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June 7, 2014
FORT WORTH, TEXAS
THE MODERATOR:¬† We'll get started with our post‑race press conference.¬† We're joined by tonight's second‑place finisher of the Firestone 600, Will Power, driver of the No.12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.¬† Third career top‑five finish here at Texas Motor Speedway.¬† Bright side of things you're still the points leader, 43 over Helio Castroneves, you led 145 laps, unfortunately had a pass‑through penalty.¬† Talk about your evening and fighting back to get that second‑place finish at the end.
WILL POWER:¬† Yeah, it was a lot of fun, awesome.¬† We changed the car a lot from last night because we struggled in practice, but man, what a great run, enjoyed it a lot.¬† Really disappointed I did that again.¬† That's four drive throughs in five races.¬† Got to stop doing that.¬† It's ruining our chances of winning.¬† But an awesome call at the end by the team to call for new tires and obviously got back to at least where we were, one more lap and we probably would have had it.
But yeah, very good day.¬† Great day, really enjoyed it.
Q.¬† With the penalties you just talked about four in five races, is there something you can change in the car to cut down on that?
WILL POWER:¬† I'm just going too hard, obviously the pit thing and obviously last week with the contact early in the race.¬† Like I said, I just go for race wins.¬† I'm not looking at points, I just want to‑‑ I just enjoy racing, and you do it for fun and try to get the most out of it, but those mistakes are just not good enough at this level.¬† I've got to stop it.¬† I've got to just take it a bit easier.
Q.¬† Juan sounded unhappy about that last restart.
WILL POWER:¬† I don't know, I was just going for it.¬† I don't think you need to see the car to know it's fair.¬† Restart, he went, and there was no games, I think.¬† I don't know.
Q.¬† Can you talk a little bit about the high line that developed throughout the race if there was one, because I noticed that it was being used up a lot more than what we saw in practice.
WILL POWER:¬† Yeah, the high line was‑‑ definitely at the end of a tires stint, yeah, very good.¬† Definitely good for me.¬† I had a really strong car at the end of a stint, I'd run up high and early on it probably wasn't that fast.¬† He'd be flat on the bottom.¬† But as you got in the traffic you had to decide just work out where to run and the quickest way around that traffic.
THE MODERATOR:¬† We're now joined by tonight's third‑place finisher Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevy.¬† You led 13 laps tonight, best finish of the year, best finish here at Texas Motor Speedway, including your 14 starts here in the Sprint Cup Series.¬† Talk about your evening.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† It was good.¬† I was recovering from a flat tire at the beginning of the race.¬† We recovered and we did a good job there, and just a little mad at the end.¬† I don't know, I want to go talk to IndyCar and clarify why the cones are there for the restart if you don't have to use them.¬† I don't know.¬† I understand if you wanted to go a little early or a little late, it's okay, but like 200, 300 yards before we get to the cones and he was already going, I was kind of disappointed with that, that he got away with that.¬† But that's what it is.¬† But overall for the Verizon team it was really good.¬† It was fun.¬† What a handful.¬† Oh, my God.¬† To be good here it's got to be a handful.¬† We crank wing and crank wing and the more we cranked the better we got.¬† It was fun.
Q.¬† Given what happened at Indianapolis with them red flagging the race with seven, eight to go, with the position that you guys were in, were you kind of deep down inside hoping that they'd throw the red flag out, and have you two been told this is when we will throw it and this is when we won't throw it?
WILL POWER:¬† I think they'll only do the red flag thing at Indy.¬† To throw a red flag every time there's a yellow during a race is kind of‑‑
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† I think it would be cool if they got to a green‑white‑checkered.
WILL POWER: ¬†No, not in IndyCar.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† Why not?¬† It sucks if you're winning but it's better here for the fans.¬† I don't think any fan here wants to see a race finish under caution.¬† Honestly as a driver it sucks‑‑
WILL POWER:¬† 600 kilometers, I think I'd rather red flag.¬† Similar, I guess.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† So if you have a red flag and wait, then that's okay.
