IndyCar Fontana Post-Race Press Conference
Scott Dixon (Champion)
Will Power (Race winner)
Helio Castroneves (2nd in points)
Jim Campbell (Chevy)
We are now pleased to be joined by our 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series champion.
Scott, what a race tonight. Walk us through tonight's race.
SCOTT DIXON: It was pretty crazy having to start back in the pack a little bit. I moved up I think on the initial lap, then kind of had a few issues with the balance of the car, being back in the pack. We seemed to lose the balance a bit with understeer.
I think for us it was more about maintaining. I could see still the leader. I was checking in with the team to see how fast the lead was getting away. The biggest thing in that position is to stay on the lead lap. The pack was still pretty compressed.
Sort of just maintained. We worked on the car a little bit. We tried changing some tire pressures, working with the bars, the weight jacker. Didn't find the balance till sort of about lap 80, as late as 100. Once we got the balance set, the car was good, we were able to move up and really contend.
I think we were one of the better cars out there. Will Power did a great job tonight. He was extremely fast, was just kind of hooked up. He could run on the bottom, the top, pick where he needed to go, head straight out speed. Maybe in the right scenario, we could have done it.
The crunch came towards the end. I wasn't aware, apparently we had an overheating issue for quite some time with the engine. Last year we had a similar issue here. We had an overheating alarm come on. I had it on for the last 50 or 60 laps. When you have an alarm on, you can't see anything on your dash. You can't control the weight jacker or anything like that. This year I made sure they took it off. But I didn't know there was a problem. I guess that was kind of a good thing.
When I knew there was an issue was when they were pitting me out of sequence. Going into three, they started yelling, Pit, pit, pit. I knew we had a problem. Didn't know the extent of it. But to catch that yellow, to understand under that yellow that Helio had an issue as well and lost a lap was the perfect scenario.
Just sort of maintaining the car for the rest of the night. They tried to pull as much as they could out of the radiator and some off the side pod to help cool it. The engine ran okay towards the end. Still getting pretty hot, but it was going to be pretty tough to lose it at that point with sort of 15 laps to go.
THE MODERATOR: Given the highs and lows of the season, how gratifying is in championship?
SCOTT DIXON: When you've won a couple, they're all very different. The first one, I think I was young, just didn't really understand what I had won. Was the first year in the series with the team. My perspective when I was 22 or 23 of what I actually did to what I understand now is totally different. I think the competitiveness of the series has gone through the roof since the merger in '08.
'08 was a dream year. Got married, won the Indy 500 and the championship. Pretty hard to beat that.
This year I think has been far different just in the fact mid-season we didn't think we had a shot at the championship. I remember having a conversation with Helio after Iowa. I was like, Man, you need to watch out. He kind of pissed me off a little bit in Iowa. I'm not in the championship, don't do that again, because otherwise I can maybe hinder your championship.
It's funny how it turned out to be us fighting it out in the last few races.
I feel for Helio. He ran a strong year. He's a hell of a competitor. He's a high-energy person. I've been in that situation before, and it sucks. I want to thank him for having a great race tonight and keeping it clean, pushing as hard as he could.
But, yeah, I think tonight's race sums up how our year was. It was very up and down. In the end we came out on top, so that's the important part.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.
Q. When Chip was in here, he thought the five-year thing was a validation of your tenacity of your competitiveness. It's not like your championships came all at once.
SCOTT DIXON: Hope he doesn't lay me off for four years (laughter).
We've come close many times. I think since '06 we've had a great shot at winning this championship and we've come up short a few times. Lucky enough for our team that Dario took three of those. Some I was in contention, one or two I wasn't.
It's a special team. They dig deep. Chip is a hell of a guy, hell of a competitor. You don't see that all the time in team owners. It can get quite political, things like that.
I know in the early years I was lucky with contracts. I think I breezed through some situations where I was still hired. Then we fought through and took it when we needed to.
The five-year thing, I think it's just a coincidence. I think some of those instances and years we were fighting for the championship could have turned out different, but they didn't.
It's nice to know we've been in the hunt plenty of times.
Q. Do you think you get enough credit for your driving skill?
SCOTT DIXON: I've always been a guy that -- recently I've spoken out more than I used to. It hasn't been on stats or results.
I don't know. I think I'm kind of one of those people that once it's said and done, I'm done with racing, I can look back and say, Hey, we achieved this, I achieved this, that's the time for that.
