CHEVROLET RACING IN THE VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
HONDA INDY 200
MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE
TEAM CHEVY POST RACE RECAP
JULY 29, 2018
LEXINGTON, OHIO – Will Power captured a third-place podium finish in today’s Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. The 90-lap (203.22-mile) race on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course was caution-free. Power, the winner of the 2018 Indianapolis 500 piloting the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, now sits fourth in the standings with four races left on the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.
Defending Series’ champion Josef Newgarden brought his No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet to the checkered in fourth place and sits third in points, just sixty points down to the points leader.
Simon Pagenaud finished eighth in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet to give Team Chevy three of the top-eight finishers.
Other Team Chevy drivers qualified as follows:
Jordan King, No. 20 Chevrolet 12th
Spencer Pigot, No. 21 Chevrolet 13th
Charlie Kimball, No. 23 Chevrolet 16th
Tony Kanaan, No. 14 Chevrolet 18th
Matheus Leist, No. 4 Chevrolet 19th
Rene Binder, No. 32 Chevrolet 21st
Conor Daly, No. 88 Chevrolet 22nd
Max Chilton, No. 59`Chevrolet 24th
Alexander Rossi was the race winner and Robert Wickens completed the podium (both Honda).
Next on the schedule is ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on August 19, 2018.
IndyCar Media Conference
Sunday July 29, 2018
THE MODERATOR: We’ll go ahead and get started with our post-race media availability. Joined now by Will Power, who finished third this afternoon.
Will, we heard on the television that you felt like you were struggling on the black tires. Do you feel that made the difference between third place and a win today?
WILL POWER: Yeah, definitely really strong on reds, but struggled a lot on the blacks. It’s so hard to drive on the blacks.
I think you have pace, I think everyone did. I think it was the temperature of the day. The blacks worked better in the heat. Track temperatures, kind of cooler ambient. At the end they were very strong. Caught up to Robert. Maybe I should have pushed a bit harder earlier.
THE MODERATOR: We heard all weekend that this weekend meant a lot to you, you wanted to be aggressive. Do you feel like you met your goal?
WILL POWER: Yeah, we had a strong finish. So did every other championship contender. They all finished in the top five. That’s how it seems to go towards the end of the championship. If you haven’t made the ground you need to make earlier in the year, it’s always a struggle in the end because everyone is on their game, no one has bad days.
I noticed that last year. Once you’re on the back foot trying to stay there because all the guys that are racing are all going to finish in the top five, have good finishes.
THE MODERATOR: We heard different opinions going into the race whether or not there were going to be a lot of cautions or no cautions. What were you expecting heading into it? How did that affect your race strategy?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I wasn’t sure. I always find in practice, heading towards qualifying, even in qualifying, people are pushing to the absolute limits. When they get to the race, when you had a lot of reds during practice, it’s usually a pretty green race. People made mistakes, kind of backed up a little.
In this series, it’s so hard to win now. You push qualifying every lap, you push all the time. No rest.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Will.
Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: I always thought it was going to be three. They told me the number in the meeting what it would be for two stops. I would be capable of saving fuel. But, yeah, maybe we should have thought of that. I didn’t even look at the numbers. I didn’t save much fuel in the warmup lap.
We’ll look at it, try and understand. But, yeah, I didn’t see my best fuel number. I’m not sure how hard that would have been.
Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: Yeah, that was a good move just because when I ran reds at the end there, I was like, Wow, they actually last for a long time. That may have been a better strategy for us.
Q. Everybody said two stops, almost impossible. They said the left front tire is not going to last on the reds. Both those things happened. Everybody but one team got that wrong.
WILL POWER: I think it was the track temp, the fact we had a good track temp. That looked after the red tires. The ambient wasn’t that hot. It was a good day for reds, not a good day for blacks.
Q. You qualified front row almost every race. Is third frustrating with how well you qualified?
WILL POWER: Yeah, yeah, I know what you mean. It has been frustrating that way. Every race that we finished, we finished strong, just had too many DNF’s. Just one of those years. Whether it’s a mistake by me, radio communication, engine issue, just way too many DNF’s. We’d be so much further ahead right now. Yeah, it’s frustrating.
Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: I mean, of obviously it was a best strategy game, who was on what tire and when, and who did two stops, which was only one guy. All good drivers, it’s so hard to win now. Everyone’s good, all the teams are good, all the stops are good. It comes down to good strategy, just having a good car on the day.
Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: Yeah, I didn’t even look at the number, my best number, to see how possible that was. Obviously it was possible to get that number and do it in two stops. We just didn’t even think of that going in. I asked the question, I said, Is it possible for us to do two stops?
Q. (No microphone.)
WILL POWER: Yeah, that burns fuel all right.
THE MODERATOR: Will, congrats. Thank you very much.
WILL POWER: Thank you.
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: DID YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE FOR THEM TODAY WILL? “No, man, everyone else is so good in this series that you just have to have everything perfect. We just weren’t quite good enough on blacks. We really struggled to get up to speed on those, but were pretty good on reds. But still a good day for the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet. Obviously another full green race and I can’t believe it. It just a series full of really good drivers now and no one makes mistakes and it just came down to strategy.”
LOOKED LIKE THERE WERE SOME HARD BATTLES OUT THERE, EVEN WITH YOU AND YOUR TEAMMATE JOSEF NEWGARDEN: “Yeah, had one with Josef when he was coming out of the pits….had a good battle with him, and another one with Ryan Hunter-Reay. We battled pretty hard there when I was trying to get up to speed. There were some good battles out there and a good finish for us.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 1 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4TH: ON HIS RACE: “We just seemed to catch traffic and I don’t think our strategy worked quite as well as we wanted it do, but you make a plan and go with it…it didn’t quite all work today for us. But it was a very good effort from everybody today. I think the Hitachi Chevrolet was good today. We gave a good shot at it today…we will go back and analyze it and go on from here.”
ON THE PASSES AND COMPETITION ON TRACK TODAY: “It really seemed like a good race and lots of action. I hope the fans enjoyed that. I just know from inside my car, but it sure seemed like a lot of passing and we always want to put on a good show!”
HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN HAD YOU DONE A DIFFERENT STRATEGY?
“Yeah, its hard to predict these races. I think we did what we needed to in covering our bases with Scott (Dixon) and some of the other championship runners. It didn’t work out for the most part, it just didn’t fall the way we needed it to. I think we had a really fast Hitachi Chevrolet today, but like you said, we just didn’t have the strategy play our way. I still feel proud of our effort and a great job by the crew. Everyone was working as hard as they could but its just IndyCar racing and you can’t predict these perfectly every time. You make the best bet possible and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. Its an okay day. We gained some ground on Scott which is good. It tightens up the battle a little bit, but we just need to make up some more ground at the next race.”
WHY WAS THERE MORE PASSING TODAY THROUGHOUT THE FIELD? “I think its this new car. The car has been great to drive and you can really slide it a bit more, and it’s more forgiving. But its difficult and it makes you work for it. It’s really the drive-ability of the car because you don’t have all this downforce on it now and you don’t have this string that snaps so quickly. Guys have a little bit more room to play with it and you can get sideways with the car and get away with it sometimes. You just don’t know. We had all these offs in practice and you think it’s going to be ‘yellow city’ during the race and then you just run a whole green one. So its just hard to predict an IndyCar race nowadays.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 8TH: “Thank goodness for a better day today! Thanks so much for all of your advice this morning. That means a lot to me and is very good to hear during this challenging season for sure…
“Without a warm-up this morning, it was going to be a bit of a guessing game as far as race set-up. Luckily, the No. 22 team guessed right. I could really be myself and attack during this race. We’ve just got to keep working in that direction. I think we were able to make huge gains in our street circuit package in Toronto, the whole team is super fast on ovals, and the last bit is getting where we need to be on these road courses. Today was very satisfying to prove that our showing during qualifying is not the true performance of the No. 22 Menards team.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY JUST CAME UP AND APOLOGIZED – ALL GOOD?
“Yeah, its racing but I would put it in other words to be honest. You have to defend your position and it was good racing. We were racing with everybody all day and I hate to start 17th. It crushes my heart but we made a big improvement on the car. We had a fantastic Menards Chevrolet today and we were able to be aggressive and make passes all day and have a really good race.”
YOU HAVE A SMILE RIGHT NOW, BUT AFTER QUALIFYING YOU WERE CONCERNED – HOW WAS THE RACE?
