But the problem was the cars take off.テつ
So I think it's kind of identified a problem with this car.テつ You know, until they get that fixed, I'm not sure what they can do.テつ It's a pretty tough problem.テつ But I don't think it's just Chevy, either.テつ I think it's going to be‑‑ it doesn't matter.テつ I think it's just the fact that the floor is built for a road course, and we're running it on an oval and it's quite steep.テつ That's maybe one problem.テつ I'm not an engineer; I don't know.テつ
You know, it's just‑‑ I thought it was great the fact that we could trim to drive the car.テつ We haven't had that opportunity for a long time.テつ I thought that was great and everything was going well.テつ
Like I said, back in the day, people used to crash every day.テつ It was a normal thing.テつ You can take the risk and trim out to be faster, but then obviously it's lighter in the corner.テつ

Q.テつ Are you concerned when you go into a fast track like Texas or Pocono?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, it's not quite as fast there, you know.テつ You've got to remember in qualifying trim we're doing 200‑‑ at top speed, 240, 230, in the 230s.テつ There you're like 215.
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ At top speed, yeah.テつ
WILL POWER:テつ I don't know.テつ I think they've got to get more information on it and be way smarter in a couple weeks than we are right now about what they can do, but I can tell you now they made the right decision, and I think that was the only thing that they could do.テつ

Q.テつ Will, since all the problems have happened, I guess you can look back now and say should we have scheduled an oval before you came to Indianapolis to see maybe‑‑
WILL POWER:テつ I don't think it would have mattered.テつ It would not have mattered.テつ This is such a unique place, and we had ample time here to understand it.テつ But you know, how can you understand what a car does backwards at 220 miles an hour?テつ How can you understand that?テつ There's no wind tunnel.テつ There's no one who wants to be a crash test dummy and try that out at an oval, so it wouldn't have mattered.テつ
It's actually pretty cool that we have such diverse ovals now, right?テつ We go to Texas, really high bank; then you go to Milwaukee, it's flat and short; then you go here, it's somewhat banked and faster than anywhere else.テつ There isn't an oval we could do that would help us out in this situation.テつ This is a unique place and a unique situation because I don't think you run those qualifying downforce levels anywhere else, either.テつ

Q.テつ Are you sure?テつ Simon could try it.テつ You could talk him into it, being a crash test dummy.テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, he used to do that, but obviously it's started to take a bit of a toll on his body.

Q.テつ Your thoughts on Scott Dixon and him being on pole and even some of the guys up there in front; a lot of the big names are right there, the usual suspects as it were.テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, it's not good to see him on pole.テつ (Laughter.)
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ I don't see your point here.テつ It's taking its toll.テつ Take it back.テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, take it back.テつ If I see him come in here, I might beat him up.テつ (Laughter.)
No, those guys did a good job of reacting quickly.テつ We did everything we could, and‑‑
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ He found something, huh?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, he found something.テつ I was surprised when I saw that first lap, 27.テつ I was like, wow, they've found something that we haven't thought of maybe, but it was only Scott's car.テつ None of the others did that.テつ It was quite‑‑ I think‑‑
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ Maybe it was the time of the day, too.テつ Hard to know, really.テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah.テつ I think maybe nitrous or something.テつ (Laughter.)

Q.テつ Simon, looking ahead to the race, obviously this is your first year with Team Penske.テつ Talk about sitting there in the front row, how you think next Sunday is going to play out for you, and how excited are you that you have a chance to win this thing?テつ
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ Well, like I said earlier, I'm super excited.テつ First of all, driving for Team Penske at the speedway as a driver is quite special.テつ Just look at the names of who's been driving for Roger in the past years; it's quite incredible to be part of these people.テつ
Yeah, I think we, all four of us, have a really good chance.テつ I mean, even Juan, he's going to come back.テつ He's really strong in race trim.テつ We've had really solid cars.テつ So I'm really excited.テつ I think we have a good chance here.テつ
But the Indy 500 is a bit like the 24 Hours of LeMans.テつ You're never ready enough for this race.テつ There's so many things, nine to ten pit stops, a yellow can fall out at the wrong time, something can happen in pit lane.テつ It's crazy in pit lane.テつ It can go all right up until the race and something can happen at the last moment where you don't expect it.テつ
You know, I'm just going to keep being like I have been, like pretty non‑emotional about it, and do my job, even though I'm super excited.テつ
WILL POWER:テつ He's saying you're emotionless.テつ You've been coming in crying every day.テつ Don't lie.テつ (Laughter.)

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
WILL POWER:テつ I think it only would have made sense if we had the boost level and were allowed to trim out because otherwise it just would have been the same type of flat‑out, easy go around that it was.テつ Yeah.テつ
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ What you're seeing is just car prep, really.テつ I mean, at this level of downforce and boost, it's not really hard for us, so if it was like it was this morning, then it was a complete different challenge for us, and then you really have to get after it, which was a lot of fun.テつ Then you want a Fast Nine because you really want to put it all out there.テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, that's risk versus reward, right?テつ You can run those pods and be really light, but you may end up in the wall.テつ That's what was cool about it.テつ That's what's always been cool about this place is that you can trim out and get faster on the straight, but can you make it through the corner, the four laps.テつ That's why it didn't make sense to do a Fast Nine.テつ

Q.テつ I'd just like to ask, given the situation where it is basically flat‑out around here, what would you comment about basically cutting the downforce and increasing the horsepower and making the cars basically much more difficult to drive on the other hand?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ You're preaching to the choir.テつ I've been saying that ever since I joined the series, that we need more power, less grip, so we can‑‑ you're trying to get out of the corner.テつ This place is probably not the best place for that type of thing, but I've been saying that all along, like why‑‑ you don't want your grandma to be able to ride around on your (indiscernible) at some of these ovals that we go to because that's what it used to be like.テつ Obviously in the last couple years it's really changed the way you drive it.テつ Slides around, you've got to really‑‑ it's in the driver's hands.テつ
As soon as you add too much grip and not enough power, it takes it out of the driver's hands and you're just guiding the car, you're not driving it.テつ I've been saying that forever.テつ
SIMON PAGENAUD:テつ Agreed.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you very much.テつ

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports



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