For me right now, I love racing. I want to race. Whether it's IndyCar stuff, sports car stuff that the team does, I love being at a track. I love waking up thinking about it, train for it, do all that kind of stuff.
No, I'm not really a person that does that, so...
Q. It's kind of incumbent on a champion to help lead the sport, be out there. Will you do that? Will you push people to put you in spotlights?
SCOTT DIXON: Absolutely. I'm not saying I don't enjoy doing that stuff. I think I have evolved as a person in a lot of ways from the 2003 championship. I do understand it's very important for the sport, it's very important for this sport especially that's striving and pushing to which back, to be out there and be in the spotlight.
I think IndyCar is hopefully on the right track for making that happen as well.
But, yeah, I do feel I'm up for that task. Is that my strong point? Maybe not. Is that something that Helio or maybe some other driver may be a little bit better at? Maybe. First and foremost for me it's about being a competitor, being the best I can as a driver, going out there and wanting to win. Then it's very important to make sure that IndyCar gets the recognition that it deserves, that it is one of the toughest sports in motor racing, it is at the elite level, and the competition is extremely tough.
I'm excited for all that.
Q. Did the heat affect the aero balance?
SCOTT DIXON: Not so much. I think that's part of a central part of the car. It does hurt the speed. The more closed off you can be, generally the faster you will go, less drag. Even on this car, it doesn't seem to be that sensitive to that.
At that point all you're wanting to do is make sure you get through the race. The balance shift, you generally have enough stuff on the car to try to help that stuff.
Q. Any close calls?
SCOTT DIXON: There was a few. I got hit pretty good by the 5 car before he eventually hit the wall. I got hit by Bourdais on the front straight there. I kind of moved down a little bit. It was probably a little bit of my fault. We kind of misjudged our own space.
Helio actually shot up in front of me a couple times out of two which nearly turned into a hard point there. And Will was racing pretty hard most of the night.
Nothing too crazy. I think the biggest hit we took was probably from the 5 car.
Q. Take us through what was the toughest part of this race.
SCOTT DIXON: I don't know. When you go through a race with so many hard points, whether it's trying to get to the lead, trying to maintain. The style of the race was probably the toughest part for us in our situation just because the car wasn't that good. We had to work on it to make it better throughout the night. That was probably the hard part.
I think emotionally the toughest is figuring out that you have a bit of a problem with the car, an overheating issue, nothing you're going to fix straightaway, not knowing what situation your main competitor is in. There were many highs, lows, tough parts throughout the night.
We had a close call in turn two with a car that had spun. I myself almost spun at the same time as well. It was full of ups and downs.
Q. What adjustments were they making to your car through the race?
SCOTT DIXON: To start with we really just worked on tire pressures. I was moving weight around on the car with the weight jacker, the front and rear roll bars. What set the car off was once we set the front wing, the car responded to that, we started moving towards the front.
Q. You're talking about the differences in your different championships. One thing different about this one is this is your first as a father. Does that change your perception of it in any way?
SCOTT DIXON: We were talking about bringing the girls out here. The West Coast, I don't know if anyone has traveled with a two-year-old and a four-year-old, but it's pretty difficult. Also being a West Coast race, we don't bring our motorhome out here. It becomes a bit of an issue to bring the girls out here.
I'm sad they're not here. It was really cool to have them in Toronto this time in Victory Circle. They witnessed one or two before that, but not both of them. At four, they probably start to remember about it. Actually, I think she was more impressed with the Target dog.
I really do miss not seeing them tonight. Maybe they'll come out tomorrow. We still haven't worked that out yet, the banquet. But it's special to have them is one thing, extremely special, changed Emma and my life. That, too, has its highs and lows. But you always know that it's exciting to see them.
I think the biggest thing for me is when you have a really shitty weekend, you come back, you see them. That's a big thing. It only gets hard when she says, Did you bring a trophy home? Always on about stickers.
Yeah, no, I wish they were here, I really do.
Q. Earlier this week in Indianapolis you had this calm about you. Was there ever any point after Houston where you felt this might not happen?
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, those scenarios run through your head. You try and forget about them. You try and think about, This should be my year. You try and think positive about why it should be.
Having the big gain we saw in Houston, you also understand you could be in that situation come Fontana as well. That's why it's so tough, these championships, because you have the highs and lows through the season. When it comes down to the last race, you know you have a real shot at winning it, do you have the mechanical problem, a silly spin you could have avoided, do you run something over on the pit stop, do something stupid.
The biggest thing for me, and Chip says it in every race meeting, is this race pays the same amount of points as the first race of the season. You can't single out places. You can't say, That's why I lost a championship. You got to get it together for all of them.
