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September 17, 2017

Will Power

Sonoma, California

THE MODERATOR: We're here in the media center with Will Power. Not the ending that you hoped for, but a Penske podium and a Penske championship.

WILL POWER: Yeah, boring day for me. That's exactly what the team needed, no yellows or anything, just kind of shadowed Josef to try to keep a buffer between him and Dixon, and yeah, obviously you can't have four DNFs in a year and be up there in the championship. We won enough races and poles and we led some good laps, but just really didn't -- yeah, just too many DNFs, too many.

THE MODERATOR: How do you help celebrate a championship when you're disappointed personally?

WILL POWER: I'm not -- it was pretty obvious a couple races ago that we were in trouble after Gateway, so yeah, I mean, it's great for the team. Obviously you want to be the one that wins it, but it's very tough these days, and you've got to have a very solid year to get it done, and when I look at this year, no one made mistakes. You see the top six there, top six or seven are the top six or seven almost every race.

THE MODERATOR: Simon's team made the decision to go with four stops. Did you know they were going to go with four stops?

WILL POWER: Yeah, they were going to put one car off strategy. I was going to do whatever Josef did, and Helio was kind of -- I don't know what he was doing, but he obviously had the captain on his stand. Their plan was probably to try and win the race. But yeah, yeah, that was my position in the championship and within the team. Just going to shadow him all day unless something happened to Dixon.

Q. It was a big year for you. I saw your baby come by a little while ago. Sum up the season; can you kind of take us through the year and how it's been a bit of an emotional roller coaster?
WILL POWER: Yeah, definitely a roller coaster season. I just never quite got on a run, never -- I think back to the ones that hurt, and it's failure at St. Pete and we're leading at Barber, that's a huge points swing for me right there that would have put me right in contention here, but getting the puncture. So there were a couple.

But yeah, just up and down all year, up and down. It was amazing. It was amazing to have like a front wing failure in a race, go let down, come back and win it. That was probably the highlight of the year right there. Yeah, and winning two ovals this season was fantastic.

Q. Was the crew swap planned, or was that kind of just a random kind of last-minute thing that came up?
WILL POWER: It's probably something they were thinking of, the team. Basically just assemble the pit stop competition winners from Indy, which is understandable. They needed to make sure they had the absolute best possible chance, had everyone come in under yellow, the best chance to have Josef get out first.

Q. Were you surprised there were no yellows? Going into the race everybody was saying how hard it was going to be, tire degradation, et cetera.
WILL POWER: No, it was very similar to last year because you just can't even get close with this car. It's just -- like next year will be much different. I think you'll start seeing a little more yellows in races because you can race so much closer. Next year's car is going to be a lot easier to follow.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
WILL POWER: Yes, that's what happens. If you think you remember the racing from 2012 up until this body kit, you made big dive bomb moves and more yellows and a lot better racing that will come back. It's kind of sad to see these aero kits go because you'll never see a car like it again and you'll never see a car with that much downforce and grip and speed ever again. I think that was the most downforce any car ever had.

Q. You've been a champion; what advice do you have for Josef, and what's he in for?
WILL POWER: No advice, just enjoy it. Enjoy it. Enjoy it. It's a fantastic time. Fantastic off-season, and yeah, great feeling.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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