* Persistent rain forces Verizon IndyCar Series to shorten race to a 105-minute/47-lap race that was originally scheduled for 75 laps
* Helio Castroneves leads Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers to checkered flag with runner-up finish in INDY Grand Prix of Louisiana
* Juan Pablo Montoya finished fifth to give Team Chevy two of the top-five finishers
* Chevrolet Aero Kit cars with fully integrated 2.2 liter V6 twin turbo direct injected engines scored six of top-10 finishers
AVONDALE, LOUISIANA (April 12, 2015) – Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, scored the runner-up finishing position in today’s rain-shortened INDY Grand Prix of Louisiana. The inaugural Verizon IndyCar Series race at NOLA Motorsports Park was plagued by inclement weather throughout the three-day event, that eventually resulted in the race being shortened to a timed race of 105 minutes rather than the 75 laps originally scheduled.
Castroneves’ strong finish, which landed him second in the standings after two races, led the contingent of 12 Chevrolet Aero Kit cars with fully integrated 2.2 liter V6 twin turbo direct injected engines.
St Petersburg winner Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finished fifth to give Team Chevy two of the top-five finishers, and maintain the lead in the driver standings.
Chevrolet drivers captured six of the top 10 with a sixth-place finish for Tony Kanaan, No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet; defending Series’ champion Will Power, No.1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet in seventh; Josef Newgarden, No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet in ninth and Luca Filippi, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet in 10th place at the checkered flag.
James Hinchcliffe (Honda) won the race with James Jakes (Honda) completing the podium.
Next up for Team Chevy in the Verizon IndyCar Series is the Streets of Long Beach on Sunday, April 19. 2015.
CHEVROLET AERO KIT INDYCAR V6 2.2 LITER
NOLA MOTORSPORTS PARK
POST RACE DRIVER QUOTES
APRIL 1, 2015
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 2ND: “First of all I have to give congratulations to the entire track, and the entire Verizon IndyCar Series to keep pushing to have another round here. And congrats to the fans. I want to thank all the fans for the first race here at NOLA and we have to keep going. The track conditions were really difficult because there were areas where there was a stream of water on the race track and it was very difficult for us to keep the cars on there.
“Now talking about the Hitachi boys, man, you guys are awesome. We had a little bit of a misunderstanding because the guy I hit, I thought he was two laps down. I knew he wasn’t battling for the lead and unfortunately when I got the nose chopped, the information was a little bit iffy. But at the end of the day, Roger, Jonathan and everybody never gave up…..I never gave up and at the end of the day to be taking second place – it’s a very happy day.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 2 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 5TH: H: “We definitely had a fast Verizon Chevy today and it’s good to come away from NOLA with a top five. I think it’s one of those deals where we kind of caught a break yesterday starting on pole with the weather but our luck went the other way today. The cool thing is two races in a row to start the season Team Penske has had the fastest cars and I am very excited about that. I’m looking forward to getting back to Long Beach next week. Hopefully we can keep the ball rolling there.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 NTT DATE CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH: “NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing started the race really strong and I was running up in the top five quite a bit there at the beginning. We were one of the first cars to change to slicks and I just came into a corner a little too fast with cold tires and ended up in the grass. We lost some spots there, but it allowed the team to use my position to our benefit and we were able to get a lot of fuel on the yellows and run as hard as we could when it went green. I think I was running all the way back in 19th at one point, so it just shows how much the team and my engineers and strategists came together to get the No. 10 NTT DATA Chevrolet a sixth-place finish.”
WILL POWER, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH: “The Verizon Chevy boys did a great job despite the difficult conditions. It was frustrating that we couldn’t go green most of the time and those were difficult conditions when you’re on slicks (tires). Great battling when we went green for a few laps and it was a lot of fun, but it didn’t last long. So, disappointed for the fans that they didn’t get to see is at our absolute best. We’ll just look forward for even better results in Long Beach.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 HARTMAN OIL CFH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH: “The thing I am happy about is that we got a Top 10 on a difficult day. It could have gone a lot better for us. We struggled a little bit on the wet, but when it was going dry we were very strong as a group and we didn’t get to capitalize on that. Too many cautions, too many yellows, and it just didn’t play in our favor. That’s racing, sometimes it falls your way and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m just happy we managed a Top 10, that’s good points but obviously leaves us wanting more. We will regroup, go to Long Beach, and keep chasing it.”
