Q.: 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.
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).