We didn't do a good job of consistency through this year, but we made a strong effort to come back and fight strong towards the end. Any human being, you still have some doubt and figure some crazy way in your head you still will lose it.
Q. With all your success in IndyCar, do you think in the future it's possible to have an IndyCar race in New Zealand? Last week the famous motorsport magazine L'Équipe from France said you overtook your countrymen. What does that mean for you?
SCOTT DIXON: First of all, yes, I think they should have a race in New Zealand. I'm sure everyone in here would like to go to New Zealand. I'd get a free trip home to see my family. That would be even better.
The Denny Hulme, Bruce McLaren thing, to me, they're still real legends. We all know what Bruce has done and the same with Denny. For me it was an era that I wasn't around. But motor racing, the heritage is very strong in New Zealand. People like that, Kiwis, such a small place. Four million people, now 30 million sheep. My idea of 15 million sheep has multiplied.
It's much harder to achieve than what they did. McLaren, the team has gone through some major changes throughout the years, but the founder was still Bruce. For someone like him to turn up and make a team, be able to go out there, build his own cars, win Grand Prix, those days are long gone. The series are totally different from what those guys witnessed. I like to say they were the real men of the sport back then. Everybody admires what they've achieved and done.
I guess my answer to that is I'd find that hard to believe.
THE MODERATOR: We'll wrap it up. Congratulations on a great season and great championship.
SCOTT DIXON: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: We are pleased to be joined by Helio Castroneves.
Helio, a hard-fought race and season. Talk about this year, the championship run, tonight's race.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: First of all, I want to thank the entire Indy community. It was a great championship. We did everything we could in our side to bring home the championship. Unfortunately we didn't finish the position we wanted.
But I tell you what, I had a great time. It was awesome. I went for it. I was driving my heart out out there. I was pushing to the limit. The AAA boys did a great job, too.
It's a shame that we end up having contact with 83, breaking our front wing. But I knew it would be very hard-fought with those guys. My only chance was to be aggressive, and that's what we did.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.
Q. Normally you're a fairly emotional guy. You seem to be taking this very well. Where are you getting all this inner peace from?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: I can't take for granted the season we had. Yes, so close, so far. But, you know, I would say a lot of little things. If you see the way we finish, you got to finish outside the five, you didn't finish. I didn't win, so basically if I lose by one point or two points, that would be hard to swallow.
In the end of the day, you can't take the credit from the Ganassi guys and Scott. One weekend unfortunately for us cost a lot of points. Unfortunately it was nobody's prediction. We did everything we could to avoid any kind of mechanical failure. The only time we had a mechanical failure in the whole season, that's what cost the season.
We can't look back. We just got to continue working hard. This is part of racing. That's why I'm taking it okay. I'm ready to come back actually next year and start all over again.
Q. What happened on the pit stop where Roger called you down and ultimately pit lane was closed?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Yeah, I think it was a little bit of confusion there. I asked again to pit. They ended up calling me yes. When I noticed I was the only one pitting, we got to go back again.
It was fine. That was just a blip on the radar. It wasn't an issue at all for the race.
Q. Roger kept saying, No, I'm so sorry. Did he say anything to you about it after the race?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: No. Like I said, I was able to go back right away on the restart.
But I tell you what, it's been quite some time I haven't seen him like that. He noticed we gave everything. It was interesting. He made some good comments about the entire group number three. That for me meant a lot.
Now next year we have another addition on the team. We'll continue fighting for this championship. Again, this year proved to be a very competitive season. No question next year is going to continue to be like that.
Q. What happened on the broken front wing? Was it Kimball?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Yeah.
Q. Do you have issues for him or discussion to have with him?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: What are you going to talk about it? He was going for it, as well. Yeah, there was a little bit of a craziness at one point that I even mentioned on the radio. End up one movement little too close, damaged my front wing. That definitely was a close call.
Also with Tag, at one point he came really close. I was like, It's going to hurt. Thank God I was able to avoid.
I knew it was going to be tough. I knew they weren't here for playing easy. So now we just got to keep going and unfortunately don't try to put ourselves in that situation again, try to do a little bit better.
Q. Do you like the fact that you get to close the season at a big oval like this with a 500-mile race?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: I think so. I don't know what you guys think about the race, but in my view it was adventure. It was fun. It was a battle. Maybe there was one moment, one stint, that was a little bit calm. But normally it's calm after the storm, but that was the opposite. Every time we had a restart or something like that, it was actually pretty crazy.
