The series of 12 Questions driver interviews continues this week with Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power, who drives for Team Penske.
1. How often do you have dreams about racing?
I do definitely have dreams about racing. I’m trying to think of the last one I had. I’ve had dreams about winning races and that sort of thing. Winning the championship, I think that was my last dream, actually.
2. If you get into someone during a race — intentional or not — does it matter if you apologize? And I guess in IndyCar, you would never mean to do that.
Yeah, I’m sure it does. It’s good when you hear from someone if they took you out. If they don’t say anything, it’s kind of rude, I suppose. If you take someone out and it’s your mistake, you should talk about it and apologize.
Am I correct in thinking there’s no intentional wrecking in IndyCar?
There isn’t. Guys at the end of the year take more of a risk when you’re in certain situations and you have to beat someone. But you just can’t intentionally wreck someone in this series. It’s too dangerous.
3. What is the biggest compliment someone could give you?
I think the biggest compliment is that you’re a clean, good, fast racer and a good guy off the track.
4. IndyCar comes to you and says they’re bringing a celebrity to the track and they want you to host them. Who is a celebrity you’d be excited to host?
Dave Grohl. That’d be pretty cool to have him. I don’t know if we’d put him in the Penske corporate (suite) — he needs to be in a Snake Pit type scenario. But that would be a celebrity I’d love to host.
5. In an effort to show this is a health conscious sport, IndyCar decides to offer the No. 1 pit stall for an upcoming race to the first driver willing to go vegan for one month. Would you do it?
Yes I would. For a pit spot? No. 1? Absolutely.
Have you ever tried going vegan before?
But you’re a healthy eater, I understand.
I am, yes. But I do eat a lot of protein — meat. But I’d do it because I’d like to try it anyway. And if you get Pit Out, it’s worth it.
6. It’s time for the Random Race Challenge. I’ve picked a random race from your career and you have to tell me where you finished. This is the 2014 race at Barber Motorsports Park. Do you remember this race at all?
(Thinks deeply) Did I win that one?
No, I didn’t want to make it too easy.
Yeah. OK. Let’s say fourth place and I was saving a lot of fuel.
You were fifth. I don’t know what the fuel situation was. But you led 15 laps and ultimately Ryan Hunter-Reay won.
I think that might have been that race.
Are you good at remembering races in general?
Not anymore. There’s just so many. Earlier in your career, you could remember every race you’ve done. Now it’s so hard to recall, I couldn’t even remember all my wins.
7. Who is the best rapper alive?
Alive? I’m into 90s rap, so Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre. Tupac is obviously gone. Biggie is gone.
Definitely not Jay-Z.
Oh! Not a Jay-Z guy, huh?
Nah. I’m not a big Jay-Z guy. He’s not bad. But I listen to NWA and Public Enemy — No. 1.
I don’t know who it is, but I’d say Snoop Dogg. He’s kind of the guy who comes to mind now. There’s so many good 90s rappers, man. Pete Rock and CL Smooth. Tribe Called Quest.
8. Who has the most punchable face in IndyCar?
Most punchable face. That’s an interesting one. Who would I like most to punch in the head in IndyCar? I don’t know. Let’s go through the field. (Thinks for a moment.)
I don’t know that anyone has a punchable face. That would be very, very mean to punch someone in the face. It happens. I’ve punched people in the face and been punched in the face in my life, but it’s just not a good thing.
Let’s just pick a random person. No. There’s no one there who I’d like to punch in the face.
9. IndyCar enlists three famous Americans to be involved with your team for one race as part of a publicity push: Taylor Swift, LeBron James and Tom Hanks. Choose one to be your chief strategist, one to be your spotter and one to be your motorhome driver.
I’d have Tom Hanks on strategy. He’s probably a pretty cluey guy in that respect, having to learn lines and memorize well. (Editor’s note: “Cluey” is Australian slang for wise or knowledgeable.)
LeBron would be very good at spotting. He’s always looking to understand what’s going on on the court.
And Taylor Swift is always on a bus traveling, so she’d have some sort of idea of how a motorhome is run.
10. What is the key to finding the best pre-race bathroom?
Actually, I usually scope it out beforehand. The best ones are when it’s a port-o-potty right on pit lane there. Indianapolis is the worst, like the Indy road course. You have to go searching into a room and try to find one.
11. IndyCar decides they would like the highlight reel value brought by the former Carl Edwards backflips and want their own version. How much money would they have to offer for you to backflip off your car following your next win?
What, do they have an unlimited budget? You’d take big money, as much as you could go. A million bucks. You could make money off it if they said they’d give anything. Then you’d learn and do the backflip.
Or you don’t learn at all. What is it? If they say, “We’ll give you a million bucks if you backflip,” can you go off and learn? Or do you have to turn up without learning and they’ll say, “Bang?”
You can have time to learn.
OK. Well then the highest amount of money you can get. It’s business.
12. Each week, I ask a driver to give me a question for the next interview. Last week was with Daniel Suarez. His question for you was: How much do you enjoy road course racing versus oval racing, and would you like to try one of those in NASCAR one day?
I would love to try an oval in NASCAR. And a road course, actually. For me, I really enjoy oval racing a lot more than earlier in my career. It’s almost to the point where I’d much rather do ovals each week. But you’ve got to have both in IndyCar. They’re just such different disciplines for us. Really enjoy ovals though. Really, really enjoy understanding how to get the car working and where to run and running in traffic. It’s just a lot of fun.
Do you have a question I might be able to ask for the next interview? It’s with Rico Abreu, the sprint car driver.
Yeah, I think I would ask him: Would he like to try an IndyCar out on an oval or a road course? That would be interesting to see what he thought.