Roger Penske: “Will Power won because he was the best”

Legendary team owner Roger Penske was unstinting in his praise for both Will Power and the #12 car’s crew members after they clinched his team's 17th Indy 500 victory.

Roger Penske: “Will Power won because he was the best”
Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet, Tim Cindric, Roger Penske
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Race winner Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
David Faustino
Race winner Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Race winner Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Race winner Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet, Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet, Jon Myron Bouslog
Race winner Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet enters victory circle

Power has joined Mark Donohue, Rick Mears, Danny Sullivan, Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser Jr., Helio Castroneves, Gil de Ferran, Sam Hornish and Juan Pablo Montoya on the roster of Penske’s Indy 500 winners, three-and-a-half years after clinching the IndyCar Series title.

Penske said: “We started competing here, as you know, in '69. The success we've had has really been all about the team members, the people we've had, the great drivers, sponsors, and obviously Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“To see what Will has been able [to do], 10 years with his engineer Dave Faustino… He's won many road races, all sorts of poles.

“He won this race today because he was the best, there's no question about the speed at the end, his out laps. The pitcrew I take my hat off to – Jon [Bauslog, Power’s strategist], and Tim Cindric [team president], because we had four great cars. That's what you have to have here. You have to have four bullets, three bullets, whatever it takes.

“I'm just so thrilled – 17 wins. Now I have to worry about 18. I'm not going to look back, I'll look forward. We have to be back next year.”

Cindric, who was Power’s strategist from mid-2011 through to the end of 2016, when he switched to Josef Newgarden’s arm of the squad, spoke of the desire that the Australian had expressed so often to deliver an Indy win.

“It took him a long time to win a championship,” he said, “He’s had so many wins. He's third in overall poles in IndyCar right now. [But] the one thing he always talked about was, ‘I have to win the Indy 500, I have to win the Indy 500.’

“Having seen what he's gone through with our team, what we've all gone through collectively, like Roger said. Dave Faustino has been at his side from Day 1. He's been the one that's listened to all the ups and downs. He's been on-call 24/7.

“The rest of us kind of check in and check out with Will. Faustino – he's there more than his wife, and she's a close second. Between the two of those people, they're really his support group at the end of the day.

“The crew, like Roger said, they were prepared. Will was agonizing during dinner as far as what his setup was, what his gears were going to be. His mind never leaves this sport. He's fully committed. He has made a lot of sacrifices.

"To see the culmination… I think you saw how excited he was today. You don't see that out of Will too often. Great day for us and the team.”

Bauslog agreed that key to strategy was the fact that Power was able to carry it through.

“We really didn't want to see the [last] caution come out. I think the key to it was, like Roger said, he was good all day. When he got clear, he could run fast laps, which was big for us.

“The thing is, he was so focused on the win, doing well, that it was his day. He was going to make sure it was.

“The guys, great stops today. The whole team performed well. So many things go into it.”

Following Cindric’s switch to new arrival Newgarden’s car for 2017, Bauslog became Power’s strategist last season, but when the team reduced to three full-time entries as Castroneves went to sportscars, Roger Penske himself moved to Power’s car.

However, with Castroneves returning for the Indy GP and the 500 this month, ‘The Captain’ returned to Castroneves’ car – upon which Power scored the team’s 200th win on the IMS road course two weeks ago, and then clinched the 201st win today, moving into the lead of the championship.

Asked if he’d resume duties on the #12 car for the Detroit double-header next week, Penske said: “I don't know. I think I got fired! He’s won two in a row now. I'll have to have a discussion on that next week. We'll see.”

Penske and Cindric also all-but-confirmed that Castroneves, whose race today ended in a crash while running fifth, would compete at the 500 again next year.

shares
comments
Power: “I started screaming because I just knew I was going to win”

Previous article

Power: “I started screaming because I just knew I was going to win”

Next article

Carpenter says IndyCar superspeedway kit may need to change

Carpenter says IndyCar superspeedway kit may need to change
Load comments
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious? Prime

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 25, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Prime

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there? By David Malsher-Lopez.

Formula 1
May 19, 2021
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Prime

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021
Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy Prime

Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy

Tino Belli, IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development, believes the changes to the underside of the cars will allow them to run closer at Indy and make passes. The moment of truth comes on its biggest stage, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
May 10, 2021
Colton Herta – America's next racing hero Prime

Colton Herta – America's next racing hero

Last Sunday, Colton Herta demolished his IndyCar opposition in the second round of the season. David Malsher-Lopez explains why Andretti Autosport’s youngest ace bears all the hallmarks of becoming the country’s next homegrown motorsport hero.

IndyCar
Apr 29, 2021
How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival? Prime

How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021