I have to say the way it finish, it create some type of challenge. It was a drama, you know, find out what's going to happen. Anything could happen. In our side, unfortunately it didn't end up the way we want it. But I think the fans and everyone probably enjoy.
Q. This is the I think the sixth time since Sam's title in 2006 you've come into a finale and not gotten it done. Why do you think that is with the Penske organization?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Well, good question. We are putting ourselves in an opportunity to do that. I guess wasn't meant to be. Last time we won with Sam, it was a big battle between us and Ganassi as well.
It wasn't meant to be. We trying to cover all the issues that every season we are in this scenario. Three seasons in a row. One season with Briscoe. The guy led most laps, did everything he could. For the first time ever, there was no yellow flags in Homestead.
Then came Will.
Now it's my turn.
The only thing I can say, we can only build ourselves stronger and come back next year. We can't keep crying about it and question ourselves why.
Q. Will seemed a little emotional in Victory Lane. He said that he really wanted this one, especially after how last year went for him at this track. He also talked about someone, I'm not sure who he was referring to, about last year's race. That's typical Will Power, what happened to him, that he wanted to do this to prove wrong. Did he talk to you about that at all, how badly he wanted this?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: No, I haven't talked to him about that kind of scenario. Certainly we discuss with each other. Today was about for us to do everything we can to put myself in a position to win the race, and we did that.
In the end, we work extremely hard together. We have a very good car. He deserve it. He fought hard this season to be a winner.
Q. You've won three Indy 500s, but the championship has always kind of alluded you. Which is more important to you?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: I would say the Indy 500 (laughter).
Q. You've had a season now with Roger being your race strategist. Do you prefer to have Roger?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: I have to say for me it was great. John is great. We had a great time the last few years. But Roger is in this business not because he's the only team. He makes very good calls. He's decisive. Sometimes we need someone to make the decision. He's definitely the decision maker.
For me it was great to have him on the radio. I enjoy very, very much. Let's going to see what happens next year. Hopefully we continue together.
Q. I know you had the pit call with Roger. At what point in the race did you feel you might have the championship in your hand?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Well, probably before we had to do an extra pit stop. Actually, I have to be honest. Even when I was a lap down, I was saying, I'm going to make this lap, I'm going to be able to come back. Then when the yellow come out with the Sebastien Bourdais crash, I'm telling you.
Then 20 laps to go, they make the guys drive through the pits. Just to answer your question, probably 15 laps to go I think I still had a good chance and something could happen good to us. But then after that I just decided to not jeopardize anything on the car. There was nothing we could do anymore.
THE MODERATOR: Helio, thank you.
THE MODERATOR: We're now pleased to be joined by Jim Campbell for our manufacturers champion Chevrolet.
Talk about the great accomplishment this season.
JIM CAMPBELL: Thank you. First of all, what an incredible race it was tonight, and actually all season long. Racing in IndyCar has been absolutely incredible. Congratulations to Will Power on the win and to Scott Dixon and to Chip Ganassi and Mike Hull on the championship on the driver’s side.
For the manufacturers championship, we came into the race, had 11 of our teams on their fifth engine. We had one team, Helio Castroneves, on his sixth engine. Honda had four engines that were in the fifth category. They had eight that were in six or more. They had four opportunities to earn manufacturer points.
For us it was exciting to win it. It really came down to the wire there. Had Charlie Kimball and Hildebrand who could have earned some points for Honda, they went out. As it turned out, Will Power brought the win home. Manufacturers championship for the second year in a row came our way.
In the end you don't win those championships without great teams and drivers. So a big thank you to our Chevrolet teams and drivers. They did a great job all season long, also last year.
In the end you have to deliver power, fuel economy, reliability, and the Chevy team did it.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.
Q. Jim, one of the things that was particularly impressive about Chevy this year is while you had adequate horsepower with the Hondas on the street circuits, you dominated on the ovals. What was in the formula of that engine that makes it work so well?
JIM CAMPBELL: I would say it's a combination of our Chevy power train, Ilmor, Pratt & Miller team, doing all we could in terms of testing, the tremendous amount of testing we do in our driveline dyno setup in Detroit to hone those engines. We're involved in eight series. That's the combination, our quest every single race. It takes a lot of work to get there. You have to basically really develop the engine, the whole power train system, then you have to get the whole car integrated together, and that's what the team did.
