Wednesday, June 15, 2011

TELECON: Will Power on Indy Cars return to Milwaukee

So I’ve just been invited to my second INDYCAR Teleconference of the season – this time a solo affair with current ICS points leader Will Power in the run-up to this weekend’s return to the fabled Milwaukee Mile, which use to follow the Indy 500 a week after the B-I-G Memorial Day race.

Although I must confess I have mixed emotions about this race date, especially since it’s now filling the calendar date that was FOREVER associated with CART/Champ Car’s annual trek to Portland International Raceway – and theoretically I should be on the Amtrak  Cascades Express to the Rose City tomorrow for my once much anticipated yearly pilgrimage to PIR!

Psst Mr. Bernard... Wanna get back some of those coveted 15-20 MILLION Fans you claim the series has LOST... Then bring back IndyCars to the Pacific Northwest!

Thus I called-in at the appropriate time and listened to a very entertaining chat from Mr. Will Power who claims that Milwaukee is one of his most favourite tracks – stating it’s a flat oval that requires both upshifting and downshifts. And upon being asked ‘bout the next Ovaltrack on the schedule – Iowa, another Short-track, Will noted how it’s where he got his very first-ever Oval Pole and its got two lanes for good racing.

Will also mentioned how Texas felt like his very first win and it was a great place to get his first Oval victory since his wife is from Texas and her whole family was there.

Power mentioned how he enjoys Ovals and had a really good race at Indy – Ok, I know we didn’t get the results I wanted, but I was enjoying that race... Probably until the wheel came off and severed a brake line, eh?

Then the questions segment began with Nate Ryan of USA Today asking Power about an ex-teammate by saying he’s doing a story on Oriel Servia. (Which is great to hear that Servia’s finally getting some recognition...) As Nate asked Will if he was surprised by Oriel being in the Top-3 of the points standing so much this season?

Power said emphatically NO! Claiming that Servia’s a really fast racer, as fast as I was at KV, super easy to get along with and very smart ‘bout setting up a chassis - as Will thought they’d both be contending for wins if they’d just had another season at KV Racing Technology which was the plan but they had to go after other drivers for financial reasons... And he’s not surprised by Newman Haas’s performance at all, saying they’ve got a really fast rookie to boot in James Hinchcliffe and he’s very happy to see Oriel’s got a fulltime ride this year – as they were both unemployed, with Power getting picked-up by Penske first.

Next up, Kurt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star asked Will ‘bout Texas & if he was tired of hearing ‘bout it? To which actually got a chuckle outta Power who said: I really don’t read anything after races and the only time I know about it is if the Team tells me I said something wrong! (Which made Kurty laugh...)

Will acknowledged how he agrees Mr. Charmin, a.k.a. Dario Franchitti did get a bad deal but they ALL knew it before the race and that’s how it was for everyone... To which later Power mentioned how he didn’t think they should necessarily invert the entire field for race-2, but perhaps a GP2 style race instead where they invert the Top-10 finishers from round-1 and then the rest of the grid is filled out by finishing positions from the first race. (As GP2 inverts the Top-8)

Cavin brought up an interesting point that IndyCar’s Dave Lewandowski unearthed – ‘bout how Dan Wheldon’s car was a 2003-spec Dallara, having been a Marty Roth chassis, Sam Hornish Jr., etc and was he surprised by that? To which Will was definitely surprised by – especially considering how the 1st-generation Dallara’s are 30lbs heavier! With Power saying it was an even better testament to Wheldon and the team for getting the most outta that ‘Ol Mule...

Then after a few repeated requests for anymore questions, your Humble Scribe took the plunge and asked Mister Power ‘bout Portland which used to be raced on Father’s Day weekend – noting how I’m happy that IndyCar is  going back to Milwaukee.

Once again, Will bowled me over with his genuine response of saying: Yeah, I LUV that place and wish we were going back there. To which I said so do I. (MAN!) To which Will said you’ve just gotta keep rallying for it... Noting how he had a BLOODY AWESOME START! Mentioning it was the very first Standing Start ever and where’d I go? From seventh to third I think; Yep – great place... As the Champ Car World Series brand new for 2007 Panoz DP01’s made the very first IndyCar Standing Start at Portland some four years ago. (And I was there to witness it...)

And there Y’all have it – as that’s the way the cookie crumbled, and Will Power has made even a HUGER Fan outta Mwah! So good luck this weekend Will ‘N kick Dario’s ARSE!