CHEVROLET RACING IN THE VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
IOWA CORN 300
TEAM CHEVY POST QUALIYFING DRIVER QUOTES
JULY 7, 2018
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, POLE WINNER: YOU SAID THE CAR WASN’T THAT GOOD, BUT MAN, WHAT A COUPLE OF LAPS FOR YOU, CONGRATULATIONS ON THIS POLE:
“Yeah, thank you. I love this place. It’s a real tough little bullring oval and man, I’ve been trying to win this for so long. So, obviously, starting the race in a good spot. I think it will be a very difficult race, tires degrade a lot, but it will make for great racing.
“It wasn’t easy but the Verizon Chevy was great. You have to drive it. It’s quite difficult over all the bumps, but we kind of unloaded well and we tested here. It’s the start of a good weekend. I’ve had a couple of bad ones and I want to have a really good weekend this weekend. I got a little feedback from Simon (Pagenaud) prior to the run. He said there’s a bit of push and we kind of adjusted for that but we were there abouts in the window obviously so the car was good. It’s difficult for everyone with hot temperatures, bumpy track, and low grip. It’s about driving. The race will be so different (from qualifying). The tires really degrade and you just got to really work on having a consistent car and stint.”
YOU CHECKED INDIANAPOLIS OFF THE WIN BOOK SO CAN YOU DO THAT THIS WEEKEND AT IOWA?
“Yeah, absolutely, it would be a big year for me if I win the Indianapolis 500 and Iowa this year. That would be like if I was looking at things I wanted to do that would almost top the list.”
NO DRIVER HAS EVER WON FROM THE POLE HERE. YOU SAID THIS IS THE ONE RACE BESIDES THE INDY 500 THAT MEANS AS MUCH TO YOU AS ANYTHING, WHY?
“Well, I’ve been trying to win this race for so long. The last couple of years I’ve had great cars and been pretty close. So, yeah, it’s a tough one. It’s bumpy, it’s hard, there are multiple lanes and the tire degrades a lot in the race. So, you’ve got to be on your toes on the strategy as well.”
COULD YOU HAVE ENVISIONED GOING THIS QUICK AT A PLACE LIKE THIS WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED RACING ON OVALS?
“Well, the way this track has gone it’s gained character. It’s bumpy, it’s hard, it’s low grip, so when you think about that and you are almost wide-open all the way around it’s a great feeling, honestly. It really is, it’s really fun to drive.”
DO YOU LIKE THE BUMPS?
“I do. I think it makes it more about driving. It makes it harder, you’ve got to understand how to run on them, so yeah, I like it.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 1 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND : WHAT DO YOU WATCH WHEN YOU WATCH OTHER PEOPLE QUALIFY?
“Yeah, everything, you are watching the line, you are listening to feedback just trying to pick up pieces of information. I think we had a pretty good run. I wish we had a little bit more but Will (Power) did a really good lap, two really good laps, so if he gets it he is definitely going to deserve it. Just missed it slightly. I thought we had a really good shot at it and probably just weren’t exactly where we needed to be, but man it is still a fast car. The Hitachi car has been quick and if we can start on the front row, it is going to be a good start for Team Penske.”
HOW CLOSE WERE YOU TO MAXIMIZING YOUR QUALIFYING OPPORTUNITY?
“Well, we had a good run. Our car has been quick. The Hitachi car right off the truck has been fast. It certainly helps to test. We were able to do that about a week and a half ago, so really happy we all came here together to get an idea of this race car. Will (Power) did two great laps. You’ve just got to be perfect and I think we weren’t perfect, but we were pretty good and that is how you get on the front row, but to get the pole you’ve got to put it all together. I think we probably missed it slightly, but still a great effort from our guys. We’ve got tons of speed in these Team Penske cars, try and get Team Chevy a victory tomorrow. Now it’s all about making the race car as good as we can for Sunday.”
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO WORK ON IN FINAL PRACTICE?
