Chevy-Powered Team Won Second Race Of 2014 Event
(SPEEDWAY, Ind.) June 9, 2015 – Advance Notes
CFH Racing will head to Toronto, Ontario, Canada this weekend for the Honda Indy Toronto, the only international event on the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. The team won the second race of the 2014 doubleheader with Mike Conway driving the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet.
The 2014 Honda Indy Toronto featured two races on the same day. As heavy rains washed out the start of Race 1 on Saturday, July 19, officials elected to move both events to Sunday, July 20. Despite the change in schedule, weather still played a large part in the strategy on Sunday as the races occured in a mix of wet and dry conditions.
Conway was the first competitor to drive into the pit lane for Firestone Firehawk slick tires during Race 2, a brilliant call that allowed him to stay out when a majority of the field came in under a yellow flag the following lap. He vaulted up to the 5th position and made quick work of the four cars ahead of him still running on wet tires. Even with a late-race red flag, Conway would stay out in front on the restart and take the victory.
CFH Racing’s lineup in the 2015 event will feature Josef Newgarden in the No. 67 Hartman Oil Chevrolet and Luca Filippi, the driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet during the road and street course events.
Though Filippi had only eight career IndyCar starts at four tracks prior to the 2015 season, he is not considered a rookie by series standards. The 11-turn, 1.75-mile Toronto street circuit is only one of two tracks on the 2015 schedule that Filippi has prior experience at and is the first he will visit this year.
The 29-year-old Filippi competed in both races of the 2014 Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, making it into the Firestone Fast Six during qualifications for Race 1. His debut race in Toronto was cut short after contact with the wall ended his day on Lap 17 of the 65-lap event. Filippi was running 5th at the time.
With Race 1 taking place during the time originally scheduled for qualifications for Race 2, entrant points set the starting grid for the second race. Filippi would start in 23rd and ran as high as fourth, but was forced to pit for a flat tire after being hit from behind. He would finish Race 2 in 13th, but was issued a 30-second penalty after the race for making a stop in a closed pit lane, dropping him to 16th.
Toronto was no kinder to Newgarden last year, who qualified 10th for Race 1 but was caught up in a six-car incident on Lap 1. The team chose to repair the car under a red flag, resulting in a drive-through penalty but not the loss of a lap that would have occurred if they waited until the pit lane reopened. With two laps to go in the event, Newgarden hit the wall while attempting to pass Will Power. A broken toe link and right rear suspension would prohibit him from finishing the race and give him a 20th place result.
Newgarden was running 5th at the time of a late-race restart during Race 2. As the course was a mix of wet and dry conditions, Newgarden was still on rain tires and unable to hold off the cars around him on slick tires. The Hendersonville, Tenn.-native would drop to 13th by the checkered flag.
Filippi has seven starts so far in 2015, three of which he has finished in the Top 10. Prior to this season, the Italian had one Top 10 finish in eight races. Filippi will drive the No. 20 in the remaining road and street course events this season with team co-owner Ed Carpenter taking over for the oval events.
The 24-year-old Newgarden is having the best season of his IndyCar career, claiming five Top 10 finishes in the first seven races of the year. He also captured his first career victory in late April at Barber Motorsports Park. Newgarden sits 8th in the championship point standings with nine of 16 races completed.
The team is looking forward to a change in fortunes after Race 2 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit left both Newgarden and Filippi with damaged racecars. Last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, unrelated mechanical issues retired both Newgarden and Carpenter from competition within one lap of each other.
The Honda Indy Toronto is the fifth in a string of six back-to-back races for CFH Racing. This will be the 10th straight weekend of on-track activity for the Speedway, Ind.-based team.
The 2015 Honda Indy Toronto will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 14. The race will feature 85 laps with the green flag scheduled for 3:37 p.m. ET.
LUCA FILIPPI, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA CHEVROLET: “Toronto will be the first race this year that I have previously been a part of. I will be able to push from the beginning instead of having to learn the circuit so we can attack right from the first practice! We have found a good street course balance so I have very high expectations for this weekend.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 HARTMAN OIL CHEVROLET: “I’m really excited about Toronto. It’s a place we’ve run strong before from a speed aspect so we should have good cars there. We have a really good game plan going in, the guys have been working hard and we are all really prepared. Luca (Filippi) likes Toronto a lot as well, so I am hoping the both of us can roll of the truck really strong. If we do that, we can carry that momentum through the weekend and secure good results. That would be great right now for everyone involved with CFH Racing!”