Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Drivers Score Top-Six Finishing Positions and Seven of the Top-Nine in First Race for the Chevrolet Aero Kit
ST. PETERSBURG (FLA) – March 29, 2015 – Juan Pablo Montoya delivered the first win for the Chevrolet Aero Kit today in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The victory is the fourth consecutive win on the Streets of St. Petersburg for the Chevrolet IndyCar V6, and the 34th win in Verizon IndyCar Series competition since the Bowtie Brand returned to the series in 2012.
The victory for Montoya comes in race one of his second year back in the Series after a 13-year hiatus, and is the 13th in his Verizon IndyCar Series career which includes an Indianapolis 500 victory in 2000.
“Juan Pablo’s great drive and his crew’s consistently quick pit stops were a powerful combination today on the Streets of St. Pete. And his win was also an exciting way to debut the new Chevrolet Aero Kit,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The Chevrolet aero kit development was a team effort, so it was exciting to see drivers that represented three different Chevy teams finish in the top six finishing positions.”
Montoya’s Team Penske teammate and defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion, Will Power, No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet, was second at the conclusion of the 110-lap race on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.
Filling out the all-Chevrolet podium was Chip Ganassi Racing’s Tony Kanaan, driver of the No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet.
“Will Power’s second place finish was a strong way to start his title defense,” Campbell continued. “Congratulations to Tony Kanaan on filling out the podium with a third place finish. As this first race weekend winds down, we’ll quickly focus on preparing for the next race at NOLA.”
Helio Castroneves, who gave the Chevrolet V6 IndyCar its first-ever Verizon IndyCar Series win in 2012 in St. Pete, brought his No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet to the finish in fourth position. Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet, completed the top-five finishers.
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet, was sixth at the finish, and Luca Filippi, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet finished ninth to give Chevrolet seven of the top-nine finishers in the debut of the Chevrolet Aero Kit.
Ryan Hunter-Reay (Honda) finished seventh, Jack Hawksworth (Honda) finished eighth and Marco Andretti (Honda) completed the top 10 finishers.
A total of 12 Chevrolet drivers started today’s race, and finished as follows:
12. Josef Newgarden, No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet
15. Scott Dixon, No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
19. Sage Karam, No. 8 GE LED Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
20. Stefano Coletti, No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
21. Charlie Kimball, No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Next on the schedule is the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports in Avondale, Louisiana, on April 12, 2015.
POST RACE QUOTES:
CHRIS BERUBE, CHEVROLET RACING PROGRAM MANAGER, VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES: “Congratulations to Juan Pablo Montoya and Team Penske for a solid win today at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. the Team Penske preparation and execution was first rate all weekend and all four Chevy teams finished in the top nine today. We are very proud of this result for the competitive debut of the Chevrolet Aero Kit, and the fully integrated Chevrolet 2.2L Twin Turbo V6 engine package. This first win is a tribute to the extensive efforts and integration put forth by our technical partners and teams working together towards this first race. On to NOLA Motorsports Park for the next venue to exercise the new Chevrolet IndyCar package.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 2 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER: YOU SAID ONE YEAR AGO YOU HAD TO BE SO PATIENT, BUT NOT TODAY. TAKE US THROUGH YOUR RUN: “Today was a good day to be honest with you. The car was really good on black tires and that was the key. The tires were not falling off and right there at the end I was just running slow to look after them. When I needed to push I could push. Everybody with Verizon and Team Penske did an amazing job – Chevy as well. This aero kit is amazing to drive.”
DID YOU SEE WILL POWER TRYING TO MAKE THE MOVE UNDER YOU IN THE MIRRORS? “I saw him make the move but he was way too far and I wasn’t going to give him the position. If he was beside me I would have said, ‘okay, go ahead’. When I got to the turning point he wasn’t even close. It is a shame we touched, but it’s all good, it’s racing.”
ROGER PENSKE, OWNER, TEAM PENSKE: YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE BY TEAM PENSKE THIS WEEKEND: “Well, I will tell you it was a fight between our two guys in front there. It was just an amazing weekend. The guys worked hard in the offseason on the aero kits and thanks for Chevrolet and Verizon for the support. But to come back this year with the fast times in qualifying and win this race 1-2, and four drivers in the top-six – wow, what a day.”
WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND WHEN YOU SEE TWO OF YOUR GUYS BATTLING AND THEY HAVE CONTACT LIKE THAT? “Well, we said at the beginning let’s take care of ourselves but at the end we have to go racing. Will was trying to get by, and Juan didn’t want him by. So I am sure they understand that and we will move on to the next race. But what a great day for all the people at Team Penske.”
WILL POWER, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 2ND: : ON FINAL ATTEMPT TO PASS JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: “If I hadn’t damaged my wing, maybe I would have had another shot. It is hard to close with these cars, it really is. But it is a great day for the Verizon car, it really is going to be a battle between teammates for the championship. It was my only chance. He was very strong on the front straight and my exits weren’t very good. That was really my only chance. I thought maybe I would catch him off guard there. You don’t expect someone to pass there, so, yeah, I gave it a shot. It was tight there, no doubt. I was surprised at how aggressively he turned, but he wanted to win the race and so did I.”
I CAN’T SAY YOU DID NOT GIVE IT YOUR BEST EFFORT TO MAKE THAT PASS ON JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: “Yeah that was the only place I could kind of get a run on him. He was very good in the last corner so the only chance I had was to try and get a run on him there. I think he kind of saw me and then…….it was kind of optimistic because if he had given me some, I would have taken it. He did what anyone would have done. So yeah, he was phenomenally fast and I couldn’t drop him on that stint before and he was very quick on the reds there.”