“Well, it’s all about the long run. The qualifying deal it goes so fast around a track that is 17 seconds. You are over and done with before a minute is even up. Now you’ve got to try and make the car last 20, 25 minutes over a stint. Try and make the car happy, we are going to have a lot of tire degradation with less downforce, which I think it going to make it exciting. I think we are going to open up a bunch of lanes, there are going to be guys in lane 1, lane 2, lane 3, so we are going to try and make it happen and make a car that we can go everywhere. That is the key to this place.”
YOU LIKE THE FEELING AROUND THIS PLACE:
“I love it. I think this car it invites you to drive it on the free side. The car has got to be dancing around a little bit. I think you have to do that to make it fast. So, if you are not comfortable with it you’ve got to figure out how to get comfortable with it. I think the car, what it does best is it talks to you and tells you when it’s starting to move around and that gives you a lot more opportunity to either react to it or potentially save a big moment that could turn into a wreck. I think it’s been a joy to drive around a place like Iowa.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 4TH: “I like it, I love it. I think it is much better package than in the past. It is not easy in traffic; you really have to drive the car. Then you have to work with your engineers and your teammates to get the best package you can get. I’ll tell you what, that is what short oval should be about. I don’t mind peddling the car. It makes it more fun all the way around.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 9TH : “It is difficult compared to last year! We are down over one thousand pounds of downforce from where we qualified in 2017. It’s a big difference. We were all running max downforce earlier, but track temp and air temp are both up and a lot of cars are struggling. If you would have said I would have had this lap time going in, I would have thought we’d be starting near the back! Conditions are so different than where they were this morning in practice.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 14 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 13th: “It wasn’t very good, we struggled this morning. The track was really slippery, it was hotter right now, this morning it was a little cooler so it was a handful. We went the quickest of what we did all weekend so I guess we did something right. It was kind of nerve-wracking, I’m not comfortable in the car, I haven’t been this uncomfortable in a long time. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
GABBY CHAVES, NO. 88 HARDING GROUP HARDING RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 16TH:
“We just finished qualifying for the Iowa Corn 300. Unfortunately, I think we were on the unlucky side with all the trucks and Indy Lights cars because we were one of the first cars to qualify. The track is going to progressively get cleaned up by the Firestone Tires, so it’ll get better for the guys going out later. The car was really good in practice, we made some changes, so I think the car is going to be great for the race tomorrow.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 23 TRESIBA CARLIN CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 17th: “I’m really proud of these Carlin guys. We didn’t test here last week like a lot of teams did, but we showed up this morning with a car that was really consistent. We ran a lot of laps on a set of tires in the morning practice session, but we didn’t get a clean qualifying run with traffic because of that late yellow. I’m just proud of this team for showing up with a solid car with no experience here in an Indy car. I had my hands full a couple of times during that qualifying run where the car tried to rotate on me a little bit. Things didn’t quite shake out how we wanted it to in qualifying, but we’ll work on the race car tonight and see where we are tomorrow morning during warmup.”
SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 21 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 18TH : “It was definitely tricky. This morning, we had a pretty good run and I was really happy with the Fuzzy’s Vodka car. This afternoon, we just didn’t really have the grip. I was struggling with front grip and also with rear grip on both ends of the track. Hopefully, we can find some more pace tonight.”
MAX CHILTON, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 21st: “That was an odd qualifying session. I feel like we’ve made improvements, but it didn’t really show in our run. As a new team we’ve never tested here, so we’ve only done 40 or 50 laps this morning and that’s it. I felt like we made really good steps forward with the car from this morning’s session. Honestly if I wouldn’t have looked at my dash after that run, I would’ve said that was a good chunk quicker than my time this morning, but the time just wasn’t there. I’m thinking that the increase in temperatures made the track grip drop, but it really isn’t overly hot so I was expecting to go quicker than this morning. It’ll be interesting to see what the quickest guys do in qualifying and if they end up going quicker than they did this morning.”
MATHEUS LEIST, NO. 4 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 22nd: “Unfortunately we crashed in practice this morning. I’m happy that my guys managed to put the car back together again. They did a great job as they only had three hours but we’re still struggling with the car setup. We have to figure out something faster for tomorrow. We’ll keep working hard and try to race to the front. We’ll have some time to figure out something in the final practice but right now it’s not fun to drive a car like this.”