The Australian, with 41 wins and 68 poles to his credit, led the first period of the race on the Firestone substitutes, but found his car handling was tricky in his first set of primaries, and the wing adjustment he called for on his next stop exaggerated the problem. . Finally in the new primaries on the last stage, he managed to catch up with fellow Penske-Chevrolet teammate Joseph Newgarden who had been rocked from behind, but the pair were defeated for second and third by half a minute by Alex Ballou of Chip. Janassi Racing Honda.
Power admitted that despite reaching the end of the season by 20 points, his nerves really prevented him from relaxing or even getting real satisfaction from beating Mario Andretti’s IndyCar record.
“I couldn’t really enjoy the title yesterday because I was so focused on racing,” said Power, who also won the 2014 title. “A lot of tension this weekend. I’ve been very calm all year.
“Once I got in the car and we started rolling, it was fine. A little shallow in the middle of the race. I was digging really deep, just, gotta give everything I could. I can’t afford to lose any positions here,” and the car, the tires…yes, it was It’s fun. Some of the tire combinations were really good, some not so good.
“But yeah, mentally draining. I couldn’t show the kind of emotion I showed when I won the 500 race. . But it was a long year round trip. I think it’s very fitting that we made another strong day, just kind of a long day like today. This was just the story of our year.”
Asked about the nerves, Bauer said, “Yes, it’s been getting up at 3 a.m. a few times over the weekend and you can always unwind again to sleep, but it’s obviously a great day. Everyone put so much effort into it.”
“And you don’t want to let it go. Those nerves make you perform at a high level. I had those nerves to qualify. It just pumps you to another level. That’s what it does to me.”
“A couple of times in my career I’ve been in a car really relaxed, and it just doesn’t work. It took me long enough to understand the perfect amount of what kind of stress you should be feeling. You must have… your subconscious mind needs to understand the importance of what you do and then you can put yourself on another level.”
Bauer praised his crew, saying, “It’s been a really solid and focused year all around. Great crew, finished every lap in every race. I look at a few of those years and some mechanical failures, some things that went wrong, they only show when You have the whole group together, we’ll be there, fighting for the championship.”
Power paid tribute to Dave Faustino, who was the race engineer at Walker Racing in 2007 and KV Racing in ’08, before staying a year longer at KV, then joining Team Penske when Power signed up full time for 2010.
“We know each other very well,” Bauer said. “We’ve worked better together this year than ever before, we’ve really done it… I think maybe it’s seen a slow progression in maturation, and this year has been quite the top level of that.
“We have a lot of respect for each other. It’s just, you can’t beat the experience. You I can not Beat experience. That’s all I will say. Every scenario that could happen to you to make a race spoil has happened to me and him, and it happens to everyone, and at this point in your career, you know the game well and you’re just playing on that experience. “
Bauer went on to praise Trevor Lacas, his chief of staff, as “a great man, a great human being, and very good at his job. He keeps everyone calm, including me.” He gave credit to Adam Jarrett, the outside and rear tire changer, noting that despite being in his first year, his crew was the fastest on the pit lane.
Bauer admitted that his solitary focus on the championship meant he forced himself to rein in his natural tendency to win.
“Nine podiums, that’s pretty solid,” he said, “but I definitely gave up some of the gains just for consistency. I definitely could have attacked really hard when I was on really good tyres.
“Street. Pete was one, at the start of the second half. I actually wasn’t expecting to make sure I finished that job in a good position. I could have attacked McLaughlin and easily passed him. Instead, I actually lost a position to the Reds.” [to Alex Palou].
“آخر كان منتصف أوهايو – إعادة التشغيل على الأحمر. “[يمكننيفقطالهجومهناأوقدينتهيبيالأمر؟أعتقدأننيسآخذالمركزالثالثنفسالشيءمعالسباقالثانيفيولايةأيواتأكدمنأنالإطاراتتدوم،وتأكدمنأنيأنهيتالمرتبةالثانيةمنالمؤكدأنهناكبعضالمكاسبالمتبقيةعلىالطاولةإذاكنتتريدذلك[IcouldjustattackhereorIcanendup…?IthinkI’lltakethird’SamewiththesecondraceatIowaMakesurethetireslastmakesureIfinishsecondThere’sdefinitelysomewinsleftonthetableifyouweregoingforthat[يمكننيفقطالهجومهناأوقدينتهيبيالأمر؟أعتقدأننيسآخذالمركزالثالثنفسالشيءمعالسباقالثانيفيولايةأيواتأكدمنأنالإطاراتتدوم،وتأكدمنأنيأنهيتالمرتبةالثانيةمنالمؤكدأنهناكبعضالمكاسبالمتبقيةعلىالطاولةإذاكنتتريدذلك[IcouldjustattackhereorIcanendup…?IthinkI’lltakethird’SamewiththesecondraceatIowaMakesurethetireslastmakesureIfinishsecondThere’sdefinitelysomewinsleftonthetableifyouweregoingforthat
But I said it since the beginning of the year. I said I play the long game all year long. I’ve never done it before, and I’m doing it this year. I don’t really care about the gains; I just want to win another tournament. That game has been played. Maybe next year I’ll go out and try to win more races.
“You know, yes. If you want to win a championship, you have to play a long game.”
Penske’s team finished first, second (Newgarden) and fourth (McLaughlin) in the championship, with nine wins. That was hugely impressive given the closeness of the competition, Bauer noted.
He said: “The competition is crazy, but what might be surprising is the gap we had on the field as a team. We seemed to be performing in every way. Not necessarily faster – well, we were faster in some ways, in some races – but we got it right , in the commuter lane and on the right track.”
Photography: Michael L. Levitt / motorsports pictures