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VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES: TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH


April 13, 2014


Carlos Munoz

Will Power


THE MODERATOR:ツ We are joined by Carlos Munoz of Andretti Autosport who finished third today.ツ It is Carlos's second podium finish of his career in five starts.ツ His other podium finish was second at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Indy 500 last May.ツ Carlos, just give us a brief statement on how your race went today?ツ
CARLOS MUテ前Z:ツ It went pretty well.ツ It's not the way I'd like to earn my third place with so many accidents, but this is racing.ツ Anything can happen, especially on this track, especially in IndyCar, anything can happen.ツ But I'm really happy.ツ It was a really nice race.ツ In the first turn we were struggling a lot with the rear tires.ツ I was fighting with the car trying to maintain the position.ツ After that my guys, my crew guys did an awesome job on the pit stops and everything.ツ
You know, I just pushed pretty hard on the last two laps to try to overtake Will, but it was really difficult.ツ Even though I had some push to pass.ツ But I'm happy, second podium in the IndyCar, and first podium this year.ツ So I'm going to keep pushing.ツ
THE MODERATOR:ツ We're pleased to be joined by Will Power, Will Power finished second in this race.ツ His second podium finish of 2014, and his sixth podium finish in nine starts at Long Beach.ツ Will has now finished first or second in his last four Verizon IndyCar Series races and is the current points leader with 93 points.ツ Will, you seem to be on quite a roll dating back to 2013?ツ
WILL POWER:ツ Yeah, I was definitely thinking after qualifying we might have been in a bit of trouble, but we know this track well and IndyCar Racing well.ツ There is always a lot of action, so definitely a good day.ツ
Mike was very strong.ツ I kind of regret not using the push to pass on the restart where he got me.ツ I knew he had one and I had one, and I thought I'm going to try to save it and he used it on that restart.ツ But definitely take second from 14th, you know, good for the championship, not that I want to think about that crap anymore.ツ I just want to race.ツ I'm just going to race to win every time.

Q.ツ Will, after finishing first and second, I know you don't want to look at the points.ツ You're the leader.ツ If you guys could talk a little bit about it seemed for a while it was Ryan Hunter‑Reay's race, and all of a sudden, one thing completely turned the nature of this race around.ツ Just talk about how big an impact that had, and Will, you were able to get through that carnage without hitting anything?
CARLOS MUテ前Z:ツ And me, I was really close to being in it.ツ
WILL POWER:ツ I saw it unfold.ツ I mean, those two came out of the pits in front of me on cold, black tires, I was on reds and down a lap or two.ツ You know, then all of a sudden I saw Newgarden come out and I'm thinking this is going to be really interesting because all these guys know that that is for the win.ツ It became even more interesting in turn four when they all‑‑ thank you.ツ Yeah, unbelievable.ツ
I saw Hunter‑Reay go inside, and me going, oh, this will be interesting if he turns and there they go together.ツ Then Hinch piles into him, and I got through, like yeah, you don't get those gifts often in racing, so I'll take it.
CARLOS MUテ前Z:ツ Yeah, but as I said, it's not the way to win, but this is racing.ツ Anything can happen, especially in IndyCar.ツ It's not always the fastest guy wins the race.ツ Almost I was really close to hit also James and instead Takuma hit him or hit Ryan, I don't know.ツ He was just behind me.ツ So it was close.ツ It's a shame for Andretti because Ryan was really dominant until that point of the race.

Q.ツ Carlos, you won here last year in Indy Lights, and now you get on a podium here in IndyCar.ツ What is it that suits you well on this course, and what do you like best about it?ツ How did that Indy Lights win last year prepare you for the race here today?ツ
CARLOS MUテ前Z:ツ The cars are really different from each other, from IndyCar, Indy Lights.ツ It helps me to know the track, to know the lines because the lines are exactly 100% the same, but how you drive it is completely different because the tires are different.ツ Indy Lights just spring race to push the whole race.ツ This one you have to think a little bit more of the tires and everything.ツ
I knew my first time and my team said, yeah, you have to be brave and to try to maintain the position, and that's what I did.ツ After that, I passed really good at the end of the laps.ツ I love this track here.ツ From the inside and outside and the fans here also.

Q.ツ Will, talk about the final laps and the temptation to overtake Mike Conway in the last few laps?ツ
WILL POWER:ツ Yeah, I mean, none of us had a push to pass, so, yeah, I did everything I could when I saw Dixon pull in with only two to go.ツ I was like oh, man, that restart got me.ツ But like I said, it was 14th, and we're going to be happy with a Top 5.ツ So second is okay.ツ
Once Dixon peeled off, Mike was very quick anyway.ツ If I had one push to pass, I'm pretty sure I would have had a good shot.ツ It would have been interesting, maybe he would have ended up winning because Mike and I would have crashed into turn one or something (laughing).ツ Yeah, it was a good day.ツ Definitely a good day.

