CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY THURSDAY PRACTICE RECAP
MAY 19, 2022
CHEVROLET-POWERED TEAMS AND DRIVERS MAKE UP FOR LOST TIME AS WEATHER CLEARS FOR TODAY’S PRACTICE FOR THE 106TH INDIANAPOLIS 500
ALL 33 CARS INCLUDING THE 16 CHEVROLET-POWERED CARS POSTED A TOTAL OF 3,114 LAPS
AS WINDS BEGAN TO PICKUP, DRIVERS NAVIGATED THE FAMED 2.5-MILE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY OVAL IN PREPARATION OF FAST FRIDAY
BOOST LEVEL IS ADVANCED FROM 1.3 BAR TO 1.5 BAR FRIDAY FOR MORE HORSEPOWER AS THEY READY THEIR CARS FOR QUALIFYING ON SATURDAY
INDIANAPOLIS (May 19, 2022) – After torrential rain shut-down all on-track activities on Wednesday, Team Chevy drivers were greeted with sunshine and a slight breeze as they took to the track at noon TODAY.. Today teams maximized the time in preparation of the boost increase tomorrow. Moving the boost from 1.3 bar to 1.5 bar will give drivers’ the extra horsepower needed to make a strong run for the pole of the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500.
The six-hour session was without contact incidents. Of great interest throughout the afternoon was the NO-TOW laps. NO-TOW laps are critical as they simulate the single-car four-lap runs drivers make in qualifying to grab the best possible starting position.
The Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge is scheduled to take the green flag Sunday, May 29th at 12:45 pm EDT.
TEAM CHEVY QUOTES
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 SHELL CHEVROLET, TEAM PENSKE:
“Hey, everyone. So we’re day three here at Speedway you get lost track of time. It was a good day as a qualifying day for us. We were working on a lot of different things to see how we can be faster this weekend. Keep working on everything with Team Chevy that keeps me positive for qualifying. Our Shell Rewards car is really fast. We need tp have a good weekend, we got to be fast. We need to get it up front for some points and start the race well. Make sure you tune in and cheer us on.”
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 PENNZOIL CHEVROLET, TEAM PENSKE:
DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE INSULATORS CHEVROLET, AJ FOYT RACING:
alright so we just missed the rain here’s we’ve got our full session and today was great because it’s, you know, with the week of practice you still need to get as much time on track as you can to get the car ready for the race. We really only did one trim run today. We wanted to kind of focus on our race car we started the day I think after the rain yesterday, we started the day a bit unsure of the rear end I think some of the rubber got washed away. And it was a bit a bit sketchy but we made some changes made it better and had a good race run at the end so everything’s looking good.”
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 McLAREN CHEVROLET, ARROW McLAREN SP:
“A really solid day for us today. We did a lot of race running and gathered a lot of data. Tomorrow is going to consist of all qualifying running on Fast Friday. I’m really happy with the car, so I’m excited to see what speeds we can achieve tomorrow and during qualifying. Once we’ve got qualifying done, we’ll be back to working on the race car to see if we can make it go even better before next Sunday’s race.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 6 McLAREN CHEVROLET, ARROW McLAREN SP:
“That was good! We tried a lot of things today. We made a lot of improvements in the car but there’s still a little way to go to be really good. I would definitely say it’s been a positive day. Tuesday was a bit more difficult as we thought we’d be stronger after the test, so we were a little bit disappointed, but now I feel like we have a decent race car. Now, we’ll focus on qualifying as we head into the weekend and see what it brings. The forecast doesn’t look great for Saturday, and it’s going to be windy, so that could make it difficult.”
FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 7 VUSE McLAREN CHEVROLET, ARROW McLAREN RACING SP:
“A pretty solid day for Arrow McLaren SP, we learned a lot. It was a bit up and down with how the car felt, on one run we were superstars, then the next we were scratching our heads a bit. This place is always tricky, so we just have to be calm, look at what we’ve learned as a team across the three cars, and nail it for race day.”
JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 11 HOME FOR OUR TROOPS CHEVROLET, AJ FOYT RACING:
“We got through a lot today, conditions were hot for most of the day cooled off towards the end. You know, I think the positives for sure, just all the cars, including stuff we’ll send in the Dragon Speed cars, you know, everybody’s contributing and, we’re all kind of dealing with the same stuff out there. So, I think as long as everybody’s converging, if we’ve all got the same problem, that at least gives us some confidence that we can address what we need to address. We ended up kind of figuring a few things out towards the end of the day. And going into tomorrow, the game plan definitely changes. You will still be working on the handling characteristics of the car, carrying over, we have some the expectation that some of the things that we’re working on today will still remain to be things that we’ll work on as we head towards qualifying but get the extra boost, you know, it’ll be eight or 10 miles an hour or something once we once we really trim out and get with it. So excited to see what the majority of Chevy has in it when we roll out tomorrow and always fun to start working on qualifying at Speedway.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON CHEVROLET, TEAM PENSKE:
“Yeah pretty, pretty good day. Just doing qualifying simulations obviously at the lower power level. Everything’s going to be more difficult tomorrow. When the boost gets turned up. Quite a bit more horsepower so we will be heading into the corner 10 mph faster. It’s going to be more windy and hotter. So definitely going to be tough, but I think we found a good place to start.”
KYLE KIRKWOOD, NO. 14 ROKIT CHEVROLET, AJ FOYT RACING:
“So it seems that everything’s going quite well at the moment. It seems like it’s a pretty even match right now between Honda and Chevy. Which looking I guess from the outside view, it seems like Chevy’s made a pretty big step. Not only this weekend but the entire year. And I’m curious to see what’s going to happen tomorrow. We think there’s kind of a confidence and a good aura around everyone that has Chevy power, and we’re expecting big things from them.”
CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE CHEVROLET, ED CARPENTER RACING:
“Track conditions seemed to make it quite difficult, but overall I don’t think it was a bad day for us! We really started to focus on getting ready for qualifying. We were doing a lot of single car running and no-tow speeds seemed to be quite good. That’s what we’re focused on, qualifying is of maximum importance and I really want to qualify well this year. We focused a lot on that this afternoon, which is good.”
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 BITCOIN RACING TEAM WITH BITNILE CHEVROLET, ED CARPENTER RACING:
“Today was a good day. It was dry! The car felt really good in qualifying trim, and then in race trim we felt very good too. Overall a solid day! We made improvements and I have a good feeling heading into Fast Friday!”
SANTINO FERRUCCI, NO. 23 PALERMO’S CHEVROLET, DRYER & REINBOLD RACING:
“It was a little bit of any up and down day for us,” said Ferrucci, whose team announced an additional partner Thursday with the famed Barrett-Jackson organization joining the No. 23 car. “We got some qualifying running early in the session and we got an idea for the direction for the car. The race car setup felt pretty good, and we are happy there. We’ll see what happens on ‘Fast Friday’ and it’s supposed to be windy. So, we’ll see how things go throughout the day.”
SAGE KAREM, NO. 24 AES INDIANA CHEVROLET, DRYER & REINBOLD RACING:
“Day 3 in the books at IMS and we did a mostly qualifying stuff throughout the day,” said Karam, who won the “Hard Charger Award” in the 2021 Indy 500 by passing 24 cars for a seventh-place finish. “We worked through many different trim levels, and I think we were pretty decent on the ‘no-tow’ speeds. The car felt pretty good. Santino also worked more on the race trim settings, and I worked on more qualifying trim. We plan to do a little more setups, but the forecast is pretty gusty with the winds. We’ll have to wait and see what the weather brings.”
STEFAN WILSON, NO. 25 DRAGONSPEED/CUSICK CHEVROLET, DRAGONSPEED/CUSICK MOTORSPORTS:
“ Trying day for the #25 crew, we worked through a lot of changes, some positive and some negative, and we have a lot of information now to come up with a strategy and plan for the next time we go on track for traffic running. Now we’ll switch our focus to Qualifying running and Fast Friday!”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 33 ALZAMEND NEURO CHEVROLET, ED CARPENTER RACING:
“We started out race running and we weren’t as good as the other day at the start, but we just didn’t kind of have the balance quite dialed in yet. We made good improvements in race running from where we were a couple days ago. Then we started prepping for qual sims to make sure we have a good balance in the configurations that we plan on running tomorrow once Chevrolet really turns loose all that horsepower! I’m looking forward to that.”
CALLUM ILOTT, NO. 77 DYNAMIC EDGE CHEVROLET, JUNCOS HOLLINGER RACING:
“It was a pretty long day. We hoped for quite a lot of single-car running and focused on our qualifying stuff. Toward the end of the day we did some pack-running. So we tried to get the best of both worlds. There are a few things to improve on and we’re slowly getting there and increasing the speed every run. We’re just chipping away. It does seem like a long week but it does close up pretty quickly, especially with the rain yesterday. Overall it was a good day. We’re getting there. I’m happy and looking forward to tomorrow. It’s going to be a bit windy and everything gets turned up a bit tomorrow. Hopefully we can do a good job in this Juncos Hollinger car.”
THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Wrapping up what is technically practice for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 coming up a week from Sunday. We’ll be joined by Kyle Kirkwood and Jimmie Johnson momentarily, but leading us off, the driver of the No. 33 Alzamend Neuro, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet. Ed Carpenter, who was tenth quick, third quick on the no-tow right behind Will Power and his teammate Rinus VeeKay also first and second on the no-tow.
So five and a half hours of green flag time, over 3,100 laps turned today. Did you get what you wanted to get done today?
ED CARPENTER: Yeah, I think we did a little bit of everything, so yeah, we started the day off doing some race running with the change from where we were the other day, first day I guess it was.
So it took us a little bit to kind of rebalance that change. In the end I think it was better, but we weren’t super happy in the first part of the day, then we wanted to shift gears and start getting some of our configurations and balances ready for tomorrow when we start going fast.
It’s one of those weird ones like I kind of would have liked to have done what Ganassi did and just do race running all day long, but we also have gone into Fast Friday not in a great head space for qualifying before, and kind of gotten confused once the boost is turned up. We wanted to go into tomorrow feeling pretty good about our balance at different trim configurations.
I think we accomplished all that, and then finished off race running again at the end of the day, and felt right nice.
THE MODERATOR: Did you go out and do any qual sims at all? We saw some of that.
ED CARPENTER: Yeah, I did two complete ones. Feel like we’re in a decent spot. But again, a lot of people haven’t shown their hand just yet. I don’t think Ganassi has really shown anything — there’s someone else, McLaren I don’t think did any Q sims either today. So there’s some big hitters that still are concealing what they can do.
THE MODERATOR: Also joined by the driver of the No. 14 Rocket AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet, Kyle Kirkwood. Kyle, welcome. Tell us about your day today.
KYLE KIRKWOOD: Yeah, it was pretty good. I think we just got done in the nick of time. It’s starting to downpour out there coming back over here. I’m happy with the way the day went. AJ Foyt Racing seems to be doing pretty decent the past couple days, so I’m happy with the performance so far.
THE MODERATOR: 19th quick today for Kyle Kirkwood, the rookie again, driving the No. 14 for AJ Foyt.
Q. Ed, why the shift in philosophy? I know you’ve been 19 straight years here. Was it too good to balance or was it monkey see, monkey do?
ED CARPENTER: No, it was our plan coming into the day. I think anytime you lose a whole day to rain you’ve got to modify the plan a little bit. I didn’t do — all we do on opening day was race running. Didn’t even think about any trimming.
The car changes a fair amount of times when they give us all the qualifying power that we’ll have tomorrow, so I think it’s important to at least have an established kind of qualifying baseline balance going into that just so then the only thing we’re dealing with tomorrow is a whole lot more horsepower.
Q. How does the car feel in qual sims? Do you feel like the cars are more even this year?
ED CARPENTER: Who knows. We haven’t seen the boost up yet, so it’s hard to know what we’re going to have. These guys haven’t shown anything yet. Things will become more clear tomorrow night.
Q. Probably for Ed since he’s a team owner and the veteran up there.
ED CARPENTER: Veteran at what? (Laughter.)
Q. Driving at Indianapolis. Ed, how much of a track position race has this become, and how much does that beat what you did on qualifying setups today?
ED CARPENTER: I mean, it can be. At the same time, I was at the front last year and stalled it on the first pit stop and went back and we found our way back to the front.
A lot of it just depends on the day that you have. If we have a 90-degree type of weather day it makes the track position probably more important than a racetrack like we had last year that I don’t even know if it got to 70 degrees.
It can be, but it’s a 500-mile race. A lot can happen. You can do a lot with strategy. There’s a lot of ways to find your way to the front.
From experience, it definitely can set you up for an easier 500 miles if you can get the track position and keep it. There’s no doubt about that.
Q. How is the Chevrolet package playing out so far? Have you seen a big improvement on the road courses? How will that translate to Indy?
ED CARPENTER: So far, so good. I think Chevrolet has been a great partner for us, and all the years I’ve been here with them, I never felt like we didn’t have a chance to win this race. It’s always been a good fight with Chevrolet and Honda.
I think they’ve worked really hard this past off-season and came into this season prepared.
Like I said earlier, I think it’s kind of a toss-up in race trim. It’s hard to really tell if anyone really has an advantage one way or the other, and by tomorrow night I think we’ll maybe have a little bit of an idea if one manufacturer has the upper hand for qualifying or not, but it seems tight.
