CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
HONDA INDY TORONTO
STREETS OF TORONTO TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE RECAP AND TRANSCRIPT
Rosenqvist scores season-best third place for Team Chevy
McLaughlin, Newgarden also finish in top 10 on tough day on Toronto circuit.
TORONTO (July 17, 2022) — Though disappointed by missing the Firestone Fast Six qualifying session by a scant margin, Felix Rosenqvist said “we can do some damage from P8” in the No. 7 Circle K Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
The 30-year-old Swede was prophetic. Rosenqvist drove to a season-best third place to lead the Chevrolet Racing contingent in the Honda Indy Toronto on the 1.786-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit.
Scott McLaughlin, winner of the last NTT INDYCAR SERIES race earlier this month, finished ninth in the No. 3 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet and two-time Toronto winner Josef Newgarden drove to 10th place in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet.
“What a fun race. Big thanks to all of the Arrow McLaren SP Circle K guys,” said Rosenqvist, whose previous best finish through nine races was fourth in the Indianapolis 500. “I had to fight really hard for it. The strategy for the race is you had to overtake on track and have great pit stops. I think we nailed that.“We took the opportunities we had and that slowly moved us forward.”
After the front-running Rinus Veekay, driving the No. 21 Bitcoin Racing Team with BitNile Chevrolet, pitted for the final time on Lap 61 of 85, Rosenqvist moved to third behind Scott Dixon and Colton Herta. He challenged for second, getting to .8735 of a second behind Herta’s Honda, but couldn’t overtake on the tight serpentine circuit.
Dixon earned his first victory of the season and fourth at Toronto, which moved the veteran driver into a tie with Mario Andretti with second in the all-time list with 52 wins. A.J. Foyt leads with 67.
Will Power, who was hampered by qualifying 16th in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, moved up to 12th early on but was behind traffic most of the race and placed 15th. Power remained second in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES standings – 34 points behind Marcus Ericsson.
Chevrolet retained the manufacturer points lead.
Chevrolet teams continue the stretch of five races in four consecutive weekends with the doubleheader on the .875-mile Iowa Speedway trioval. NBC will telecast both races live at 4 p.m. ET July 23 and 3 p.m. ET July 24.
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, FINISHED 11TH:
“Toronto was a weekend to forget for the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP team. I saved as many points as I could. We started near the back and lost a lot of positions on the start so then it was even more work that we had to do to make our way to a decent points finish. We had some good track position in the pit stop sequence and got ourselves near the top 10 — not quite in the top 10 but an 11th finish, which is definitely better than where we started and then where we fell back to, so I can’t complain.”
Felix Rosenqvist transcript:
THIS IS YOUR BEST FINISH OF THE SEASON. YOUR LAST PODIUM WAS IN 2020 AT ROAD AMERICA. TELL US ABOUT YOUR DAY.“It’s been a good weekend. A good race, as well. I don’t think we’ve been the fastest all weekend, but I just did the basics right. I think we did a good lap in qualify, got us to P8. Then the strategy in the race. Obviously in Toronto it’s hard to pass. The plan was if you have an opportunity, try to pass, nail the pit stops. I think we had an advantageous pit stall this weekend in the left turn, which probably gives you like a second, second and a half compared to some other guys who are in the right turn. All those kind of things together I think allowed us to go forward in the race. We were saving a lot of fuel early on. It looked like we were going to have a big advantage there at the end. That last yellow kind of played into Colton and Scott’s favor. Congrats to Scott, by the way. Good to see him back on the P1. I think it was a fun race. Good, hard battles out there on a good, hard track. Very physical. Very warm. Yeah, no, good fun.”
FELIX, THE INCIDENT WITH ROSSI. COULD YOU WALK US THROUGH SETTING UP THE PASS?“I had a good run. He looked a bit weak in the braking on three. I did kind of a little surprise move. Was fairly far up by the time we turned in. I kind of thought that he had already given up on the corner. I just saw him, like, hang around the outside. I was like, Okay. I mean, fair play if you want to try to go around outside. At some point you run out of road. I think he probably bumped his wheel or something. That’s kind of what it felt like. He ran into my side pod, probably lost a wheel and hit the wall. I don’t know if it was fair play, to be honest. He normally races hard. I’ve been racing him previously where it’s been to his advantage in that situation and I’ve lost a bunch of spots. Today he lost his race. Obviously, I don’t want to see him in the wall, but it was just a hard pass, hard racing. There wasn’t a penalty, so I think that kind of explains everything.”
