Q. Mike, you've been around a lot of guys who finally accomplished something like an Indy 500 win or a championship. How do you think that changes a driver when they have something tangible like that to put by their name?
MIKE HULL: I think what it does, if their mettle is strong, you find that out because they work harder to win it again. That's what you find out about race drivers, how much they want it.
If you have a race driver who remembers where he came from and have a group of people who do the same and you go back and you win again as a team, that's when you truly find out how strong that race driver is. It's not the first go, it's the second go or the third go that really counts. And I'm not sure that Chip Ganassi Racing is a true measure of that. I'd say Penske Racing is, over years of the Indy 500.
You just go into that Speedway Museum and you look at those model cars of the winners and the polesitters there and reflect on the history of the teams that have done that, it would be great some day to be in that position like Penske Racing is today. They can certainly answer the question better than we can.
Q. Tim, could you talk about Dario just a little bit. He's put so many of these things together late in his career or later in his career than some. I know everybody in the paddock gives him the credit he deserves, but do you think that it's just been slow for the outside world to kind of see where his place in history is?
TIM CINDRIC: I think the credit goes to Dario, really, with him having the unique ability to understand when it's his time and how far to push it. He doesn't put himself in too many bad situations over time.
And I think, I guess the longer he's gone in his career, the better he's gotten at those things. And you sit back and you pretty much understand what he's doing during the race, because he's pretty calculated, and a lot in the way [Gil] de Ferran was in the end of his career.
I'm not saying it's the end of Dario's career, I'm just saying as he became more and more experienced, he understood when it was time to go and when it was time to hang out and make sure you're ready to go and kind of get the measure of everybody else.
And I think that's what's continued to put him in that position. But also I think that there was an added bit of hunger maybe added at that point in his career when he did go to NASCAR. Obviously that didn't work out the way he wanted it to. But he didn't just walk away from the sport. He came back much more determined maybe than he would have if he would have just continued in IndyCar racing to get back on top, because like Mike said, I think he's one of those guys who knew what it was like to be on top and knew what that feeling was and then he didn't have it for a period of time. And he wanted to rediscover that, and I think his championship last year and the fact that he's won Indy multiple times is a testament to really his race savvy as much as his driving ability.
Q. Regarding team orders: We know that both of you want the championship so much – is it possible we could see something happen like Dixon slowing so Dario can win the championship? Or both of the other Penske guys slowing down so Power can win the championship? Is it possible we will see that Saturday night?
MIKE HULL: I'll try to answer the question. I hope not. You know, the thing is it would be great to have a script and know exactly what was going to happen. But for all the years that I've worked for Chip Ganassi and sat on a timing stand, I don't think there's been one opportunity for us to truly do that, because the races have just unfolded and played themselves out.
And I don't know, I think it's all about the integrity of motor racing for us, and we want to race each other to see who can win the championship, not who can manipulate the championship. I think that's a true difference in what we do in this kind of racing versus some other types of motorsports.
TIM CINDRIC: You have to remember, too, from Penske's standpoint it's more advantageous for our two other guys, being Helio and Ryan, to run out front and win the race, because of the points spread. I mean, on top of all the things that Mike said, from that standpoint it's advantageous for our two other guys to actually do what's pure anyway, and that's to go out and be the best that they can.
You have to also keep in mind that four of the five drivers we're talking about all have something at stake in terms of where they finish in the championship beyond just that race itself. So I think it will lend itself to some very good racing overall.
Q. Tim, over the last few oval track races, Helio has reasserted himself as the "ovalmeister." I'm wondering if you've gone to him especially now that he's out of the championship and asked Helio to mentor Will these last days leading up to the race here, but allow him to pick his brain about anything that he knows about HMS?
TIM CINDRIC: At the end of the day, it's an open book. The thing that's enjoyable from my standpoint is I don't have to tell Helio and I don't have to tell Will or Ryan to work with another guy. They understand the benefits of success through their teammates, although their teammate is the best gauge of their success or failure.
Those guys understand from a team concept what's most important, but the other thing that I think that is really the most valuable to Will in this situation is the fact that Rick Mears – who understands a lot of these things and maybe hasn't driven one of these cars, but he understands the mental aspect of what Will's going through right now – and that as much as anything else in terms of gaining the confidence and understanding maybe how to approach the race, I think that Rick is really Will's best asset right now.