SP Car Driver Name C/E/T Tire
1 5 O’Ward, Pato D/C/F Alternate
2 88 Herta, Colton D/H/F Alternate
3 55 Palou, Alex (R) D/H/F Alternate
4 28 Hunter-Reay, Ryan D/H/F Alternate
5 15 Rahal, Graham D/H/F Alternate
6 9 Dixon, Scott D/H/F Alternate
7 10 Rosenqvist, Felix D/H/F Alternate
8 12 Power, Will D/C/F Alternate
9 60 Harvey, Jack D/H/F Alternate
10 27 Rossi, Alexander D/H/F Primary
11 18 Ferrucci, Santino D/H/F Alternate
12 30 Sato, Takuma D/H/F Alternate
13 4 Kimball, Charlie D/C/F Alternate
14 1 Newgarden, Josef D/C/F Primary
15 21 VeeKay, Rinus (R) D/C/F Alternate
16 8 Ericsson, Marcus D/H/F Alternate
17 26 Veach, Zach D/H/F Alternate
18 7 Askew, Oliver (R) D/C/F Alternate
19 98 Andretti, Marco D/H/F Alternate
20 20 Daly, Conor D/C/F Alternate
21 59 Chilton, Max D/C/F Primary
22 22 Pagenaud, Simon D/C/F Primary
24 14 Kellett, Dalton (R) D/C/F Primary
Archives for NTT IndyCar Series PR
SP Car Driver Name C/E/T Tire
Dixon Still Untouchable with Third Straight Win of 2020 after Exciting First Race at Road America
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin – If Race 1 of the REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR Doubleheader was any indication, it’s going to take more than an action-packed race and a series of late-race cautions to beat Scott Dixon in 2020.
Five-time series champion Dixon continued his undefeated start to the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda by winning the REV Group Grand Prix Race 1 on Saturday, July 11 at Road America.
CLICK HERE: Race 1 Official Results
Dixon’s win Saturday follows victories June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway and July 4 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With the win, Dixon became the first driver to win three-straight NTT INDYCAR SERIES races since Simon Pagenaud completed the feat in 2016 by winning the Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama and the GMR Grand Prix.
“I don’t know how that happened, man,” Dixon said. “We came out of the pits (on Lap 28), and they said, ‘You and Power are first and second.’ I was like: ‘How? How?’ I know we had huge out laps and a big in lap, as well. Definitely proud to be powered by Honda here.
“The car is difficult to drive. Huge thanks to everyone on the PNC crew. We dialed it in a bit during the race but still really tricky on the rears. Hard to keep them under you. But it looked like a lot of other people were struggling, as well. That was awesome, man.”
2014 series champion Will Power finished second in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, 2.5386 seconds behind Dixon. Rookie Alex Palou rounded out the podium with the best finish of his young career in the No. 55 Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda. 2012 series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay finished fourth in the No. 28 DHL Honda, and Colton Herta rounded out the top-five in the No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda.
The win was Dixon’s 49th career INDYCAR victory, inching him closer to Mario Andretti, who sits second on the all-time series wins list with 52 victories.
Dixon’s win at Road America broke the streak of nine different winners in the last nine races at the 4.014-mile, 14-turn permanent road course. Dixon won this race in 2017.
However, this win didn’t feature the dominant Dixon performance that the Chip Ganassi Racing team displayed in the first two races of the season. Dixon qualified ninth, his lowest starting spot of 2020.
A thrilling first lap that featured three- and four-wide racing and bold passes by Hunter-Reay, Rinus VeeKay in the No. 21 Direct Supply Chevrolet and Santino Ferrucci in the No. 18 SealMaster Honda set the tone for an action-packed day in Elkhart Lake.
Shortly thereafter, the track proved to be a tall challenge even for the most seasoned drivers, as all three previous winners at Road America entered in the field had trouble on the track and on pit lane.
Defending race winner Alexander Rossi continued his string of bad luck this season and was the first veteran to have issues near the beginning of the race. He went off course and hit signage placed in the grass along the track. Rossi had to pit to remove signage from his front wing but continued.
Then, on Lap 51, contact with Max Chilton’s No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet forced Rossi off track with more issues and resulted in a 19th-place finish in the No. 27 AutoNation/NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda.
Pit lane proved to be a tough place, too, especially for the Team Penske teammates of Josef Newgarden and Power.
On Lap 28, NTT P1 Award winner Newgarden stalled on pit road, and his crew had trouble restarting the engine. The incident dropped Newgarden from the lead to 12th position when the green flag pit stops cycled through. Newgarden, who 25 of the first 27 laps from pole, settled for a 14th-place finish in his No. 1 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet.
Newgarden’s pit lane incident allowed Power to inherit the lead under green after pit stops cycled through, with Dixon close behind. But a Lap 40 pit stop under caution proved troublesome for Power when the crew had trouble dropping the jack. The issue gave Dixon the lead for good exiting the pits and helped cement his victory.
“I don’t know what happened on the pit stop there,” Power said. “I think we had Dixon covered. He was pretty good, but I don’t think he would have got by us.”
The pit stop that gave Dixon the lead came under the first full-course yellow this racetrack has seen in three years when the 2017 edition of the race had two cautions and featured Dixon as the winner.
