VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
ABC SUPPLY CO. INC. WISCONSIN 250
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER POST QUALIFYING RELEASE AND TRANSCRIPT
JULY 16, 2014
Will Power Takes Third Pole of 2014 with Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Muscle
Chevrolet-powered entries nab top four spots, seven of top eight at Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE (Aug. 16, 2014) – Will Power claimed pole position at the Milwaukee Mile on Saturday in his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet to lead a strong showing for the contingent of Chevrolet IndyCar V6 entries for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250. The four fastest qualifiers Saturday and seven of the top eight were Chevrolet-powered entries.
Saturday’s time trials continued a strong IndyCar season for Chevrolet. With three races left, Chevrolet leads the Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer standings with nine victories in 15 rounds to date. Power, leading the series’ Driver championship, claimed his third Verizon P1 Pole Award of 2014 and the 11th pole position for a Chevrolet-powered driver this season.
Chevy teams look to continue their stellar efforts at Milwaukee dating back to 2012. Chevrolet V6 IndyCars finished first through fifth in last year’s race and took the top six positions in 2012.
The Aussie’s two-lap average of 169.262 mph was more than a half mile-an-hour quicker than Tony Kanaan in the No. 10 Huggies Chevrolet from Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Juan Pablo Montoya was third in his No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet with a two-lap average of 168.579 mph, and Ryan Briscoe qualified fourth at 168.266 mph in the No. 8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
“Congratulations to Will Power and his Verizon Penske crew for winning the pole position today at The Milwaukee Mile,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, Verizon IndyCar Program. “Alongside him will be Tony Kanaan, and in the row behind them Juan Pablo and Ryan Briscoe to cover the first two rows with Chevrolet power. The track was changing a bit throughout the two practice sessions, and qualifying benefited some from cloud cover to bring the temps down. Will certainly demonstrated great poise and focus, which will be key to winning the race tomorrow and maintaining the lead in the driver’s championship.”
Charlie Kimball led a pack of three more Chevrolet drivers filling out the first four rows of the grid. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet was sixth, followed by Ed Carpenter in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet and the eighth-place No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet of Helio Castroneves. Castroneves stands second in the driver standings.
Live television coverage of the ABC Supply Co. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest is set for 3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC Sports Network. Live radio coverage will be on IMS Radio broadcast on XM Radio Channel 209 and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 213.
In addition, IndyCar live timing and scoring with the radio broadcast can be found at indycar.com.
POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
AN INTERVIEW WITH:
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, POLE WINNER
TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 HUGGIES CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND
THE MODERATOR: We’ll get started with today’s post-qualifying press conference. We are joined by Will Power of Team Penske.
Will, were you expecting coming into qualifying the speeds we saw this session?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I definitely wasn’t expecting those sort of speeds. Based on practice, we were expecting 22-second laps. Yeah, the car was very solid. Obviously had the information of my two teammates before me of which direction the balance went.
Didn’t have to adjust the car much. Yeah, just good laps. I didn’t expect to be on pole, but I thought I’d be somewhere at the front.
THE MODERATOR: We just had you in here a few minutes ago talking about the championship, your chances, working with your teammates. You’re starting quite a bit above your teammate Helio Castroneves. Does that add confidence going into tomorrow?
WILL POWER: Yeah, if you’ve watched any IndyCar races this year, you know anything can happen. You think you can be all good with 10 to go, there can be a yellow.
It’s great to start up front. This is definitely a track-position race. But you’ve got to see how the yellows play out. Keep our head down and make the most of every situation.
THE MODERATOR: We are also joined by Tony Kanaan of Chip Ganassi Racing.
Tony, Will just mentioned how important track position is. For your team, three, four cars qualified strong for tomorrow’s race. What do you think Chip Ganassi Racing’s chances are going into tomorrow?
TONY KANAAN: I think we have a pretty good chance. Like you said, the four cars are extremely strong. We’re in the front row. We’ve been showing how quick we’ve been, how good we’ve been everywhere. We’ve just really got to get a little bit of luck on our side sometime. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll challenge Will and some of the guys.
I think we have a good car and a chance to win.
THE MODERATOR: Did you expect the speeds that you saw in qualifying?
TONY KANAAN: At this point it’s really weird. You never see those speeds until you get to qualifying. Usually it’s at the end of the day, not a lot of cars on the track, which being a short track, even though you think you’re alone, you still actually have a little bit of a draft, your car understeers a little bit too much.
