WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 2014 VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES CHAMPION:
YOU CLOSED YOUR EYES AS YOU PULLED IN HERE, WAS THAT A MOMENT OF SOAKING IT IN OR A REACTION TO FINALLY: “That was one of the hardest races ever. I was crying over the line and it just went on and on and I slowly made positions and the car wasn’t great. So man, I just have to thank Verizon, Roger Penske and Tim Cindric. It’s just surreal man. I can’t believe it.”
YOU MENTION CRYING, WHAT WAS THE EMOTION LIKE? WAS IT THE RELAXATION? “Yes, I was just so mentally exhausted. My hands were like so numb from holding the wheel so tight and I wanted to be a lot more. Its over and I want to be so much more but sorry, I am just so drained that I can’t. I can’t believe I won it.”
TAKE US THROUGH THE LAST SEVEN DAYS, HOW HAS IT BEEN FOR YOU? “The last 14 days have been the worst. Just mentally and emotionally and not sleeping and stressing and I feel bad for my wife in keeping her up at night. You never think it can happen until it happens. I cannot believe I am the champion. I cannot believe it.”
WHAT POINT TONIGHT DID YOU SAY, WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS?
“When I took the lead, I thought ‘this is good, I think we have a pretty good shot here’. Then when they said Helio got the drive through, I thought, ‘we can do this, this is it’.”
YOU CAN CELBRATE NOW BECAUSE YOU ARE A CHAMPION: “That is unbelievable. That is 15 years of hard work. I started taking it seriously in 2000 and it’s just been 15 years of hard work.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER: DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAD SOMETHING TO GET THIS ONE WON:? “It’s been a long time coming. Chip (Ganassi) gave me the opportunity. Target-celebrating the 25-year anniversary this year. I’m so glad I did it. Chevrolet and all the sponsors. Finally! We had a team meeting this afternoon, and Chip said, ‘If you win the last race, you get to brag about it for seven months.’ I went ahead and did it. Great team effort for one-two (finish). Great pit stops. The boys did great. What an awesome feeling, Man. It was a long time coming. .We had close calls this year, and I’m just glad [we got a win]. We have a tradition in the shop. a winner gets their picture on the wall. Finally I get my picture on the wall.”
ON MOMENTUM FOR NEXT SEASON, THIS IS FIVE OF THE LAST SEVEN RACES YOU HAVE FINISHED ON THE PODIUM: “I just think it shows the team potential. We turned the situation around. The team got a grip on what we needed it to do. It is good momentum. Next year is a whole new ball game with the aero kits and stuff, We have a great team here; a great group of guys. This is how a team works. When we struggled, when people think we are nowhere, we go out and win three races this year and six podiums. It is a great team effort. That is one team.
“This No. 10 car has a lot of history and I didn’t want to go winless because of the tradition. I told Dario (Franchitti) this win I dedicate this win. If it wasn’t for him, these guys and Chip, Dario was forced to retire, I wouldn’t be driving this car right now. I’m really proud of this. It is going to be a hell of a night!”