FELIX, YOU AND COLTON PITTED ON THE SAME LAP. YOU HAD ALL THE OVERTAKE IN THE WORLD LEFT. WAS THAT BY DESIGN?“I think the nature of the track, it’s so hard to pass, even if you’re three, four, six times quicker, it’s just really hard to get by. So I was trying to just save fuel, save ‘push to pass’, and then at the end if there was something, that was going to be the time. The last three laps I was just using ‘push to pass’ on every straight pretty much. Yeah, I mean, even then it’s hard to pass. I was, yeah, kind of bummed when the last yellow came because I thought we had a little bit of a fuel advantage. It is what’s. I think we gave it everything. Colton was just a little bit too quick to pass today.”
FELIX, YOU SAID ON TV YOU HOPE YOU GAVE ZAK SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT. ARE YOU SORT OF LOCKED INTO THIS WITH MCLAREN OR IS THERE STILL ROOM FOR YOU TO BE IN INDYCAR NEXT YEAR IF NOT WITH MCLAREN?“
That’s entirely a question for Zak. I’ve made my point that I’m very happy with the team. I think it shows, a super group. I think we worked hard the last two years to kind of build up a very strong team. We have good strategy, good pit stops. I think I’m able to extract most out of the car most weekends now. Yeah, I think if you asked me end of last year, obviously it would have been a different answer. But right now I’m just very happy where I’m at. I think I would be crazy if I said I wanted to go somewhere else. You always have to be thankful for every opportunity you have. Sort of like an (indiscernible) in motorsports if it’s here, Europe, Japan, whatever. It’s a few drivers in the world that get to do that. I want to be where I’m at right now. Yeah, I think Arrow McLaren SP has pretty much become a home for me. Yeah, it’s up to Zak. He’s the man who is making the moves. Probably going to take a couple weeks before we know more. Hopefully today changed something. My ambition is to keep proving it that way.”
PERSONALLY, HOW GOOD DOES IT FEEL TO GET THIS PODIUM?“It was massively overdue. We had so many good races. Even last year when we had such a struggle year, we still had times where we were fighting for wins. Just things end up happening. Mid-Ohio was pretty much a perfect race until we had a technical failure that ended our race. Texas earlier this year. Just so many races. Obviously I don’t like to say what could have happened. I think everyone on the team was ready for at least a podium, and also a win coming up here soon hopefully. Yeah, really, really good. Really good just for the guys on the car to give them something more than P4 or P5.”
WHAT WAS IT LIKE HANDLING TURN 3, ESPECIALLY WITH ALL THE AGGRESSION OUT THERE?“It’s just a hairpin end of the day. No, it was a good one for me today. I did most of my passing going into three. Yeah, I don’t know what more to say about it. One where Rossi was obviously unfortunate. Hey, racing.”
FELIX, WITH ALL OF THE NEWS SWIRLING ABOUT ALEX, DO YOU HAVE ANY MORE INFORMATION ON YOUR SERIES NEXT SEASON?” By the sound of it, it doesn’t sound like Alex has — I mean, I don’t know what’s going on there. At the moment it doesn’t sound like he’s going to race at all. Yeah, it’s up to lawyers and stuff.Honestly it’s not my business at all. I think honestly it hasn’t really changed anything. This whole deal went down months ago. I didn’t know all the details of it that I know now, but nothing has actually changed.I think if Zak was sure I was going to FE, he would have already said it. I’m going to take that chance. If there’s a chance for me to be here next year, I’m going to try to prove I can do that.
SCOTT’S WIN TODAY TIED HIM WITH MARIO ANDRETTI. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HIS CAREER?“Yeah, I mean, we were teammates back in ’19 and 2020. Yeah, no, huge respect. I don’t think I know anyone who’s has competitive as Scott. If he had lost a bit of speed the last couple of years, it’s like he’s just going to find a way to get back. I don’t know, I mean, it shows today. He’s had a rough, for him, last two years. He’s just able to keep coming back and winning every year. I think it’s really impressive.I know how much he wants it. I think he’s like the ultimate role model for young drivers out there. I mean, I don’t know how old he is now, but just shows if you want something, you can do it. No matter how old or how bad of a season you have, you can always come back if you want it bad.”
CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
HONDA INDY TORONTO
STREETS OF TORONTO
TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE DRIVER QUOTES
JULY 17, 2022
FELIX ROSEQVIST, NO. 7 CIRCLE K CHEVROLET, ARROW MCLAREN SP – FINISHED THIRD: “What a fun race. Big thanks to all of the Arrow McLaren SP Circle K guys. Wow, what a race. I had to fight really hard for it. The strategy for the race is you had to overtake on track and have great pit stops. I think we nailed that. We took the opportunities we had and that slowly moved us forward. If it wasn’t for that last yellow, we were really good on fuel and could have been up there racing with Colton (Herta) and (Scott) Dixon. Really great racing and good fun as it should be. Happy with the team and our result. Hopefully, this weekend makes Zak (Brown) doubt some things, there are still a lot of races to go in the season. As I’ve said, every race we want to keep better and better and that is what I am committed to for the rest of the season.”
