CHEVROLET RACING NTT INDYCAR SERIES
THE BIG MACHINE SPIKED COOLERS GRAND PRIX
THE ROAD COURSE AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING RECAP
AUGUST 13, 2021
PATO O’WARD PUTS CHEVY ON POLE AT IMS ROAD COURSE
THIRD NTT P1 AWARD OF SEASON AND FOURTH CAREER FOR ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET DRIVER
WILL POWER MAKES IT AN ALL-CHEVY FRONT ROW FOR THE BIG MACHINE SPIKED COOLERS GRAND PRIX
INDIANAPOLIS-(AUGUST 13, 2021) – Pato O’Ward was a very determined driver today as he set out to claim his third NTT P1 Award of the season and fourth of his in his career. He put his No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet on pole with a lap of 01:10.7147 seconds/124.167 MPH. Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet, made it an all-Chevy front row with a lap of 01:10.7214 seconds/124.155 MPH.
A total of 12Team Chevy will compete in the 85-lap/207-mile Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix on Saturday, Aug. 14. Chevrolet has won eight of the 10 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races on the IMS Road Course, including the past three, on the technical 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course that incorporates Turns 1 and 2 and the front stretch of the famed oval.
Spectators will have the opportunity to view some of Chevrolet’s newest production vehicles, including a Corvette convertible 3LT, Bolt EUV, Silverado 1500 Trailboss, and participate in a Q&A with NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers at the Chevrolet display near Pagoda Plaza.
The display will be open from 2-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13; 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14; and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15.
Participating drivers include:
Saturday, Aug. 14
9:45-10 a.m. – Rinus VeeKay and NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron
NBCSN will telecast the 85-lap Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix at 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 14, and qualifying live at 7 p.m. ET Friday, Aug. 13. 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.
Practice and qualifications will stream on Peacock Premium.
A Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray will lead the field to the green flag.
Team Chevy will be represented by:
Team Chevy will be represented by:
A.J. Foyt Enterprises
Dalton Kellett, No. 4 K-Line Insulators AJ Foyt Racing
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 ROKiT AJ Foyt Racing
Arrow McLaren SP
Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP
Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP
Max Chilton, No. 59 Gallagher Carlin
Ed Carpenter Racing
Conor Daly, No. 20 U.S. Air Force
Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek
Josef Newgarden, No. 2 XPEL Team Penske
Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 CarShop Team Penske
Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske
Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Team Penske
Top Gun Racing
RC Enerson, No. 75 Top Gun Racing
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING RESULTS:
Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow Mclaren SP Chevrolet – Pole Winner
Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet – Qualified 2nd
Conor Daly, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet – Qualified 8th
Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek Chevrolet – Qualified 9th
Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet – Qualified 12th
Josef Newgarden, No. 2 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet – Qualified 14th
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 ROKiT AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet – Qualified 15th
Max Chilton, No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet – Qualified 19th
Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet – Qualified 20th
RC Enerson, No. 75 Top Gun Racing Chevrolet – Qualified 25th
Dalton Kellett, No. 4 K-Line Insulators AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet – Qualified 28th
Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Year-By-Year Results since 2012
2021 – 4 wins, 5 poles in 11 races
Wins – Pato O’Ward (Texas2, Detroit2); Rinus VeeKay (Indy RC1); Josef Newgarden (Mid-Ohio). Pole – Pato O’Ward (Barber Motorsports Park, Detroit1); Josef Newgarden (Detroit2, Road America, Mid-Ohio).
2020 – 7 wins, 11 poles in 14 races
Wins – Simon Pagenaud (Iowa1); Josef Newgarden (Iowa2, St. Louis2, Indy RC2, St. Petersburg); Will Power (Mid-Ohio1, Indy RC3, St. Petersburg). Poles – Josef Newgarden (Texas, Road America1, Iowa2), Will Power (Indianapolis road course, St. Louis1, Mid-Ohio1, Indy RC3; St. Petersburg), Pato O’Ward (Road America2), Conor Daly (Iowa1), Rinus VeeKay (Indy road course October)
2019 – 9 wins, 9 poles in 17 races
Driver/owner championship (Josef Newgarden/Roger Penske); Indianapolis 500 win (Simon Pagenaud)
2018 – 6 wins, 9 poles in 17 races
Indianapolis 500 win (Will Power)
2017 – 10 wins, 11 poles in 17 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Josef Newgarden/Roger Penske)
2016 – 14 wins, 13 poles in 16 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Simon Pagenaud/Roger Penske)
2015 – 10 wins, 16 poles in 16 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Scott Dixon/Chip Ganassi);
Indianapolis 500 win (Juan Pablo Montoya). First manufacturer to capture all titles since Chevrolet returned to INDYCAR in 2012
2014 – 12 wins, 14 poles in 18 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Will Power/Roger Penske)
2013 – 10 wins, 11 poles in 19 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; Indianapolis 500 win (Tony Kanaan)
2012 – 11 wins, 10 poles in 15 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Ryan Hunter-Reay/Michael Andretti)
Total – 93 wins, 105 earned poles in 160 races
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET – POLE WINNER
ON THE POLE WIN:
“I wanted to make sure that this was a turning point. We’ve had a very tough last few races. And we’re ready to get back into Victory Lane. This is the first step to that. And tomorrow, we have a job to finish. Just continuing on. There’s still five races to go and a lot can happen. But this is definitely on the right track.”
