Chevrolet Aims to Add to Success at Phoenix
· Team Chevy has won the past two races at ISM Raceway
ᴏ Simon Pagenaud led a 1-4 Chevrolet finish in 2017 race
· Tested Chevy engine is powering the new universal aero kit
ᴏ 2.2-liter V6, twin-turbocharged direct injected power plant is up to task
· Team Penske drivers seek to secure 100th oval victory
ᴏ Team has 99 oval wins among its 197 overall victories
· Kyle Kaiser to make series debut in Juncos Racing Chevrolet
DETROIT (April 4, 2018) – The aura of racing under the lights amplifies the wheel-to-wheel excitement of 23 race cars consistently exceeding 190 mph on a short track. Team Chevy drivers are looking forward to competing April 7 in the first of six oval races on the 17-race Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.
Eleven Chevy Racing drivers will get behind the wheel of the winning 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged direct-injected V6 Chevrolet engine powering the Dallara chassis with the new universal aerodynamic bodywork for the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Arizona.
NBC Sports Network will telecast the race at 9 p.m. ET.
A historic note Is in the offing for the Team Penske triumvirate of reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden, No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet; Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet; and Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Chevrolet. Team Penske, the winningest organization in Indy car, enters the event with 99 oval victories among its 197 overall wins.
Pagenaud prevailed in the 250-lap race on the 1.022-mile tri-oval in 2017, with Power the runner-up by 1.0986 seconds.
“I feel after testing at ISM Raceway earlier this year that the new aero kit is going to make some really exciting racing, and I believe we prepared the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet really well for that event,” said Pagenaud, who led 116 laps en route to leading a Chevrolet sweep of the top four spots.
Chevrolet has won the two races since the Verizon IndyCar Series returned to the racetrack in 2016 after a 10-year absence. It will be the 64th Indy car race at the track, which opened in 1964.
“We found some great speed at our test there in February and feel like we’re going to bring a strong oval No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet for the race,” added Power, whose next pole will overtake Helio Castroneves (50) for third on the all-time Indy car list behind A.J. Foyt (53) and Mario Andretti (67).
Castroneves reset the track record in qualifying in 2017 in his Team Penske Chevrolet. Team Chevy has 74 poles in 102 races since rejoining manufacturer competition in 2012.
Another bit of history is on deck as Tony Kanaan, driving the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet for AJ Foyt Racing, will seek to make his 345th Indy car start, which would pass Castroneves for third behind Foyt (369) and Andretti (407) on the all-time list. Kanaan is a two-time winner at the racetrack.
“The track layout suits my style,” Kanaan said. “Setting up the car for a night race is always a bit tricky because we practice and qualify in the heat of the day, which is quite different from what we’ll have in race conditions. But that’s part of what makes this race so special.”
Kyle Kaiser will make his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in the No. 32 Chevrolet for Juncos Racing. The 22-year-old driver from Santa Clara, California, was the 2017 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion.
“This track will always be a special place for me since I got my first win in the Indy Lights series in 2016, so I couldn’t think of a better place to have my first race in the Verizon IndyCar Series,” he said.
Veteran team owner/driver Ed Carpenter will compete in his first race of the season in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet. Carpenter will contest the ovals on the schedule, while Jordan King will drive the No. 20 entry in the road/street course events.
On the 1.022-mile tri-oval oval, Team Chevy will be well represented by:
A.J. FOYT ENTERPRISES:
Matheus Leist, No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet
Tony Kanaan, No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet
Charlie Kimball, No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet
Max Chilton, No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet
ED CARPENTER RACING:
Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet
Spencer Pigot, No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet
Gabby Chaves, No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet
Kyle Kaiser, No. 32 Juncos Racing Chevrolet
Josef Newgarden, No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet
Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet
Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Chevrolet