CHEVY INDYCAR AT ROAD AMERICA: Newgarden Tops Speed Charts Practice Day One

JUNE 22, 2018

ELKHART LAKE, WISC – Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion, Josef Newgarden, set the pace on the first day of practice for the Kohler Grand Prix on the 4.014-mile Road America natural terrain road course.

Behind the wheel of his No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, Newgarden bested both of today’s practice session, his fastest lap, one minute, 42.6279-seconds/ 140.804 mph coming in the second session.

Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, posted the fourth quickest time of the day with teammate Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Chevrolet closing out the top-five fastest.

One more practice session for Team Chevy in the Verizon IndyCar Series will be a 45-minute session Saturday morning to set the stage for Firestone Fast Six qualifying Saturday afternoon.

· Verizon IndyCar Series Practice 3: 12 p.m., Saturday, June 23
· Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifications: 4 p.m., Saturday, June 23
· Kohler Grand Prix: 12:30 p.m., Sunday, June 24

· TV/Radio/Other: NBCSN will telecast the 55-lap (220.77-mile) race on the 4.014-mile, 14-turn permanent road course live at 12:30 p.m. June 24. It will also telecast taped qualifications at 6:30 p.m. June 23. Practice sessions will be streamed on in conjunction with the INDYCAR Radio Network broadcast. Qualifications and the race also will be broadcast on INDYCAR Radio Network affiliates,,, the INDYCAR Mobile app, Sirius 214, and XM209.


JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET:  “I think we are relatively pleased.  The car has been easy to work with which is great.  It is nice when you don’t have to change too much.  We’ve been trying things to make sure we understand sort of both ends of the car and where it can go if we adjust either end of it.  Seems quick right out of the box. We haven’t had to do too much with it.  The Chevy package is working really well, which I felt like it would be strong at this kind of track.  We’ve been working hard with that group to make sure our power down and everything else is great.  So far, so good with the Verizon car.  We have a solid start; we just have to maintain it throughout the weekend.’

MATHEUS LEIST, NO. 4 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET: “Today was okay, with each session I feel like the car is getting better. We still have some work to do and have areas where we can improve the car. We keep making some changes to the car to try to learn new things and figure out what will be fastest and better, but also, what will help us save our tires and continue to have speed. I love to drive here at Road America], it’s such a nice track. I think we can have a great combination and will try to be running in the top 10.  We have a lot to figure out with strategy and how many stops we will be making during the race. But tomorrow, we’re going to do the best we can to qualify up front.”

TONY KANAAN, NO. 14 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET: “It was an okay day. We spent today trying different things. We finished the first session in the top 10. I think that’s where we thought we were going to be this morning. We were a little bit better during the first session, but we’re still finding out different things to help us improve speed. Overall, I was pretty pleased with today.” 

JORDAN KING, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: “It is quite difficult to learn the circuit, relative to others that I have driven on. For example, St. Pete, it just felt a little bit easier to pick up the smaller parts. I feel quite comfortable in the car now, but it took a bit longer to get there in this morning’s session. It’s a longer circuit and requires a lot of confidence with the high speed and blind corners; when it’s only 45 minutes, you end up eating into your track time. I felt quite good in this afternoon’s session and we have a better idea of what direction we want to go in. A little but annoying we haven’t quite jumped on it straight away, still a bit of progress to be made. Looking forward to having a good night’s sleep, I always find that when you are able to chill out, think about it, and sleep well it makes the second day much nicer. We all know where we need to go with the car and should be quicker tomorrow.”

SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 21 DIRECT SUPPLY ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: “It was a pretty difficult day for us. We are kind of struggling to zero in on the balance and the set up that we want. We know what we need the car to do, we just have to try and find a way of getting it there. We are going to try and find some things over night, then get the Direct Supply car handling a bit better and get more speed out of it tomorrow!”

SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “We’ve made big improvement this weekend.  It is obviously another very important weekend with Menards on the car. This is John’s (Menard) country here. I am eager to do very well, and the whole No. 22 team is using the momentum we gained at Texas. It feel like a really good weekend so far.  I think we have more in the car; I didn’t extract all the best out of during practice. But, it felt really good. Chevy is giving us a lot of power around here which is always useful on those long straightaways.  Now we are just going to have to put it all together in qualifying tomorrow.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 23 TRESIBA CARLIN CHEVROLET: “Obviously that wasn’t the day we wanted for the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet. We’re struggling for balance and grip—a little bit of both. But we’ve got some good ideas, good data to look through and some concepts to think about. We’ll make solid, reasonable, intelligent changes for tomorrow. Hopefully we can pick a good direction out of that and be ready for qualifying.”

ALFONSO CELIS, JR., NO. 32 JUNCOS RACING CHEVROLET: “Today was going pretty well until the last practice. The day started off well for us. I was happy with the balance and I am still happy with the balance. We worked on some changes and I was happy with the direction we were going in. The second practice was going pretty good up until my incident. It is really unfortunate we have now loss this track time, but we will work hard and bounce back for tomorrow.”

MAX CHILTON, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET: “It was a challenging day at the office here at Road America for the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet. This is one of my favorite tracks – I know I can pedal a car around here pretty well. We were fighting for top six last year, so I’m trying to just drive the same obviously with less downforce. We’ve got an underlying balance issue whether it’s new tires or old tires it’s really just wherever we are we’ve got the same issue that we just can’t seem to iron it. It’s slightly frustrating for a new team with the lack of testing we’ve been able to do, so we’ve got limited time to try and sort it. We’ll work it out tonight and if we can make some significant progress toward the end of FP3, I’m sure we can have a fairly decent qualifying.”  

GABBY CHAVES, NO. 88 HARDING GROUP HARDING RACING CHEVROLET:  “Road America is a great track and a lot of fun. Today was a bit challenging as we are just working through our plan, but we found a big chunk of time between Practice 1 and Practice 2 today. That is very encouraging as we get ready for Practice 3 tomorrow. There are some things we are going to try out and that will hopefully take us to the next step to doing a great job in qualifying and then the race.”