Always feels worse during the sessions than actually in qualifying. I wasn’t that surprised, to be honest. Honestly, when Will set that time, I was surprised because I wasn’t sure I could do that. I knew the track was better. But that’s typical for Milwaukee qualifying.
THE MODERATOR: We’ll open it up for questions.
Q. Will, I know getting a short oval win would be neat for you, but how much would a win in general tomorrow mean towards your championship run?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, obviously a win tomorrow would be phenomenal as far as the championship goes. It would just be cool to get a win on a short oval, as well.
Yeah, just no other way to approach it but just be smart and keep your head down lap by lap. That’s all you can do. You can’t even think about the overall picture. Just head down.
Q. And you got a point for pole, as well.
WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, I’ve lost the championship by two points and four points, so they all add up in the end. There’s obviously still a lot of points on the table. But they all count.
Q. Were you surprised that the Andretti Autosport cars weren’t at the top of the charts?
WILL POWER: Yeah, it was surprising. Although Hinch, it’s the first run since he hit the wall. It’s bloody difficult. I would have expected Hunter-Reay and Marco.
The thing that’s funny this year, every track we’ve been to, none of the setups from last year transfer over. They’re all different. So you can be strong. You can turn up with a setup that you think is right… Even testing here to coming here is different. It’s just amazing. I don’t know why that is. You turn up, changing a lot of stuff.
But we were able to reach a good balance for qualifying.
Q. Tony, same question.
TONY KANAAN: I mean, they’re still going to be guys to watch in the race. I don’t know what happened in qualifying. It’s been a long time that I’ve been there. They were always good.
It’s so easy, like Will was saying. Nowadays, you make one little thing, you think it’s a little change, it becomes a huge one. It can be good and can be really bad.
I really don’t know. I was also surprised, for sure, especially with Hinch. But when you hit the wall in the last session, you don’t have time to do at least another lap, although we’re pretty good, it’s always tricky just to go out there and try to do it again, you know.
Q. Tony, why are you so good at this track?
TONY KANAAN: I don’t know (laughter). Well, I wish I would know.
You know, it’s funny that you say that. I’m going to challenge you guys to go back to ’98 and ’99 and see where I started here and where I finished. I started dead last, and by lap 40 I parked the car because I couldn’t drive it around.
I think since I came to America with Steve Horne at Tasman, my ovals were one of my weaknesses. We tested a lot. He brought me around and showed me around. I think I learned a couple different things that over the years made me really good at it.
I have to say, if it was a specific track he made me work on extremely hard when I was with him for four years, it was the mile ovals. That probably could be it.
Q. Tony, how close were you to going flat through Turn 1?
TONY KANAAN: Not close enough, because I had to lift. Yeah, it was tricky because it was a lift. I don’t know how big of a lift. It wasn’t that big either, but it made me lose a little bit of time.
When I saw my first lap, I knew what Will had done. My first lap was pretty good with a little bit of a lift. I said, Well, to beat him, I’m going to have to go flat, otherwise there is no way. Obviously didn’t. We lost a little bit of time. But it wasn’t that close I think. I’ve been flat here before, so I would say it wasn’t that close.
Q. Tony, is it better to start on the outside here at Milwaukee? Which side would you use?
TONY KANAAN: I don’t know. I think the pole sitter always has the right to accelerate first, I would say. My preference, if I was a pole sitter, I wouldn’t do that because it’s too much of a risk sometimes.
I don’t think that is a lane preference. I’ve been on the inside and I’ve been on the outside. It can work and it cannot work. It’s really hard to say.
If I was a pole sitter, I would pick the inside just to protect myself. As you have the right to accelerate, you can always get the room on the outside, as well.
THE MODERATOR: Will, as the pole sitter, which side do you prefer?
WILL POWER: Like Tony said, you take the risk to the outside because you may not clear the guys.
Q. Tony, how do you think the windy conditions will affect the race?
TONY KANAAN: I don’t know. It’s going to be the same for everybody. Cool, it’s actually good. We’re going to have a lot of grip. Windy, it’s not good.
Right now I think it’s anybody’s race because of that. You know, different conditions. Just going to have to have a consistent car.
You can see during the sessions, like when guys have better tires than others, it looks so much stronger. We saw that in Iowa. This is going to be the same case here.
Hopefully we won’t get down to that because I think that’s really unfortunate. I think if you see a yellow flag 15 to go, I bet you the entire field is speeding.
It’s going to be tricky, for sure. It’s hard to predict.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, good luck tomorrow.