CHEVROLET IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
TEAM CHEVY PRACTICE REPORT
MAY 26, 2023
TEAM CHEVY SHIFTS SIGHTS TO INDIANAPOLIS 500 RACE DAY AFTER FINAL PRACTICE
- Will Power of Team Penske led the Chevrolet drivers in the final practice session before Sunday’s 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500, finishing third on the charts with his fastest speed of 226.953 MPH and turning a total of 82 laps.
- INDYCAR Series Rookie and Argentinian phenom Agustin Canapino finished the Carb Day practice session sixth with a fastest speed of 226.532 MPH.
- Team Chevy occupied four of the top-10 spots on the leaderboard.
- In the finals of the Carb Day Pit Stop Challenge, Team Penske driver Will Power finished second behind Scott Dixon.
- Carb Day fans were treated to an Ice Cream Social after practice by Chevrolet drivers, handing out 3,300 ice cream sandwiches provided by the American Dairy Association of Indiana.
- The 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 will air live on NBC starting at 11 a.m. ET Sunday, May 28, 2023. Coverage can also be found on Peacock, and through both INDYCAR Radio and SiriusXM Channel 160.
TEAM CHEVY TOP-10 PRACTICE RESULT:
3rd Will Power
6th Agustin Canapino
9th Josef Newgarden
10th Scott McLaughlin
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING (QUOTES)
Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren INDYCAR:
”We spent the session just dialing in our race car. We ended pretty happy, so I’m pleased with the changes that we made and with how it’s feeling. Obviously, race day, you never know if it’s going to be identical to this or not, so I think it’s a good start for sure. We’re starting in the middle of the second row, so that’s a definitely a good position.”
Felix Rosenqvist, No. 6 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren INDYCAR:
”I thought it was pretty much where we wanted to end. It was a smooth Carb Day. The car felt good in traffic and it felt good up front. We did a full run and it felt like we had a good car over the stint, so we said let’s not risk it. We parked it and did some pit stops and cut the session short a bit. So it’s a good feeling going into the big one.”
Alexander Rossi, No. 7 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren INDYCAR:
“First of all, it’s amazing to see so many people turn out on a Friday morning for practice. The fan turnout the past two weeks has been amazing, so thanks to everyone. From our side, we got through our program. The car feels really nice, and I think we’re all cautiously optimistic about what we can accomplish on Sunday.”
Tony Kanaan, No. 66 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren INDYCAR:
”We went through some pit stops and tried a couple things to fine-tune the car for Sunday. I think we’re happy and ready to go.
“The crowd at Carb Day today was unbelievable, this is back to the old days. It’s amazing. We keep saying this, but we fought to grow this series to the way it used to be, and now it’s back.”
Gavin Ward, Race Director at Arrow McLaren INDYCAR:
“Well, that’s practice done. I think everyone finished in a pretty happy place. That’s what you want here. You want to be able to kind of put it away and go racing. We went through our program, tried a few different downforce levels, and got some hot stop practice with the crews for pit stops. So, let’s go.”
Callum Ilott, No. 77 Chevrolet at Juncos Hollinger Racing:
“It’s our final day of driving before the big race, the big event. Had to work a lot with the car. We it into a much better window, which is nice. It’s just tough we don’t have more running on track to get there. But looking good. Looking forward to it. Should be massive this year. Should be lots of people coming, the biggest since the 100th Running. But yeah, within the team looking good. Agustin (Canapino) is looking good, too. We’ll see.”
Agustin Canapino, No. 78 Chevrolet at Juncos Hollinger Racing:
“We finished Carb Day P6. Really, really good day for us. Of course, we need to improve a lot our pace. We have some work to do on pit stops. But at the moment, really good. We are continuing our improvement, and we will do our best on Sunday.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, and TONY KANAAN, No. 66 ARROW MCLAREN CHEVROLET – End of Day Press Conference:
Joined now by Josef Newgarden, driver of the No. 2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske Chevrolet, who starts 17th on Sunday, finished ninth in today’s two-hour practice. What did you get done today?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: We just tried to sort of practice race, literally. Kind of seems self-explanatory, but I think everyone approaches this last session differently. We just try to do a dress rehearsal from our end and really get into the rhythm of what we’re going to do on Sunday, and I feel good about our car.