WILL POWER:¬† No, I don't like that, either.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† I agree with you, that red flag at Indy was kind of weird.¬† It made the race better and everything, it put a better show for the fans that we need, but I don't know.
Q.¬† When there is only two or three laps left to go, kind of describe to me a little bit how frantic are these, and if we had a green‑white‑checkered how scary would that be for drivers?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† That was a green‑white‑checkered right there, wasn't it?
WILL POWER:¬† Yeah, pretty much.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† That was it, you know what I mean?¬† I don't know.
WILL POWER:¬† Yeah.¬† Depends on the track.¬† You know, if it's like two pack racing, green‑white‑checkered would be pretty bad.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† Yeah, if you had fair restarts, it would be fun.¬† (Laughter.)
WILL POWER:¬† In IndyCar, you've got to be ready, man.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† You've got to be ready to cheat?
WILL POWER:¬† Last week he started way‑‑ he was starting in the last corner.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† If he was doing that, then somebody should have said something.¬† For me, especially coming from NASCAR, you have the lines and you've got to restart‑‑ if you want to jump it a little bit you can jump it a car length or two, but 200, 300 yards, are you kidding me?
WILL POWER:¬† Well, I never even saw‑‑ when there was a restart I never knew where they were.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† We were still on the bottom before you go into pit entrance out of 4, I mean, he was already gone.
WILL POWER:¬† I actually went then, too, because I couldn't see the cones.¬† I didn't know where they were when I started and restarted.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† There's a sign, big Verizon sign and cones and they're 10 feet off the ground.
WILL POWER:¬† I never looked at the wall, man.¬† I never looked at the wall.¬† I guess you're right.¬† Rules are rules, right?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† Honest, if you're going to make the rules ‑‑ like, we always complained, we didn't want a zone, just let us restart and they say, no, we want to let you have the restart in a zone, then ‑‑
WILL POWER:¬† I think they should take the win off Ed and award it to the next car, yeah?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† If that's the case, I don't care, if it's you or whatever it is, but if you jump the start the rules are rules, right?¬† I think there's got to be a clear‑cut penalty that if you go before the cones, you've got to get a penalty and the penalty is a drive through and at the end of the race you're going to get a time penalty on your result, and it's that simple.¬† If the guy knows he's going to get a five‑second penalty for jumping the start at the end of the race, he wouldn't jump it.¬† But he jumped it because he knew they were never going to wave it off because if you wave it off the race is over.¬† Fun times.
Q.¬† Tire degradation, was it better or worse than expected?
WILL POWER:¬† It was actually better, wasn't it?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† I don't know, I don't know what to compare it to, but it was freaking awesome.
WILL POWER:¬† It was the perfect amount of downforce right there.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† The downforce was good.¬† I felt that one of the cooler things about it was if you looked up to the tires, you had a massive benefit at the end of the run.¬† You could really control the race and the pace and the benefit of it, and you could run high, you could run low.¬† It was fun.¬† I mean, I had huge slides a couple times.¬† I didn't know you couldn't get on the brakes hard on these cars when somebody wrecks.¬† That scared the hell out of me.¬† I went, whoop, and I went through the apron and everything.
WILL POWER:¬† I did that at Fontana.¬† AJ Allmendinger crashed‑‑
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† Yeah, I'm like, ahh, I'm crashing.¬† I'm trying to get away from the cars and I'm actually crashing.¬† Great.
Q.¬† Will, the decision to pit, you may have already talked about that, but in the end that might be a championship‑saving move right there, and also, when you were out ahead with that big of a lead, did you almost think this is just going too easy?
WILL POWER:¬† No, it was just focus.¬† It's not like it used to be when you were just wide open.¬† You had to work the grooves and work the traffic.¬† It was just fun all the time.¬† You never stopped focusing.¬† But the old style of racing where you're just wide open, it was wait until the pit, the in lap, and that's where you maybe make some time on somebody, but this way you drove it just great, great style of racing.
Q.¬† And in the picture how that pit stop may have received your championship.
