CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
GALLAGHER GRAND PRIX
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY RACE RECAP & QUOTES
POWER PUTS CHEVY ON THE PODIUM AT INDY ROAD COURSE
LEAVES INDIANA WITH NINE-POINT LEAD IN THE STANDINGS
NDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA (July 30, 2022) – Will Power put his No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet on the podium for the Gallagher Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) Road Course. With the strong run to third, Power leaves with nine-point lead in the standings with four races remaining in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR Series Season. It is the 92nd career podium for Power.
Following close behind Power in the final order was teammate Scott McLaughlin driving the No. 2 Gallagher Insurance Chevrolet to finish in the fourth position. The second year Team Penske driver is seventh in the point standings.
Capturing the fifth spot in the final order is two-time Series’ champion Josef Newgarden, giving Chevrolet powered drivers three of the top-five finishing positions. Newgarden sits third in the standings.
Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Bitcoin Racing Team with BitNile, crossed under the double checkered flags in sixth position. Pole winner Felix Rosenqvist finished ninth in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet to give Team Chevy five of the top-nine in the finishing order. Alexander Rossi was the race winner and Christian Lundgaard completed the podium.
Chevrolet continues to lead the NTT INDYCAR Series Manufacturer standings 1086 points to 999.
Next on the calendar is the Music City Grand Prix on the Streets of Nashville on August 7, 2022 and will be broadcast on NBC 3:00 p.m. ET
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 4TH, FINISHED 3RD:
TELL US HOW THIS DAY WENT AND WHAT MORE YOU MIGHT HAVE NEEDED? “Yeah man, it was a crazy start and some pretty questionable driving there at the beginning. It was a great recovery for us, and we kept out of trouble and then we were able to get to third. What a day.”
FOURTH TO THIRD SEEMS ROUTINE, BUT YOU WERE DOWN AS FAR AS 16TH: “It definitely was a rough start. I got pushed around in Turn One, I got pushed into Pato (O’Ward), which spun him. Then Helio (Castroneves) went for a big move and pushed me on the curb. It was a great recovery. You can never expect a normal day in INDYCAR!”
YOU HAD SOME COMMENTARY ABOUT THE DRIVING OF THOSE AROUND YOU AT THAT TIME. “It was just one of those things. Everyone is very aggressive. It’s so hard to win in this series. It’s the toughest series in the world, and everyone fights for position. You just have to keep it clean. Great job today by the Verizon 5G guys. It’s amazing that we can go all the way back there and recover to third, and thanks to Chevy for such great fuel mileage.”
YOU’RE LEADING THE CHAMPIONSHIP THROUGH YOUR CONSISTENCY. “That was the goal from the very beginning… to play the long game, and we’ve been doing that. We’re doing what we know, and that’s what I’ve been doing. I know this game so well, and I know it can change very quickly. But you take what you can get every day and every race.”
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 GALLAGHER INSURANCE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 15TH, FINISHED 4TH:
“It was as good as we could have hoped. P4 after qualifying 15th, with a great start and we were able to press on and get going. Very proud because Team Chevy gave us great fuel mileage and we were able to just control it to the end.”
I’m pretty pumped. We needed one of those. To get from 15th to fourth in the Gallagher Chevy in the Gallagher Grand Prix was fantastic. The car was good. I was pumped. I was trying to push this guy (teammate Will Power)… I was like, ‘C’mon, let’s go!’ I had a bit of a blister on my right-front but he controlled it really well. We just missed out on the podium but a top-five was a great day for us.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 PPG TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 5TH, FINISHED 5TH“Good day for our PPG Team Penske Chevrolet. I am just glad to be back out there on the track and get this race under my belt. We were able to come away with a solid top-five finish and make up some points, which is a pretty solid day. We had great strategy and Team Chevy brought some great power today, which allowed us to stay up front. Overall, a really good day for our PPG team.”
