Newgarden Advances To Firestone Fast 6; Filippi Will Start 9th
(LEXINGTON, Ohio) August 1, 2015 – Qualifying Notes
* CFH Racing drivers Josef Newgarden and Luca Filippi earned qualifying positions in the top 10 for tomorrow’s Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Nine of the top 10 spots were filled by Chevrolet-powered drivers, including Newgarden in 5th and Filippi in 9th.
* Both Newgarden and Filippi began qualifying as part of Group 1. The drivers elected to start the session on sticker black tires; after their second timed laps, both switched to sticker red tires. With less than one minute left in the 10 minute session, Filippi took the top spot from Newgarden’s No. 67 Hartman Oil Chevrolet. Sebastien Bourdais set the fastest lap of the session right at the checkered flag, dropping Filippi to 2nd and Newgarden to 3rd. Both advanced to Round 2.
* For the start of Round 2, Newgarden and Filippi again started on black tires, albeit scuffed this time. After pitting for another set of sticker reds, they began to set their fast laps. Filippi moved his No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet to the top of the speed chart on his first flying lap, but had dropped to 9th by the end of the session. While Filippi would not advance to the Firestone Fast 6, Newgarden set the 5th fastest lap and moved on.
* After two timed laps during the Firestone Fast 6 on scuffed black tires, Newgarden made a stop for scuffed red tires. He would finish the session with the 5th quick lap, setting his starting position for tomorrow’s 90 lap race. Five-time Mid-Ohio race winner Scott Dixon claimed the pole position.
* Newgarden is in the midst of the best season of his Verizon IndyCar Series career, including two strong performances at the previous two races. At the Milwaukee Mile, Newgarden won his first pole position and claimed a top five finish; at Iowa Speedway, he led the most laps of any driver and finished 2nd. He also earned his first two IndyCar wins in a span of seven races.
* Filippi made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 4, 2013 driving for Bryan Herta Autosport. Prior to this season, Filippi only had eight total IndyCar starts, only two of which came on tracks on the 2015 schedule. At the other circuit he had previous experience on, the streets of Toronto, Filippi claimed his first IndyCar podium with a 2nd place finish.
* Newgarden, 24, has led the most laps of any driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series this year with 296 (220 in the previous two races). He currently sits 8th in the championship standings; 2nd through 8th are separated by a mere 51 points with three races left in the season.
* Much has changed for Filippi since Toronto, his most recent outing in the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet. Filippi and his wife Elisa welcomed their first child, daughter Mia, on July 13. The celebrations will continue for Filippi as his 30th birthday falls next weekend on August 9.
* The 2015 Honda Indy 200 will feature 90 laps around the 2.258-mile, natural terrain road course. The race is scheduled to be broadcast live on CNBC at 1:30 p.m. ET.
LUCA FILIPPI, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 9TH: “We knew qualifying was going to be very, very close. It was very important to do everything correctly, which we did in Round 1. In the very last lap of the Top 12, I was on a lap that could have been good enough for the Firestone Fast 6, but I made a small mistake. In this very tight field, that mistake ended up costing us the opportunity to advance. We were fast and it’s good to have both cars in the Top 10. We have a lot of potential for tomorrow.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 HARTMAN OIL CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 5TH: “We’re doing a good job executing. We might not have had the ultimate speed today, I definitely did not have (Scott) Dixon’s speed. We were maybe a little better, third quick may have been possible. We had another tenth or two in it, I just didn’t get it out of it. Dixon’s lap was out of reach for us. We’re there, we’re in that top group. We make sure to execute very well every weekend, we find ourselves in the top five or top six and we do a good job on race day. That’s really all we are doing, we’re just trying to be there and capitalize on good opportunities.”