CHEVROLET IN THE VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
GOPRO GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER POST RACE RACE QUOTES
AUGUST 30, 2015
SCOTT DIXON, NO. 9 TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER AND 2015 CHAMPION: ON VICTORY: “Obviously we won it on a countback. It was tied for points and to get it obviously winning three races, you know. I can’t thank Chevy enough, and I can’t thank Target enough. Huge weekend here in Sonoma for all the Target guests, 400-500 people. It’s a partnership. My teammates were phenomenal. They helped all year and we won this together. There is no one person that achieved this on their own and I just thank everybody so much. I knew the car was strong. I knew if we got to the lead the Target team would help me keep and they just had some phenomenal pit stops. We were getting fuel mileage so easy, which was key. We could roll the car through the corner and obviously get the mileage. You never know until the last lap. That’s what it came down to. You hope for it. We had to do our best job and that’s what we did today and luckily enough it worked out.”
HOW MUCH OF A CHANCE DID YOU GIVE YOURSELF TODAY FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP? “There was still a chance and that’s all we were hoping for. I just can’t thank my teammates enough. All of them helped all weekend and all season long and in the closing fight for this battle. This is fantastic for Target. We have so many guests here; I think we have 400-500 guests here from Target; and obviously for Chevy as well. I don’t know what to say. Obviously, our thoughts and prayers to Justin Wilson’s family.
“Don’t know what to say. There are just so many people to thank. This season we had some good races and Long Beach was a first for me, which was a big milestone. And Indy was a massive disappointment just because I thought we had a car to beat until we had overheating issues. Once again, without Target and Chevy…..Chevy has done a phenomenal job with this aero kit and the engine and the mileage and everything, which definitely helped us today. I still can’t believe it. It was such a long shot to get this done. And I guess we won it on count back, too for the most wins, we tied with JPM (Juan Pablo Montoya), so I’m sorry for them but it was fantastic for the team.”
DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THE CRAZINESS BEHIND YOU WITH JUAN MONTOYA CATCHING RYAN BRISCOE? “Well, I could see, especially on the caution, I was watching and counting the cars coming around the hairpin to see where JPM was. I knew that, I think, at the first one, he was back in 16th or 17th when some cars in my vision moved out of the way. You constantly kind of know where they are, but you try to calculate points as well, and then when they were saying nothing (on the radio), I knew it was going to be extremely close. I can’t believe it!”
CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 83 NOVOLOG FLEXPEN CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: YOU HAD AN EPIC BATTLE WITH GRAHAM RAHAL FOR A WHILE. WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? HE WAS A CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER SO YOU HAD TO BE CAREFUL.
“Yeah, he sent me a text last night saying hey man, just don’t run into me. Take good care of me tomorrow. I’ll pay you back. I hope he had enough respect to know that I was going to race hard, but clean. That was our goal today. We knew that if we could go out and race and beat enough cars, put Dixon in the lead, and beat enough cars, then we could bring the championship home to Chip Ganassi Racing. That’s what we did. It was a great race on-track. To have our car here up on the podium and supports our sponsors, a championship win is pretty spectacular.”
WERE THEY KEEPING YOU UPDATED DURING THE RACE AS TO WHAT WAS HAPPENING? IT WAS INCREDIBLE. IT WAS A STORYBOOK ENDING FOR YOUR TEAM AND THE POINTS WITH SCOTT DIXON COMING AS A TIE. WERE YOU UPDATED AS YOU WERE DRIVING? “Yeah, there’s a lot going on between fuel mileage and laps in a stint and tire life and who was around me and on what tires and different strategies. That yellow kind of split the field. At one point we were 17th and then we ended up third. They were giving me a lot of information. And frankly, the last stint it was okay. It was just save fuel and make sure we get to the end; even if (Tony) Kanaan catches me and goes by me; even if (Ryan) Briscoe goes by me, as long as we kept those championship contenders behind us or between Scott (Dixon) and them, we were there, and we’d be good. It was a heck of a race. Way to go for the Team Target guys. It’s so nice to see Dixon win the championship. He works so hard. Such a class act. I know he was there for the Wilson family Sunday night and Monday. So to be able to come out, get a win, and be part of the Chip Ganassi Racing team — be on the podium and fill out the cars needed so he can win the championship. You know, Chip loves winners and to be able to put the NovoLog FlexPen up on the podium, it’s a pretty good day at the office.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 NTT DATA CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, 4TH: “I’m just so excited for Scott and I couldn’t be happier to be part of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. We worked really hard all race to make it up the field and the car felt really good. Once we got up there behind Charlie and Scott, we knew we just needed to be consistent and be a good teammate to Dixon. Again, so happy for Scott and Team Target and I’m glad we were able to bring the No. 10 NTT DATA Chevrolet home with a top-five finish.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 2 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH: YOU LOST IN THE TIE-BREAKER. IT’S DECIDED IN CONTACT WITH YOUR TEAMMATE JUST BEFORE MID-RACE. WHAT’S YOUR VERSION WHEN YOU MADE CONTACT WITH WILL POWER?
“It doesn’t matter what happened. We fought all year. Our Verizon Chevy was really strong. It’s just a shame. We had two ways to win the championship and just threw it away. It’s a shame.
YOU FEEL LIKE YOU THREW IT AWAY?
“Yeah. We had a competitive car today to do what we needed to do but just couldn’t close it.”
