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Podcast: Power: I’d give up my 2018 Indy 500 prize money to win again

Team Penske’s Will Power says he would give up all his winnings from the 2018 Indianapolis 500 “in a heartbeat” if it meant he could win America’s biggest open-wheel race again this weekend.

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Barry Cantrell / Motorsport Images

Speaking exclusively on Autosport’s Indy 500 Preview podcast (below), Power revealed that he earned just under 50% of the $2,525,454 prize that was awarded to the winning car in 2018, which was then split among the team members per their contracts and win bonus agreements.

He quipped that he’d be willing to give it all up if it guaranteed him another success at the Brickyard: “It’s a deal you have with the team… let’s just say I didn’t quite get 50% of it but I was pretty close!” he said of his 2018 arrangement. “The guys on the team, they did all the hard work giving me that car – it was a total team effort.

“Who cares about the purse? You just wanna win the race. I’d give up that money in a heartbeat to win the race! I don’t care about the money, I just want the win.”

Also in the podcast, Power revealed in forensic detail his terrifying brush with the wall – and near-non-qualification – for this Sunday’s big race. He opened up about the thought process of whether to stay flat-out on the throttle with the prospect of damaged suspension when faced with the final corners at 225mph-plus.

“It was certainly stressful, especially the night before, when you know you’ve got one shot,” he said of Bump Day. “You can go multiple times, but when you’ve heated the engine, it definitely loses power, so if you don’t get the first run right, the chances of getting in with your second run were less. And if you crash on your first run, you’re out!

“There was certainly a lot of back and forth between myself and the engineers the night before. We decided not to change it, but ultimately it was too little downforce for the conditions, and I started to get loose on Lap 2. I didn’t adjust for it because it had gone the other way in every other qualifying run I’d done, it lost the front, so I thought ‘OK, it’ll come into it with balance’ and it never did, it just kept getting looser.

“I had a moment in Turn 1 on that last lap, and I thought about an adjustment in the short chute, banging the front bar to stiff, but I didn’t have enough time. As I came through Turn 2 it was loose and just walked all the way up to the wall.”

 

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