LUCA FILIPPI, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA CFH RACING CHEVROLET, STARTS 9TH: “I think we did everything right. Both Josef (Newgarden) and I were probably going to have a top seven or eight finish. Obviously, a few people got very lucky on the strategy in the middle of race. But another Top 10 finish is okay, especially on a strange day like this. Today’s finish was not quite what we were looking for, but it’s a solid way to continue our championship.”
SCOTT DIXON, NO. 9 BRITA CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 11TH: “It’s a shame we didn’t get much green-flag racing in today here at NOLA. I wish we could have gotten more racing in with the dry conditions after the start. Our Brita car was really fast in the last dry practice session of the weekend so we were optimistic for the race. It’s just one of those things where you spend a lot of time under the yellow flag.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 83 NOVOLOG FLEXPEN CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 14TH: “Obviously it was a tough day for everyone, but I’m glad we were able to get some laps in for the fans. It’s a great race track that NOLA Motorsports Park has put a lot of work into and we’re just happy we were able to get the race in. It’s just disappointing because all four of the Chip Ganassi Racing cars were quick in wet and dry conditions, we just never got the chance to completely show it. With qualifying being cancelled the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet had to start toward the back, so it was going to be an uphill battle the entire race. We have a quick turnaround this week heading into my home state of California for the Long Beach race, but I know Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing will be ready to go on Sunday.”
STEFANO COLETTI NO. 4 VARIABLE BORE RAMS – KVRT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 17TH: “The race started on wets and the No. 4 Variable Bore Rams – KVRT car was quick. I managed to go from 20th to 10th before I pitted around lap 12 for slicks. When I started pushing, the yellow flag came out a few laps later and on the restart I tried to pass on the straight but found a big puddle. This caused me to spin and hit the barrier hard and I had to return to the pits to change the rear wing. The crew did a great job because the studs on the gearbox that mount the new rear wing had broken off, so they had to fixed that first and in the end managed to get me going, but three laps down. The rest of the race was pretty much under yellow and there was nothing I could really do to catch up. It wasn’t the result that we expected and I feel bad for my sponsor this weekend Variable Bore Rams, Inc. We had good speed all weekend and the team gave me a great so we will see what happens at Long Beach next weekend.”
SAGE KARAM, NO. 8 COMFORT REVOLUTION/BIG MACHINE RECORDS CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 18TH: “It wasn’t the day we had hoped for in the COMFORT REVOLUTION/Big Machine Records car. We had spins, I made mistakes and the race just never really got going enough to get in a good rhythm. I hate it for the team and my guys. I learned a lot today out there and will go back and talk everything over with the team to get a game plan together on how we can improve on our performance.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20TH: “Really too bad about the finish because the Penske Truck Rental Chevy was really fast. It handled great in traffic and we looked like we were heading toward a good result. I’m not sure what Hunter-Reay was thinking there. He just drove us off the track and I’m just glad everyone is OK. I want to thank the fans for staying with us this weekend despite the weather. I think the No. 22 Chevy team will be able to come back strong at Long Beach.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 11 TEAM MISTIC E-CIGS – KVSH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST: “It was a weird race obviously. We held our own throughout the race getting as high as fourth. The Mistic-Circle K car ran good in the wet and ran good as the track transitioned. Then the race just became a succession of cautions with restarts after restarts during which I made a couple of spots and lost a couple of spots. Because of all the cautions there were different strategies and as they played out we ended up having to pit when everybody behind us had already done so. The guys in back cycled to the front and we cycled to the back with the leaders. Then with all the cautions, the guys in back were able to stretch their fuel and on the last restart I was on the inside and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) came up and made it three wide with Simon (Pagenaud). Ryan pushed Simon into the grass, he then came back on track with no control and could not avoid collecting me ending our race. It was never going to be a good day, but now with the damage to the car it is a shame because this was going to be my Indy 500 car.”