CHEVROLET RACING IN THE NTT INDYCAR SERIES
CHEVROLET DETROIT GRAND PRIX
STREETS OF BELLE ISLE
TEAM CHEVY DAY ONE RECAP WITH DRIVER QUOTES
MAY 31, 2019
DETROIT (May 31,2019) – Josef Newgarden, driver of the No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet, posted the second-quickest time during final practice on Friday to pace Team Chevy drivers heading into this weekend’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader weekend. Newgarden, the 2017 NTT IndyCar Series champion, got around the 2.3-mile street course on Belle Isle in 1:15.6641 (111.810 mph).
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet and winner of the Indianapolis 500 last week, arrived in Detroit with the series points lead. He was ninth-quickest (1:16.2923/110.889 mph) in the final practice.
“Detroit is a lot more physical, but you have to be sharp with your mind because you are running so close to the wall,” said Pagenaud. “You have to be on top of your game. But a different on-top of your game than Indy. At Indy it is all flowing speed. The track can slow down everything. Here it is just the opposite. You really have to be up on the wheel. I think we did a really good job today. “
Pagenaud has one win and four podiums in 13 career starts at Belle Isle. He also swept the poles in 2016.
Newgarden, who is just one point behind his Team Penske teammate in the standings, has three top-five finishes in his last five starts in Detroit.
Nine drivers powered by Chevrolet’s 2.2-liter direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 engine are entered in the dual races run against the backdrop of Chevrolet’s world headquarters.
Qualifying for Dual in Detroit 1 is at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday. The race starts at 3:50 p.m. Qualifying and the Dual 2 race are on Sunday.
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER QUOTES:
Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet: “I think we had a decent start today, not 100 percent sure where we stack up. I think we’re a little bit further back than where we were on that final red tire run. Some of the Andretti boys look really good. Some of the Ganassi guys look really good. We’ll see.
“I think we’re in that top-five mix. In the pecking order we’re probably more
Matheus Leist, No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet: “We started the morning with a car I didn’t like and we didn’t do good lap times in the morning, so we decided to go towards Tony’s car for the afternoon which helped a little bit but it’s still not where we want to be. The ABC Supply Chevy has room for improvement for tomorrow. We’ll regroup tonight and see what we can do for a good qualifying tomorrow.”
Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet: “It was a pretty good day actually. I feel like the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet is in the window that we need. We’ve really struggled here the last couple of years, so I think we’ve come back with a better car for sure. It’s going to be an interesting race, with the way the tires degrade. I think there will be a number of different strategies. There is a chance of rain tomorrow, which always mixes things up, so we will just have to see.”
Tony Kanaan, No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet: “It was a productive day. We’re trying a couple different set ups to understand what we need for tomorrow.”
Ed Jones, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet: : “It wasn’t the best start to the day, but we made some positive changes to the car for the afternoon session. We made a lot of progress with those and even during the session made some more gains. If we can do the same for tomorrow morning, heading into qualifying, I think we’ll be in a really good place.”
Spencer Pigot, No. 21 Autogeek Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet: “Overall, I think we had a pretty good day. The Autogeek Chevy seems to be in a pretty good spot. We made some changes throughout the day and made some good improvements, which is always encouraging. Hopefully we can find a little bit more overnight and give it our best for qualifying.”
Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet: ““Detroit is a lot more physical, but you have to be sharp with your mind because you are running so close to the wall. You have to be on top of your game. But a different on-top of your game than Indy. At Indy it is all flowing speed. The track can slow down everything. Here it is just the opposite. You really have to be up on the wheel. I think we did a really good job today. I’m very happy with the DXC Technology Chevy. I think we have really good pace. It’s going to be hard this weekend for several reasons. We have a car that can be in the top five easily. We just have to extract the best out of the car and ourselves.
“Here, starting in front is better. There is always a lot of action mid-pack. Starting in the three rows allows you to strategize. That would be nice for sure. Top-five is what we are shooting for. Its very tight, I think we are in good shape. There is going to be a lot of tire degradation in the race. It is going to be interesting. I think we can expect some surprises.”
Patricio O’Ward, No.31 Carlin Chevrolet: “Unfortunately we didn’t learn much when we put the reds on in this afternoon’s practice because of a problem with the No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet. We have quite a bit of data from the black tires that we can use, but we’re just a little bit behind and going in a little bit blindsided to qualifying with the reds. We’re going to work with what we have and look at exactly how we can use it to give it our best shot tomorrow in qualifying. I’m confident in the team and know they’ll work hard tonight to make sure we’re in the best possible spot for qualifying and the race tomorrow.”
Max Chilton, No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet: “It was a typical Detroit day – lots to pack in with a limited amount of on-track time. Every session around here is critical, because you don’t get as much time out there and there are usually quite a bit of yellows. We’re now going into qualifying tomorrow, but we unfortunately didn’t get a time with the reds because of the red flag. We chose to do it in the warm-up, but lots of others seemed to have the same idea so we had a bit of traffic. Our pace seems to be okay. It’s not where we want it to be at the moment, but I think we haven’t really gotten a fair representation because we didn’t do a red run with clean air. We’ll see where we end up in qualifying, but I’m pretty confident with our race pace.”