YOU WANT TO TURN IT AROUND SINCE YOU GUYS WERE BASICALLY OUT TO LUNCH WHEN YOU CAME TO THE ROAD COURSE IN MAY
“Yeah, we did. Thanks to our test in Portland, we found a few things that I knew were going to help us here, and I’ve never been so excited to race here on the Indy road course. Since practice, I said we’re going to get some good points this weekend.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND: “It is so close between everyone. It is amazing how tight that is. I was on a good one my first lap, but Pato started backing up for whatever reason warming his tires. But I’m there man. We are right there. You can pass a little easier here, but good track position makes it better”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 XPEL TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 14TH (WILL START 20TH AS RESULT OF SIX POSITION GRID PENALTY): “I’m just frustrated. I thought I had enough gap on (James) Hinchcliffe, but I caught him too quickly. Its probably on me, I probably should have gapped him a little more, but I had pressure from behind me so I had to go. So I probably lost about three or four tenths in that last sector of the track. We have a good car for tomorrow.”
PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPTS-WILL POWER AND PATO O’WARD
THE MODERATOR: A man that knows his way around the road course here, Will Power. Second-place start tomorrow. Tell us about the Firestone Fast 12 for you.
WILL POWER: Yeah, it was good. The car was really good. I just missed out by 6/1000ths, but so did about four other people. That’s about the tightest session I’ve ever seen, I think.
Pretty good conditions. Car was good. I’m glad to just be back in the groove again. Had such a kind of bad qualifying run lately. Yeah, certainly right there in the running for pole, so really happy to be up front.
THE MODERATOR: It never ceases to amaze how tight this field is. Kind of a cliché, but you come to a place like this, a couple thousandths here or there, you can be up front or towards the back.
WILL POWER: Yeah. As you know, if you’re just a little bit outside the window, you’re going to be way back there. Yeah, 2/10ths moves you about eight spots in that last session. You had to be right on the game, on the ball.
But, yep, we’ve been there all weekend, all day, that’s it. That’s all we’ve his all day, so… See how the race goes. Long race. Can certainly do something from there. Yeah, see how it plays out.
THE MODERATOR: We’ll take some questions.
Q. Will, they said you were challenging Pato’s lap. Can you walk us through that. Were you expecting that to go in your favor?
WILL POWER: On the first lap, yeah, I was up actually. He started warming his tires and slowing up. Then I had to back up. Aborted the lap.
I didn’t get close enough to him. I could have driven right up to the back of him and he would have got a penalty. I had to get a gap for the next lap because I only had fuel for the next lap. Go for it.
That’s all that was. Let’s say it wasn’t a blatant block, but he starting waving and backing up. You know you only have one more lap to do it. If you finish on his gearbox, you’re not going to be quick because you lose all your air.
It is what it is. It’s fine. Top four or five cars were on the same 10th. Anyone’s go, I had a good second lap.
Q. Will, on the lap that you got second place on, is there one corner you just go back in your mind and think you could have done something a little bit different that could have got you pole?
WILL POWER: Yeah, there’s always a little bit there. I mean, I have to say made no mistakes in there, it was a neat lap. Always a little bit of something there. Yeah, no, obviously everyone was kind of at the limit of their cars. We were all on the same 10th. I don’t think anyone was going to go like 2/10ths quicker. Maybe a couple hundredths in it. Pato did a phenomenal lap to be on pole.
Q. Will, could you speak to the desire you have for a victory tomorrow. What’s burning inside you right now?
WILL POWER: Yeah, it’s been a terrible year. A lot of desire for pole position and a victory. I didn’t get pole today. Long race tomorrow. Hopefully we have a good race car. I mean, we’re going to make some changes and see if we can get it hooked up.
You never know in these races, as we saw last week. Ericsson was nowhere, and he was over the back of someone, then he won the race. So who knows. If you just stay out of trouble in these races, you always have a chance to win.
