Juan Pablo Montoya Maintains Point Lead after Early Race Crash
NEWTON, Iowa (July 18, 2015) – Josef Newgarden earned his third podium finish of the season piloting his No. 67 Wichita State University CFH Racing Chevrolet to a runner-up finish in the Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway. Fellow Team Chevy driver Sage Karam earned his first career Verizon IndyCar Series podium with a third place effort in the No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
Newgarden was leading late in the 300-lap/268.2-mile race in his Chevrolet Aero Kit with fully integrated V6 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, directed injected powered machine and looked to be on his way to his third victory of the season. However, the 24-year-old was unable to hold off a hard charging Ryan Hunter-Reay (Honda) on the final restart and had to settle for second to claim his third podium of the season.
Verizon IndyCar Series rookie, Karam pitted under the final caution taking on fresh Firestone rubber. He charged up through the field in the closing laps to earn a career-best finish of third in his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
Veteran series oval track specialist Ed Carpenter earned a sixth-place finish in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Award-Winning Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet. Sebastien Bourdais, No. 11Team Mistic E-Cigs – KVSH Racing Chevrolet, Will Power, No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet and Iowa pole-sitter, Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet finished ninth, 10th and 11th respectively – giving Team Chevy six of the top 11 finishers overall.
Juan Pablo Montoya entered the race at Iowa Speedway with a 54 point lead in the championship standings. On lap 11 an on-track incident ended the race early for the driver of the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. This is the first hiccup for Montoya since his championship campaign began as he hoisted the winner’s trophy on the Streets of St. Petersburg. However, as other championship contenders stumbled as the race progressed, Montoya emerges from Iowa with a 42 point advantage with only three races remaining.
Montoya was not the only Team Chevy driver to experience disappointment at Iowa. Scott Dixon, No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, experienced a mechanical issue late in the race, but the team was able to find and eradicate the issue and return to the race multiple laps down and was relegated to a 18th-place finish. His teammate Tony Kanaan who led 70 laps, appeared to be one of the drivers to beat for the win in his No. 10 Fusion Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, but was forced to retire from the race early with a mechanical issue.
Next on the schedule will be Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 2, 2015. Live television coverage provided by CNBC. Fans can listen on the IndyCar Radio Network, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR 15 app.
CHEVROLET IN THE VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
IOWA CORN 300
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER POST RACE QUOTES
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY CFH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 2ND: WHAT WAS THAT FINAL LAP SHOOTOUT LIKE?
“Well it was tough. I really feared that if we were going to get into a shootout situation and we were behind, not leading that it was going to be tough for us. We didn’t quite have the ultimate speed. I think some of that is down to downforce choices tonight. We had a great racecar. I’m so proud of my guys. We had a really incredible car. It was fun to run here. You can’t beat running around Iowa in an Indy car. It’s unbelievably fun and I think more fun for me because we had such a great racecar. But it’s disappointing I’m really sad we lost that thing to be honest. I think we had a car to win. It’s just a shootout scenario we didn’t have what we needed at the end, but we still had a great effort all weekend. I’m really proud of my guys. Hopefully, we keep this momentum going.”
SAGE KARAM, NO. 8 COMFORT REVOLUTION/BIG MACHINE RECORDS CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: ON HIS FIRST PODIUM FINISH: “I am so excited to get my first podium finish in the Verizon IndyCar Series. The team did a great job tonight all around. I think we really put together an entire race, and that meant from start to finish we executed. It’s such a great feeling and running up front is our goal. I’ve felt this momentum was starting to build in Fontana and Milwaukee and am glad we were able to finish things off here at Iowa with a strong showing for the COMFORT REVOLUTION/Big Machine Records car.”
CAN YOU DESCRIBE GOING AROUND IOWA SPEEDWAY TO US AND HOW PHYSICAL THIS TRACK IS? “That was probably the most physical race I’ve ever done. That was more physical than any road course race I’ve done so far. I don’t know why. I think it’s probably from the g-loads. You get like 4, 4.5 g’s here per corner. Especially when it was gripping up towards the end there and the steering became heavier. My arms are ready to fall off that is for sure.”
AS THE RACE ENDED ED CARPENTER HAD A FEW WORDS WITH YOU. WHAT DID HE SAY? “He is just angry at my driving. He says I squeezed him a few times, but it is the same way he drove me. It’s hard racing. I’m going for wins and that is how we are driving. It’s close racing, its IndyCar Racing this ain’t go-karts or anything anymore. We are going to race each other hard and we are professionals. We know each other limits. I mean tough luck for him. I don’t know.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S AWARD-WINNING VODKA CFH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH: WHAT DID YOU SAY TO SAGE KARAM?
