CHEVROLET RACING IN THE VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
101ST RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DAY 1 PRACTICE RECAP
MAY 15, 2017
Chevrolet drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series shifted from turning laps on the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course to the famous 2.5-mile oval to commence practice for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.
Thirty-two competitors logged 1,306 total laps to begin preparations for qualifications this weekend and the May 28 race. Team owner/driver Ed Carpenter, a two-time Indianapolis 500 pole winner, led the way for Team Chevy with a quick lap of 224.969 mph/39.7636 seconds in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet for third in the running order.
Will Power, winner May 13 of the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, was seventh quick at 224.106 mph/40.1595 seconds. Other Team Chevy drivers with a strong opening-day showing in their Chevrolet Aero Kit race cars with V6 2.2 liter Chevrolet engines were two-time Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, Sage Karam and reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud. JR Hildebrand, the 2011 Indy 500 runner-up as a rookie, turned 74 laps to lead all Team Chevy drivers.
One on-track incident cut into the six hours of available track time that included rookie orientation and a refresher course for returning drivers. Neither incident involved a Chevrolet entry.
Practice will resume Tuesday, May 16, at noon ET and run to 6 p.m. It will be streamed live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER QUOTES:
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: “It was a good start to the month. It’s always nice, obviously, to be near the top of the time sheet. For the most part, things went according to plan. We accomplished what we wanted to and worked through the list we had for today, not only for the 20 car but also with the 21 (JR Hildebrand). We would have liked to have a little bit better group run, we just got a little bit disjointed. Every time we tried, we got caught in a yellow or people pitted so we stopped a few minutes early because of where we were on tries. All in all, a good start. I’ve certainly had worst starts the past couple of years. It’s important to get off on the right foot and build some confidence, not only for myself but for the whole team. If we can keep having productive days like today every time we are on track, I’ll feel pretty good.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: ““The Verizon Chevy team is just looking to build on the momentum of our INDYCAR Grand Prix victory on Saturday. The guys did a lot of work getting the car situated yesterday. I was over in the garage for a bit and everyone was flying around. It was pretty crazy. Everything today felt pretty comfortable. We didn’t get after it very hard today. Just wanted shake it down a little and get some data to look at.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 22 FITZGERALD GLIDER KITS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “It’s great to be here in Indianapolis. I got a little taste last week with the grand prix, but now it’s down to business. The Fitzgerald Glider Kits Chevrolet was good today. No complaints. There’s still plenty to learn, but we should have the time to do that. We’ll probably take a little different approach tomorrow and run a little harder and get a little better feel of where we are.”
SAGE KARAM, NO. 24 DRR MECUM AUCTIONS CHEVROLET: “The Mecum Auction Dreyer & Reinbold Chevy was pretty good today. I was pretty pleased with how the day went. Being 13th after not driving all season so far is pretty respectable. The team worked very hard. We’re building the foundation of what the car is going to be. The car feels very similar to last year’s car and last year I had a rocket ship. I just wanted to get in the car. I was really nervous this morning and had a lot of emotions going through. Once you go through on run, all the emotions go away and it feels good to go flat around here again.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 1 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “It’s good to be here for May. It’s the most exciting month of the year for us. It’s great to finally be in speedway mode – so far, so good. The Menards Chevrolet feels really nice, just as it did last year. There haven’t been a lot of changes. It’s just about understanding with the temperature how the car is going to be in the race. It’s great that is was hot today like it will be later in the month for the race. We have five cars this month, so there is a lot of information. It’s nice to have (Juan Pablo) Montoya back. He’s a great resource for this place.”
JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 21 PERFERRED FREEZER SERVICES ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: “It’s always great to be back out here on the superspeedway. Our first day went well. We did quite a bit of running today, the conditions were quite hot, I believe it will get hotter and windier as the week goes on, so we’ll have to prepare for that. I feel pretty good about our first-day progress, the team’s working well. We’ll see what we have for the rest of the month. It’s good to be back.”
CARLOS MUNOZ, NO. 14 ABC SUPPLY A.J. FOYT RACING CHEVROLET: “On the first day we always check how everything works and see what the best line is for the car, which was okay. We still have work to do, we need to find a little bit more speed and that’s hard but we have to make the car feel good, but it was a good first day. We didn’t have any problems, we improved the car a little bit but we still have a long way to go. ”
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 17 AFS JUNCOS RACING CHEVROLET: “All together, a very positive first day for AFS Juncos No. 17 car. I felt as if I was a riding a bike. It came back to me quickly. I had to mentality ease through it, not put any pressure on myself, which allowed us to get the small things out of the way. We focused on the initial setup and I started connecting with my engineer. It’s been awhile since we worked together, so it was good to get to have this time together. It was also good to work back with my teammate Spencer Pigot. That is going to be crucial for us to have a good month of May. So, overall, a very positive first day of testing. I’m very pleased.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HUM BY VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “It’s always great to get out on the track in Indianapolis. There’s just a feel about this place. We didn’t get too aggressive today. We just wanted to do some learning today. I think we’ll have bigger plans tomorrow. The hum by Verizon Chevy felt good today.”
CONOR DALY, NO. 4 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET: “Obviously, it was a good first day for us because we were able to get out on track and run. Performance-wise, I don’t think we got to where we want to be yet. But we just have to get out on track for the first day and just make sure everything is running fine, which it is. The next step is just to continue to go faster.”
SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 11 JUNCOS RACING CHEVROLET: “It was a good first day. We didn’t really have any issues and that’s what we wanted. We didn’t do a huge amount of laps. We just did a few runs to make sure everything was working well and just kind of did our own thing today. As the week goes on we’ll get more aggressive and start running in traffic a bit more, find some people to get tows and go a little bit quicker. Today the goal was to make sure everything ran OK and we did that.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 SHELL FUEL REWARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “It’s the first day of Indianapolis 500 practice. How can you not be excited about that? This place is magical. It’s great to get started. The Shell Fuel Rewards Chevy felt good and looked great, too. It’s nice to have Shell-Pennzoil on board for this event. They’ve had a lot of success and we hope to add to it as the month goes along. We kind of felt our way through today, but I think tomorrow will be different.”
ZACH VEACH, NO. 40 INDY WOMEN IN TECH CHAMPIONSHIP AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET: “Overall, even though we only got a few laps of running, we’re really happy with today. We’re still just getting last bits of body fit done on the car and getting us prepared for the rest of the week and qualifying, so I really want to thank my A.J. Foyt guys for working so hard and getting us out there at the end. I’m really excited. The car showed a lot of speed just even in rookie orientation, so the effort that we were having to do the laps we were doing is really surprising because the car just wants to go fast already. I think that we have a really good platform for the rest of the week, so I’m really excited to see what the IWiT car can do later this week but tomorrow I expect us to be running toward the front for sure.”
GABBY CHAVES, NO. 88 HARDING RACING CHEVROLET: “Obviously, we didn’t get as many laps as we would’ve liked on day one here in the Harding Racing 88 car. But our plan has always been to go through both of our cars and make sure we know they’re both working, and we did that. We would’ve liked to get some more laps but now we’re ready to roll first thing tomorrow.”