I think the Shell car is quick. I think it feels comfortable. We got it really good at the end there. We’ve just got to be solid on race day as always. Can be no mistakes here, good execution. That’s what it’s going to take.
Q. Since you drive for Team Penske and with you also being sponsored by Shell, between now and race day, what will your week be like in terms of all the personal appearances and everything that you need to do not only for Roger and Tim but for Shell?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: It’s been busy, but I wouldn’t say abnormally busy. It’s just always jam-packed today. Tomorrow is very jam-packed. But I will say one of the greatest things about driving for Team Penske is they don’t request anything from us on race day morning, which is lovely. I just think it’s fantastic. We get everything out of the way on Saturday. It’s a busy day, but then we can wake up for race day and be free and clear, just get ready for the race. That’s our only commitment.
Yeah, not a big deal from my end. It’s great to be here with Shell.
It’s fun to drive the Shell car because of what they’re doing. This is a big year for the series. Obviously we’re touting it Powering Progress, and the whole field is powered by Shell. We’re all running sustainable fuel, and with INDYCAR and its positioning on sustainability with Firestone and everyone else, I think Shell is doing a tremendous job, so it’s fun to be carrying that flag on race day.
THE MODERATOR: Also joined by Tony Kanaan, driver of the No. 66 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, who starts ninth on Sunday. 11th quick today. What did you get done today? Happy with it?
TONY KANAAN: Yeah, went through some pit stops and tried a couple different things that we’re just going to guess what we need to do Saturday night and Sunday morning, but yeah, fairly happy. I think it’s been a very smooth month. So time to go now.
Q. How do you think you guys will perform on Sunday in traffic?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I don’t know that it’s going to look tremendously different to last year. I think it is easier to stay close, but in the train, everyone is kind of utilizing the tow. Until you get to the back half of a stint, there’s probably going to be a little bit of sitting, but certainly up front, it’s easy to make moves in that situation.
So I think the race for the win will be exciting as always.
TONY KANAAN: The same, like he said.
THE MODERATOR: Alex Palou is joining us, who happens to start from the pole on Sunday – not to be rude – driver of the No. 10 the American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, starts from pole, fourth quick today. Your thoughts on that?
Q. For any of you but specifically Tony, you said on the radio on coming in, “It’s too crazy out here.” Was today’s session abnormally obnoxious?
TONY KANAAN: No, I mean — no. It’s been crazy. We saw what happened the other day. But when I saw three wide into Turn 1, 20 minutes to go, why do you want to do that? So I’m like, I’m out. I don’t need this.
Some of us are starting fairly in the front, so I said, all right, I’m not planning to have 20 cars in front of me; hopefully that’s not going to happen, so I’m not going to run out there in the back, and that’s exactly what happened. Somebody is trying to go to the back, and some of these guys are — I don’t know. It’s not a big deal, but I’m like, I don’t want any part of it.
Q. Did either of you think today’s practice was aggressive?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I think there was parts of it, but you always get that on an aggressive end to a session when it’s like a Happy Hour or specifically today. Everyone was really racing today, and like Tony said, there was probably some moments where it was unnecessary.
But I think the intensity was up. Everyone was kind of race running today, trying to really practice what it was going to be like, which is good, but there’s probably a couple moments you just don’t want to insert yourself into.
Q. I asked Herta this, as well. Ganassi, McLaren, Penske, is there anyone that we’re overlooking that people are not really paying attention to? I can tell you who Herta said.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Who did he say?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: All year, man, Canapino.
