JUNE 6, 2020
FT. WORTH – Team Chevy’s 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season is officially off and running. And, as Texas Motor Speedway always delivers, the season-opening Gensys 300 was a 200-lap heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat, action-packed race. Reigning and two-time Series’ champion Josef Newgarden started the No. 1 XPCEL Team Penske Chevrolet on the pole and led 41 of the 200 laps. But the competition in the top-five was fierce and teammate Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet had set his sites on a trip to Victory Lane. The pair of Team Chevy drivers battled with the competition and the 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner brought home a runner-up finish followed closely by teammate Newgarden in third. It was a strong night for Team Chevy at Texas. Six of the top-10 finishers were Chevrolet powered. TOP CHEVROLET UNOFFICIAL FINISHING RESULTS:POS.   DRIVER2nd           SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 DXC TECHNOLOGY TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLT3rd       JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 1 XPEL TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET           5th       ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 SONAX ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET     6th       CONOR DALY, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET9th       OLIVER ASKEW, NO. 7 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET10TH    TONY KANAAN, NO. 14 7-11 AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET Charlie Kimball in his debut with AJ Foyt Racing was on his way to a top-five finish, but contact with the wall leaving pit lane after the final pit stop with laps quickly winding down relegated the driver of the No. 4 Novo Nordisk Chevrolet to 11th place. Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet finished 12th with Will Power bringing 2nd.the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet to the checkered in 13th place. Rookie Rinus Veekay had a rough start to his NTT INDYCAR SERIES career. After a very hard crash in practice that the team thrashed and was able to present to pre-race tech, but on lap 38 he got too high in Turn Two and got in the marbles. The No. 21 Sonax Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet went into a spin and contact was made with another car. While he climbed out of his car uninjured, the car was too badly damaged to continue and he was scored 22nd. TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL FINISHING RESULTS:POS.  DRIVER                                                             1st       Scott Dixon (Honda)2nd      Simon Pagenaud (Chevrolet)3rd       Josef Newgarden (Chevrolet4th       Zach Veach (Honda)5th      Ed Carpenter (Chevrolet)The NTT IndyCar Series season continues at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 4th for the GMR Grand Prix. Live coverage will air on NBC and IndyCar Radio as well as SiriusXM
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER QUOTES:SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 DXC TECHNOLOGY TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: – Finished 2nd:WITH SO MANY VIBRATIONS, HOW DID YOU MANAGE THEM ALL EVENING LONG?“It was a tough situation. But, we knew coming in, obviously the situation is very difficult for the IndyCar Series, you know, putting together the race and making sure that we could put on the show to entertain people. That’s really what we do and what this business is about. And, I was very proud to carry the DXC Technology colors here. They’re from Texas. It was just an intense night. We had balance change. Some stints we went really loose. One stint we went under steer. It was difficult to understand, so I had to be very cognoscente of that with the adjustments in the race car. But it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it.”
YOUR TEAMMATE, JOSEF NEWGARDEN, HAD VIBRATION ISSUES AS WELL. BEHIND THE WHEEL, WHAT CAN A DRIVER DO WHEN YOU’RE DEALING WITH SOMETHING LIKE THAT?“Well, it’s the same for everybody. So you’ve got to do the best you can with what you have and this is what today was about. Actually, I enjoyed it. I think it’s tough. One-day racing. I thought it was fun. I thought it was action-packed, for sure. I wish we had the fans here. That’s what we’re missing very much.” JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 1 XPEL TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – Finished 3rd:“I feel like we won the race with how bad we were. My team fought. If there’s anything we have, it’s an incredible fighting spirit. We do everything we can to finish the race as best as possible. But, we were just struggling. I was really struggling with vibrations in the tires. For whatever reason, our set-up philosophy kind of fell apart on us. It wasn’t favoring the race condition. And I just struggled. I was really struggling. So, congrats to Scott (Dixon, race winner). They were amazing. The Chip Ganassi cars were amazing tonight. They definitely deserved the win. But, I’m really happy we were able to fight for a podium and keep up there.
“I feel bad for XPEL. We got the pole and they were pumped to try an win this race and I said, hey, we’ve got to do the best that we can to try and win. But, we had a great result. It was great to have them on the car for their first time out. We’ll have another race with them and try and get another victory at some point. But, Team Chevy did a great job. We were close. We didn’t have what it took to fight for the win tonight.”
TONIGHT, YOU DIDN’T HAVE THE SPEED BUT YOU CAME BACK WITH THE FINISH. IS THIS THE KIND OF RESULT YOU WERE TAKING ABOUT WHEN YOU SAY, THAT’S WHAT WE NEED IN 2020 IF WE’RE GOING TO REPEAT AS CHAMPION?“Yeah, definitely. There were times when I felt like I was going to wreck the car and we kept it off the wall. We came home with a podium finish, which is really good. And that’s what you have to do all year long. If I can win the race, I’m going to go for the win. But tonight was not that night. So, we tried to pick up the pieces and finish as strong as possible. And, that’s what this team is capable of. They execute every stop for me. I’ve got the best of the best on my car. Tim (Cindric) is always calling a great race, and that’s just why we were able to finish up front on a tough night. So, we’ve got to re-group, you know? I’m not pleased with third. I want to go win a race. And I know all these guys do behind me, so we’ll figure out what wasn’t right tonight. We’ll fix it. And we’ll come back for a win.” ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 SONAX ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET – Finished 5th AT ONE POINT, FOR THAT FINAL RESTART, WE THOUGHT YOU MIGHT BE FIGHTING FOR A PODIUM SPOT. ULTIMATELY, YOU FINISHED 5TH, BUT WHAT HAPPENED ON THOSE CLOSING LAPS?“I was being pretty aggressive. I had a good shot at getting Josef (Newgarden) on the restart out of (Turn) 2 and I got way loose as I was going under him out of (Turn) 2 and kind of lost my run. And then, he was struggling so much in (Turns) 1 and 2, I was trying to pressure him and just got too close, and that opened the door for Zach (Veach, finished 4th). But, I’d rather go for a podium than fourth or fifth. It doesn’t really matter to me. It’s the same difference. It would have been nice to be on the podium.
