CHEVY INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS: Fast Friday in the Books for Team Chevy

MAY 18, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS (May 18, 2018) – Sixteen Chevrolet drivers prepped for the first day of qualifications for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil by attempting to find clean air for qualifying simulations during practice today on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

Lap speeds climbed as the boost level was increased to 1.4 bar on the twin turbocharger of the Chevrolet 2.2-liter V6 direct-injected engine. The change in boost pressure, which adds about 40 horsepower, will remain in place through the two days of qualifications.

Team Chevy drivers recorded the top four and seven of the top nine no tow lap speeds, which represents true speed, led by Will Power in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet at 229.780 mph. Teammates Josef Newgarden, driving the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, was second at 228.993, and Simon Pagenaud was third at 228.857 mph in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet.

Team owner/driver Ed Carpenter, driving the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet; 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan in the No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet; Spencer Pigot in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet; and Danica Patrick, driving the No. 13 GoDaddy Chevrolet, also were in the top nine.

Overall, Carpenter was among four of the 35 drivers that logged 1,260 laps to post lap speeds in excess of 230 mph during the scheduled seven-hour practice session that was interrupted 17 minutes by moisture on the racetrack and 15 minutes after the No. 33 Jonathan Byrd’s 502 East Chevrolet driven by James Davison spun and made contact with the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier. He was checked at the infield medical center and cleared to drive.

ABC will telecast qualifications live at 4 p.m. ET May 19 and May 20.

Since its return to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2012, Chevrolet has registered four poles in the Indianapolis 500 (Ryan Briscoe in ’12, Carpenter in ’13 and ’14, Scott Dixon in ’15) and 76 overall in 106 races.

Among Rick Mears’ Indy 500 wins, the 1988 and ’91 victories came from the pole in a Chevrolet. Helio Castroneves, who is one of two Indy 500 winners driving a Chevrolet entered this year, will seek to join Mears, Al Unser and A.J. Foyt as the only four-time winners.

Castroneves, whose 2002 victory also was in a Chevrolet, has four Indy 500 pole starts, which is the most among active drivers. Castroneves, driving the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet, will seek to make his 18th start.

Chevrolet has nine victories in the Indy 500, dating to 1988, and the Oldsmobile brand of General Motors recorded five wins from 1997-2001, including ’01 by Helio Castroneves. Since 2012, Chevrolet has earned 76 wins.

Qualifications May 19 determines the 33 positions in the provisional field based on the fastest four-lap averages. All 35 entries are guaranteed at least one four-lap attempt to qualify, and time permitting there is no limit to the number of qualifying attempts an entry may make.

Once the provisional field is set, the nine entries with the best four-lap averages will advance directly to the May 20 Fast Nine Shootout to run for the pole.

On May 20, entries 10-33 will receive one four-lap attempt that will set Rows 4-11. The fastest nine cars from first-day qualifying will run in reverse order based on first-day times. Each car receives one guaranteed attempt, with the first three rows set on the cars’ four-lap average during the segment.

MAY 18, 2018

MATHEUS LEIST, NO. 4 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET: “Fast Friday is done. It was a pretty good day for us. The car has been feeling pretty fast since the beginning. I believe that we have a pretty solid set up for qualifying for the race. Looking forward to tomorrow. It’s going to be a long day, for sure, but we have a great car. I’m excited to set fast laps and hopefully advance to the Fast 9 on Sunday.”

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “I think the No. 12 Verizon Chevy is definitely in a good window. I think, obviously, we’re fast. I know there’s a lot of guys up there. I think it’s going to be very tight tomorrow, so we’ll know more when everyone goes. It’s always that you can feel fast on Friday, and suddenly go out, no traffic, or wind changes or anything, and the car’s not as good. But I felt I’ve been good all month, so we’ll see tomorrow.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 13 GODADDY ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: “We started off the day with a mechanical issue so we got a little delayed taking off but it wasn’t really the worst thing because the car was really good on the first run. We did a step of trim and it was a little bit loose the second run but still pretty good and definitely fast. To go to the next step, we had to make some changes back in the garage anyway so we went back and in that point in time the track had slowed down and we just decided to sit for a while. We ended up coming to the conclusion that the car was pretty good and there was no reason to go out there and get lost or angry or confused because the speed was not in the track anymore. We just decided to, as they say, put a cover on it, make a couple tweaks and put a cover on it and go out tomorrow.”