Q.ツ Two quick questions, first one, Simon Pagenaud and you got hooked up there a little bit.ツ Obviously, he's upset with you.ツ He said you guys aren't going on vacation anytime soon together.ツ Do you guys two weeks, six weeks, eight weeks down the road, I know you are good friends, how do you mend that fence?ツ Second question is a lot of really young drivers are showing real strength this year.ツ What do you put that towards?ツ
WILL POWER:ツ Simon, it's on him.ツ It depends what he wants to do.ツ He'll probably pay me back at some point on the track.ツ If I got a penalty, he probably wouldn't have, but he told me he's going to get me back.ツ I thought he had a flat tire.ツ He was so slow on the restart.ツ He went from second back to he was in front of me.ツ I thought, oh, he's going to brake early, and I brake, went up the inside and realized he was going to turn.ツ I tried to get out and just touched his back tire.ツ
Yeah, I hate to ruin someone's race like that.ツ I do.ツ But I think if he looked in the mirror, he could have prevented that incident.ツ We talked about in the driver meeting that there's got to be a bit of give and take there.ツ But still I hit his back tire with my front wheel, so it's on me.

Q.ツ And the question about the young drivers?ツ
WILL POWER:ツ Yeah, I mean, man, these guys are definitely putting the pressure on it.ツ They're quick, really quick.ツ They're not making mistakes either.ツ Carlos was super quick and very good in the Indy 500 last year.ツ He's just backing it up this year and showing everyone how to do it on road courses as well.ツ So definitely got a long future in the series, and so is Jack Hawksworth also.

Q.ツ Will, when Ed Carpenter decided to split the driving duties on his team, I was wondering what your thought.ツ Now it may pay off very big in points later in the year.ツ How do you feel about that kind of strategy?ツ
WILL POWER:ツ I thought when they told me that, I thought championship contenders as far as team championship, you know, and they will be because Mike was coming at St. Pete. ツHe was probably going to finish second or third there too.ツ Obviously it was a bit of a blunder in the pits, but those guys were on it every week.ツ Then Ed is definitely capable of winning pretty much in all the ovals too, so it's a pretty strong combination they've got right there on that team.

Q.ツ Describe the standing start because you're kind of both in the middle of the pack for the start.ツ So describe what happened for you all.ツ
CARLOS MUテ前Z:ツ I loved it.ツ I past a lot of cars on the standing start.ツ We were thinking to go on Blacks or Reds, my new blacks I thought was going to be too much wheel spin so I decide to go on Reds because of that.ツ It was a great start.ツ I like it.ツ I raced in Europe for a long time, so I'm used to it.ツ I thought it was great.ツ
WILL POWER:ツ Yeah, I thought it was pretty good.ツ We all got a good start.ツ I think it's definitely better for the fans.ツ It looks cooler for all the people sitting in the grandstands for everyone to have a standing start.ツ See on the luminator the lights going out.ツ And no one stalled so that was good.ツ Unless there was someone behind me, I don't know.ツ But it was good, a good first lap, yeah.

Q.ツ Will, you talked about them coming out of The Pits on black tires, and you were on Reds.ツ What was your strategy on tires with the constant temperature change here in Long Beach?ツ
WILL POWER:ツ Well, I was surprised that those guys went on Blacks, unless they used up their new Blacks from the start.ツ I don't know‑‑ or new Reds from the start.ツ Because Reds to me, I had a good chance to get a couple of those guys coming out of the pits on cold tires.ツ They took care of it themselves.ツ But, yeah, our strategy was start on blacks.ツ Hopefully the Reds would go off and go red‑red because the Reds were definitely quicker.ツ
THE MODERATOR:ツ Will, you're the points leader heading into Barber Motorsports Park, a track that's been historically very good for you.ツ Talk about a preview of two weeks from now what we'll be expecting at Barber?ツ
WILL POWER:ツ Yeah, I mean, to me I've got to qualify a bit better for sure.ツ Definitely aiming to be pole because that track is very difficult to pass.ツ Everyone's tested there.ツ Everyone's run a lot of miles there, so there are a lot of good guys with good cars, so it's definitely going to make it an interesting weekend.ツ
THE MODERATOR:ツ Carlos, same question.ツ What can we expect from Barber?ツ
CARLOS MUテ前Z:ツ Yeah, I was in the position test, I was not a hundred percent that time with the car.ツ So there are high‑speed corners, so I was struggling there because the Indy Lights is not as much downforce as the IndyCar.ツ But I think for the weekend I'm going to be great.ツ My teammates were fast, and we have a good history there at Barber with Ryan winning there last year.ツ So for sure we're going to have a good base car to start with, and as Will said, it's a hard track to pass, so the qualifying is going to be key for that race.

Q.ツ You seem to be quite a significant performance difference in you and qualifying and the race performance today.ツ Can you comment on that at all?ツ Any major changes that went into the car or the set‑up or to any of the mechanicals?ツ
WILL POWER:ツ Well, actually, this is the worst qualifying in my career.ツ I just didn't get it right.ツ It's just one of those laps that I had a couple of laps to do it in, and I just didn't get it right.ツ Because in the practice session before that, we were quickest.ツ We had a very good car, so it's just one of those things, you know.ツ We didn't change anything.ツ The car was the same in the race.ツ That sucks, but we had a good day anyway.

Q.ツ Carlos, what does this podium finish do for your team and your confidence level the rest of the season?ツ
CARLOS MUテ前Z:ツ I think it means more for the team, and a lot of confidence for me that I know I can fight with the top guys.ツ Will has a lot of wins here, a lot of poles also.ツ Conway he's also won one in the past year, so it gives me confidence I know I can be also really fast on tracks and on the road courses.ツ
Also it's good for the team, second podium in a row.ツ Right now I think we aren't really happy with what happened with Ryan and James, but for sure we're going to be ready for Barber.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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