TONY KANAAN: Yeah, I think Santino can be fast if they all get it right in the pits and stuff. He finished up front here in the past, he ran up front, and he has a really good car, so I think he’s going to be tough.
Canapino maybe 20 laps to go, he’s going to get the welcome to Indianapolis.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I think you put Canapino in position at the end and, ooh, he would go for it.
TONY KANAAN: He would go for it.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: He’s got Argentina on his back, the whole country.
No, he’s been impressive. I’m not knocking Canapino. He’s very, very impressive this year and people wrote him off before he even started. He’s done tremendously well for no experience. I can’t speak highly enough about it.
But to answer your question, I think it’s hard to really single anyone out these days. Obviously you have favorites and reasonably so. You’re mentioning the top teams. But INDYCAR is just so competitive nowadays, and we say it every year, but it is continually getting closer.
Anyone can win this race, genuinely. The strategy can flip on its head with 50 to go and all of a sudden the front runners are in the back and vice versa. You just don’t know how it’s going to shape up. It could be a normal day, it could be a crazy day. It’s always a guess when you come into these things. You have a plan, but you’ve got to be able to move from your plan.
Q. Josef, Alex was saying the other day that starting on pole, you can’t really control the race here (indiscernible) sort of rush to the front. Starting from 17th what’s your mindset? Is there more urgency to get in the mix and then know that things sort of unfold —
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, no, there’s no rush with 500 miles. I would say that. Certainly not in the first stint.
When there’s an opportunity to make passes to start the restart, those are your best opportunities so you’re going to try and maximize that. But there’s not a hurry, I think, starting 17th. I don’t think there would be a hurry if you’re starting 25th. You’ve just got to have a really good consistent day and march your way forward. We started pretty far back last year and had the same trajectory going that I think you need to have and then we had a bad pit stop in the middle of the race and it totally derailed the race for us.
No, I don’t think there’s urgency. I’d much prefer to start up front next to my pickleball teammate, but we are where we are, and we’ve got to make the most of it, and I think we’ve got plenty of time to get up there.
Q. Everybody has been talking about how tight this race is going to be, but does it have the potential to be a slugfest, lots of wild passing throughout the race?
TONY KANAAN: No. I think it’s going to be competitive, and just yeah, you can look at it both ways. You can say this is boring because nobody passes or I was inside or trying to set up a pass, and passes will be happening late if not, but I think it’s going to be tough. It’s not going to be easy.
I mean, if you’re not in the top 5 the ending of the race, I don’t think you have a chance.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, I agree with these guys. I just don’t think it’s going to be that different from last year outside of the very front. The first two cars, it is easier to follow. We have more downforce. But the effect behind the first two cars is sort of similar to where we’ve been, so I don’t think that’s going to be drastically different.
Q. Drivers have been saying that at the white flag they want to be second with the opportunity to make the pass on the last lap, but how can you position yourself to make sure you’re second?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: You have to watch to find out.
TONY KANAAN: Same. Watch it. Different times. Last year I was third and I couldn’t do anything. Especially with the zigzag new model of racing that we created in the last two laps lately, it’s tough.
Q. TK, what’s your experience been now that we’ve got a big crowd today, big crowd tomorrow, big crowd Sunday, parade? We’ve talked to you about your race, we’ve talked to you about your own approach, but now that it’s getting real, what’s this like with the people?
TONY KANAAN: It’s awesome. It takes a lot longer for me to go from A to B. Everybody has something nice to say, and I’m just taking it in.
It’s really cool. I mean, I don’t think none of us here started racing to be famous or to be recognized by fans. We just race because we love. But then see the impact and how much people appreciate what I’ve done, it actually honestly feels quite nice.
I’m enjoying it. I have big moments of happiness and then I cry, and I’m happy again. But I knew that was going to happen from today on, tomorrow the parade, and I don’t know how I’m going to hold myself at drivers’ intro, but after that we’ll just go what we need to do. We’ll leave it all out there for one last time.