TONY KANAAN, NO. 14 ABC SUPPLY AJ FFOYT RACING CHEVROLET: “It was a typical Fast Friday. We worked on the qualifying car, didn’t run a whole lot. We had five sets of Firestone tires so that means we only had 20 laps all day. We did five qualifying simulations. We’re getting ready for tomorrow, and we’ve got the information that we’ve got. We have to hope that it will be enough.”

ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: “Today was a good day. Fast Fridays have a way of being odd so we just had to be smart. The team has done a really good job of getting us to this point. All three of us have good cars that we are happy with. The speeds are a little all over the place today, but I feel like all the ECR cars have a chance to be in the shootout come Sunday. The focus is getting it right for tomorrow and make all the right decisions so we have a chance at it on Sunday.”

SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 21 PREFERRED FREEZER SERVICES ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: “We didn’t do much running today, but what we did was really productive. We seem to have pretty good pace on the no-tow list, which was the focus. I’m looking forward to qualifying weekend and hopefully we can put our Preferred Freezer Services car up towards the front!”

SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “Today was a great day. Team Penske is showing a lot of speed with Chevrolet; what a great job these guys have done. Our engineers really put everything together, but tomorrow is another day. We’ll see where we end up. It’s going to be a tight Fast Nine. I hope all four of us get in it. So far, we’ve got good cars.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 23 FIASP CARLIN CHEVROLET: “Today was about being smart and methodical as we trimmed the car out to qualifying spec with the higher boost level for Fast Friday. The Carlin boys have done an incredible job preparing for this week and really the whole month. They haven’t put a foot wrong with the car and we’ve been able to make progress all week each and every time we go on-track. I have a lot of confidence about where we are heading into this qualifying weekend. I’m excited for what tomorrow and Sunday are going to bring for the No. 23 Fiasp Chevrolet.”

SAGE KARAM, NO. 24 WIX FILTERS DRR CHEVROLET: “Today we did six qualifying simulations. We tried to make it as real as possible. Obviously, sometimes you get caught out by some other cars. But we did six pretty clean runs. Learned a lot. This new car is just different. Some of this stuff is so different from last year. It’s been a learning experience for myself, JR, and the team. The last few qualifying sims have been improvements. Car feels really solid. The car felt pretty good. Qualifying will be very interesting and exciting. We got to attack as it’s going to be very close.”

KYLE KAISER, NO. 32 NFP/JUNCOS RACING CHEVROLET: “Overall, we had another really solid day. We are making progress and slowly inching toward where we need to be for qualifying. We definitely had a speed bump in the middle of the day. I think we lulled ourselves into an area we shouldn’t have been, but we rebounded. We went out towards the end of the day and found a pretty solid setup that I feel really comfortable with. I think it will be good enough to get us into the field for the race. I am very happy with the team. They have been working hard to get the car ready and I am ready to go for tomorrow.”

JAMES DAVISON, NO. 33 JONATHAN BYRD’S 502 EAST FOYT WITH BYRD/HOLLINGER/BELARDI CHEVROLET: “I don’t know what happened. We had to try some things. We were 32nd quickest, right on the bubble, and we’re not going to go faster just standing there and looking at it. No regrets there. We’re having a fantastic time with this A.J. Foyt, Byrd, Hollinger, Belardi team. We’ll regroup, see what we can pull out of the bag tomorrow and give it everything again.”

MAX CHILTON, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET: It was an unusual day today for Fast Friday. We had predicted that the weather would make it a short day, so we got a lot of our running done earlier in the day. We didn’t run the last few hours of Fast Friday actually. We feel comfortable with the car balance, but we don’t know where we are performance-wise because the time of day when people ran made a big difference. I’m feeling confident about where we are and we didn’t want to take any silly risks today with big changes, because we want to make sure the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet is in the show tomorrow.”

JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 66 SALESFORCE DRR CHEVROLET: “I feel like we definitely made some progress today. For sure, the way we ended yesterday didn’t help. Guys had to do a fair amount of extra work to get things prepped and we ended up going out this morning. We ended just a little bit behind but that’s on me and I feel like we ended up getting to where we wanted to try and get to by the end of today. Great work by the team. Great work by the engineers. The car feels pretty good out there. I feel like we are in a pretty good position and we will see what comes our way”