“I said that he has no respect for anyone out there. If it wasn’t for guys with experience driving with their heads on he would be hurting himself and other people. I think it’s ridiculous. It’s cool that Ryan (Hunter-Reay) won the race, he needed that. American’s kicked butt tonight. I’m just mad because I had a car that was good enough for third or fourth and I do safe driving – slam on the brakes on the straightaway to save Sage’s butt and he gets rewarded with a podium for it. He should have been penalized on the spot. He has no clue.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 11TEAM MISTIC E-CIGS – KVSH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH: “It was a really good effort from the Mistic E-Cigs Chevy team. We did everything we could hope for. I had a massive vibration on the second to last stint, so we came in on the early side of the window. I ran really hard laps on that set of tires to try and make up some ground, and we did getting up to sixth, but that last yellow really hurt us. Unfortunately, it gave some guys the opportunity to get a new set of tires and we couldn’t because we had used up so many tires early in the race. Then the restart was such a mess. We got bottled up by guys that were a lap down who were fighting like they were trying to win the race. That allowed all the guys that were at the back of the pack on new tires to come through. You have to feel good about going from 24th to ninth and the fact that over the last two races we have really improved the car and our performance on ovals, but to get up to sixth and end up ninth, that is always tough. But, with the debacle of qualifying, I guess we have to be pretty happy with tonight’s result.”
WILL POWER, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 10TH: “The Verizon Chevy was really good from the middle to the end of stints, but we struggled to get going there on restarts and so we lost some track positions and we weren’t able to make that back up. So we need to have a better car when the field is bunched up and the traffic is heavy. But we’ll take this and just focus on better results in Mid-Ohio.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 11TH: “The Hitachi Chevy was unbelievable the first half of the race until we had a huge moment on the exit of turn three while leading the race. I’m still not sure how I was able to catch it. After that it was all downhill because we adjusted the car for the oversteer, but then it really cooled off and we developed an understeer. Then we lost a lot of positions on restart after I felt we got chopped off numerous times. We were able to minimize the damage a bit over the last few laps but, man, I really thought we had a Chevy that could win the race.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 14TH: “We’re not quite sure what happened with the Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet. We practiced really well yesterday. At the end of the race we had the exact same car that we had in practice. But at the beginning it was just really, really loose and I could barely hang on to it. It was all about survival at that point. We made some adjustments on the first pit stop but it was still too loose. By that point we were really behind in having any chance at winning the race. The Penske Truck Rental Chevy was good on the last two stints. That is the positive that we can take away from tonight and go to Mid-Ohio.”
SCOTT DIXON, NO. 9 TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 19TH: “I think we had a really fast car this weekend. The Target car was good and in the top three, and I thought it was a contender all night. We had to overcome some challenges during the race but we stuck with it. We made a ton of changes and were really trying to just keep up with the track all night. I thought we were getting a break with the 2 car going out early, and then we had a weird problem with the right rear axle. The Target team did a great job getting us back out and that’s all you can ask for in that situation.”
STEFANO COLETTI, NO. 4 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20TH: “I thought it was going to be a good race. I had my best qualifying performance on an oval and the car felt good. Unfortunately at the beginning of the race I got hit by Charlie Kimball and then had to pit for a new rear wing and lost five laps. I could then only gain a lap back when there was a yellow, so managed to get from five to three. I was pushing really hard to pass some cars and then lost it in turn two and hit the wall.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 83 NOVOLOG FLEXPEN CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 22ND: “It was a shame for our night to end like that. I had been running the high line pretty well. I felt like I went in on the same line I had the lap before, but the No. 83 car just caught an extra marble or two and it went up the track. Once you’re up there in the marbles it just took off. I feel badly for the guys, but overall the car was pretty good and we made progress with the NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 FUSION CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 23RD: “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be for us here today. The Fusion car was really awesome and we had a really fast car all weekend. When mechanical problems happen, there’s not much you can do. I’ve had a ton of these races go my way, and a ton that haven’t gone my way. There’s just not much you can do in that situation.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 2 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 24TH: ARE YOU OKAY? WHAT HAPPENED? “Yeah a little bruise to my hand, but it’s not a big deal. It’s just disappointing. Our Verizon Chevy had a good car. It was a little loose the first couple of laps. I was just really taking it easy and bide my time.”
IT LOOKED LIKE A RIGHT-FRONT BLOWING IN NASCAR. DID YOU HAVE ANY WARNING? “No, something broke. As soon as I loaded up something gave up. I don’t want to say anything until I know what happened.”
WAS THE BUMP POSSIBLY THE CULPRIT?
“No, I was running high. It was way before the bump. As soon as I put wheel in it, it loads up and the car just went right.”
THIS IF THE FIRST TIME YOU HAVE HAD ANY HICCUP ALL YEAR: “Well, yeah, it sucks when it is completely out of our hands when something fails. But we will find out what happened.”