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June 10, 2017

Will Power

Fort Worth, Texas

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Will Power, who ties Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy for ninth on the all-time win list with his win here at Texas Motor Speedway. Will, congratulations. It was definitely a hectic I guess you could say race out there. Take us through your win and eventually how you ultimately survived.

WILL POWER: Yeah, it was beginning it was a matter of getting to the front. We talked about that in our pre-race strategy meeting, that track position is going to be everything because I know whoever would have the lead and the bottom of the track would be very difficult to pass. And the guys did phenomenal stops all night. Obviously that was the key, to keep getting out first. But a really good restart on Dixon that one lap, that one restart where he got out ahead of me, and it was a pretty intense battle there at the end with Scott. I was kind of working out in my head how I was going to get him over the line because he was kind of able to side draft me and be ahead on some laps, so it was really going to be an interesting finish.

And yeah, just over the moon. Over the moon to win here, my second home, and my wife is from here, so we spend a lot of time down here, so just an amazing feeling.

THE MODERATOR: This is the first time that the Verizon IndyCar Series has raced on the new track surface here at Texas Motor Speedway. What fact did that play in the race tonight?

WILL POWER: Just meant that there was zero degradation with the tires. It didn't matter what lap you were on, it was like you had new tires on, so it made for a very tight, close racing.

THE MODERATOR: Coming into the race weekend throughout the practice sessions and qualifying, obviously a little bit of a rain delay when we started the weekend. Did you have a feeling when we came into the race weekend that you might have a shot to win this?

WILL POWER: It was hard to say based on the Indy -- the speed that the Honda had at Indy. But those Chevys definitely got a good package. You know, especially on the top end of the engine. They were very high up on the revs all night, which really helped us. Where we qualified, I was like, hmm, this could be tough, but as soon as it went green, I was like, yeah, we have a shot. We definitely have a shot to win this.

Q. Did you have to compromise your setup at all because I thought in the opening laps you dropped to 12th. Did you have to compromise your setup at all to have it able to run well in traffic before you got to the front?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I made some in-cockpit adjustments, but my car was pretty good from the beginning. I was able to drive forward after that.

Q. We know how you are.
WILL POWER: Yeah, I was able to -- is that what it is? Yeah, I was able to drive forward pretty quickly and get into P3. I was kind of trying to think about how I was going to set Josef up, but then it went yellow, obviously a good pit stop, then he got drive through, and then we really never lost the lead after that.

Q. A lot of people suffered blisters tonight, particularly Josef and Helio. Did those two do anything different from you and Simon on setup?
WILL POWER: No, not really. We're all pretty similar, I guess it just depended on where you ran and how aggressive you were with the wheel. I mean, you could stop blisters by not punishing the front. You kind of know when you are, but yeah.

Q. Will, did you feel going into this race that it was going to be pack racing --

Q. And do you feel that maybe this was a little bit too much?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, I sold the series, next to Jay Frye, this will be an absolute pack race. I didn't say whether it was good or bad, I absolutely knew it would be a pack race. There was no doubt in my mind. Anyone who didn't -- I mean, the first time we ran here, I said, yeah, this will be a pack race. Yeah.

Q. You said you knew it would be a pack race, but yesterday talking to drivers after even the warmup, 80 percent of them said that there won't be a second lane in Turn 1 and 2.
WILL POWER: Yeah, I knew there would be.

Q. Were they just not reading it right?
WILL POWER: They didn't go up there. Some did, but it's just so obvious that once the rubber goes down, there's just a lot of grip. It just gets better and better and better. It was so obvious to me, and anyone who said it wasn't going to be, I can't see how you could not see that.

Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: I like tire degradation so at least you can work on the car. It's fine to do that for the first half of the stint, you know, 10 laps, but I think there needs to be a bit of falloff to create some separation because it gets -- you know, when we're doing it every week, people got good at it, and need to give some respect and understood it. When you just do it once, as I know it all happened behind me, but it gets pretty intense. So yeah. I don't know what to say. I won the race, though.

I mean, when you're leading, it's the easiest night. Until you're leading, the last 10 laps or six, you're driving around wide open. The tire never fell off. And I always said that, like the easiest day of your life if you lead a pack race. The easiest day of your life.

Q. Much of the second group came in. You were pretty happy where you were?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, that's what happens is distance matters. You actually don't take a racing line, you take the shortest line around and that's the quickest way because there's no limit, at least we hugged the white line. Yeah, that's how it was when I first turned up in 2008.

Q. Those final laps there when I think Sato tried to make it three wide there through 1 and 2, could you see that, hear about it? What did you think of that?
WILL POWER: Yeah, my spotter is always keeping me -- when it becomes three wide, I'm on the white line on the bottom. There's nothing more I can do. It's up to the other two guys to make the right decision on that. The three wide, it wasn't three wide for long if it was. I heard three wide maybe once or twice in the race, and yeah, there wasn't a third groove.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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