CHEVROLET RACING NTT INDYCAR SERIES
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY PRACTICE DAY ONE QUALIFYING RECAP AND DRIVER QUOTES
AUGUST 15, 2020
INDIANAPOLIS: Day one of qualifying for the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 has come to close with Team Chevy rookie Rinus Veekay ready to do battle in the Fast Nine Qualifying at 1:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
The driver of the No. 21 Sonax Ed Carpenter Chevrolet led the 17 Chevy powered in the five hour and 50 minute session that set positions 10-33 in the starting field and gave the nine fastest of the day a shot for the coveted pole on Sunday.
At 19 years old, Veekay showed the maturity and calm of a veteran to secure the sixth fastest time driving for Ed Carpenteer, one of the most successful qualifiers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Veekay had the benefit of the best leadership and guidance a rookie could ask for in lining up to make a run for his first Indy 500.
Two-time and defending NTT INDYCAR Series champion Josef Newgarden, No, 1 Shell V-Power Team Penske Chevrolet will start 13th; Pato O’Ward, No.5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet starts, Carpenter put his No. 20 U.S. Space Force Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet in 16th position and
Conor Daly, No. 47 U.S. Air Force Ed Carpenter Chevrolet will roll off 18th.
On Sunday, Veekay and the other eight drivers will have a 30 minute practice session in the morning to give the teams and drivers a look at the track characteristics before the pole qualifying.
After the Fast Nine Shootout, there will be an all-field practice from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m., the last time the cars are on track until Happy Hour on Carb day, Friday, August 21, 2020.
NO. 1 JOSEF NEWGARDEN, SHELL V-POWER TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET:
“Judging from yesterday, the hotter it got, the more difficult it was for everybody. This early draw here was certainly beneficial for us and others that got it today. I think that was pretty much where are our car was today. We could practice for a touch more, but I think we were pretty close to our limit. It’s just great to be here. I’m just pumped we are running the Indianapolis 500. I can’t say thanks enough to Roger, everyone at IMS for making this happen. We are going to put on an amazing show next weekend. I think we are going to have a good car to race with for Shell V-Power Nitro and Team Chevy.”
NO. 3 HELIO CASTRONEVES, PENNZOIL TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET:
“Being on the second page (of the time sheet) isn’t what you want, but we are working on it. We are going to find out if we can find a little bit and if not, we race the Pennzoil Chevrolet from there and we have a very good car. We’ve all been really happy with the cars in race trim. You hate to start that far back as you need to pass a lot of cars and use some strategy, but it can be done from there. I’m just excited to run in another Indy 500 and do our best to put on a show for all the fans watching at home.”
NO. 4 CHARLIE KIMBALL , TRESIBA AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET:
“It was a challenging run for the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet but the A.J. Foyt Racing guys have been good all week. I know the car is good in race trim. We just have to figure out exactly what happened in those four laps. Got pretty busy in turn four on lap four, so it’s about a four-lap average here unfortunately – not one or not two. We’ll work on it, figure out what’s going on and be better for tomorrow (practice).”
NO. 5 PATO O’WARD, ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET:
“I think it was positive toward the end of the day. I think we started the day a little confused based on where we had ran yesterday. We fixed it for the afternoon. We improved a few spots, but didn’t have enough for the Fast Nine. Every time you improve a few positions, it is positive. We should look back and be happy with our last run because of the heat. We will start working on the race car now. Excited to see what Arrow McLaren SP and Chevrolet can do next week.”
NO. 7 OLIVER ASKEW, ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET:
“My first qualifying at the Indianapolis 500 was pretty exciting. First run ended up being our quickest, unfortunately, we weren’t able to go quicker. It looks like we are stuck in 21st right now. Probably the most frightening four laps of my life, but that’s what Indy 500 qualifying is all about. Looking forward to putting the race setup back on, because I feel like Arrow McLaren SP have a much more competitive package in race trim. Looking forward to the rest of the week.”
NO. 12 WILL POWER, VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET:
“I’m not sure what else we could do out there today, I was wide open the whole time. We will see where we end up and just focus on the race and get back to race mode as a team. We will keep the focus on that for tomorrow’s practice and work on the driveability of our car. This will be the furthest back I’ll probably ever started here, but you can win from anywhere in this race. It will be a long day, but we have a good Verizon 5G Edge Chevrolet. The guys have worked hard and I appreciate the effort. We will continue to work on the racecar and have some fun next weekend.”
NO. 14 TONY KANAAN, ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET:
“Well, a little bit disappointing. I think we could have been in the top-15 but the car was pretty comfortable. We concentrated a lot on the race setup and the car is actually pretty decent in race trim so just a few more cars to pass but, all in all, the temperature didn’t help us. Of course we would have like to drawn an earlier (qualifying) number but that’s just the luck of the draw, so it is what it is, but we’re ready for next weekend.”
NO. 20 ED CARPENTER, U.S. SPACE FORCE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET:
“Today was a day of mixed emotions. I’m very happy for Rinus and the ECR team for once again prepping fast cars. Chevrolet gave us great power today and we had a chance! We gave it all we had, but at least we have one car in the Fast Nine Shootout. I was really hoping to have the U.S. Space Force car up there, but this is the Indy 500 and you can win from anywhere! That’s still the mission.”
