CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY
WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA
MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA
QUALIFYING RECAP
SEPT. 18, 2021

POWER AND O’WARD LEAD CHEVY TO FIRESTONE FAST SIX

MONTEREY, CALIF (SEPT. 8, 2021) – Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G T
Team Penske Chevrolet, and Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet led Team Chevy into the highly competitive Firestone Fast Six.

Power, the 2014 NTT INDYCAR Series champion and winner of the 2018 winner of the Indianapolis 500, will roll off third in tomorrow’s 95-lap Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course that features a 300-foot elevation change and the famous “Corkscrew” in Turns 8 and 8A.

Title contender Pato O’Ward spun in the Corkscrew on his flyer lap in the final stages of the Firestone Fast Six. As a result he will start sixth on Sunday.

Two-time Series’ champion Josef Newgarden arrived at Laguna Seca a close third in the championship standings, but was unable to transfer out of round one of qualifying and has to settle for starting 17th in the 27-car field.

Colton Herta won the pole. Alexander Rossi, Alex Palou and Oliver Askew complete the Firestone Fast Six field.

NBC will telecast the 90-lap Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 19. 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 DRIVER STARTING POSITIONS:
No.12 Will Power, Verizon5G Team Penske Chevrolet, Qualified 3rd
No. 5 Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, Qualified 6th
No. 22 Simon Pagenaud, Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, Qualified 9th
No. 59 Max Chilton, Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet, Qualified10th
No. 7 Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, Qualified 15th
No. 3 Scott McLaughlin, PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, Qualified 16th
No. 2 Josef Newgarden, Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, Qualified 17th
No. 20 Conor Daly, U.S. Air Force Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, Qualified 18th
No. 14 Sebastien Bourdais, ROKIT AJ Foyt Chevrolet, Qualified 21st
No. 21 Rinus VeeKay, Sonax/AutoGeek Ed Carpenter Chevrolet, Qualified 24th
No. 77 Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet, Qualified 26th
No. 4 Dalton Kellett, K-Line AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet, Qualified 27th

DRIVER QUOTES:

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – Qualified 3rd

WAS THERE ANYTHING LEFT IN THAT VERIZON 5G MACHINE IN THE FAST SIX SESSION?

“Yeah, there was a little bit left there in the last corner. But everywhere else, it was as good as it got there. It was a good lap.” 

YOU WERE ON THE PODIUM HERE TWO YEARS AGO. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE OUTLOOK FOR THE RACE TOMORROW AFTERNOON?

“Hopefully a challenge for a win.” 

PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET – Qualified 6th

WE SAW YOU SPIN OUT THERE. IT’S BEEN AN ADVENTUROUS DAY OVERALL. CONSIDERING ALL THAT, HOW PLEASED ARE YOU TO BE A PART OF THE FIRESTONE FAST SIX?

“This was our maximization. The best we did in practice was 20th just because we were all over the place. We didn’t really have the balance correctly and I’m happy with sixth. Fifth obviously, would have been better, but I was pushing just to try to get every ounce out of the car. We made it to the Fast Six, which seemed kind of like a long haul for us going into qualifying, but we accomplished it. So, I’m happy with the changes that we made. Now we need to make the race car go faster and see what we can do in the race” 

LOOKS LIKE YOU WILL LINE-UP BEHIND THE GUY YOU ARE CHASING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP IN ALEX PALOU. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT AT THE START OF THIS RACE TOMORROW?

“I’m a bit in the Ganassi group because I think Marcus (Ericsson) and Scott (Dixon) are in the row behind me. I guess we’ll have to see tomorrow.” 

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 17TH:

“Obviously, not the result we were looking for. We showed good pace yesterday and were on the right path this morning but we just missed in qualifying. Unfortunate as we’ve made things more difficult for ourselves. Regardless, we’re focused on doing everything we can to move forward and we’ll be ready to get to work tomorrow.” 

SÉBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 14 ROKIT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 21ST: 

“It started off pretty good yesterday. I thought the car was seemingly in the window, just needed a bit of grip and a bit less understeer. It seemed like there was potential from the work we did at the (simulator) deal. At least it correlated pretty well, the feel behind the wheel was very similar. Then we went back out this morning and picked up a massive amount of understeer which was really strange. Put the reds on and it didn’t really fix anything, so made very little changes for this afternoon because for us the car has gone fairly oversteer between cold and higher track temps and sure enough we got loose on entry and really never recovered the front grip that we had in the center of the corners so it became a very difficult car to drive. Unfortunately it’s nowhere near good enough, so yeah, very disappointed.”

DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE INSULATORS CHEVROLET. QUALIFIED 27TH: 

“Not an easy session for us overall. It was obviously a scramble to recover from that hit in practice and the guys did a good job getting the car fixed up. Luckily it wasn’t too much damage and they were able to turn that car around quickly, so that was a good job by them. We tried to gamble and do reds-reds (tires) because we felt like without having the experience on reds from practice that would be a good move just to get some more time and see how those tires behave. The overall grip felt like it never came in and it was just kind of sliding around the whole time on the first set and then the second set, the same thing. Kind of loose in, quite a bit of understeer mid-off and kind of backed it off a bit to just put a lap together, but it just never really felt like the temps came up. Towards the end of the stint after the checkered going through (turn) 10, it felt like we were finally getting some load in the wheel, so maybe we could have gone a lap shorter on the first stint to do four on the second run probably would have been a better idea, but hindsight is 20/20. So we obviously have some work to do in the race but we’ve shown that we could have good race pace. Qualifying is still our crux, but we’ll have to make something happen in the race tomorrow.”