CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
BIG MACHINE MUSIC CITY GRAND PRIX
STREETS OF NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING RECAP
AUGUST 7, 2021

FELIX ROSENQVIST LEADS CHEVROLET IN FIRESTONE FAST SIX QUALIFYING ON STREETS OF NASHVILLE

NASHVILLE (August 7) — Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, will roll off 5th for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix for the NTT INDTCAR Series on the Streets of Nashville. Rosenqvist has been fast since he took his first laps around the new street course on Friday, and continued that consistency through the Firestone Fast Six qualifying.

Colton Herta won the NTT P1 award. The remainder of the Firestone Fast Six were Scott Dixon, Alex Palou. Alexander Rossi and Romain Grojean.

Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet and Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet will start in the top-10, eighth and ninth respectively.

Contact with the wall late in Round Two for two-time Series’ champion, Josef Newgarden, No.2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet took him out of contention for a run for the pole at his hometown race.

NBCSN will telecast the 80-lap/173.6-mile Big Machine Music City Grand Prix at 5:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 8. The race, qualifications and practice 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.

Spectators will have the opportunity to view some of Chevrolet’s newest production vehicles, including a Corvette C8, Camaro ZL1 and Silverado 1500 Trailboss, and participate in a Q&A with NTT INDYCAR SERIES history making Chevrolet team owner Beth Paretta at the Chevrolet display in the Fan Zone located in the Nissan Stadium lot.

The display will be open from 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6; 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7; and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8. Paretta will chat with fans at 1:15 p.m. Aug. 8. All times are local.

TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING RESULTS:
5th: Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
8th: Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet
9th: Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
11th: Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet
12th: Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet
16th: Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 ROKiT AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet
19th: Dalton Kellett, No. 4 K-Line Insulators AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet
20th: Conor Daly, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet
21st: Max Chilton, No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet
22nd: Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek Chevrolet
23rd: Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 DEX Imaging Team Penske Chevrolet

DRIVER QUOTES:FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 7 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 5THWe had a pretty solid qualifying. There was quite a lot of stuff going on here and there, a lot of people making mistakes. I feel like we were kind of doing solid. Maybe we weren’t the fastest car, but we were staying inside the qualifying all the time and getting through.“Then coming to Fast 6, I was like, Okay, let’s go, let’s try to go for the pole. Maybe I overdid it a little bit. But I also didn’t really feel like — I didn’t really nail my tires. They kind of came in end of my first lap, then during my second lap they kind of faded away a little bit.“I think Chevy has done a really good improvement for this weekend. We were working really hard the last couple weeks to improve some stuff. Seemed to have really helped.“Yeah, the whole team, I think it’s good to kind of bounce back inside a top five again. It’s been a while since we were there.“Yeah, good day.” 

SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 8th“It was a really good lap. This one is something else. You’ve got to just nail everything and it’s on the edge, on the edge, on the edge. It’s so much fun. Congrats to Nashville and the people that designed the race track. It’s just beautiful. It’s bumpy. We’re just not fast enough, you know? It feels good, but sometimes when it feels good, it’s a good race car but not a good qualifying car. So maybe with the track coming up in temperature and the red tires on, which we didn’t get to try this morning, maybe we built too much stability in the race car and couldn’t roll the speed through the corners. I’m assuming that’s what it is. We’ll look into it tonight. Well it’s a P78start for us in the Menards Chevy in Nashville. I really enjoy the track. It was really really fun to throw the car around in qualifying. We did everything we could, I think. I’m pretty proud of the 22 team and tomorrow we have a long race – 80 laps. It’s really hot and humid so we’ll try everything we can to go to the front and get on the first step tomorrow. 

IS THERE ARE PART OF THIS TRACK YOU LIKE THE MOST?

“For those who know what it is, I love Rally Racing, like World Rally Championship. Actually when I retire in about 20 years of time, I will try that. I’ve done some and I’ve loved it. That section between Turn 4 all the way to Turn 8, is exactly like a Rally stage. I love it. It’s fun. And you really have to dance with the race car. I really enjoyed it.”

 JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET-QUALIFIED 12TH“Its good to be here in Nashville and everybody has done a great job bringing this event to this city and this is the city where INDYCAR needs to be. I am really proud to be from here and have INDYCARs back, especially downtown, which is crazy cool. I would have never dreamed this type of event actually getting off the ground.  I am pretty pumped for tomorrow, I just wish we were a little higher up. We were trying to claw some performance back there and I over-pushed.  I think Team Chevy is doing a good job and we have a fast Hitachi Chevy for the most part.  We can make the most of it, its just going to be harder now.” 

