CHEVROLET RACING IN THE VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
KOHLER GRAND PRIX
ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN
TEAM CHEVY POST QUALIYFING RECAP AND DRIVER QUOTES
JUNE 23, 2018
ELKHART LAKE, WISC – For the fifth time in his career and the third time this season, defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion, Josef Newgarden, claimed the Verizon P1 award to start on the pole for tomorrow’s Kohler Grand Prix on the 4.014-mile Road America natural terrain road course. Piloting the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, Newgarden topped the Firestone Fast Six with a lap of one minute, 43.2026 seconds/140.020 mph.
Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, qualified second to make it an all Chevrolet and all Team Penske front row for the 55-lap race.
It is the third consecutive year that a Chevrolet driver has won the Verizon P1 award at the historic Wisconsin venue.
Other Chevrolet 2.2-liter V6 twin turbocharged direct injected drivers qualified as follows:
No. 21 Spencer Pigot 10th
No. 20 Jordan King 13th
No. 22 Simon Pagenaud 14th
No. 14 Tony Kanaan 18th
No. 23 Charlie Kimball 19th
No. 4 Matheus Leist 20th
No. 32 Alfonso Celis, Jr. 21st
No. 59 Max Chilton 22nd
No. 88 Gabby Chaves 23rd
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Robert Wickens and Sebastien Bourdais (all Honda) made up the remainder of the Firestone Fast Six.
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. The race also will be broadcast on INDYCAR Radio Network affiliates, RaceControl.IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com, the INDYCAR Mobile app, Sirius 214, and XM209.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, POLE WINNER: “It’s nice when you have the car to do it. We had the speed on Friday so to finish it off today is nice. It’s only goal one. Two races; one for pole, one for the race. We need to close it out. Verizon has been very good to us, and Team Chevy as well. Engine package has been phenomenal to get the most out of it. You see how well we work together with Team Penske and Team Chevy.
“We just have to be smart and get through the first couple laps. Save the tires, save some fuel and be smart if a caution comes out in the middle of the race. We’ll see what we have for tomorrow.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND: “That was close! We were off the whole time. I gave it everything the last lap. A surprise front row! I keep getting front rows every weekend. Not the pole but yeah. I’m pretty happy. But only five hundredths off, come on! I think I did a really neat lap. Josef did a great lap. That was all I had.”
SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 21 DIRECT SUPPLY ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 10TH: “Qualifying was definitely a solid improvement! It’s nice to have the Direct Supply car in the Top 10 to start the race tomorrow. We’ve been making pretty big changes every session and we hadn’t really found anything that worked until qualifying. We were struggling with the front of the car in some places and the rear of the car in other places, we just had to try and tack it down a little bit! Obviously it helped being on new tires and the reds, but the car has come alive – certainly a step in the right direction! To only be a tenth or so off the Fast 6, compared to where we were in practice, is a really good improvement. I’m happy with that, but we want to be higher up and we’ll try for that tomorrow!”
JORDAN KING, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 13TH: “We’ve been making progress throughout the weekend, little steps at a time, and qualifying was our best session yet. The car is now performing within that half-second window of the front of the field. There’s always that last hundredth of time left to get so I’m a bit annoyed that we didn’t get it, but it was still a pretty good lap! I got as much as I could out of the car. There was just a little bit of oversteer out of Turn 12 and that’s probably the half a tenth that we needed to transfer. I would have like to have got through to the next round but it was still a decent effort considering how much progress we’ve made.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 14TH:
TONY KANAAN, NO. 14 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 18TH: “I got traffic on my fast lap but it would have just put us in the top 13, not enough to advance. The car is understeering all weekend. We tried something overnight that didn’t work so it put us behind a session and we’re back to the car we had yesterday. It was the same car so we were going to do the same lap time as yesterday when we tried the reds but getting traffic didn’t help but it wasn’t going to change a lot – maybe a few positions, which always helps but we’ve got a little bit of work to do.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 23 TRESIBA CARLIN CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 19TH: “That’s not the result that we’re all here for obviously and I think everyone here at Carlin is disappointed with that qualifying result, but at the same time I know Max and I both have a lot of confidence in this team and our engineering staff. We’ll look at all of the data tonight and learn from each other and try to come up with a plan for tomorrow’srace. The nice thing is that we’re still learning and we’re still constantly making progress, so it’s not like we’re out of options. We still have a lot left to try and a lot left to learn, so we’ll just keep moving forward.”
MATHEUS LEIST, NO. 4 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 20TH: “Tough qualifying today. We’ve been struggling a little bit finding the best setup for the car. We need to concentrate for tomorrow so that we have a great car for the race. It’s a long race and you never know what can happen. We will keep working, improving, and doing our best and will try to have a top 10 tomorrow.”
ALFONSO CELIS, JR., NO. 32 JUNCOS RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 21st: “Today we had no issues which was important. Yesterday was for sure a set back as we needed to run the whole day so that we could experiment with the red Firestone tires and the softer compound. So not being able to run on the red tires yesterday really did not help our qualifying effort today. It is what it is at this point, so we will come back tomorrow and be ready to run a good race.”
MAX CHILTON, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 22ND: “Even though the results might not have shown it, I think we made a lot of progress here today at Road America. We definitely closed the gap from the beginning of the weekend and I really felt like I got everything out of the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet that I could. With us starting where we are tomorrow, we’ll have the freedom to try a completely different strategy and hopefully we can come away from a track I love with a decent result.”
GABBY CHAVES, NO. 88 HARDING GROUP HARDING RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 23RD: “Yet another tough Qualifying session for us as we search to find the speed we need to get. We’re going to take a look overnight and hopefully we can figure something out for the race. Hopefully we set ourselves up for a fun race and get to pass a lot of cars.”