“But the ECR team did a great job all night. Pit stops were awesome. It was obviously a track position race. Team Chevy was great. I think we had a car that if we could have ever gotten to the front, I think we could have really challenged. We were kind of in the back of the line all night, just slowing picking people off and getting people in the pits, but it was a tough night. It was a long race. But, it’s great to be back and good to be back racing. Firestone did a good job in tough circumstances. I know they can bring a better tire than that. They know they can bring a better tire than that. But, when you can’t make tires because of COVID-19, this is what we get. So, hopefully the fans enjoyed it. We’ll have a lot better stuff yet to come.”
IT WAS A TRYING DAY FOR YOU AND FOR THE TEAM AS A WHOLE. YOUR ROOKIE TEAMMATE HAD HIS INCIDENTS IN BOTH PRACTICE AND THE RACE. AND YOU HAD A MOMENT IN PRACTICE, AS WELL. BUT WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT THIS TEAM TO COME OUT HERE AND PUT TOGETHER RESULTS LIKE THIS?“It was tough. Everything I kind of asked Rinus (Veekay) to do, he didn’t really do. I wanted him to just be patient and be careful. The last thing I told him before the race was to don’t go high and stay out of the marbles. So, we’ve got a little work to do there on the sponginess of him, but he can drive the car. I mean, he was coming forward with virtually no practice and never running an oval in an IndyCar race. He’s going to get there; it’s just going to be challenging here at times. But we still love him.” CONOR DALY, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET – Finished 6th“It was an awesome night and I knew we had a great car in the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet. I messed up a little bit in qualifying and just under drove it, but we made up for it with such a great race. The team had great pit stops, really incredible pit stops all night. The car was fantastic to drive and it really gave me the confidence to go forward. We made such a great improvement from last year. To be honest we probably should’ve been in the top five, but we just got a little loose in those last three laps and just couldn’t hang onto it. I was driving it pretty sideways for final couple laps. I’m just super thankful to Carlin and Gallagher for giving me the opportunity to be here with the team and to be in the series. It’s such a great way to start out the championship.”
OLIVER ASKEW, NO. 7 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET – Finished 9th“It ended up being a great day for Arrow McLaren SP and the No. 7 team. The whole crew and Chevrolet put a great car under me and we were able to execute our game plan perfectly. To finish in the top-10 in my first-ever INDYCAR race is more than I could have asked for. We are carrying a ton of momentum into the Indy GP and I think we will only get stronger as a team. This is a great way to begin the partnership between Arrow, McLaren, and Schmidt Peterson, and I’m happy we could have a good result after months of preparation. Thank you to everyone at Texas Motor Speedway, INDYCAR, Roger Penske, and the state of Texas for making this race happen.” TONY KANAAN, NO 14 7-ELEVEN AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET – Finished 10th“A difficult race. I had a little mistake in pitlane. First time in 23 years, I got a speeding violation and that cost us track position. From then on I was just trying to minimize the damage because track position was extremely important. But I had a great qualifying and at the end of the race, we actually got lucky and got the yellow at the right time and we gained seven positions and finished in the top 10 so I’ll take it.” CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 4 TRESIBA AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET – Finished 11th“A disappointing result for a really strong night for the Tresiba Chevrolet team. The car was so good. We unloaded pretty well, and I think we made it a little bit better, qualified solidly and then the green flag came out and the car felt so good I was able to make moves and move forward. A small miscalculation in pit lane meant that we had to make an unscheduled pit stop which was unfortunate which put us back and we got caught up and ended up with a little bit of damage at the end of the race. Still two AJ Foyt Racing cars finishing 10th and 11th, I think it’s a solid start to 2020. I can’t wait to get back in the car for the next NTT INDYCAR Series race.” PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET – Finished 12th“I think it was a good first race for everyone at Arrow McLaren SP. Our first objective was to finish and the second objective was to get into the top-10. We were just two positions shy of getting into the top-10 but my teammate Oliver did a fantastic job and ended up in ninth. I ended up 12th because of a personal mistake during one of the pit stops. I think for not practicing much and coming into this track not knowing anything about it, coming out with a 12th place finish after starting from the back is a huge positive. It’s something that will give us momentum going to the Indy road course in a month. I think it was a great start for the whole Arrow McLaren SP team, our fans, and our partners. It definitely left us wanting more.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – Finished 13th:“The Verizon Chevy was really good, it was just so hard to pass. Obviously, we had a mishap on a pit stop and that put us at the back and, man, there were four cars that went 36 laps on the first stint. I feel like they should be penalized, it’s unbelievable. That could be four more positions for me. It was a frustrating night. We had a mistake that put us in a bad place and it’s just unfortunate.”
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 SONAX ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET – Sidelined in crash on Lap 36 – Finished 22nd“I got a little too high around Santino, lost the rear in the marbles. Got collected by Alex. It’s very, very unfortunate. I expected my debut to be a lot different. I’m so sorry to the team. We’ll get better from here. I had very limited time, a lot of learning but unfortunately I crashed twice. I will have to sleep and think about it for a month But our Ed Carpenter Chevy was good.”