Championship Contender Matches Qualifying Effort From 2014; Filippi Will Start Inside Row 7
(SONOMA, Calif.) August 29, 2015 – Qualifying Notes
* Josef Newgarden came close to earning his second Verizon P1 Award of 2015, settling for a 2nd place starting position for tomorrow’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. Luca Filippi, who had never turned a lap at Sonoma Raceway until yesterday, qualified in 13th.
* Filippi was in Round 1, Group 1 of qualifications after setting the 20th fastest lap in the morning practice session. Despite having no testing at the 2.385-mile, 12-turn natural-terrain road course, Filippi took the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet around the track quick enough to set the 7th fastest time in his group. He missed advancing to the Top 12 by a mere .05 of a second.
* Newgarden set a new track record in his No. 67 GoPro Chevrolet at Sonoma Raceway during Round 1, Group 2 with a lap of 1:16.5982. His lap shot him up to 1st, but he dropped to 2nd as Will Power beat his lap at the checkered flag.
* Despite running through dirt that had been thrown onto the track surface just prior to his flying lap, Newgarden managed a 4th-quick time during Round 2. He advanced to the Firestone Fast 6 for the 4th time this year.
* Newgarden dropped the track record even lower with a lap of 1:16.3964 near end of the Firestone Fast 6, setting him up to take the pole position. Power bested Newgarden by a mere .136 seconds on his final lap, dropping Newgarden to 2nd.
* Newgarden also started on the outside of the front row of last year’s race. He would go on to finish the 2014 race in 6th.
* It was announced Thursday that Newgarden would drive the No. 67 GoPro Chevrolet. GoPro, enabler of some of today’s most engaging content, will partner with CFH Racing for the final race of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season at Sonoma Raceway. GoPro is also the title sponsor of the 85-lap event.
* Filippi has four top 10 finishes in nine races with CFH Racing, including a second place finish behind Newgarden in Toronto. Sonoma will be only his 18th career Verizon IndyCar Series start.
* Six drivers remain eligible for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship, including Newgarden. Though currently 87 points out of the lead, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will award double points with a total of 104 points available.
* Newgarden led 47 laps of last weekend’s ABC Supply 500 at Ponoco Raceway, extending his total amount of laps led this season to 345. He has led during each of the last four races and has led more laps than any other Verizon IndyCar Series driver this season.
* At just 24-years-old, Newgarden is finishing out the best season of his IndyCar career. In 2015 alone, he has captured his first two IndyCar wins, won his first career pole position and has two other podium finishes, including a second place at last week’s 500-mile race at Pocono Raceway.
* The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma the race will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 4 p.m. ET.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 GOPRO CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND: “I’m proud of us. It’s great having GoPro here with us this weekend, it’s their home event and it’s a lot of fun to have them on our car at CFH Racing. It’s been a really fun year, it’s been an amazing year in a lot of ways, tough year in others. We were close today, but no cigar. We got bumped at the end so we’ll have to get them tomorrow.”
LUCA FILIPPI, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA, QUALIFIED 13TH: “We missed the Fast 12 by half a tenth to Montoya which is a shame. It’s frustrating because the car was good. I think we could have easily been in the top 10. Now I have found a good feeling in with car and also with the circuit which is very tricky. Coming here without any testing was not easy but now I feel confident for tomorrow. As we know in IndyCar anything can happen. I am very motivated to finish the season on a high. It was good that Josef had a good qualifying run, which shows we have a good car as well and we will both have a good opportunity tomorrow.”