DO YOU AGREE WITH THE PENALTY BY INDYCAR IN TAKING AWAY THE FASTEST LAP HERE? “Yeah, look, you can’t wreck and not get penalized. Its on me and that is how it works.” 

WHAT HAS THE DEFICIT BEEN JOSEF?  “I don’t know. It’s hard to say because it’s been a quick weekend. You take a swing at it with a new track like this and its either right on, or it’s a little off.  We have worked really hard and have been trying to be prepared as possible and I think we have gotten some more performance back. I am not sure exactly what we are going to need. I think we were a lot closer, I just over-stepped.”  

YOU BROUGHT OUT THE CAUTION WHEN YOU HIT THE WALL. TALK ABOUT THE CIRCUIT AND THE INCIDENT

“Yeah, it’s been a great circuit. It’s super fun to drive. It’s tricky. I don’t think we were on the best vote rolling off, trying to make up a little bit of a performance gap. But I feel positive for tomorrow. I think we can make something happen in the race. It’s just a little harder from 12th now.” 

WHERE DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE GOING TO HIT THE WALL? IT LOOKED LIKE THE CAR JUST WENT RIGHT INTO THE TURN

“Yeah, I just made a mistake.” 

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 14 ROCKIT AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLT—QUALIFIED 16TH“It’s not good. That’s all, nothing else to say. The car felt pretty decent on blacks (tires) and then didn’t change anything, got loose on reds. I don’t know. We cant seem to get a read on the car or at least get consistent reads and understand what’s going on, so just hit and miss all the time. I was just hoping that I could bring some results to those guys and it’s just not happening. Can’t seem to find the sweet spot, been overshooting, undershooting and it’s very frustrating. That’s the name of the game. Tomorrow’s another day, we’re going to see what we can do.” 

DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE INSULATORS AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET—QUALIFIED 19TH“We just finished qualifying here at the Music City Grand Prix and I think was best qualifying so far on a road course this year so happy with that. It was a good improvement from practice two and having missed practice one, we’ve just been playing catch up. It was really helpful last night going over stuff with Seb, looking at onboard, looking at data and getting some input on car positioning for lines and stuff, so that’s definitely been a big help as far as getting up to speed. The car felt good. We’re really just fighting for traction overall. It’s pretty slippery in that back section as you go over the bridge and into those tight couple of areas, so just trying to manage that while still having a car that’s balanced for the rest of the lap. Overall it’s feeling pretty good. Looking forward to some long runs tomorrow and we’ll see how our fuel milage is in warmup and go from there for the race.” 

RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 SONAX/AUTOGEEK CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 22ND“I had a pretty good decent first lap on the reds. And then on my second lap, I hit the wall. The right rear suspension was bent. And qualifying is already gone.” 

IS IT THAT YOU ARE PUSHING SO HARD OR IS IT THE TRACK OR WHAT IS IT?

“Yeah, the track is gutsy. Everybody is new to this track. You’re pushing super hard and trying to find the limits. And it’s hard to get the car around this track. It’s been hard since lap 1 yesterday. But really now, I just threw it away.” 

DID THE TRACK CHANGE FROM THIS MORNING’S SESSION TO QUALIFYING? “Just a bit more grip, that’s all. No real balance changes. To be honest, quite consistent. But unfortunately, we couldn’t do well.” 

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 DEX IMAGING TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – Qualified 23RD‘I just cut the wall on my last lap there and broke a tire link. I really got into it there with our DEX Imaging car, we have a fast race car. I’ve don’t it to myself the last couple of races, just putting myself at the back of the pack and just don’t get enough. So it is what it is. It was an unfortunate end to a pretty promising weekend for us on the DEX Imaging Chevy. We had one fast lap at the end there in qualifying and unfortunately I tapped the wall and bent the suspension and that was it. So we start 23rd tomorrow. Definitely not where we should be, we probably should be in the top 10 but it’s a little mistake on my part. You just get paid big time here. It’s tough, but we’ll get on it as a team. We’ll work on strategy overnight and see if we can come back stronger tomorrow. 

HAVE YOU STARTED THINKING ABOUT STRATEGY FOR TOMORROW?“I don’t know. We’ll debrief tonight and work on what we’ve got to do. But yeah, I’m pretty disappointed with myself. Three times in a row now I’ve stuffed qualifying. So, I’ve got to work on that.”