NO. 21 RINUS VEEKAY, SONAX ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET:
“Pretty good day at the office! I was lucky yesterday with the draw and had a good run this morning. Fourth driver out and I think the temperature really helped us. We put some really good laps down and stayed super consistent. I was kind of shocked by the 231.7 on the first lap. Very pleased with that! Being the only Chevrolet driver in the Fast Nine is also something to feel good about. Tomorrow is another day. It almost feels like the hardest part is over, the waiting is so hard! Tomorrow we can just go and qualify! For the race, everything is going to be different, but we have a good racecar. I’m very confident.”
NO. 22 SIMON PAGENAUD, MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET:
“I wasn’t what we wanted out there at all with the Menards Chevrolet, but this place treats you like she wants to treat you and you have to respect that. We had a perfect experience last year, but this year it is a little harder so we have to work for it. It was an eventful qualifying session for sure. Certainly way too much sliding around, and certainly not fast enough either. If we start where we are, we have a great racecar for the race. What bothers me the most is I wanted a fast time, and at Team Penske, that is what we expect. So we will just have to work on it and make it better for the race next Sunday.”
NO. 24 SAGE KARAM, WIX FILTERS DRYER REINBOLD RACING CHEVROLET:
“This isn’t what we wanted, obviously. Around lap 2 we ended up blistering a tire and that made the car pretty loose. I just stayed flat (on the throttle) and made the best of it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough today. We missed the first lap speed because the car didn’t fell off that badly. We wanted a few more mile per hour on lap one. We have started in the back before and worked our way up. We are going to focus on how to make the race car platform better. Our race setup is definitely more comfortable than the qual setup. And our DRR WIX team is real good in the pits as well. I know this race is going to come down to track position. In laps and out laps are going to be huge. Obviously, pit stops are extremely important. I’ve never worried about my pit crew. Despite being an Indy-only crew most of the time, they work year-around on pit stops in the shop. We always pick up positions on pit stops. If we get are in position to improve on the track, I know that the crew will gain us spots in the pits too.”
NO.41 DALTON KELLETT, K-LINE USA AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET:
“Alright just finished my first qualifying run at Indy. Really excited, really happy that we got that solid run in. Went off the order third, so the track was nice and cool. The car felt great for all four laps. It was good to get lots of practice in the heat yesterday when it was slippery, moving around but I ended up getting a solid platform for this morning after a couple changes. Looking at the times maybe we could have been a bit more aggressive on our mechanical balance, but we’ve really had the focus this week for the race which is what we’re looking ahead for and devoted most of our time to so I think being conservative in qualifying was always our plan. But very happy to get that run in and looking forward to practice on Sunday.”
NO. 47CONOR DALY, U.S. AIR FORCE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEEVROLET:
“Not the day we wanted to have here! After yesterday, we knew our car was a challenge to drive in the heat. The time of day where we drew to qualify was quite hot. I had a bit of a loose moment on the last lap, which really didn’t help the four-lap average. We went out later in the day and improved a little bit, but it was just really challenging in the heat. We know the U.S. Air Force Chevy is a going to be a good racecar, though. Ed (Carpenter) and I are starting from the same row and we can definitely move forward from there.”
NO. 59 MAX CHILTON, GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET:
“All things considered, I’d say I’m pleased with how our day of qualifying ended. We drew a low number in the draw yesterday, so we didn’t even get out to do our first qualifying run until about two hours into the session when the track was at its hottest. We just didn’t have it on our first run and I’d say we didn’t maximize the setup we had for the conditions at the time of day we were running. We weren’t happy with where we ended up and both the team and myself felt like there was definitely more in the car, so the guys went back and quickly looked through the data to see what direction we needed to go to make another attempt. The guys made some changes to the car and we went back out with about 40 minutes to go in the session, which was obviously the right call as we averaged almost a mile and a half quicker and moved up two spots and into the row ahead of where we’d been. I’ve said it from the beginning, but I really feel that we have a good race car and I’m looking forward to hopefully working my way up to the front.”
NO. 66 FERNANDO ALONSO, RUOFF ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET:
“The speed was not there yesterday in practice and today in qualifying. We know that so we just wanted to put in a solid run in for qualifying with no mistakes and execute the best we could. I think we achieved that and I’m happy with that. The No. 66 Ruoff Mortgage Arrow McLaren SP car was feeling great today. I think we have a good race car because the first few days we were on the competitive side. The starting place for the race is not changing our hopes for next Sunday. All our focus now is on the race. This place offers a lot of possibilities even for the people starting at the back and we will be looking to take that possibility next week.”
NO. 67 JR HILDEBRAND, SALESFORCE DRYER REINBOLD RACING CHEVROLET:
“I wasn’t psyched about being the last qualifier today. We know how the track gets later in qualifying and, after 115 or 120 degrees track surface, it starts to get really slick out there. We knew that after Friday’s practice in the afternoon and it was 127 on my qualifying run today. The car feels good in race trim but once we started trimming out the car, we have been struggling. It’s a bum draw for sure today. The crew guys have been working super hard to improve our cars throughout practice and qualifying. I felt good about the first lap in the heat with a 228.5 (m.p.h.) but the conditions were different in turns one and two from three and four. I did have a big moment on the second lap in turn one. The focus now is on the race and I feel that our setups are good. We’ll try to improve on some of those settings in Sunday afternoon practice. If we have a good car in the race, we can move up. It’s 500 miles after all.”
NO. 81 BEN HANLEY, DRAGON SPEED USA CHEVROLET