Q. Kyle, you’re used to much shorter races in both of your careers, and obviously this one is a lot longer. How are you approaching the mental aspect, making sure that you’re ready?
KYLE KIRKWOOD: Yeah, for me, like you said, it’s a really long two weeks. It feels like we’ve been here forever already, and it’s only been three days, and we missed one day. It’s just not trying to get ahead of yourself. I’m trying to take things as slow as possible.
Usually you go into a race week and you get two practice sessions and then you’re straight into the race and you’ve got to attack right off the bat, and this year has been tracks that I haven’t been to and I’ve had to attack early on.
This one I’ve had to take a massive step back and kind of just rethink the entire philosophy of the two weeks going into a weekend.
Yeah, it’s quite a bit different, but I think everything is going pretty well at the moment. We’ve got a lot of race running in. We did a couple qually sims early on this afternoon. Yeah, I think it’s going well so far.
Q. How did the day yesterday change and affect the program in terms of what becomes more important for the rest of the week?
ED CARPENTER: I mean, it just condenses the plan. We still have to get the same amount of work done. You can see that everyone kind of has a different approach to how they’re managing the work.
I think like our team and Andretti probably had more philosophy today than what the Ganassi cars had, a little bit different philosophy. But it’s the same for everybody. It would be worse if you lost today and other people were on track, but the fact that nobody ran, I think it just condenses all the work we need to do.
KYLE KIRKWOOD: Yeah, I tend to agree with what you just said there. We’re just keeping it simple. We kind of planned for the weather to ruin one day, so we got through all our big test items the first day, which was really good.
There is no hiccups there, so glad that happened. Today we got through the test items we needed to, so we’ve actually kind of made up for the lost time.
Q. Ed, you and both your teammates were pretty high up on a non-tow stint. Just wondering, is there a reason for that? What goes into being good at that?
ED CARPENTER: Well, I mean, we all three did qualifying simulations, so not everyone did that today. It seems like we have some decent speed. But again, there’s a lot of good cars that didn’t do any qualifying simulations today.
It doesn’t quite mean anything until tomorrow. That’s what I was talking about earlier. We just wanted to do it and get a good baseline and balance for the configurations we plan on running tomorrow with the boost.
Q. You and Connor have obviously been doing this a little longer than Rinus. What kind of advice have you had for him?
ED CARPENTER: Rinus doesn’t need much advice anymore. He figured this place out quick. I think more so than anyplace we go, I think he got comfortable in the way he drives and the feel that he has.
It really suits him well here. He pulls his weight for sure, and I’ll still give him some things, like going into Turn 1 today on a cool-down lap or Turn 3 and send it like four wide around the top, and I’m like, hey, dude, they’ve got warm-up lanes, let’s use them. No big deal.
So stuff like that. But the hard part he has figured out.
Q. Changes in qualifying procedures this year, to get full you guys have to make three runs at it instead of two. I think probably back when you started, might have only had to do one. I can’t quite remember. But any thoughts on having to make like three runs just right there on the ragged edge of things to try and go for full? Do you enjoy being able to do that one more time or do you wish it was back at two?
ED CARPENTER: Yeah, it’s a good question. I do love qualifying here, but I don’t know that I love doing two runs within 30 minutes. It’s kind of nice to do one and then recharge the batteries a little bit because it is stressful and draining even though it’s four laps.
But it’s the same for everyone. It’ll be interesting for sure. The only times that I’ve had to kind of do multiple runs is usually when we’re having a bit of a struggle and you’ve got to go try to find some more time.
Yeah, it’s going to be interesting. I’ve thought about it a lot trying to figure out exactly what it’s going to be like, but it’ll really, I guess, largely depend on, one, getting into the Fast 12, and then from there what the conditions are and what the balance of the car is will determine how stressful the second run is.
Q. Do you feel like the procedure that INDYCAR has put in place with — I think there’s a couple laps, I don’t know if you recall them, maybe a warm-up lap that —
ED CARPENTER: The gladiator laps you’re talking about.
Q. Yeah, exactly. You feel like that will do enough to even things out for the guy that finished 12th on Saturday that’s able to get into the Fast Six a half hour or so ahead of the guys —
ED CARPENTER: Yeah, I think that’s going to work out pretty well. I simulated that today, too, just to kind of see what it was going to be like. Yeah, I think that’ll be a good procedure.
Q. For the rookies, you now are going to have the boost go up and you’re going to go a lot faster going into Turn 1 tomorrow. What are the thoughts going into tomorrow knowing you’re going to probably be pushing 240 going into Turn 1?