“Well, I don’t like to not be competitive. Its not my nature, I won a championship, and I know what to do with it. Its just crushing when you can’t extract what you want out of it and you can’t unleash yourself to go out there and fight for position. I have the equipment to do it at Team Penske and everybody is behind me and we just have to find what allows me to unleash myself like I did today. We made some good changes in the race. We just have to make it happen in qualifying too.
“We don’t have much testing. We get eight days of testing a year and we have burnt all those days. So now we are learning race by race. We fixed our issues on the street course, we are very strong on the ovals, and now I think we are scratching what I need on a road course. My teammates are doing really well with it and Team Penske is always trying to give me what I need. Its just a very complex combination.”
JORDAN KING, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 12TH: “I sent it on the first couple of corners! That was really good fun, a bit of wheel-banging and running side-by-side with a few people. We got up to 9th in those first two laps. Our pace was pretty good during the race, I don’t think we were a million miles off at all. We had a bit of a slow first pit stop and lost a few places there, then we just seemed to struggle a bit on out laps. Those are the two areas where we lost the time; otherwise, I think we would have been a bit higher up. We still have a bit of work that we need to do, but overall it was a good race!”
SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 21 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET. FINISHED 13TH: “It was kind of a tough start of the race. We didn’t get a great start and got kind of boxed in. We weren’t able to move up early on like we had hoped for and we did struggle with the blacks, but once we put the reds on again, the car was pretty good. We were able to make passes and fight our way up to 13th. Second half of the race wasn’t too bad, but would have liked to have a different first half.
ON DIRECTION OF TEAM RIGHT NOW. “We’ve had a very solid last five or six weekends and a lot of positives to take away. We will work to put it to good use for the last races.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 23 TRESIBA CARLIN CHEVROLET, FINISHED 16TH: : “I think it was a tough day for everybody out there. The track conditions meant that it was going to be pretty slippery and the cars were going to be quite a handful. We really struggled in that first stint and I just wasn’t able to get the lap time out of the No. 23 Tresiba® Chevrolet. The guys did a great job in pit lane and we flipped up the strategy on the last stint when we went with the Firestone alternate tires which helped us out a lot. We’ll go back to the drawing board and evaluate what we did here and hopefully be able to learn from it.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 14 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 18TH: “Tough weekend for the No. 14 ABC Supply car. No matter what we changed we couldn’t get a good direction on our setup so it ended up being a survival race. We’re going to regroup this week and analyze what we’re missing in order to make it better. Looking forward to going to Pocono in a couple of weeks and putting on a good show for our sponsors.”
MATHEUS LEIST, NO. 4 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 19TH: “Today was a tough day. We just didn’t have the pace the entire race. We just tried to bring home the car, and I did the best that I could. We are still struggling to find the speed on road courses. We will focus on figuring this out for next year and for the rest of the season. We will keep working hard and figuring out how to be quick.”
RENE BINDER, NO. 32 HD BELLETS JUNCOS RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST: “It was a tough race and it was a really long one. We had a decent race and a good start at the beginning. Our strategy was working well with the Firestone red tires and we were able to make up some positions. Even though we did not finish where we hoped to, I am pleased overall and this has been a great experience running in the Verizon IndyCar Series.”
CONOR DALY, NO. 88 HARDING GROUP HARDING RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 22ND: “I think we had a reasonable pace all race long, we put in a little too much wing on the first stop so the second stint was really tough because the car was really loose. After that we started making up some good ground on track and the car was pretty quick. The Chilton machine really messed with us when he was already a couple laps down. I’m sort of unsure as to why that was acceptable, but it is what it is. It’s a shame what happened by running out of fuel, but these things happen. Racing is a wild sport. The guys did really good in the pits, the pit stops were great and the #88 Chevy was great. Now we just move on.”
MAX CHILTON, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET, FINISHED 24TH: “That was just a really disappointing way to end this weekend at Mid-Ohio after hitting such a high note yesterday with our Firestone Fast Six qualifying effort. We had a good start at green flag, but it turned for us pretty quickly after Race Control gave us a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact with Sato. We were hoping with how quick the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet was that we would be able to recover and fight back through the field, but with no yellows and some issues in pit lane we just couldn’t move forward at all.”