Weather plays havoc with first race in Chevrolet Dual in Detroit
* Seven Chevy V6-powered IndyCars in race’s top 10
* Pagenaud third in ‘home’ race for Chevrolet, Team Penske
* Race Two on Belle Isle set for Sunday afternoon
DETROIT (May 30, 2015) – Simon Pagenaud led Team Chevy’s contingent Saturday in the Verizon IndyCar Series with a third-place finish in Race One of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans. Series officials called the race after 47 laps due to substantial rainfall and standing water on the track, along with a threat of additional bad weather in the area of the Raceway at Belle Isle Park.
Pagenaud recorded his first podium finish as a member of Team Penske. He had started the race fifth in the No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet.
“(The weather) is completely outside of our control, but the car felt really good today. It was just too bad we didn’t get to do some running really,” Pagenaud said. “A lot of yellows, but the 22 team did a great job and put a fantastic strategy together because we put the rain tires on at the right time and that is what got us the podium. This is my first podium at Team Penske so it’s great to get some good luck finally. It’s been a fast paced season, but it’s nice to finally get a good result.”
Team Chevy drivers took four of the first six positions and accounted for seven of the first 10 runners. Defending IndyCar Series champion Will Power, the race’s pole-sitter, placed fourth in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Scott Dixon rounded out the top-five in the Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 9 Chevrolet.
Helio Castroneves gave Team Penske half of the race’s top-six with a sixth-place finish in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet. CFH Racing’s duo of Josef Newgarden in the No. 67 Hartman Oil Chevrolet and Luca Filippi in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet finished eighth and ninth, respectively.
Reigning Indy 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top-10 in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.
Qualifying for Race 2 of the Chevrolet Dual In Detroit is set for 11:25 a.m. ET on Sunday. The 70-lap event is scheduled for 3:50 p.m. ET with live television coverage on ABC beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Live radio coverage will be on XM Radio Channel 209, and IMS Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 212. In addition, IndyCar live timing and scoring with the radio broadcast can be found at www.indy.car.com.
TEAM CHEVY QUOTES
SCOTT DIXON, NO. 9 TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 5TH: “I wish the weather hadn’t affected the race like it did today. We made a call for rain tires before anyone else basically and just when it started raining they had to stop the race for lightning. I hope we get more running in tomorrow with the Target car.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE NO. 3 CHEVROLET – FINISHED SIXTH
DID YOU GUYS LEARN ANYTHING IN CASE YOU HAVE SIMILAR CONDITIONS TOMORROW? “Yeah, we are going to do some changes that we felt we need. The Hitachi Chevy was good; Unfortunately the strategy we had was the right one, but we took a little gamble when the rain was coming. I agreed with it and it got us a top-six finish. We will keep chipping away, and it doesn’t seem to be many points but those points will help us tremendously at the end of the season. But yes, we are going to make some changes for tomorrow.”
WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE GAMBLE, IT WAS TO COME IN FOR RAIN TIRES BEFORE RAIN WAS FALLING, RIGHT? “Yes, the gamble was being too early on the rain tires and I think that we could have waited a little bit longer… at least three or four more laps so we could have made the gap a little longer. That could have been an opportunity for us to finish ahead.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 HARTMAN OIL CFH RACING 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 CFH RACING 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.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 11 TEAM MISTIC E-CIGS – KVSH RACING – FINISHED 14TH: “It was obviously a very frustrating race. As usual we were racy in the beginning, in wet conditions and we seemed on pace, I passed Simon (Pagenaud) then there was a yellow that came out late and I got the call but lost a position to Dixon. Then it only went downhill from there. We tried to look at the tools we had weather wise and things did not go our way. So, we will just hit the reset button, wake up tomorrow and it will be a different day.”
SAGE KARAM, NO. 8 COMFORT REVOLUTION/BIG MACHINE RECORDS CHEVROLET – FINISHED 16TH: “I’m not sure what to make of it all today really. We had a good car but the weather kept changing and we were just honestly trying to predict what the track conditions would be like. It’s tough for the series and the fans in conditions like that but we tried our best today and we’ll put the same effort forth again tomorrow in the second dual.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 NTT DATA CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 20TH: “There’s not much to say about what happened today. We were only five laps in and we got put into the wall and then hit again right after. My rear wing was just gone and the guys weren’t going to be able to fix it in pit lane. I have to say though that my team did an excellent job getting the car back in the garage, repairing all of the damage, and then back out on-track. It might not seem like much, but we were able to make up another position by coming back out and finishing, and in a championship this close every point counts. Unfortunately we’ll have a lot to work on tonight to get ready to go back out and qualify and race tomorrow afternoon, but I know we can get it done and hopefully have a much better result in tomorrow’s race.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 83 NOVO NORDISK CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 22ND: “Today was just one of those days for Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing. We made a call to come in and go from wet tires to slicks and on my first out lap I hit a puddle and just couldn’t catch it. The No. 83 Levemir(R) FlexTouch(R) Chevrolet ended up in the wall and the damage was too extensive for us to get back out there. I think there’s a fine line between being aggressive and not going for it, and unfortunately today just didn’t go in our favor.”