I'm really pleased with how they performed all year long. The teams just did a great job, so proud of 'em. We didn't get the drivers’ championship with Chevy power this year. We thank Ryan Hunter-Reay for being a great champion last year, and our hat is off to Scott Dixon for being the champion this year.
Q. Looking ahead to defending this for next year, Honda is planning to build a twin-turbo engine, does that change your approach in any way?
JIM CAMPBELL: Just to be clear, the series made a decision that everybody is going to use twin turbo. We have been on a twin turbo for the last two years. We're going to go on the same spec, which is slightly different than we're running today.
We've been doing our testing, so our focus is to deliver that combination I mentioned, power, fuel economy, durability, integrate to the whole car. We'll spend a lot of time testing the whole system and integrating overall. That's going to be our focus.
We obviously keep a close eye on all our competition in every series. We have to prove it on the track. Chevy has had a great year.
Q. Earlier this week something came out that both you and Honda would like to see another engine manufacturer come in to ease the pain it's costing you. Are you pushing hard trying to encourage another manufacturer to join the series?
JIM CAMPBELL: To tell you the truth, I don't remember doing an interview on it, so I don't know where that reference came from. We are definitely supportive of having another manufacturer come in.
When we were in Houston, I think I mentioned through our IndyCar contract, when there's two manufacturers, each manufacturer has to handle up to 60% of the field. That's our contract obligation. When there's three, it drops to 40%. Clearly the more manufacturers in, you basically handle a smaller portion of the field.
In the end it's more about the competition. We do not like to run in spec series. We're not interested in it. We like to race against somebody because it's meaningful, it creates innovation, it pushes you to be better every week, every race, every year. So we love racing against competition. We do it here and every series we're in. If we get to a series where there's no competition, we're probably looking for the exit ramp. We have to race against competition.
We'd love to see competition come in. We have a few neighbors in our City of Detroit, surrounding area, that we would like to have them considered, but any manufacturer around the world, we'd love to see them come in.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations.
JIM CAMPBELL: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: We're now pleased to be joined by tonight's race winner, Will Power.
Will, how satisfying was it?
WILL POWER: Very satisfying (laughter). I was so determined to win. I went backwards, forwards, backwards, forwards, but eventually went forwards to win it. Very, very happy. Verizon, Chevy, everything. For what happened last year, I had this race in my mind all year, I had the ovals especially in mind, to do a very good, solid job. That's exactly what happened.
Probably my best win ever, that's for sure.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions for Will.
Q. After a brilliant drive, I'm going to ask you about the two things that went wrong. What happened with the visor change and what happened on one of the restarts where you dropped down?
WILL POWER: The visor change, I'm guessing a bunch of tear-offs came off. Suddenly I pulled my last one off and we're not even halfway. I'm like, We're in trouble. We had just one restart, I think that's the one that went backwards. I'm already struggling to see. We had to change that. We kept on the lead lap, changed it. I knew we were quick enough to get back up to the front.
The restart, I had to try to get around Hinch, everyone braked. It was a bad restart. I couldn't believe it. My God, all that work for nothing. But then start chipping back. It was kind of good to run in traffic because you knew how your car was. Running out front, you could get comfortable in clean air there.
Yeah, so I thought the call by Cindric at the end to put tires on was a great call.
Q. I heard you mention on television that you had a little extra incentive today to want to win this, make a point of some sort.
WILL POWER: The incentive? The incentive was, Ed Carpenter said that Will Power did exactly what everyone expected him to do at the last race last year. I thought that was just such motivation for me to beat him and win at this track and just be good at ovals. I went about it. I thought I'm going to beat Ed. Ed, I really respect him. A very good, fast, clean oval racer. Always good to race. I don't dislike him, but I told him, I said, Man, your comment last year gave me a lot of motivation. It's true.
So, yes, that's right. I like Ed. He's very good. He's quick. But that comment definitely got to me in a good way.
Q. There's a lot of guys that were very racy today, strong cars at different parts of the race. Could you talk about the track, how it changed, the different lines.
WILL POWER: Earlier, it was difficult to hold a load. My car got looser as the night went on. One stint I was leading, zero steer angle, I was just hanging on. Made a slight adjustment at the pit stop. It's a great track for that because there's so many different lanes that you can run. It just makes for good racing.
Q. You've raced here before, but today we kept hearing a lot about dirt and sand. Was that more prominent in this race than in the past?
WILL POWER: I don't know where the dust comes from, the sand. I mean, the cars are just sandblasted by the end. Your visor, everything gets sandblasted, and it doesn't seem to clean off. It's always there. That's how it is.
