CHEVROLET RACING IN THE VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
102ND RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DAY 1 PRACTICE RECAP
MAY 15, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS (May 15, 2018) – With a baseline set, Chevrolet Verizon IndyCar Series (VICS) teams and drivers can look forward to reaching loftier goals at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Developing a familiarity with the new universal aerodynamic bodywork in traffic and long stints on the 2.5-mile oval was Team Chevy’s objective on the first day of practice for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

Fifteen Team Chevy competitors logged laps behind the wheel of the Dallara chassis powered by the 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged direct-injected V6 Chevrolet engine. Overall, 35 entries completed 2,066 laps without incident.

Simon Pagenaud, driving the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, recorded the fastest lap at 225.787 mph/39.8605 seconds as segments for rookie orientation, veteran refresher, and all entries were built into the initial seven hours of available track time.

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves was second on the time sheet with a best lap of 224.665 mph/40.0597 seconds in the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet. Team owner/driver and two-time Indy 500 pole winner Ed Carpenter, driving the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, was third fast at 224.523 mph/40.0850.

Danica Patrick, driving the No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing, turned 91 laps with a best of 222.728 mph in her return to the Verizon IndyCar Series for the final race of her career.

Team Chevy also had the top five drivers with no tow laps, led by Carpenter at 221.512 mph.

Practice continues from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. ET May 16. ABC will telecast qualifications live at 4 p.m. ET May 19 and May 20. The 200-lap race will be telecast live on ABC at noon ET May 27.

DRIVER QUOTES:

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET:

“It is fun to be back out here. It was a busy day.  Had a couple of weather issues, but we got a lot of laps.  I think it was a good start for us in the Verizon Chevrolet. All of us did our own thing today which is a good thing.  It means we can all come together tonight and pick apart everybody’s problems and hear everyone’s proposed solutions.  The more we can put our minds together, the more we can fine-tune it, but the better we will be at the end of the week.  Good start to build on.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 PENNZOIL TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “We started right away with a good pace.  Good job everyone. Running issue free. We still have a long way to go, but it was a very base test with the new car actually with traffic and everything.  Looking forward to another day tomorrow.so we continue to work and pursue that right result.”

MATHUES LEIST, NO. 4 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET:

No on-track time today

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: T:

“We went through a lot of big stuff, zeroing in on what we need. We’ll make some changes overnight and continue down the path to try to make it good in traffic.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 13 GODADDY ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET:

“I’m glad the test ended up getting moved to two weeks ago instead of six weeks ago just to be a little bit more fresh from that. I felt pretty good. I’m still not completely confident in traffic. They’re trying to encourage me to use my tools and the bars, you know, the weight jacker and things.  I need to feel the traffic first; before we create another variable as to what’s going on, I need to familiarize myself and get sharp again with the traffic and just the tendencies of the car. I felt like it was a really solid day. We tried a handful of things and found some stuff that worked. I feel like the car has a lot of good natural speed in it. It was very smooth.” 

TONY KANAAN, NO. 14 ABC SUPPLY AJ FFOYT RACING CHEVROLET:

“Today was a slow day for us. We have a brand new car that we’ve been ‘massaging’ this entire season just to bring it out here. First days are always slow like this. We did a couple runs then you go back to the paddock and examine the car. Then, the rain came and we decided to end our day. The boys [on the #14 car] have been working very hard so we decided to give them a few hours off so that they can rest and we can begin fresh tomorrow. All in all, it was a good day for us. I’m happy with car. The balance of the car is pretty good. We will see what happens tomorrow.”

ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: 

“It was kind of a weird day – I almost feel like this is Day Two for some reason! I was pretty happy starting off. As we always do around here, we made changes to try and get better. We probably got a little worse, then we finally got onto some things at the end of the day. That’s why we have to keep working out here and try to get the feel for what we want. All in all, it was a good first day. I need to go talk to my teammates and compare what we all got in to over the course of the day. For Day One, it’s a good start, but I feel like there’s a lot more in the car, too!”

SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 21 PREFERRED FREEZER SERVICE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET:

It was a pretty good day. We made a lot of changes and got a lot of reads on different things we wanted to test. We got a fair amount of running in traffic, behind a couple cars, then behind a dozen cars so lots of information for me to think about as well as the team. Overall, it’s a pretty solid start and hopefully we can get a lot more done tomorrow.”

SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET:

“The 22 Menards car is looking really, really fast. It was a very productive day. So, yeah, felt pretty happy. We obviously still learning a lot about the aerodynamics of the car. It’s quite different to what we had the past few years. There’s still a lot to learn for everybody, I believe. But we’re on the right track.

“I tell you what, feel pretty confident already, which is a big step forward. It’s definitely important to be already ahead of the game if we have some weather this week. I think that could be very important.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 23 FIASP CARLIN CHEVROLET:

“It was a solid first day, despite dodging some weather and a couple of things here and there. We made some really good with the No. 23 Fiasp Chevrolet and I have a lot of confidence going into the rest of the week. We still have a long laundry list of test items to work through, but we seem to be addressing the big concerns. Now we’ll start focusing on the smaller things and start trying to find some lap time.”

SAGE KARAM, NO. 24 WIX FILTERS DRR CHEVROLET:

“Car wasn’t too bad. It has a really good balance when I ran by myself. So we started with that and then tried to trim out and gain more speed by myself. Once I felt comfortable there, I ran with traffic. This was the first time I ran in traffic with the new car and it’s interesting. It looks like everyone is dealing with the same issue, which is the lack of front grip. These new cars, when you don’t have clean air, you lose a lot of front grip. That’s the battle for everyone right now is to find front grip. Overall, first day back and P6. We’re in the ballpark. Speeds or times don’t mean anything yet, but it’s good to see us high on the pylon is a good feeling. But, it’s early so hopefully we keep it up and we’ll see what happens.”

KYLE KAISER, NO. 32 NFP/JUNCOS RACING CHEVROLET:

“So it wasn’t the perfect first day, but I am glad we got to go out and run some laps and get a feel for the car. The car felt fairly different from what we ran a couple of weeks ago because the conditions have changed, so it’s going to take a little bit of work to get the car back to where we like it. Overall we got to log some laps and collect some data. I know this is going to be important in qualifying for the race and then running the race. Overall I am happy, but there’s some work to be done. I am very happy the team got the NFP car together and there were no issues on track. I am looking forward to getting back out on track the rest of the week and getting ready for qualifying.”

JAMES DAVISON, NO. 33 JONATHAN BYRD’S 502 EAST FOYT WITH BYRD/HOLLINGER/BELARDI CHEVROLET:

“I think the 33 AJ Foyt/Byrd/Hollinger/Belardi team has a lot to be pleased with. For the majority or all of the one-off Indy entries, it’s been a mad scramble to get everyone’s cars together. Then of course you have a whole new crew that have got to gel together and build chemistry. These first days provide opportunities for gremlins to pop up, with the build of your car and so on and we had none of that. I’m very pleased with that, and any performance that we were able to show was just going to be a bonus. We ended up getting a good speed there, improved the car constantly through the day. I was holding on to do a 217 if I was lucky to begin with, when I first got in the car. Then I was much more comfortable with it and went a few miles per hour quicker straight away. Very proud of the team and looking forward to building on it again tomorrow, leading up to qualifying.”

MAX CHILTON, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET:

“I’d say it was a productive first day of Indy 500 testing for the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet and really the whole Carlin team. We worked through a lot of things today that we wanted to check off our list and we ended the day in a good spot heading into tomorrow. Charlie had some quick times throughout the day, so we’ll sit down now and work through what worked and what didn’t and get ready to get back on track tomorrowmorning.”

JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 66 SALESFORCE DRR CHEVROLET:

“I felt good today with the car. We got up to speed quickly. Lot of familiar faces for me here at Dreyer & Reinbold. I made my IndyCar debut with DRR back in 2010. We have a lot of the same guys I have worked with the last few years too at ECR. I felt good with how rolled out of the gates and it went from there.”

GABBY CHAVES, NO. 88 HARDING GROUP CHEVROLET: 
“Just finished up the first day of practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for opening day of the Indy 500 practice. We had a good time and we ended up eighth overall. It was a pretty decent session for us, just going through our checklist and working on a few things. It’s only our first day, so we can’t read too much into it but we’ve had a good start and shows good potential. I’m happy to continue our progression and looking forward to what tomorrow will bring!”