WAS THAT AN ALL OR NOTHING MOVE? “Yeah, it was kind of my only chance. If I had not damaged my wing, maybe I would have had another shot. He had to save a bit more fuel too, so I was counting on that but it’s hard to get close with these cars, it really is. But it’s a great day for the Verizon Chevy team. It was like we thought it would be with a battle between teammates and a battle for the championship I am sure.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 NTT DATA CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: “Chip told me to bring the NTT Data car back in one piece, he didn’t want to see a scratch apart from the marbles. We tried to stay out of trouble. The Penske guys were definitely tough today. On that last stint there, we had to save a little bit more fuel, and not having the pace, I had to drop back. But we will take third, It’s good points, and we have to work from here.
“It was a really fun race for us and I’m just so happy that I was able to get NTT DATA Racing a podium finish in the first race out. We still have some things to work on to get better as a team, but I’m pretty happy with today’s finish. I have to give so much credit to the guys on pit lane – they just did such a great job today. This is a nice way to start the season and after this third-place finish I’m even more motivated to continue to do better.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4TH: “Really proud of the Hitachi Chevy guys today. They did a great job and we battled hard throughout the race. The car was fast. We didn’t end up where we would have liked to be but overall we had a good day. Really happy for Juan and congratulations to him on the win and to Will on his podium finish. Great way to start the season for Roger with a 1-2 finish.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 5TH: “The Penske Truck Rental boys did a great job today. I am happy and you have to take it step by step. You just can’t walk onto a team and push your teammates out of the way. I didn’t want create a mess at the start of the race, which I thought was a smart move but it was too cautious, which cost me a position during the race. P5 is a good start to the season and I’m excited about the next race already coming up in NOLA.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 11 TEAM HYDROXYCUT -KVSH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH: “It was a solid result for the Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing team, but it was a bit up and down. Initially, it felt like we had something special going. I got TK (Tony Kanaan) and the car had good pace. Then I made a couple of mistakes and a restart didn’t go my way. After that Sato hit us and we lost three positions. It was one of those races where you controlled the damage, but you don’t feel you have achieved what you were capable of. I am satisfied with the result and happy for the team, they did a good job. It’s a good start to the season. The pace was good when we got clear air, but it is definitely is hard to follow other cars and get a run on them. We will keep digging, keeping working on starting higher up on the grid and see where we end up.”
LUCA FILIPPI, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH: “I am happy with that. Obviously, so many things are new to me. On one hand we want to have good results, on the other hand we know that we have to learn a little before we can really fight for the podium. The team did a great job, they gave me great pit stops and we can build on this. This is a good start for the season, from here I can just get better and better.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 HARTMAN OIL CHEVROLET, FINISHED 12TH: “It was a really strong effort from everyone to try to keep us in the fight. All the CFH guys were awesome, as they always are. I have to say thank you to Ed (Carpenter), Wink (Hartman) and Sarah (Fisher) for everything that to do to make this happen. Twelfth is not the best finishing position, but we can only go up from there. I think we had a car that was able to challenge for a top five finish, but we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Right when Charlie (Kimball) got spun out in Turn 10 it was a bottleneck, I got into the back of (Sebastien) Bourdais and damaged the front wing. It sort of hurt us; we struggled to fight with everyone after that. We lost a lot of pace then did what we could to finish as strong as possible. Twelfth was the best we had today, but I think we have more for the future.”
SCOTT DIXON, NO. 9 TARGET CHEVROLET, FINISHED 15TH: “It wasn’t the day we had hoped for in the Target car today. We had some early issues with the air jack and couldn’t get the car off the ground during our pit stops. It seemed like the front would come up, but the rear end would stay on the ground. The team did the best they could on our stops but in reality you can’t be competitive in this type of racing when your stops are taking that long. We just never seem to have the best luck in St. Petersburg but we’ll keep pushing for the results we know we’re capable of.”
SAGE KARAM, NO. 8 GE LED CHEVROLET, FINISHED 19TH : “It was funny, I came into the pits after the race, took off my helmet to debrief with the guys and noticed I didn’t use any tear offs from my helmet! A rookie mistake I guess. I was so focused on taking care of the car and running good laps I totally forgot. But all in all I just tried to do what the team told me to which was keep the car in one piece and run all the laps. That was the plan today. Although I wished we would have finished higher I know that this is a learning process. I spoke with Dario after the race and we talked about saving fuel and how crucial that is in these races. I know we’ll get better and I had a good first experience in the GE LED car in my first road and street course in the series.”
STEFANO COLETTI, NO. 4 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20TH: “The KV Racing Technology team gave me a great car today, but unfortunately we didn’t have the result to prove it. The car was fast and I overtook a lot of people. Every restart I overtook several cars, improving three or four positions. Obviously, I am disappointed with the final result. I had some issues and had to make up a lot of positions so I used a lot of fuel. As a result I had to pit with four laps to go. At least I had fun today in my first Verizon IndyCar Series race and hopefully the result will change when we race in New Orleans in two weeks.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 83 NOVOLOG FLEXPEN CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST: “Obviously it’s a disappointing result for the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen guys. Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing has worked really hard over the winter. We had great pit stops, and I got taken out by some dumb driving. We ended up fixing the rear wing and when I was in clean air the car was really fast. I guess that is the frustrating thing really. The result wasn’t there but the speed in the car was. I can’t wait to get the car back to NOLA where we had a good test at the beginning of the week, and then to Long Beach.”