CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
GENESYS 300 AND XPEL 375 – DOUBLEHEADER WEEKEND
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
FORT WORTH, TEXAS
MAY 1, 2021
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, PATO O’WARD PUT CHEVY ON PODIUM
Young stars continue to make major gains early in the season
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 1, 2021) – Chevrolet drivers recorded second- and third-place finishes in the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway – the first race of an NTT INDYCAR SERIES doubleheader on the fast 1.455 oval.
Eleven Team Chevy drivers will line up May 2 for the XPEL 375.
Scott McLaughlin made his Series debut on an oval memorable with a runner-up finish in the No. 3 PP Team Penske Chevrolet after starting 15th in the 24-car field based on championship entrant points after weather delays forced cancellation of NTT P1 Award qualifications.
The first-year NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver, making his third start overall, had a 90-minute practice session earlier in the day and a March 31 test on the asymmetrical racetrack. Powered by the 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 Chevrolet engine, McLaughlin finished .2646 of a second behind winner Scott Dixon.
Pato O’Ward, who started 11th in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, recorded his second top-five finish in three races with third place as he approaches his 22nd birthday May 6.
Josef Newgarden, a two-time winner at Texas Motor Speedway, was in contention for the victory until he received a penalty for unavoidable contact on Lap 70 that sent the No. 2 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet to the rear of the field on the restart of the race. Still, Newgarden rallied to a sixth-place finish.
Teammate Simon Pagenaud completed the Team Chevy top 10 with 10th place in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet.
NBCSN will telecast the XPEL 375 live at 5 p.m. ET. The race will also be broadcast live on INDYCAR Radio Network affiliates, Sirius 211, XM 205, Indycar.com, and on the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA.
TEAM CHEVY RACE 1 FINISHERS:
- Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 PPG Team Penske
- Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP
- Josef Newgarden, No. 2 XPEL Team Penske
- Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Team Penske
- Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP
- Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske
- Ed Carpenter, No. 20 U.S. Air Force
- Dalton Kellett, No. 4 K-Line Insulators/AJ Foyt Racing
- Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek
- Conor Daly, No. 59 Gallagher Carlin
- Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 ROKiT/AJ Foyt Racing
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 PPG TEAM PENSKE – FINISHED 2ND
HOW PROUD OF SECOND PLACE ARE YOU TODAY?
“I’ve never been this bloody happy with second. I’m really stoked. Everyone at PPG and Chevy, thank you. I just didn’t have enough for Scott (Dixon) at the end. It was bloody cool battling with one of my all-time heroes. Two Kiwis 1 and 2, fantastic.”
DID YOU HAVE TO SNAP OUT OF IT WHEN YOU WERE CHASING THE OTHER SCOTT?
“I’m just so proud. I’ve worked really hard behind the scenes to make it feel good, and we got some good strategy there from my team. They put me in a position; I’m just happy to bring it home for them.”
COUPLE OF THINGS IN THE BACK OF YOUR MIND YOU MIGHT HAVE TRIED DIFFERENTLY AGAINST DIXON?
“I was trying really hard but it’s so hard in dirty air. I was hoping there would be some traffic toward the end and I could have a run. I was really good through (Turns) 3 and 4, but I just couldn’t get through 1 and 2. P2 is good and we’ll get a win one day.
“So many thanks! That guy in front of me, Scott Dixon, is a legend in this sport and a fellow countryman. It was very special for me and for New Zealand. Very proud of everyone at Team Penske, PPG and Chevy for giving me a very good engine. I couldn’t quite get there at the end but I’ve never been this happy with a second place. The testing really paid off. Just getting familiar and getting a feeling for everything. My engineers got me to the point where I am comfortable. I’m really proud of everyone on this PPG Chevy. We had a really great strategy. I can hardly wait until tomorrow!”
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP – FINISHED 3RD
YOUR STRATEGIST MADE THE CALL TO SHORT-PIT EARLY ON. IS THAT WHAT GOT YOU ON THE PODIUM?
“That was the call. I knew we had such a fast car, especially by ourselves. And I knew if we could get in clean air we could really make up some track position. In the beginning, we were just really stuck in a train. It’s very tough to pass. But what a great race car. We’re ready for tomorrow. I want to thank Arrow Electronics, Vuse, Team Chevy and the Arrow McLaren SP No. 5 guys. This is a very good step in the right direction. There are a couple more positions we want to get, but this should really put us tomorrow in a better starting position than what we started today.”
A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION IN TERMS OF OVALS OR OVERALL?
“In terms of ovals and overall. We bounced back after a pretty tough weekend in St. Pete, so we want to come back tomorrow and try to do better and roll into the Month of May for the Indy road course and the crown jewel of the schedule.”
WHAT WILL YOU THINK ABOUT FOR TOMORROW? WERE THE VIBRATIONS A CONVERN FOR YOU AT ALL?
“It was at the end. I didn’t quite have anything for McLaughlin and Dixon. They were very quick. I didn’t want to risk anything. I started getting a little wiggly and were getting some temperature issues for I just said let’s take this and we’ll come back tomorrow and see what we got.
“This Arrow McLaren SP group made my life so much easier with that off strategy call. It really paid off for us. The car changed quite a bit during the race. Towards the end we had some issues with temps so we didn’t have quite enough for both Scotts there at the end. These guys did a great job of getting us up there. Chevy worked hard. We should have a way better starting place tomorrow which will be good. We have a fast car.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 XPEL TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH: “Tough night here in Texas for Race one. We recovered to finish in sixth place. Kind of a scrappy day. We started 10th. Made our way back up to finish sixth at the end of the day. . Had a minor altercation with a couple of cars running one-two. Big check-up. Unfortunately right now here at Texas to move out of that bottom lane. It is really a one lane race track right now. When there is a big checkup like that, I didn’t have time to react and ended up tapping Bourdais and spinning him. Got a penalty for that and went all the back-I think 21st. It was unfortunate to lose all that track position, I was going to restart fifth. We did every thing we could do to claw back to sixth. Pretty happy for that for XPEL and Chevy. We learned from our teammates. Great job for Scotty finishing second. We will look at what they have on their car and come back tomorrow and try to win it.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 10TH: “P10 tonight here in Texas. Considering the day, I think P10 is reasonable. We had a very fast car with our Chevy Menards car tonight. We had excessive vibration on tires which didn’t allow us to do long stints. We had an issue with a brake that we will have to investigate tonight. We have a fast car so we should expect to be back in form tomorrow.:
SEBASTIEN BOURDAID, NO. 14 ROKIT AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, RETIRED FROM RACE ON LAP 55 AFTER BEING INVOLVED IN A SINGLE CAR INCIDENT, FINISHED 24TH:
“I am just disappointed I guess. We struggled like hell here at testing, and this afternoon really wasn’t any better. We just threw everything we had at it and it was working! We had a pretty decent car and the ROKIT No. 14 Chevrolet was in the mix. We were fast and I passed. I think that was the first time I passed. I was pretty happy. A lot of guys were starting to run out of tires, we were too. I don’t know why Colton (Herta) decided to go so slow out of two, but we ended up on top of one another. I was slowing down with him. I got hit in the back and it took me out. It’s a real shame because I think we had something to play with them today. I’m okay. Just a really bad break for our ROKIT No. 14 Chevrolet. It is such a shame. A missed opportunity. There was chain reaction and we got the short end of it.”