CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG
STREETS OF ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
APRIL 24, 2021
TEAM CHEVY DRIVERS CAPTURE FOUR OF FIRESTONE FAST SIX SPOTS
DEFENDING RACE AND TWO-TIME WINNER JOSEF NEWGARDEN WILL ROLL OFF THIRD IN SUNDAY’S 100-LAP RACE
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA (April 24, 2021) – Four Chevrolet powered drivers secured starting positions in top-three rows for Sunday’s 100-lap Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Firestone Fast Six qualifying battle for the NTT P1 Award.
Two-time and defending winner of the first street race of the season Josef Newgarden will start his No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet from the inside of the second row, third overall of the 24 starters. Teammate Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards/Australian Gold Chevrolet will start alongside Newgarden.
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 24 ROKIT AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet, will roll off fifth, on the inside of row three with Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, captured the sixth starting spot.
Rookie-of-the-Year Contender Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Dex Imaging Team Penske
Chevrolet, continued his steady improvement behind the wheel of an INDYCAR with a solid 14th place qualifying effort.
Pole favorite Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet, tapped the wall on his final hot lap and damaged his car relegating him to the 20th starting position.
Colton Herta and Jack Harvey (both Honda) will make up the front row.
Live coverage of the 100-lap race starts at noon Sunday on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network.
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFIERS:
3. Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske
4. Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards/Australian Gold Team Penske
5. Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 ROKiT AJ Foyt Racing
6. Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP
7. Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek Ed Carpenter Racing
14. Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Dex Imaging Team Penske
17. Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP
19. Conor Daly, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Ed Carpenter Racing
20. Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske
22. Max Chilton, No. 59 Gallagher Carlin
24 Dalton Kellett, No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA AJ Foyt Racing
DRIVER QUOTES:JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 3RD “We had a good day on Saturday here in St. Pete. I feel really good about our car. I just got through qualifying. It’s pretty hot and definitely very humid outside, so it’s going to be a hard race to get through. But I felt really good in all sessions except for that Fast Six. In the Fast Six, I felt like it difficult to bring the tires up when they were used. I think that’s how we got beat. So, we’re starting third for the race tomorrow. It’s a good enough spot to win from, no doubt. I think we have a good race car across multiple stints that we can make something happen from that spot. I’m feeling really good and have good momentum and just need to keep carrying it all the way through until tomorrow night, and hopefully we’ve got a win underneath us.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS/AUSTRALIAN GOLD TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 4TH: “We were P4 today at St. Pete with the Australian Gold Chevy car. It was fun qualifying. We found a lot of speed. We found a really great balance on the car all weekend. I’m very happy. I think we kept progressing every session and at the end there, it was great to be in the Fast Six and put out as much we could out of the race car. So, I’m satisfied with P4. Josef (Newgarden) is starting third so it’s going to be interesting at the start with him. And then obviously we’ve got to go to the front together. So, I’m very excited. I’m glad we brought the sunscreen. It seems to work.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 14 ROKIT AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 5TH: “Really good afternoon here at the Grand Prix of St. Pete in the No. 14 ROKIT AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet. Really happy we made it the Firestone Fast Six and will start fifth tomorrow. Definitely a big turn around from practice one and two. Hats off to the boys for figuring it out and giving me a really fast ride. Can hardly wait until the race tomorrow!”
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, QUALIFIEED 6TH: “We just got done with qualifying here in St. Petersburg. We are sixth, starting on the outside of the third row. We had a quick car in qualifying but we just didn’t make quite the right call on either using reds or new blacks. The track was very different to what we felt in Practice 2, but we have a quick race car. We are going to be thinking about it tonight, and we are going to go get it tomorrow.”
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 DEX IMAGING TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 14TH “Overall, it was a pretty disappointing day for me, I guess; coming back to St. Pete, a track that I know, after last year, you sort of want to try again for that Q2 bracket. Unfortunately, the car was feeling really good in practice and qualifying in the first segment there, especially on black tires. But we put the red tires on and I just didn’t get that little extra bit you need to really get into that Top Six to advance to Group 2. It’s going to come with time. I’m feeling really comfortable and strong on the black tires and I think we were the fastest in that group there in one stage where everyone had the same tire. The red tires; just not enough laps right now. I haven’t got a great feel for it and confidence to really find the grip at times when you can only do it once or twice in a run. So, I’m a little bit disappointed. But, at the end of the day we start XX for a pretty long race tomorrow and hopefully we can make our way through with the pace that we have on the right compounds.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 20TH “It was definitely not the qualifying session we were looking for. We just didn’t get the set-up quite right and the series is so tough now, if you’re not right on point, you’re certainly going to pay for it and then start back somewhere like 20th. So, it looks like a two-stop strategy. We are hoping there are some yellows, which will open the windows up and give us a chance to potentially jump some people. So, the aim for tomorrow will be a Top 10. We’ll try to get some points and get in that Top 10 and that would be good for us.”