Both Newgarden and Filippi Advance 10 Positions From Their Starting Spots
(DETROIT) May 30, 2015 – Race 1 Notes
The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans is the only doubleheader event on the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. The unique race weekend featured a full points paying race on Saturday afternoon, which will be followed by another entire race on Sunday afternoon.
Teammates Josef Newgarden and Luca Filippi both started near the rear of the field after both battled issues in qualifying yesterday. Newgarden had made contact with the Turn 13 wall and lost his two fastest laps as a result of causing a red flag; Filippi was unable to get a large enough gap to set a fast lap. Newgarden started today’s race in 18th while Filippi started 19th.
The race was declared a wet start as steady rain had fallen at the Belle Isle circuit since early afternoon. The track began to show signs of rapid drying soon after the cars took to the 2.35-mile, 14-turn circuit. Filippi was one of the first cars to come into the pit lane and trade his wet tires for sticker black tires. When the third caution of the race came on Lap 14, Filippi was able to vault up to second position when the remainder of the field switched to dry tires. Newgarden, who had made a pit stop the previous lap, also moved up the running order into 7th.
Following the Lap 18 restart, Newgarden was hit from behind by Takuma Sato, cutting his right rear tire. He fell to 18th when he had to come in and take new tires, but used the opportunity to keep the car fully fueled. Meanwhile, Filippi continued to run in the third position.
Newgarden’s visits to the pit lane were not quite over as he came together with Gabby Chaves a few laps later, necessitating a front wing change. Again, Newgarden brought the car in for a stop and topped off the fuel.
With more rain coming, both the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka crew and the No. 67 Hartman Oil crew elected to put the wet tires back on. Heavy rain came within five minutes and both cars cycled into the top 10 as the rest of their competitiors made pit stops for their own wet tires.
On Lap 47, race officials threw a caution for weather conditions when lightning was spotted in the area. One lap later, the race was red flagged and all cars were instructed to return to the pit lane. Before Filippi could make it back around, he lost control of the car in Turn 1 buried the nose deeply into the tire barrier. Because the incident had happened after the red flag had been issued, Filippi retained his track position and officials returned the No. 20 car to pit lane. The team performed a front wing change in the event the race would get back underway.
After a 20-minute wait and with 47 of 70 laps completed, the race was declared official. Newgarden was credited with an 8th place finish and Filippi with 9th. Both drivers improved 10 positions from their starting spots.
Today marked Newgarden’s 5th top 10 finish of 2015 and Filippi’s 3rd. Filippi’s 9th place ties his best-career finish in a Verizon IndyCar Series race, matching his result at street circuit in St. Petersburg, Fla. in the season-opening race.
CFH Racing returns to Belle Isle Park tomorrow for Race 2 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans. The race will be broadcast live on ABC starting at 3:30 pm ET on Sunday, May 31.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 HARTMAN OIL CHEVROLET, FINISHED 8TH: “It was a good test of our perseverance and ability to fight through. I saw the Hartman Oil guys more times than I wanted to in the pits, but they were always ready and did a great job getting me back out. When you walk away with a top 10 on a crazy day like this, it’s not too bad. It’s difficult to predict what’s going to be happening within those rain segments, but we made the best calls we could at the time. That’s all you can do as it’s a gamble every time. Some guys it worked out for, some guys it didn’t. We obviously want to win, but getting a Top 10 is something we can be happy for today and go try and win a race tomorrow.”
LUCA FILIPPI, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH: “We made the right call at the beginning of the race by going to slicks at the right time. We had a discussion between myself and the team, but that was the right decision. We were running for a solid podium position easily, but then the rain came back and the strategy changed. It worked out for other people that decided not to pit for wet tires when the rain first started. We made the right call at the beginning and got unlucky at the end. It was nice to get a Top 10 position on a difficult day, but if it stayed dry I think we could have been on the podium.”