KYLE KIRKWOOD: For me it’s a little bit intimidating going from qually sim and pulling out the downforce out and feeling how light the car is there. It’s kind of like you don’t really want to turn the wheel because you’re just unsure what the car is going to do, and adding another 10 or 15 miles per hour to it is going to be less than comfortable, I would have to say.
From the people that I’ve talked to they all say it’s not that big of a step. It actually feels better because you get the runs out of the corners and it’s not like you lose tons of grip due to the speed. I guess I’ll let you know after I go through Turn 1 the first time with more power.
KYLE KIRKWOOD: Yeah, the number one thing he said to me just trust instincts when you go out there. If something doesn’t feel right just stop, because there was a moment where we missed it on aero and ended up with a wrong rear wing and I went out and did one lap at 185. I was like something doesn’t feel right. I remember he said that. Came in and we realized we were two degrees off on the rear wing, so was one thing.
Q. We had the rain yesterday that washed the entire track clean. How similar did the track today feel compared to Tuesday?
ED CARPENTER: Yeah, I agree. I thought it was different. I don’t know if I would say there was less grip, but I thought there was a bit of a balance shift, which happens around here, whether track temps, wind, whatever it may be. Just something you learn to not freak out about and adapt to.
KYLE KIRKWOOD: Yeah, for me it was — I didn’t really notice much because we went with a completely different car, but talking to J.R. who was running the same car I switched to, he said, yeah, it seemed a bit freer to start off the morning.
Q. We have a bit of drizzle coming on right now. Does that give you all any apprehension that some of the rubber laid down today might get washed off and it might be a bit more greener than you were hoping?
ED CARPENTER: I don’t think so. For me I think back to the open test, the track came in really quick, and it had been sitting for a long, long time. Having 33 cars here, it’ll come back to life pretty quickly. It’s more just adapting to what the day brings.
It’s going to be — I think the big topic tomorrow is going to be wind. Looks like the wind is going to be pretty strong, so I think that’ll be the dominant difference for tomorrow.
Q. Romain said this morning, I’m not quoting him directly, but he said something about when you have a moment out there, butt puckering and things like that; have you been guys experienced any of that as first timers here? How does it feel?
KYLE KIRKWOOD: Yeah, I had a couple out there. There was one that I got loose right in the middle of 1. Did like one solid tank slap, and after that it took me a few laps to have the confidence to hold it flat again, and then multiple situations where you get a little bit high in someone’s aero wash and you just end up right in the middle of their wake and you can’t get out it. You just out of the throttle and you feel like the car is never going to turn.
It’s like the onboard videos do not give it any justice because you start turning the wheel, and then all of a sudden us just don’t turn anymore. You get to about 25 degrees of steering input. After that you’re just past the slip angle. The car is just not going to turn anymore. It’s a very scary moment when you get past that moment and you’re just understeering looking at the wall and that’s coming at you at 220 miles per hour.
Q. Does it take your breath away?
KYLE KIRKWOOD: A little bit, yeah. It makes your heart drop for a moment but you get back on the horse and keep digging.
Q. Ed, do you remember any in your first moments?
ED CARPENTER: Yeah, I mean, it still happens. If you’re pushing and going hard here and pushing the limits of it, you’re always going to have that. I think having more experience and having different things happen, yeah.
But for sure you learn quickly, like Kyle said earlier, to trust your instincts. This isn’t the type of place that you push through for very long until it comes race time. But yeah, too many to count.
Q. Can you explain to us what butt puckering is to English dudes because that’s a new one.
ED CARPENTER: It keeps you from shitting your pants.
Q. Ed, just based on your experience here at the speedway, how much of a problem is the wind likely to be, and is it likely to reduce your run tomorrow or what kind of impact will it have?
ED CARPENTER: No, we’ll run in it. I’ve always been of the mind that you need to run in whatever conditions you get because we don’t know what exactly we’ll have next Sunday, so you need to be prepared for it. I think the direction of the wind makes a big difference here, and gustiness can change things and make you feel different things than you feel on a calm day. It’s just something you have to be cognizant of and aware of as you’re preparing your car.
Q. Ed, what do you think about Connor’s hot tub prank?
ED CARPENTER: I thought whoever did it, it was a brilliant idea. Exactly parents that has kids, it’s not — first off, you get a cereal bowl of those things and they end up all over your house.
Q. You know a lot about this.
ED CARPENTER: I do, but it wasn’t me. He knows it wasn’t me.