Q. What was the motivation behind signing Will for a full season? I ask that because looking at Ganassi last year, where Dario (Franchitti) and (Scott) Dixon basically every race were running more in tandem and scoring maximum points. Ryan more often than you would have liked seemed to be out there by himself. Helio certainly had great races, but in terms of a two‑pronged attack, didn't really have that happening all the time. Does Will kind of represent the ability for your organization to have the race‑in, race‑out minimum two cars gathering as many points as possible to help fight back against the Ganassi Team?
TIM CINDRIC: To be honest, we don't make too many of our decisions dependent on what one team is or what the competition is. We have to look at the things that we can control and the things that we have to do a better job of. So, definitely, these decisions aren't based on what Ganassi's doing or what they're not doing. They may change their game as well. You can't be reactive; you have to work on anticipation.
When I look back to Edmonton and the opportunities we had to run one, two, three there at Edmonton, we didn't quite get it done, but we were certainly in the right position. That's what these guys are capable of. When I look at the championship and so forth, if you look at laps completed last year and you look at the two guys who are at the top of laps completed, they're also the two guys at the top of the charts.
To me that was the difference between this year and last year. They made less mistakes and they did a better job when the opportunities were there. They were able to execute to take advantage of those opportunities. And we just missed it on that front.
With Helio it was a difficult year and one that he certainly wasn't full stride there at the beginning. So next year we're looking at hitting that in a whole different way. We're looking at ourselves very constructively to determine what is it that we need to do to be better. Because we certainly didn't get everything right on the teams at the end of the year.
Q. Speaking of what makes a Penske driver a Penske driver. Will seems to fit into the classic mold of someone who is right for your organization. What is it that you see Will brings to your team that maybe fits some of that classic Roger Penske mold of a driver he knows that can deliver for him?
TIM CINDRIC: Well, one thing is Will's an opportunist, for sure. When we sat down and talked to him, he's doing what he does for the right reasons. That is the thing that stuck out to us when we sat down and talked to these different candidates last year when we were in that situation.
He's a guy who wants to come here and do a good job. All the rest of it will come. He's certainly a team player. He's shown that. When you look at the guys who have had long careers with Roger, that's probably the thing that fits those kind of guys the best. When you look at Rick Mears and Helio and the guys who have driven for him for multiple years, that's usually an attribute that they have. It's a way to understand the team concept, and have respect for the accomplishments that have been made here. I think Will fits that. He's humble enough some days to offset the Helios of the world, which is a good thing.
Q. This question is for Will. Beyond getting yourself fully healthy again, do you see any areas of improvement that you can work on to kind of bring yourself up to the level of a title contender? And by areas I mean getting better on specific tracks, car setups, things of that nature? What is your perspective on that?
WILL POWER: I believe you have to learn every year. Every year you have to come away with a plan for the next year at places where you're going to be better. I've always done that throughout my career. I already have in my head where I'm going to improve on the tracks that I raced at this year. So that's just a constant process with me. I'm always searching. I think to be successful in this business you have to be because it's always a development going on. It's always moving forward. So that's my normal plan of attack.
Q. If Will hadn't been available for you, for example, if he signed with another team in the off‑season, would you have bothered running a third car? And was it the fact that you could get Will in it that is what pushed you into doing this?
TIM CINDRIC: Well, we knew that we had certain – to be honest, I hadn't really thought about that. And probably not real prepared to speculate on how that would have all turned out. But, had we not been able to, we've had obviously people approach us, wanting to know if this doesn't work out, could they bring funding to run a third car with us. And the answer to that would be the same answer we've had for years that we don't really have any interest in taking our focus away from the two guys we already have.
It's a known quantity in a lot of ways. Obviously, there are a lot of tracks that Will didn't go to this past year or he's been to but hasn't had success at. But he's shown us that given a good car, he can be successful at tracks that he wasn't successful previously. So we knew that we were in step with Will. We knew that, yeah, he wasn't in a position to sign with anybody here for a little while. So our focus was completely on getting this deal done. If it didn't get done, it probably wasn't going to happen in terms of a three‑car team next year anyway.
Q. Will you be looking to improve your performance on ovals? Do you expect that is where you most need to learn the smarts of racing for a team like Penske?
WILL POWER: Yeah, it is, actually. It's something that I haven't had as much experience as I have on road courses. It made a big difference having a good team and a good car under you. It gives you a lot of confidence. I know I'll continually have to work on it. And I couldn't be in a better place to learn. So I expect to be running up in the front from the very beginning.