CHEVROLET RACING IN THE VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND
PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
POST RACE RECAP
SEPTEMBER 2, 2018
PORTLAND – The Verizon IndyCar Series return to Portland International Raceway started with a five-car accident in turn two of lap one with Team Chevy championship contenders Will Power (pole sitter) and Josef Newgarden ahead of it and in the clear.
On the restart following an extended yellow to clean up the debris, Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske, jumped to the lead and took command of the race. However, fate stepped in as the 2014 Series’ champion suffered a gear box issue that ultimately relegated him to the 21st finishing position. While mathematically still in contention for the title heading into the double-points season finale at Somona, it is a challenging scenario.
Newgarden, the defending IndyCar champion, also had a strong No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, but got caught out with more than10 fellow competitors with an ill-timed yellow at approximately the half way point of the race. Traffic was a challenge throughout the race and the defending champion had to settle for the 10th finishing position. He faces the same circumstances as Power in his attempt to repeat as the champion.
After a disappointing qualifying effort that netted him the 17th starting position, Spencer Pigot piloted his No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet to a strong fourth place finish. It continues a string of strong runs for Pigot as the season winds to a close.
Four Team Chevy drivers finished in the top-10. In addition to Pigot and Newgarden, 2016 champion Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, finished sixth and Charlie Kimball, No. 23 Tresiba Carlin Chevrolet, claimed the seventh finishing position.
Other Team Chevy finishers are:
No. 22 Simon Pagenaud, 6th
No. 23 Charlie Kimball, 7th
No. 1 Josef Newgarden, 10th
No. 14 Tony Kanaan, 11th
No. 88 Gabby Chaves, 13th
No. 4 Matheus Leist, 14th
No. 20 Jordan King, 15th
No. 32 Alfonso Celis, Jr., 17th
No. 59 Max Chilton, 18th
No. 12 Will Power, 21st
Takuma Sato was the race winner. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais (all-three Honda drivers) completed the podium.
The 17th and final race of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season is set for Sunday, September 16 at Sonoma Raceway, just north of San Francisco, California.
SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 21 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4TH: YOU WERE SUPER FAST IN PRACTICE AND HAD A BIT OF AN ISSUE IN QUALIFYING, BUT YOU CAME BACK TO FINISH FOURTH; A SOLID RESULT
“Yeah, absolutely. I’m really happy to end up fourth with the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet team. The start was kind of crazy. I found myself up in like seventh or eighth right after Turn 1, from 17th. So, that was a welcome surprise. After that, we had a few good stints and was able to pick a few guys here and there and then the yellows kind of fell for us. Right from the get-go, even on blacks, the car felt good. We had a lot of reds saved up and were able to put them to good use.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6th: :
“I think it was a fantastic recovery from the whole No. 22 Menards Chevrolet team. It was phenomenal, the strategy that we adopted. We got a little bit lucky with some yellows too, but before the yellows we came to the eighth position from 22nd, so really good job by all my guys. We still have some progress to make on the car, but overall from a tough qualifying day yesterday, we recovered really well and that’s what racing is about.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 23 TRESIBA CARLIN CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7th: “This Carlin team just doesn’t have any give up in them – they don’t know the meaning of the words. I’m proud of these guys, they just stayed with it all day. They worked the fuel strategy, gave me the fuel numbers and lap times that I needed, and we were able to get it with the car. We made a pretty significant change to the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet overnight and it really helped our pace throughout the race. I just can’t stress how proud I am of these guys. Yesterday was pretty frustrating and disheartening, but they didn’t let it slow them down today. We had great pit stops and a great strategy, so all I really had to do was drive it into the top 10.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 10th¨ “It was a tough day. I don’t know what else to say. We led some laps and I think we had a Verizon Chevrolet that was good enough to win it. It just didn’t fall our way. You can’t predect these INDYCAR races. I wish we could get Lady Luck on our side one of these days. It just seems to walk away from us as of late. Dixon – he was able to take advantage of it today. Those guys are having a great year and luck falls on their side. Now, we will just go and try and win the season finale and do what we can. I don’t think we have much of a shot at the championship. We’ve given it a good effort here at Team Penske and you can’t ask much more out of the team.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 14 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 11th: Some good points today in Portland. Apparently we had a gun issue during our pit stops that cost us time on the last two stops. I don’t think we had the pace that guys in front of us had but we managed to make some good passes, save fuel whenever we had to save fuel and almost got a top-10. After starting at the back of the pack, we’ll take it.”
GABBY CHAVES, NO. 88 HARDING GROUP HARDING RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 13th: “We had a clean race through the start and I managed to pick up a bunch of positions, running inside the top-ten for a good part of the day. We struggled a bit on the black tires, so we lost a few positions on track when we were running our stint. We still managed to be in a good contention for a top-ten finish. On the last restart, I had a good run on TK, he just didn’t give me any room and I ended up in the grass while trying to defend the next position. After that I had to give up that position as well. We have been improving the car all weekend and all year so although 13th is not fantastic, it shows progression, which is good.”
MATHEUS LEIST, NO. 4 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 14th: “Another tough race for the ABC Supply car. Today the first two stints were pretty good for us. I think we had the pace since the beginning and I think we could have finished in the top 10 for the first time this season but the yellow came out at the wrong time for us so we had to change strategy. It kind of screwed us a little bit. I think the most important thing is that we managed to develop and improve our road course car and I’m looking forward to Sonoma now. I think we did a great job here as a team. Each time we are on the track we are just getting closer to the other teams, getting a little bit faster. We just have to keep working hard and I think our time is going to come sooner than we thought. Good job for Tony too, I think we still need to find some pace but we are going to get there eventually.”
JORDAN KING, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 15th: “The race got off to a really solid start. I was overtaking people, shifting shapes, really cracking on. I had made it all the way up to P3 behind Alexander Rossi and was having good fun racing with him. Then the yellow came out and turned everything around. It was really unlucky timing as we were heading for a strong result. Fortunately we’ve got Sonoma in two week’s time so I’m looking forward to getting back in the car.”
ALFONSO CELIS, JR., NO. 32 JUNCOS RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 17th: “The main goal was to finish and we completed that today. We had a good strategy going into the race. In the beginning I battled some issues with my radio, but I was able to fix it. I think I was also pushed out wide a couple of times so we lost some positions there. Overall I am happy with finishing on the lead lap. I want to thank the Juncos Racing crew for all of their hard work and my family and friends for being here to support me.”
MAX CHILTON, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET, FINISHED 18th: “All in all it was a really enjoyable day. We were racing hard and we were racing good guys. We had a great start at the green flag, great restarts, and we led that last restart well. We were able to keep Josef and Rossi behind us when they didn’t need to be fuel saving, so we had the pace. Strategy went our way at times, but when it really counted it just went completely against us. We were on for a top-seven finish all day and we weren’t up there just by luck. Unfortunately with how the strategy worked out and how the yellows fell it just wasn’t in the cards for us, but that’s racing.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21st: “I think on the warm-up lap before the green, something happened to the gearbox. It jumped to neutral, I went into emergency mode and made it go into gear and thought, ‘okay that’s alright.’ Then, coming out of the hairpin on the first restart, it popped into neutral again and everyone behind me went past. Then I realized I couldn’t use first gear. We were on a reasonable strategy and I made a mistake trying to keep Leist behind me. Then the gearbox completely went. I’m not sure the gearbox would have made it the whole race anyway. But man, it’s a tough sport.. It’s too bad because it was actually going to be a reasonable day. We were on path for two stops, but that’s racing. Now, we just go to Sonoma, have fun and win. And hopefully have a good day, have a good finish to the year.”