CHEVROLET IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA
BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK
TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
APRIL 27, 2022
Better at Barber: Chevrolet Riding Strong History to Alabama GP
Team Chevy on rare run to open 2022 racing season
DETROIT (April 27, 2022) – Chevrolet is hoping to add to a stellar start to the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES this weekend when its teams head to scenic Barber Motorsports Park for the Grand Prix of Alabama. Team Chevy is on a three-race win streak to open the season and heads to a venue where it has enjoyed incredible success during the past decade.
It has been 10 years since Chevrolet opened an INDYCAR season with four consecutive victories to signal its return to North American open-wheel racing. The 2017 season was the last time the Bowtie Brand won four races in row when it won five times late the season.
The odds appear to be in Team Chevy’s favor this weekend. A Chevrolet driver has won six times with the 2.2-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine at the 2.3-mile, 17-turn circuit just outside Birmingham including four straight from 2015-18.
“It’s a gratifying feeling to be able to celebrate with our Chevrolet engineers, drivers and teams at the end of every race win,” said Rob Buckner, Chevrolet Program Manager for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. “To do so three times to start this season is extra special. I wouldn’t say we are completely surprised because we expect to win every race. But we also recognize the high level of competition in INDYCAR at the moment. Our engineers will continue to work hard to find improvements with our teams to keep Chevrolet at the front each weekend.
“As to Barber itself, the track presents a number of challenges. It’s the first natural-terrain road course of the year. That means lots of elevation change and punishing runoff areas that always get the attention of drivers. Consistent power application and fuel management across the hills and around all 17 corners will be key. There’s nothing more we’d like than to go into the month of May and Indianapolis with another victory.”
Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden is the hottest driver in INDYCAR with the points lead and consecutive victories at Texas and Long Beach. Now he heads to a Barber Motorsports Park where he has won three times – the most of any driver in the series. A win there by the No. 2 Team Penske Hitachi Chevrolet would net Newgarden the PeopleReady Force for Good Challenge, which rewards the first driver to win on an oval, street circuit and road course in the same season.
That driver will share $500,000 with his or her team and donate $500,000 to that driver and team’s chosen charity.
Penske teammate Scott McLaughlin won the season’s opening street race at St. Petersburg and sits second in points. With two pole positions in three races, Chevrolet also leads the Engine Manufacturer Championship.
In addition to Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing has found its share of success at Barber. It won with Newgarden in 2015 and has two additional top-10 finishes at Barber.
Chevrolet and the NTT INDYCAR Series continue the 2022 season at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 1 from Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. The race will air live on NBC, the Peacock streaming service and SiriusXM IndyCar Nation (Channel 160). Live timing and scoring will be available at racecontrol.indycar.com.
TEAM CHEVY QUOTES
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 PPG CHEVROLET, TEAM PENSKE: “I love Barber and how close it is to Nashville. Before the Music City Grand Prix, it was kind of my home race to some degree. I love the high-speed nature of Barber. It’s a lot of high-speed commitment from a lot of the corners which makes it a lot of fun to drive. It suits my style, for sure. It’s all about flow and carrying big speed and putting the car on the edge. That’s what I like most about it.”
“It’ll be fascinating to see how we go on a permanent road course. I think we’ve proven we can have a good street-course car and a good oval car, but we need to have a good road-course car to complete the set. So I’m really looking forward to it.”
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 SONSIO CHEVROLET, TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “Excited to head back to Barber. I think for me it was my first race last year in INDYCAR and it was just trying to take it all in at that point. Now after having a year and a few more races under my belt
I am excited to head back to a track I actually originally enjoyed. I love the track. I think it is a roller coaster. It reminds me a lot of the bravery and commitment you need on some of the big tracks in Australia. I think with the experience I’ve gained in the last 18 months, I feel really strong and excited to head back to a track. It really kicks off our road course campaign. It’s the first road course we’ve had this year. I’m excited to see how the car feels like. What the changes we have made in the off-season feels like. It’s been good on the street circuits and ovals. This will be our first road course test and I think we can be right at the front and put Team Chevy in Victory Lane.”
DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE INSULATORS CHEVROLET, AJ FOYT RACING: “Can’t wait to get on track at Barber. Barber’s always been one of the cool tracks on the
circuit–it’s a well-maintained, well-put-together circuit. It’s a fun track to drive and challenging physically. It can be hard to pass so we’ll have to be working on that. Obviously qualifying is going to be super important so we’ll be keeping that theme of focusing really aggressively on qualifying through the practice and getting ready for those qualifying runs to get a good start for the race. Looks like ticket sales are going great so looking forward to a busy weekend with all the INDYCAR fans there. The No. 4 K-Line Insulator crew will be ready.”
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, ARROW McLAREN RACING SP:
“I love Barber. It’s one of my favorite racetracks because it’s a very high commitment track. I’ve always said it’s one of the most beautiful and well taken care of facilities I’ve ever been too. It’s always a great turnout; I also heard it’s going to be a sold-out event on Sunday so I’m sure it’s going to be a great event for everyone to watch and for us to entertain. Looking forward to continuing on the momentum we have built and getting some great points for our championship.”
FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 7 VUSE ARROW McLAREN SP CHEVROLET, ARROW McLAREN RACING SP: “It’s good to be going back to a proper road course, Barber, it’s the first one this year. It’s a great track; it’s a cool, physical, and mental challenge. It’s always a great joy to drive that track. I think as a team both Pato and I, and everyone working on the cars, are ready to have a solid result. We are looking forward to getting some good points to get the season going.”
TATIANA CALDERON, NO. 11 ROKIT CHEVROLET, AJ FOYT RACING: “I’m really looking forward to Barber. Although I have been there in Star Mazda, I have to say I had to watch a lot of onboards to remember the whole track, so it will be a new track to learn for me. The only thing I remember from Barber was that I had my first podium in Star Mazda there. It’s our first permanent track of the year so I’m excited to be able to explore the limit of the car a bit more freely than in the first two rounds– it’s always tough to do that on a street circuit.
“I have spent the last couple of weeks training hard in Florida (good for heat training), as according to some of the drivers and engineers, Barber is one of the toughest tracks physically. I have done a bit more strength work ahead of this weekend and the different format of having only the race on Sunday (and no warmup) may help for that. I expect a big challenge regardless and for sure trying to catch up as quick as possible as most of the drivers or rookies have tested in Barber recently. My goal is still the same to start off where we left in Long Beach and keep improving every session.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G CHEVROLET, TEAM PENSKE: “Barber will be interesting. People have tested there, so it could a tough race for us. I finished second there last year so hopefully we can build on the setup a little bit and be pretty good when we get there.”
KYLE KIRKWOOD, NO. 14 ROKIT CHEVROLET, AJ FOYT RACING: “Looking forward to Barber, it’s an awesome race,” Kirkwood said. “I heard it’s sold out and we’re looking forward to getting back on a permanent road course. It’s a track I’m familiar with and a track that the team’s familiar with, and they’ve had pretty good races there in the past so hopefully that momentum continues and we’ll have a good weekend.”
CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE CHEVROLET, ED CARPENTER RACING: “Barber is a place where we have been able to test. It’s very fresh in our minds and is a very well-manicured circuit. It’s very different from our street races, obviously. But it also is one of the most physically demanding circuits on the schedule because it has very high G-loads and high levels of grip. It’s an enjoyable circuit to drive. It’s a tougher race circuit until the tires start to wear out and that creates some overtaking. The straights aren’t super-long but it’s a fun track. It’s a little narrow but it doesn’t seem as narrow as a place like Road America, for example.”
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 SONAX CHEVROLET, ED CARPENTER RACING: “Before Long Beach, we had a great test at Barber Motorsports Park and it made me even more excited to get back there! We have a fast car that can challenge for a Top 5. Ed Carpenter Racing has a strong history at Barber, which is also very good. I really like the track and it’s pretty beautiful in the spring. I might also get a haircut at Barber because it makes sense.”
CALLUM ILOTT, NO. 77 JUNCOS HOLLINGER CHEVROLET, JUNCOS HOLLINGER RACING: “After testing the oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week, we are looking forward to our first road course race of the season at Barber. Luckily I got the chance to test at Barber and iron out any little issues we may have had so hopefully we can hit the ground running at Barber. It’s a fun track. It will be difficult to overtake in the race, but hopefully we can get a better qualifying run and move up a few places. Otherwise the weather looks a bit questionable so that could make it a bit interesting, but we will have to see. It would be nice to see what this car is like in the wet.”