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 XPEL CHEVROLET, TEAM PENSKE – FINISHED NINTH: “The restart caught me off-guard a little bit. I checked up and just making certain mistakes, but we had pace which is the main thing. Just have to put a race together at least when I’m deep in the pack like that. We should have had a fourth. Unfortunately, I didn’t put it together.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HITACHI CHEVROLET, TEAM PENSKE – FINISHED 10TH: “Tough day. Definitely threw away some points. We had a good car and a good start to the race for the most part and then just didn’t have a good second stop. It was pretty jammed up and lost a lot of time in the pit stop. Went sort of in the middle of the field and just kind of stuck at that point. Team fought hard but just not a good day.”
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 BITCOIN WITH BITNILE CHEVROLET, ED CARPENTER RACING – FINISHED 13TH: “I have mixed feelings after today’s race! I feel I drove a pretty solid race with good stints. We were on for a good result, a comfortable Top 10, until the yellows didn’t really go our way and everyone was able to make it on fuel. We worked very hard, but didn’t have an advantage at the end. It was worth the risk since we were coming from the back. I had a few good moves and learned a lot for my first race here in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. I definitely have a more of a view on what we need when we come back here next year. I am very happy with my own performance, I maximized our strategy and there wasn’t much more in the car! On to the next one.”
CALLUM ILOTT, NO. 77 JUNCOS HOLLINGER RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 14TH: “Not a bad end. Unfortunately, we had a bit of damage overtaking another car on the straight and I caught the front end on the rear tire. We were a lap down, managed to come back with some good moves to get back to P14. We had a good car, great speed. Good result. Thanks to the team and thanks to Team Chevy.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON CHEVROLET, TEAM PENSKE – FINISHED 15TH: “It’s just super hard to pass here. I pitted early when the left-front tire was destroyed. Then just getting caught behind people and it’s difficult to pass so couldn’t do anything but maintain 15th. Pretty bad day. That’s after a bad qualifying. Every single bad thing that can happen in qualifying this year has happened, whether it’s traffic, a red (flag) or a penalty and a couple of times even lack of pace. Good lessons for the next few races.”
CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE CHEVROLET, ED CARPENTER RACING – FINISHED 20TH: “Strategically, we made all of the right moves. We had a good start and passed a lot of cars in the first couple of laps. Getting off of the red tires early was a good call and when Rinus and I rotated to first and second, it was nice to do a few laps there and not get swallowed up! It was a good, strong showing for us but obviously track position is super important. We had to pit and had the race had more green flag laps at the end, it would have worked out better for us. But these things happen, we did get to the front, it just didn’t work out for us today.”
KYLE KIRKWOOD, NO. 14 SEXTON PROPERTIES CHEVROLET, AJ FOYT RACING – FINISHED 22ND: “So, another short end to what could have been potentially a good race. We were on good strategy there at the end with fresher tires and more fuel than everyone else. I went for a pass and I think the person I was passing just didn’t see me. We collided and I ended up in the wall. I got the worst end of the stick that’s for sure. So super unfortunate, but that’s what happens when you’re trying to come back from the back on a street course — sometimes things don’t go your way. But we’ll look forward to Iowa in one week.”
DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE INSULATORS USA CHEVROLET, AJ FOYT RACING – FINISHED 24TH: “Definitely not the Toronto race weekend we were looking for coming into the first Toronto Indy since the start of the Pandemic. But, our day has ended early here with what looks like a mechanical engine failure. Something let go inside the engine and we’ll have the Chevy Team on it, and looking to diagnose that so we can find any issues and then rectify that for the later races left in the season. Before that though, we were still having some persistent fueling issues that we were having during qualifying and warm-up. It seemed like the fuel issues weren’t occurring at full tanks and as we were burning fuel, getting lower tank volume, there’s some issue with the way it’s feeding the collector tank and that was causing us problems. So we were already a little bit on the backfoot and that kind of sealed the deal for our race—insult to injury I guess. I’m very happy to have the hometown crowd here. I’ve been absolutely humbled by the reception and just all of our friends and family and partners with K-Line. All the Toronto race fans and Canadian race fans that have traveled here – a big thank you to all of them. We’ve got tremendous support and just really appreciative of how they’ve embraced this race and embrace their Canadian drivers.”