Will Power rebuffs Simon Pagenaud's apology
Simon Pagenaud apologized to Will Power today for their second on-track incident of the weekend, but Power wanted none of it, and Pagenaud knew it.
Pagenaud said it was his mistake that they touched wheels approaching Turn 8 in this morning's practice. The incident came on the heels of a similar incident Friday that left Pagenaud confused.
But this wasn't payback, Pagenaud insisted.
"I (made a mistake), to be honest," he said after the practice session ended. "I tried to let him go on the outside and I saw him going on the inside in my mirror, so I didn't want to get on the brake at that time.
"I went on the brake too late on the new tires, and I locked up. I couldn't make the corner, but he stayed there and tried to make the corner, and I couldn't make it, so we hit. I said I'm sorry; he heard me. I said, 'I'm sorry. It was definitely my mistake.' But he's imagining different things. He think it was payback; he thinks I'm trying to run him off the track. That's not true."
Power declined to be interviewed, but later AR1.com was able to catch up with him.
“That’s B.S., ask Dario,” Power said. “He did not (lock the brakes); why did he drive me into the wall? If he wanted to let me go he would have let me go.
“It’s a good excuse. He came up to say sorry, and I said ‘Nah, (go away). I don’t believe you.”
As for the Friday incident, Power said the street circuit was to blame. James Jakes held up Scott Dixon who held up Power who held up Pagenaud.
“His payback is to block me and run into me,” Power said of Pagenaud. “Pretty extreme.”
Pagenaud accused Power of “not wanting to listen.”
“He’s imagining different things,” he said. “He thinks it was payback; he thinks I’m trying to run him off the track. That’s not true.”
Power said a truce must be called.
“We don’t need to be doing this; it’s dangerous enough as it is and then you start paying people back for running into them it just gets worse and worse,” he said. “It’s not NASCAR where you can hit someone and not get hurt.”
Pagenaud acknowledges that he now has a strained relationship with his former Champ Car teammate.
"And that's a shame," he said. "He knows we're friends, he knows I can help him if he needs it, but he doesn't want to listen." In part from Indy Star