Q. It was more prominent in this race?
WILL POWER: It was the same last year.
Q. Great athletes always visualize their goal. Did you do any motivation by visualization?
WILL POWER: I didn't picture myself in Victory Circle. I just went about the business very methodically. My aim this year for the ovals was to finish every one and just build confidence. That's been the problem in the past, I haven't finished. Getting hit in the pits, this or that. You don't get experience.
This year I got maximum experience, finished every single lap. Got what I needed to get. Worked out.
Q. I know in past years you came down to the last race for a championship on an oval. Things didn't go well. Tonight, you look like the greatest driver in IndyCar Series history. You had to think, Why didn't this happen in 2010 or 2012?
WILL POWER: The one race that came to mind as I was driving around there was Kentucky. I had a car like that. If I hadn't been hit in the pits, I could have gone to the back, drove to the front, would have won the championship. I just thought to myself, I just can't get hit in the pits. I just want to win this race. I want to finally have a good car and win the thing. That's what happened.
God, why one year late, two years late? That's life, man. You keep learning. It's made me a much stronger driver, much stronger, honestly, in restarts, everything.
Q. Can you console with Helio? What's it going to take for Penske to win one?
WILL POWER: Got to beat Ganassi. Apart from last year, it's Ganassi every year. Yup, just got to get it right. It's been tough. Helio, same thing I've had the last three years. Can't leave anything on the table.
Q. Are you and Helio going to talk about finishing second?
WILL POWER: Probably not. Going to probably have a few beers, not talk about the race, have some fun.
Q. To have won now three races in the last five to end this year, you have a ton of momentum going into an off-season, how nice is it to get that?
WILL POWER: I said it to Merrill Cain, When am I going to finish a season in a good way? I think 2008 I finished fourth or fifth, Chicagoland. Yeah, got it. 2009, broke my back. 2010, hit the wall. 2011, got hit in the pits. Then the Vegas thing. 2012, crashed here. 2013, I won (laughter).
Q. There was a fairly long list of cars going into this race that were not going to be able to score points for their manufacturers. Can you talk about being the car that won the title for Chevrolet?
WILL POWER: We were kind of aware of that, the group of Honda cars that could score points for Honda. Chevy, I was obviously one of the cars that was on the fifth engine.
Yeah, I mean, Chevy, they've done a fantastic job. They were probably a little bit behind the eight ball when they announced. They came out with a great engine last year. Every upgrade, always chipping away. Phenomenal job.
Very happy to be a part of Chevy because you know you're going to have a good, reliable engine, good fuel mileage, all that.
With Honda going twin turbo next year, I expect a pretty tough fight. Andretti going to Honda. Like Jim Campbell said, tough competition is good.
Q. When did Ed Carpenter say that?
WILL POWER: End of last year.
Q. So you've been sitting on this?
WILL POWER: Yeah. Okay, that's right. Did you expect me to do this this time?
No, it's good motivation. That's how I work. I like people to say bad things. It makes me really go. If everybody is like, He's great. I hate that. This guy sucks.
Q. I need you to say something nice about Dixon. The way he held his cool over the last few weeks, emerged as the champion, talk about that.
WILL POWER: No question, he was the quickest guy the second half of the year. Definitely had some good battles with him. He probably wouldn't call them good, some of them. But obviously the incident in Baltimore, I felt bloody terrible that happened. Obviously looked at the car in front of me, moved, put him in the wall. Apart from that, it's been good racing, good, hard racing. Those guys picked their game up on street courses.
Last week at qualifying, every lap trying to hang with him. I would say he was the quickest guy this year. He won the championship this year, so congratulations to him.
Q. You've known for your musical ability. What song do you put in your head running a race like that?
WILL POWER: It's got to be like that Foo Fighter song. You're the best, the best, the best (laughter). That's what it's like when you're in that pack, yeah. Then when it all calms down, Mariah Carey, Dream Lover, something like that (laughter).
Q. What would be your goals for next year?
WILL POWER: To win the championship. That's going to be the goal.
Q. Indy 500.
WILL POWER: I always think if I win Indianapolis, I'm sure I can win the championship. That's been the point in the year where our points have started to degrade. So, yes, the Indy 500 would definitely be a part of that.
Q. William, based on your behavior, I think I know the answer to this question, have you sobered up yet?
WILL POWER: What are you talking about? I'm high on life. Finally finished a season in a good way (laughter).
THE MODERATOR: On that note, congratulations.
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