Q. Will, do you see this result today as a bit of a relief?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I do. I was very determined coming into this weekend just considering how the last few races have been for me. Yep, right on the pace, back where I need to be. Very focused. Hopefully we can have a good day tomorrow.
Q. Will, are the track conditions noticeably different than when you were at IMS in May? Does NASCAR running on the track with a different type of rubber make a difference to INDYCAR?
WILL POWER: Yeah, it is definitely a different track condition. The car was a lot different for us at the previous race. I don’t know whether because the temperature was cooler.
Yes, the NASCAR rubber does not go well with the Firestone stuff. It doesn’t take long to get it up, though. Doesn’t take long to get the rubber out of the way.
Q. Will, the whole team has been in a little bit of a funk the last couple of races. How important is it for you as pretty much the veteran of the team to pull them out of this?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, we’re all looking for a bloody win. So is about every other person in the series. Yeah, very fierce competition. To win in this series, man, you got to play everything just right otherwise you’re not going to win.
THE MODERATOR: Joined by Pato O’Ward, third pole position of the season, third NTT P1 award of the season.
How did it go?
PATO O’WARD: It’s good, man. Like I’ve been telling everybody, we’ve had a very tough last few races. I’m tired of being in the middle pack. We had a great test in Portland. What we found there I knew was going to help us here. So the goal is definitely to truly return where we belong, which is contend for podiums, for poles, ultimately for wins.
I think we have the car to do something great tomorrow. We just need to execute. The next session is warmup. Do that, get as much information as we can to help us for the race. Then when the race comes, we try and maximize what we got there.
THE MODERATOR: You lost a little bit of ground in the championship last week. How much did you think about that over the last few days?
PATO O’WARD: There’s still five races to go. I know racing. Things can spiral down very quick or they can spiral up very quick.
I just think the focus on really executing on every single session that we do from now until Long Beach checkered flag is going to be critical. But I’m not far back. I can definitely claw my way back into the fight for this championship. That is the goal. We’ve been fighting for it kind of all year.
What I truly want, I want to get to Long Beach with a proper, legit chance of winning the championship. I’m excited. I think we have some great circuits for us coming up. I’m really excited.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. You mentioned the Portland test a couple times. I know you won’t tell us the secrets. Does the car handle better? Get more speed?
PATO O’WARD: Yeah, man, it just handles better. We’ve had a quick car in many places, but damn it’s a handful. It is so hard to drive. I think we have found something that just is more predictable, that just makes it a lot easier on Felix and I to actually get laps in lap after lap consistently.
Yeah, man, we’ve just been really focused on trying to make a better package for both qualifying and the race. One thing is to have a qualifying car and one thing is to have a race car. We’re trying to maximize both.
I feel like that’s where we have lacked a little bit in terms of we’ve had a very strong qualifying car and then we don’t have anything for the race, but then we’ll have a great race car but in qualifying we’re just not quite there.
Q. Felix has struggled to adapt. Seemed like he was running better today. Is he in the same boat as you, like he improved?
PATO O’WARD: Yeah, definitely. I think he’s definitely felt improvements. I haven’t spoken to him obviously since qualifying, but I’m pretty sure he was pretty happy with the car.
Yeah, I mean, both cars I think had the potential to be within the first two rows. Yeah, it’s nice to have both cars there. I’m going to need his help if I’m going to win this championship.
Q. Does it feel like starting on pole, this is sort of the thrust you need for the final move toward a championship, meaning you’re starting out in front of everybody? Does it feel like a new life a little bit?
PATO O’WARD: It feels like a breath of fresh air. It just shows us what we’ve been working on in testing, in our mini break, worked. I’m very excited. Not just for tomorrow, I really want to, like I said, turn the page this weekend. I feel like we have. We’ve done a good job so far.
But tomorrow we have a big job ahead. Just keep doing it. Gateway is coming up. We had a very strong race there last year. Portland, Laguna, they’re all tracks I really enjoy. I think we’re going to have a strong package. We have to maximize every single one and I think that’s going to put us right where we want to be.
Q. You said the car is more stable. Coming to the line in nine and ten on your final lap, looked like it was still a handful.
PATO O’WARD: Yeah, I shipped it, man.
Q. How close were you to losing it?
PATO O’WARD: I mean, I don’t think it’s anything that we haven’t seen before from me (smiling).
The problem is that sometimes you can get really greedy with what you’ve done before. Not always will it stick. I just wanted to transfer. I barely transferred. I should have risked a little bit more. When we went out on blacks, we got the balance a little bit unhappier on blacks, but I knew that was going to make reds happier. As soon as we went out, I knew in the snake is where I went really cautious the run before.
