Q: I know weather is a key factor, but every time you take a lap on this oval, what are one or two things that you always have to remind yourself and be aware of?
MEARS: Well, you say weather. One of the key things for me around here was always the weather. Just worry about the weather coming in and setting your strategy when you need to get what done. But as far as the track, we were talking the other day, every time you roll out of pit lane here, like during practice today, the last thing I did as I rolled off was look at the flag, see which way the wind was blowing, what it was doing. Because you always have to figure that into the equation of the change you made on the car. How much of it was the change, how much of it was the wind. So weather as far as all four corners is always changing on you with the wind direction. Temperature changing, they're very critical and sensitive to that. So weather is a key factor at this place.
ALLMENDINGER: I think for me it's just every day is like starting over, just kind of a reset. I guess in a way you never want to get too comfortable. For me it's just going out there and I kind of just reset my mind, and those first laps are always – kind of got the nerves built back up just because, you know, I watched this race for many years, and talking to everybody, it's about, you know, "You've got to respect this place every lap." Because I think as soon as you let your guard down a little bit, like, "OK, I got this place," that second will bite you.
And as Rick talked about the wind, I'm starting to become familiar now as an Indy driver because you wake up, and a couple days ago opened my hotel room window and the trees are blowing, I'm like, "Oh, crap." So for me, I've got to start over every day, just a little bit, just kind of work back up to it.
POWER: The wind is so bad around this place, especially with this car, more than the previous car because it's a little bigger. And, you know, the wake that's left of the car in front is a massive deal. I mean you totally change the balance, so it's really hard to get the car working around that. That's something you've got to always be aware of when you go out.
CASTRONEVES: Yes. weather always plays a big factor at this place. And like junior said, you've got to reset every time you come out there.
Q: Tim, I would like to ask this question to Roger but maybe you can answer. Do you think Team Penske will ever build its own chassis again, like it did in the past?
CINDRIC: I think the answer to your question really is obviously to determine on which way the direction of the series goes in terms of what is allowed. At this point in time it's not an opportunity, it's not something that's really in our short-term future. I don't think it's in the short-term future of IndyCar because of the agreements that they have.
But we do feel like this place was really based on innovation. There's a balance between having 33 participants at this race, and if you were to open up a complete innovative scenario like what it used to be, I think you'd really struggle to fill the field. So there's a certain balance where that can be. But I think it's somewhere beyond where we are now. But to the extent of Penske building an Indy car, I think that's probably a ways away.
Q: Helio, can you take us through your first three wins a little bit? I know each of them are different, but this is kind of looking forward to maybe getting number four. Is there anything you can take from those first three as you look back and say, "OK, I need to do X, Y and Z in order to get number four?"
CASTRONEVES: Well, I look at those, and certainly those are the ones that may have happened, but I look more at the ones that didn't happen, why? Because the recipe was there. You know, we know we can do it. And I look more at the races that we didn't do it. You know, 2003 I have a very fast car, and unfortunately we got caught in one of those scenarios where we finished 3/10ths behind my teammate. 2005, I think we finished third when rain came unexpected, and people took a gamble and just went with what we could tell. I mean I look at those more than actually why. Especially last year, for example, why we didn't have a better performance than we did?
So, the other ones that we won, for me the first one was just knowing a little bit and understanding and listening a lot of what we had to say. The second one was an opportunity to put ourselves in and be able to took a chance and gamble. And the third one, it was – the car was going extremely well. And we took advantage to make a move at the right point and keep going.
So it's all about putting ourselves in that situation, and the key to this place is when. That's the toughest part to find.
Helio, you touched on it a little bit, but talk a little bit more about what it means to have three wins here and have a fourth. And do you feel fortunate? How do you sort of explain being able to do this given the frustrations that so many race drivers have had here?
CASTRONEVES: I feel blessed to be in this opportunity, to be in this elite group, I feel blessed. Certainly, as you said, there's a lot of guys, lot of races, and being in very good position, unfortunately it wasn't meant to be. But again, this place is more about there was so many things that can go wrong, and so few things that can go right. So that's why this team's won 15 times because they found a way to look for those moments that it makes right.
But for me, certainly I'm happy. But I still have a great chance to keep going. And until this team and myself have the fire inside to go and try everything we could, we're going to keep trying.
Q: When you try to tell the millions watching on television, you know, what you're thinking, that we don't know, if you're coming off Turn 4 and you're about to win, Will or A.J., your first Indy 500, Helio, your fourth, Tony Kanaan says if it happens for him we all know he'll be thinking about his dad, the promise he made to his dad. But for you three, coming off of Turn 4 about to win your fourth and joining a very elite crew, or you guys about to win your first, where do your thoughts go? Who do you think about? Who's the first person in your mind that you think about that's so special that makes this day?
CASTRONEVES: Get off Turn 4. Complete Turn 4. (Laughter) We've seen before when that did not happen, unfortunately! But you've got to be focused. It's a tough question. For me, you know, I only look at the checkered flag. I want to make sure I see that checkered flag first and then just thank God. For me it's just, "Thank you, God; you first put me in this position and to do what I love to do."
ALLMENDINGER: I think for me, do I look ahead to that moment? It's too far away. Way too far away. This is kind of a step-by-step process day by day, and for me right now lap by lap. And, you know, I don't allow myself to think, you know, what's it going to be like when I come off the corner to win the race. There's so many things that got to happen in this race even have an opportunity to win the race, let alone actually have it happen. I don't even want to allow myself to think like that, you know, what happens.
And, I want that moment, if it does happen, to just be in the moment, you know, and I don't know what it's going to be like. I don't know if I'm going to be – there'll be so many emotions that run through, but I won't allow myself to look ahead. You know, that's something that, as it happens, it happens. We got a way too long of a time before we get to that point.
POWER: Yeah, I mean, it's – I couldn't imagine. I just couldn't imagine the feeling of winning this race. It'd just be – you know, it's a life-changer. So, yeah, like A.J. I just haven't thought about it. I mean, it's such a process to have that happen. So many things have got to go your way. It's just got to be your day. It's such a funny race that you could never predict who's going to win. That's what makes it pretty cool, makes it great for the fans. If you happen to accomplish winning the Indy 500, I mean it's the biggest race you'll ever win because it is the biggest race in the world, A.J.
ALLMENDINGER: You will get that billboard in Toowoomba?
POWER: I might get that. I probably could get the billboard. Maybe even Australian of the Year (Laughter).
ALLMENDINGER: Adam Scott won the Masters – you ain't getting that.