RINUS VEEKAY, BITCOIN RACING TEAM WITH BITNILE, QUALIFIED 8TH, FINISHED 6TH: “Pretty happy actually. Got in the mess at the start with everyone where I think Pato (O’Ward) spun to the inside, which you don’t see that often. It was a bummer because I think I chose the wrong side and lost some positions there. I think I went from like sixth or seventh to 13th or 14th. So, that didn’t really help but for the rest of the race, good pace. Again, not much luck at the yellow with me pitting just before. That would have brought me much more of an advantage if it didn’t go yellow. I’m pretty happy, because that is stuff we cannot control that didn’t go our way. But everything we could control was great.”
FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 7 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, QUALIFED POLE, FINISHED 9TH:
“Today was a tough race. I gave it everything. The first stint on blacks was pretty poor; good in the beginning and then we started losing ground. I feel like the car felt good, but we just didn’t have any pace so we just kept losing positions. The Andretti cars just left us in the distance.
“We started out in like P12 or P13 after the first sequence and from there on there was nothing really happening as we were just doing the same lap times as others on the reds. The car felt good, but I think we had some issue like a dragging brake as we kept losing ground on the straights and it felt a bit abnormal so we will have to look into that.
“We have to nail the details on days like this, and it seems like today we didn’t. To come away with P9, though, were were able to collect some good points. We’ll have a look at everything and go to Nashville.”
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED , FINISHED 12TH:
“What looked to be like it was going to be a good day, turned out to be really tough for both cars. I got hit during the start which damaged the car and I kind of had to nurse it until the end. We basically went all the way to last place and had to shift strategy-wise. The car wasn’t far off, but this wasn’t a good race for us today.”
CALLUM ILOTT, NO. 77 JUNCOS HOLLINGER CHEVROLET, JUNCOS HOLLINGER RACING , QUALIFIED 19TH, FINISHED 14TH: “It was quite a tough race. We ended up 14thh and ran out of fuel over the line so I lost one position. It was tough, especially in the first half. When the track was low-grip, it was taking awhile to get the car to work, and I was struggling to get past other cars. We had good pace in clean air but I was always stuck behind someone. Once we ended up getting some free air in that last stint-and-a-half. The pace was quite strong, actually. We were catching Pato (O’Ward) but then I had to go into fuel-saving mode… eco-friendly and tried to save it. It was a bit unfortunate. I almost caught him but then almost didn’t finish. But it was a great result to end with. We needed to find a bit of pace earlier in the weekend. We struggled for pace when it was low-grip conditions. Overall I’m happy with P14 from P19. It wasn’t too bad.”
CONNOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 10TH, FINISHED 17TH:
“I made a mistake today in pits, stalling the car. The team gave me a really great car, it was really fast. I can admit when I make a mistake and it was a real shame. We will try to bounce back next week. I am thankful the car was fast as it was.”
DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE CHEVROLET, AJ FOYT RACING, QUALIFIED FINISHED 21ST: “We moved up in the race with the No. 4 K-Line car, so that was good not to finish where we started because we were toward the back after a tough qualifying. We made improvements to the car from the start of the weekend, figured a few things out and was able to collect some spots. It was a decent race overall for us. We’re making some progress on our road-course car. We’re trying to work on showing up for these races and knowing where we need to be in that window. We head to Nashville next weekend and I’m really excited. It was a fun track last year and it will be a fun party in Country Music Town. It should be a lot of fun.”
KYLE KIRKWOOD, NO. 14 SEXTON PROPERTIES CHEVROLET, AJ FOYT RACING – FINISHED 23RD: “It was actually a fun race; we were just on the wrong strategy. We started off on the red tires, which didn’t work out for anyone except Scott McLaughlin and he went long on them. We just didn’t really have the pace on the black tires. From there we went to an old set of reds because it was all we had left. We were the only ones to use reds in practice. We got hit in Turn Nine… that ultimately gave us too much damage to have any pace for the rest of the race. It ultimately put us a lap down with an extra pit stop due to an issue with the rear-right tire from that incident. It was an unfortunate day, but we made improvements this weekend. We’ll take the positives from it, and that was definitely one of them. We’ll go on to Nashville and another street course. Fingers crossed we’ll be good there.”
