Team Penske’s Will Power described the feeling of winning the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on Sunday as overwhelming. The Australian, who started the race from the front row in third place led 59 of the 200 laps and has now as a result moved into the lead of the Verizon IndyCar Series championship.
Speaking following the race, Power who drives the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet commented by saying:
Overwhelming. Amazing. It’s funny, you forget where you are, you’re so immersed in the race. You don’t even realize. On the white flag lap I started screaming because I just knew I was going to win it. Unbelievable. Never been so excited. This was a race you wanted to lead. At last they had a formula, if you had a good car, the leader could benefit and pull away. I liked it. It definitely made it harder to drive. Put the driver back into it more, where before you could hang back, third, no one wanted to lead.
The Australian went on to say:
Man, I just can’t believe it. I changed my attitude a lot after Barber. Very positive, I had a great month. I just can’t believe it. I’ve got to thank Roger Penske, Verizon and my parents for allowing me to get to this point. I just … I can’t describe it. I feel like collapsing. I want to cry. I couldn’t stop screaming. I can’t believe it.” (About last restart): “I’m like, ‘I have to get these guys.’ I don’t know how much fuel they got, but this is the restart of my life. And then I go on, and the two (Stefan Wilson and Jack Harvey) pit, and I’m like, ‘Man, I think I’m going to win this!’ I was screaming with one to go. Man, I got this. Unbelievable. I was wondering if I was ever going to win it, and thoughts went through my mind during the month like that. In my career, I’ve had so many wins, so many poles. But everyone always talks about the ‘500.’ And I won it. I just couldn’t imagine winning a race in front of crowd like this, this many people. It’s just amazing. What an event. I love it.
Simon Pagenaud in the No.22 Menards Chevrolet started the race from second place and came home in sixth. Speaking following the race the Frenchman commented by saying:
It was all about track position today. We had a fantastic No. 22 Menards Chevrolet. I just want to give a tip of the cap to Chevrolet and all of Team Penske. I am just so happy for Will. We have been rivals. We are friends and teammates. I can’t imagine how he feels right now but that is my next goal, the one he has just accomplished. I’m sure that is a big weight off his shoulders. Honestly, I am super happy for him. There is no better man than Will to win this race. He has been through a lot and today is all about him.
It was a disappointing day for Helio Castroneves in the No.3 Pennzoil Chevrolet as the Brazilian retired from the race following a heavy crash however the three time Indy 500 winner was ok.
Speaking following the race, Castroneves said:
The car was actually handling good, I couldn’t get that too close to other guys. I guess when I went to pass (Ryan) Hunter-Reay on the outside, maybe got a little debris on the tire – I don’t know, that was obviously the first time. My worry was actually Turn 1, not so much in Turn 4, so I felt a little bit movement but I was feeling that most of the time. But this time, unfortunately the rear just over-rotated. The Pennzoil Chevrolet was really good today and I’m so happy for Will Power. I know what he is feeling and there is nothing like it.”
Defending series champion Josef Newgarden who went into the race leading the championship started the event from fourth on the grid and went on to finish the race in eighth.
Speaking following the event he commented by saying:
It was more difficult this year, but I think still a great race. I think we fought back for points, which was good. We just got out of position there on pit stops and just struggled with the yellows; they didn’t fall our way. We were fighting from 20th, 15th place. I think we had a good car up front. I wasn’t so good in the back. Once I got 15th or 20th, I struggled a little bit. But we were making slow progress. We got back in the top 10 but can’t be too satisfied. It was a great day for Team Chevy and Team Penske, as well. I’m happy for Will (Power), I just wish it was our day. We had an amazing Indiana crowd, as always. This is the best race of the year, and hopefully we’ll have a better shot next time.