I said, Got to risk it to get the biscuit. Yeah, it was really cool to see the delta just go from minus 1/10th to, boom, minus 5/10ths.
Q. Looking ahead to the race, we’ll have 28 cars. Traffic should be more of an issue. Are you looking forward to see what it can do to your strategy and everybody else’s?
PATO O’WARD: Yeah. Honestly, if they’re respectful, they won’t get in the way of the leaders. At least I hope they won’t.
Yeah, it’s a big field, man. I think it’s great for INDYCAR. I think it shows that the series has a lot of appeal, not just in the U.S. but to Europe. People are enjoying it. It’s just a very, very fun atmosphere to be around. The cars are fun to drive.
Yeah, I think it’s a fantastic series. I think it doesn’t get more raw and more kind of just truly race and truly hustle a race car. I don’t think it gets better than that than INDYCAR. I think INDYCAR ticks all the boxes.
Q. Your previous three poles you didn’t actually win the race the next day.
PATO O’WARD: Don’t tell me (laughter).
Q. Did you learn anything from those?
PATO O’WARD: I would love to win from pole. How is that (smiling)? I’ll leave it there.
Q. Talk about your last lap.
PATO O’WARD: I was surprised when I heard P1. I came in and I saw the pylon, my number didn’t get bumped down. I think I nailed it. Honestly, I thought it was a very put-together, very calm lap. There’s definitely been a lot crazier laps in my life.
Q. Felix talked about some work he did at Portland that you referenced briefly there. He talked about the drivability. Is that something you felt was a big part of the role in getting pole today?
PATO O’WARD: For sure. For sure. A few months ago we were nowhere close to having a pole car. Today we nailed it. We came. As soon as practice one, we went out, I knew we were in the window. Just had to make a few tweaks to truly get the maximum time out of the car.
But, yeah, man, you have to continuously work and make the cars better because I feel like this is kind of the end of the era of this aero kit. Every single team is pretty much capable of being on pole. It just really comes down to the driver and the engineer to try and be as efficient as possible with changes and just know what you need from the car to extract the time.
Q. Could you give is a little bit of context on Christian’s performance today. Give us a bit of an idea how difficult it is to put in that performance today.
PATO O’WARD: I think it’s awesome. I think it was really cool to see him up there. He qualified third, I’m assuming? Fourth. I think it’s great.
I know he has a good, strong car under him. He’s a good driver. I don’t think anybody doesn’t agree with me. He’s strong. He has a lot of experience in Europe with Formula 2 and Formula 3 and other categories.
I think he likes this INDYCAR. I didn’t really get much out of him. He’s very quiet. From experience from driving an F2 car, I guarantee you he likes this INDYCAR.
This IMS road course is probably the closest track that we have to a Formula 1 spec racetrack with just being very flat, lots of runoff, just the type of course fits to what he’s used to.
I think he’s probably not as in a place like going to a Detroit and going out like, Man, something is broken with this car with all the bumps. I think it’s great. I think it’s great we’re having new faces up into the series.
I remember my memory from Sonoma. It’s a good one (smiling).
Q. How beneficial is it with your championship rivals so far behind you on the grid? Will you think about that going into the race?
PATO O’WARD: Where are they? I have no idea.
THE MODERATOR: Dixon is 26th, I believe.
PATO O’WARD: Really? Because he spun. I’ll have a look later.
Q. Alex is starting sixth.
PATO O’WARD: Not a bad position.
Man, it’s such a tough and competitive series. You have to execute everywhere, pit stops, strategy. I have to not make any mistakes, be very wise in what I’m doing in terms of traffic, managing tires, et cetera.
A lot can happen tomorrow, but I think we have the best view into turn one. We’re obviously going for the win. I’d be lying if I said we weren’t. Yeah, I think we’re in a better position right now than what we were a few months back here for the road course event.
All what we have found today have definitely been very positive for us.
Q. In terms of going for the championship, you’re just going all out, you’re not going for what Scott does where he’s Mr. Consistent?
PATO O’WARD: Whenever you have a chance to win, you need to take those points and win because it’s not like every weekend you go and you can win. We’re definitely going for that.
But if we can’t manage to do that, I’m not going to do something stupid and put it in the wall. We need to be smart. We’re obviously going for it. If we can’t win, then we take the second. Still a lot of points.
Yeah, man, I’m just really looking forward to turning the page to our very crappy last three races, close out this weekend very strong, and don’t look back until the checkered flag waves in Long Beach.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.