PRESS CONFERENCE INTERVIEW WITH WILL POWER:
THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Wrapping up the Gallagher Grand Prix here at the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. We are joined by the now-once-again points leader in the NTT INDYCAR Series, Will Power, driver of the Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, his 92nd career podium today, which ties him with Dario Franchitti for seventh all time, seventh podium of the season and retakes the points lead and now has a nine-point advantage over Marcus Ericsson.
Congratulations on another podium. You got the points lead again. You’ve got to feel pretty good coming out of here.
WILL POWER: Yeah, I do, yeah. Considering the start of the race, yep, great recovery, man. Great recovery. It’s amazing some of the runs we’ve had this year. But yep, just kept my head and did what I could in the situation. I had to get a big fuel number and go as fast as I can.
Very good day. Good day for the team all around.
THE MODERATOR: Outside of Iowa and here, I know you were begging for starts of races up front because it didn’t happen there for a while where you didn’t have to make up big ground like you did at Mid-Ohio, and so far so good the last three races.
WILL POWER: Yeah, that’s right. It’s always hard starting fourth or the outside row at this track. You get — I don’t know, you get freight trained. So it’s tough going into 1. We didn’t make the most of that, but we definitely made the most of the rest of the race.
THE MODERATOR: Final restart and all that, at least towards the end, did you have anything for Rossi?
WILL POWER: No, not with the fuel number I had to get. I had to get a big fuel number because we pitted five laps before everyone.
THE MODERATOR: And played catch-up a little bit after that because of chasing the fuel?
WILL POWER: Yeah, pretty much all the way to the end we were on a number that was definitely holding us back. We had definitely a lot of pace in hand.
THE MODERATOR: We welcome all of you joining us on Zoom. We’ll get to your questions in a matter of moments. Let’s begin with questions in person.
Q. Will, you kind of said you made what you had today and you referenced in your post-race interview that you’ve been playing the long game all season. Are you pleased with where the long game has gotten you with four races to go?
WILL POWER: Yeah, definitely. It’s not necessarily the long game, it’s just that sort of attitude switch where you know these races are long, the season is long, and you’ve got to make the most of every situation, even if you’re fighting for like 12th. If that’s your day to finish 12th, well, finish 12th, not 24th.
Yeah, it’s certainly working very well.
Q. You also kind of referenced outside that there’s a point at which it switches now in the last four races. Did you have to sort of race points for a week or two here now? How do you look at the rest of the way?
WILL POWER: That totally depends on the situation, how you qualify, who’s in front of you, where you’re running, and where the guys that you are fighting or you believe will be the people or the drivers that you have to fight at the end. It becomes a little more obvious with three to go.
The next couple races you’ve got to know, okay, this is definitely the lead guys that we’re racing. We’ve got to cover them on strategies and such.
Yeah, it’s still not completely clear. A lot of guys still clustered up — I think there’s probably still five guys are out in the game, so still a long way to go.
Q. Otto told us Thursday that he feels like it’s going to go down to Laguna obviously but with five guys. Do you expect the same thing? Are you keeping your eye on anybody in particular or do you feel like it’s going to be five guys all the way to the end?
WILL POWER: I mean, that’s impossible to predict, but it’s still pretty close right now. It will always — it feels like it’s always going to go down to the last race. I expect to be having a fight at Laguna. Yeah, we’ll see how it plays out. Impossible to predict in this series. There’s just too many fast guys, good teams, good drivers, everything. It’s just try and pick a winner each week and try and pick a pole sitter. Impossible.
THE MODERATOR: Just 46 points separating the top 5 right now as an illustration of how tight it is.
Q. It’s been a while since you’ve been this deep into the season as the points leader. It happened a lot early in your career. Do you think that experience is beneficial to you to know what it takes to get through the day-to-day pressure that’s going to come with that?