WILL POWER:¬† Yeah, looking at it, great call by the team.¬† Just raced again tonight just get a race to win.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† How many cars were on the lead lap?
WILL POWER:¬† Six.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† That was a no‑brainer.
WILL POWER:¬† That was a great call, right?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† But he told me to pit, and then said do whatever the leader does, and I did what the leader did, stayed out.
WILL POWER:¬† Ed wasn't going to pit because he wouldn't have got to him, unless everyone went new tires, he would have been screwed.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† Yeah, but if he would have pitted he would have been okay because he would have had eight cars gaps so he could have a bad pits and been okay.
WILL POWER:¬† Yeah, one more lap and the guy with the tires was going to win.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† Yeah, I don't know.
WILL POWER:¬† Next time, Juan.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† I'm getting better.¬† I had a hell of a race.¬† I'm happy.
WILL POWER:¬† Right there you had weird things happen, but‑‑
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† I had a freaking flat tire in lap 2.¬† I was kind of lucky that the caution came out.
Q.¬† Juan, you've been able to drive here in NASCAR and IndyCar now, complete your first full IndyCar race now here at TMS.¬† Can you talk about the difficulties in comparison between tonight and driving a NASCAR race?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† It's completely different.¬† NASCAR is back off the entry, back off the entry.¬† This you've got to drive it, you've really got to drive it.¬† It's hard because you've got to drive it so hard and they're so‑‑ honestly you're 40 cars behind somebody and you already start feeling the effect of the car in front, so you've really got to find ways to pass them.¬† It was fun.¬† I mean, it's kind of fun because if you need to pass somebody then you go in the other groove and you just drive it in wide open, wide open, wide open and get there and lift, and even if you have a bad exit you got there.¬† I'll tell you the truth, I haven't had this much fun in a long time, even though somebody jumped the start.¬† (Laughter.)
WILL POWER:¬† How much fun was it, like the whole race?¬† Crazy good.¬† Man.
Q.¬† Juan, do you feel like you're back at home in the open wheel series, and do you wish maybe that you might have done it a little bit earlier?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† No, I had a great time in NASCAR.¬† I really enjoyed myself.¬† I learned a lot.¬† I wish‑‑ we had too many ups and downs with those cars.¬† When we had good cars I had a blast there, I mean, I really enjoyed myself.¬† I mean, but having the opportunity to run for Team Penske here in IndyCar is a dream come true for anybody and have Will Power as a teammate.
WILL POWER:¬† Having Juan Montoya, my hero, is not a kid, but as a Formula 3 driver, he can say, is also a dream come true.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† Oh, my God, we're going to hug.¬† We do have a good time together.
Q.¬† Juan, everybody else in the series supposedly has next weekend off, but you don't, you're going to Michigan.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† I'm going to Michigan, yeah.
Q.¬† Talk a little bit about that.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† I don't know what to expect.¬† It's going to feel weird.¬† I mean, it's going to be fun to have the opportunity again with Team Penske cars, you look at Brad how he‑‑ they qualify in the top 10 every week, so there's a little bit of pressure.¬† It's going to be interesting.¬† I had only one day of testing in Nashville, so since Homestead I have driven the car once, but felt within five laps, I felt at home.¬† They're a great bunch of guys.¬† We're taking actually a really good car there.¬† Talking to them they're really excited about the car.¬† Get it in the race and go for it.
I got a lot of advice.¬† It's hard to keep up.¬† I'm being honest.
Q.¬† Have you thought about maybe doing a morning talk show?
WILL POWER:¬† Yeah, we are, actually.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† The biggest problem is if you bring Helio, as well, these two start singing everywhere.¬† I'm telling you, everywhere, every appearance.
WILL POWER:¬† (Singing) same song, too.¬† I don't know another song.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:¬† The problem is I've got kids so I learn ABCs and Barney songs and stuff.
WILL POWER:¬† Yeah, but seriously we are going to have a talk show, so listen and watch.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Gentlemen, thank you very much.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports