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Q&A: Penske Racing -

And with regard to the contingencies and that type of thing, the people that you'll see here this weekend, John Ericksen, who is our general manager of our sportscar programme, will be the race strategist on that car. And he was also Ryan Briscoe's race strategist, along with Jay Penske in the Luczo Dragon programme back when Ryan first ran Indy for us in 2007.

So we kind of have, again, a contingency, but we didn't want to be in this position this weekend and everything looked like it was leading up to a decision and at some point this week, and had we been sitting here this week without a contingency and without a way in which we could help reward Will for all the things that he's done but at the same time make sure Helio, his best medicine is going to be to get back in a race car. And I can't tell you how excited I'll be to actually see that all happen. Hopefully that answers your question there, Mike.

Tim, Helio's been through a lot. As a team manager, what will you do to get his mind back on racing and stay focused on the racing and to maybe keep the media off the trial and on racing?

I guess if I hadn't known him... this will be my tenth season with Helio, and if I hadn't known him as well as I do, I would question 'is this the right move or not the right move?', or that type of thing.

But the guy is... it's kind of funny to say, when you know him as well as everybody does and his enthusiasm, but his focus and his concentration, it's among the best. And I think the best way to quantify that is the trust that I have in him at a place like Indianapolis, where you're sitting there qualifying at 5:59 or whatever it is and I put him up against the best of them when it comes to being mentally prepared. And I know he wants nothing more than to get back in that race car, and I have 100 per cent confidence it will be like riding a bike for him.

Tim, regardless of the time that Helio is getting back, can you take us through how you get him back here? Was it like a helicopter to MIA, Roger's plane, but my editor needs to know this?

Still a work in progress. We've again put together some contingencies and having Roger's resources is always beneficial in situations like that. I said long ago that when I told him something wasn't possible, I kind of reviewed my thoughts after his response to that and figured if anybody could get Air Force One it might be him because from then on I've always said everything's possible. And given the solution and trying to figure out if he can come up with a reason why he can't get it done. So the basics are we've dispatched a plane from Detroit to pick him up whenever he's ready. Obviously, I don't really know the details of what it takes to get from the courtroom to the FBO there, but I'm expecting that he'll be here at a decent hour this evening in one of Roger's planes.

Tim, have you spoken with Helio on the phone? How did that conversation go? Is there anything you can share with us on that? And I also have a follow‑up.

I haven't spoken to him live since the verdict was given. We've exchanged text messages and so forth, and they're pretty simple. He and I are basically 'hey, we're ready for you'. And his response was 'I'm coming, man'.

Team has always been important at Team Penske. You touched on it earlier, but can you talk about the selflessness it's taken for Will to be able to come into a situation like this where he really didn't know how many races he was going to have and knowing that he was going to have to kind of prepare for a situation like this if it came out positive for Helio?


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