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THIS AFTER BEING IN FRONT ALL YEAR? YOU GOT THE INDY 500 WIN, SO THAT’S A GOOD CONSOLATION “It’s racing, you know? When you do this and you put double points in the last race like that, it doesn’t matter what you did all year. We had one bad race where it’s double-points and we’re out of the championship.”
WILL POWER, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH: “Unfortunately, the yellows came at the wrong time for the Verizon Chevy which has been the case all year for us. It is an absolute lottery. I feel horrible for Juan. Josef (Newgarden) went up on the inside and I went to switch back off of him and I damaged Juan’s wing. Then the yellow started and that set the day there. Before that we were all in good shape there. But I want to say congratulations to Scott (Dixon) and obviously a very close finish there. But most importantly, I want to say that the Verizon Chevy boys did a great job this year and we’ll look forward to coming back next year and go for the Championship again.”
YOU FINISHED THIRD IN THIS YEAR’S CHAMPIONSHIP AND CONTROLLED THE RACE EARLY AS THE POLE-SITTER. THESE TYPES OF TRACKS ARE OFTEN LOTTERIES. THE YELLOW FLAG CAME AT THE WRONG TIME FOR YOU
“Yeah, that’s been the case all year. I think there’s only been three races decided on merit. So, it is absolutely lottery. And I feel horrible for Juan (Montoya). I went to switch back for (Josef) Newgarden and I think that damaged his wing. And man, the yellow started it all. We were all in good shape there. We’ve got to decide if we’re a sport or a casino because it’s just the luck of the draw here. There are ways to leave the pits open under yellow, so it’s not the racing and championship decided by race control; it should be decided by people doing a good job on the track. But congratulations to (Scott) Dixon. It was obviously a very close finish there. As a team we’ve done a very good job this year. Its just circumstances.”
THE SECOND STORY WAS THE CONTACT WITH JUAN MONTOYA. DID YOU HAVE ANY IDEA THAT HE WAS CLOS ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO MAKE A MOVE ONCE YOU KIND OF GOT STUCK BEHIND?
“Yeah, I had no idea. Josef went up the inside. I tried to switch back to get around and obviously Juan got my back bumper there. We spun and unfortunately damaged his bloody wing. And yeah, that just set the day there. Yeah, the team and Verizon and we put all this money and effort in, and the thing is decided by yellows. I think the series is going to have to think about how we can do something different there.”
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 8 AFS CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 13TH: “It’s really cool to be a part of such a big day for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams and Scott is so deserving of today’s win and the championship. We were having a pretty good run and we were actually running in the lead for quite a while, but we had some bad luck with the way that last yellow fell. It just completely messed up our strategy. Regardless, it was a good day for the team and I’m happy I was here to be a part of it.
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 15TH: “First of all, it was a good season for the No. 3 Team Penske Chevy team. We finished in the top five in the championship and to battle down to the last race of the year was great. We know we did have a fast Hitachi Chevy today but because of a bad qualifying we put ourselves in a tough position. I’m disappointed for everyone at Team Penske and especially for Juan Pablo and the No. 2 car team, leading the championship up until the end. To have the team finish second just doesn’t seem right. But this team is strong we’ll come back even stronger next year. A big thanks to Hitachi, AAA, Shell-Pennzoil and Chevrolet for all their support this year.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 AVAYA TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 16TH: “With the season we’ve had, I’m disappointed for the team. Team Penske did win the Indy 500 and that’s obviously the biggest race of the year and we had three cars in the championship, so we should feel good about that. Our guys do such a good on the cars and we tried with the Avaya Chevy today but it wasn’t meant to be as we just had too many issues. Congratulations to Scott Dixon on the championship. I also want to thank Avaya, HP, Hawk, Carlisle and Devilbiss, PPG, Chevy and Penske Truck Rental for everything. We’ll be working hard in testing this offseason and build on what we started this year for 2016.”
STEFANO COLETTI, NO. 4 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 17TH:
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 11 TEAM HYDROXYCUT – KVSH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20TH : “A disappointing end to the season for the Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing team. I ran a pretty strong race…came back from 16th to seventh. I made a couple of good moves, passed a bunch of people. Unfortunately, at the end there, Graham (Rahal) was struggling a little bit and I got a run out of turn six. He kind of stayed in the middle of the track. Then I tried to cross, he moved with me and I couldn’t get out of the wake. It sucked my car in, we touched and I spun him around. We got a penalty for it, which ended his race and mine. It’s disappointing, but we will keep on fighting and come back stronger next year.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 HARTMAN OIL CFH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST: “It was a good day in a lot of ways, we definitely had a podium car. You never know, we may have even had a winning car. We had to fight through a little bit of an issue with our first stop after clipping Pagenaud. I really sealed our fate when I stalled the car and we just weren’t able to get it re-fired. It put us pretty far back and pretty much ended our day. It was hard to throw away a podium car, maybe even a winning car. I am proud of our effort all year, I feel really bad for putting us in a bad position at the end there.”
LUCA FILIPPI, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA CFH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 24TH: : “It was an unlucky day for both cars. Our car was very strong, very consistent and had a good pace, we were coming through the field. Then we had an issue with the sensor which wasn’t anything we could predict, it just happened. The guys fixed it as quickly as they could but we lost a few laps. We were one of the fastest cars out there even at the end of the race when we weren’t able to compete with anyone. I have to thank everyone on the team. It was a very special season for me. For sure I have to thank Ed, Sarah, Wink and Fuzzy’s Vodka for taking a chance on me and believing in me. I really hope we can keep working in racing together.”