WILL POWER: Absolutely. So different to what it was back then. Just know the game so well. Mentally just miles ahead mentally in every respect than I was back then.
Yeah, just a tremendous amount of experience in this series.
Q. Also, I hate to use the term “wild card,” but because of its unpredictable nature, do you see next week’s race at Nashville as being one of the ones that could cause somebody to go over the cliff?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I hope no one does go over the bridge (laughter), but it could be like Toronto where it could be an absolute crazy race, but it could also be very green. You just can’t predict. You don’t know. We don’t know.
Obviously last year, yeah, with track blockages, this sort of thing, it was pretty crazy, but sometimes a race gets into a flow and it goes. But honestly I think if it goes yellow, it’s going to breed more yellows for sure. That’s when people go for the big moves.
Yeah, we’ll see what happens.
Q. What was it like racing behind the Great Dane today?
WILL POWER: I could only see him as a dot in the distance. He took off. He was too fast.
Q. Will, you and Pato and Sato both pitted underneath the first yellow. You’re here in third, Pato finished 12th and Sato was 15th. What was the major differentiator? Was it tire strategy or something else that worked well for you?
WILL POWER: I think it was our pace on the fuel mileage we had to get. Definitely we were able to make some hay just getting big numbers that we had to get. We had a great car. Car was really fast. Yeah.
Q. It seems like something wild happens to you pretty much every other race this season, whether it be qualifying or in the race, and you were able to bounce back from that so well. Just wondered if it’s kind of crept into your mind yet that you feel like the favorite in the championship based off that because you’re able to come back from some of these crazy situations?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, to this point we’ve had a fantastic year, obviously leading the points right now. Just got to keep doing what I’m doing. I know the game so well, been in it so long. We have great potential to win the championship, but there’s four other guys that also do. It’s going to be hard fought to the end.
I’m enjoying it. I really am.
Q. Will, a couple laps in when you’re in 16th, what’s going through your mind? What’s your approach in a situation like that?
WILL POWER: Well, at that point you’re starting to think of what can we do, if there’s an alternate strategy, then the yellow comes and you’re like absolutely, all right, I think the guys understand, and we talked about it before the race, like we’ll pit, and try and make it on two more stops from there. Yeah, big fuel number, and that was a great call.
Yeah, never got upset or — just yep, that’s what it is. That’s how it rolls in this series. Just kept going.
Q. Obviously you knew you had a chance to take over first place in the standings; is that something on your mind during the race? Is that something you try not to think about? What’s your perspective on that?
WILL POWER: You’re just focusing on the race. You are aware of championship contenders if you’re around one or you do understand if there’s one — somebody racing behind you that you’re competing for the championship, you’ll definitely do your absolute best to keep him behind, but if it’s someone else, you’ve got to save big fuel, you might not fight him as hard.
Q. Will, you talked a while ago about seeing a dot in front of you, ahead of you, as opposed to maybe getting up on somebody’s tailpipe. When did that settle into your brain that third was going to be the best you could do today? How do you actually settle that into your brain?
WILL POWER: Well, when it all reset and all those guys pit, I had to pit before it went yellow. When we reset, it was, okay, we don’t have to get as big a fuel number now, and we’re P3, so if I can finish P3, that’s a great day.
Q. Will, this maturation process, you’re more settled, you keep talking about experience. How much of that is on the track and also off the track? Beau is getting a little older, the family man thing —
WILL POWER: Yeah, it is on both sides. It simply feels like the older you get, the more relaxed you get, just understand how life is. Life is not easy, it doesn’t flow that way like you expect when you’re younger that everything should just go right, but it simply just never does. That’s just the way it is. You get more relaxed about that.
Q. Do you enjoy moments like this a little bit more as you get older?
WILL POWER: Oh, yeah, yeah, I’m loving the racing. It’s a privilege to feel nervous before a race because there’s going to be a time that you don’t get to do that for decades. Some people never get to do that.
Q. You get to go into full dad mode.
WILL POWER: Yeah, exactly.