The caution flag flew for the first time on Lap 38 when Jack Harvey found himself stuck in the gravel pit, ending what was shaping up to be a solid day for the driver of the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda.
And as the saying goes, cautions breeds cautions.
On the restart on Lap 42, contact between Pato O’Ward’s No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet and Conor Daly’s No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet in Turn 5 brought out the second caution. The two entered the corner side-by-side, and contact sent Daly hard into the tire barriers, ending his day and resulting in a 21st-place finish. O’Ward continued and finished eighth.
Then, the caution flag flew once again on the Lap 45 restart. Dalton Kellett had issues in Turn 14 coming to the green flag and found himself stuck in the sand trap in his No. 14 K-Line USA/AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet.
The race restarted with eight laps to go, and Dixon pulled away from Power cruised home to victory. He averaged 116.027 mph in the 55-lap race that featured five lead changes and five different leaders.
Dixon will look to make it four-straight wins to start the NTT INDYCAR SERIES tomorrow in Race 2 of the REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR Doubleheader at noon (ET, NBC) from Road America. Qualifying starts at 9 a.m. (ET, INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold).
What They’re Saying’
from the REV Group Grand Prix Race 1
1st – SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “Wow, what a race and what a team effort by the PNC Bank No. 9 team. Honda, I can’t thank them enough. I’m so proud to be powered by Honda and HPD, and they do an amazing job on this program. And the fans … man, it was great to see you all out there. I can’t say thank you enough. Winning the first three races is the best start you could hope for, and obviously we want to do everything we can to keep that momentum rolling into Race 2 tomorrow.”
2nd – WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “Unfortunately we had to pit under yellow, and that lost us the lead in the pits. We just had a slow pit stop. And then we had the wrong gears in the car, so it kind of hurt those restarts. Other than that, it was a good day. We moved up and got up to second. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’ll sit there as a team and will figure out how to execute a bit better. Especially frustrating when we just let wins like that go. I think we had a good Verizon Chevrolet, and I don’t think Dixon would have gotten by us if we came out of the pit ahead of him. It wasn’t the end of the day, but we still could have won. We’ll try again tomorrow.”
3rd – ALEX PALOU (No. 55 Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda): “It’s amazing. It feels so good! That was an awesome race for us. It was my first time here at Road America and having practice, qualifying and the race all in the same day isn’t easy. It was tough starting 14th , but we were lucky today because we had a really strong car. I could overtake some of the guys at the start and then we just had a really good pace, good enough to be overtaking when we had clean air. The crew did well on the pit stops, and the last one was amazing, as we got ahead of quite a few guys and we were P4 after that last stop. After the restart, I could easily follow Ryan (Hunter-Reay) and Will (Power), and I was able to overtake Ryan twice to get into third. It was a really nice race for us. I hope we can repeat our performance tomorrow and hopefully do even better.”
4th – RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “We’ll have to figure out something for tomorrow. Unfortunately, there is no time for it without practice and going right in to qualifying. We’ll have to try and guess on something for the race. We’ve got good pace on new tires. We just did not have the pace to keep up consistently. I think fourth is all the 28 car had in it today. Good job to the guys up front, and congrats to Scott Dixon and Team Honda.”
5th – COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda): “It was a pretty solid result. We didn’t have the car to win. We did have the car for a top five. We got a little lucky with some people’s misfortunes, but it was a good race. The car was very decent at the end of the stints, and we were able to close up the gaps and have good pit stops. That’s how we made most of our passes.” (On feeling post-race, outside the car): “Definitely the best I’ve felt since they’ve put the windscreen on. We had some really good updates and felt a lot cooler. I don’t think it’ll be a problem for tomorrow. The biggest thing is here is my hands gets super sore from the curbs; they are super rough. I’ll ice my hands tonight, and I’ll be fine tomorrow.”
6th – SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 18 SealMaster Honda): “We had a fantastic opening lap, moving up from sixth to fourth. I then made a really tough pass on Ryan Hunter-Reay and got around him for third. From there, we moved into second and held our own, didn’t make any mistakes. Coming out of the pits after the last stop, we lost a lot of track position when another car turned straight from the fast lane across to his pit box, and I was forced to check up. We fought back from there to finish sixth. It was a blast to drive the SealMaster-Coyne Vasser-Sullivan car today, and I’m ready to take on tomorrow.”
7th –GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Total Quartz Honda): “With the TOTAL QUARTZ machine, we probably had a car that could win, but there was a problem on the first stop that wasn’t ideal that took us from running second to 11th , and we ultimately recovered to seventh. It was a frustrating day. The mistake hurt us. When I was in second place, we were definitely on a mission, and things were looking great. Having said that, we did finish every lap, so we did raise a lot of money for Turns for Troops with United Rentals. And we had a good points day. In general, we caught (Simon) Pagenaud and a couple of the other guys. Dixie (Scott Dixon) is in a world of his own right now, and all of the bounces are certainly going his way, too. And that happens in racing. It happened for us in 2015, and we’re working on getting back in that position. We’ll swap the AERO vinyl to Fifth Third Bank overnight and try to capitalize on a good setup to get this car to the front. We need to get the car a little better, find a little rear grip overnight. Overall, I thought the engineers and mechanics have done a great job. The car has been super-reliable. Brian, my Honda engineer, has done an amazing job this year. We’ve just got to keep our heads down and keep going.”
8th– PATO O’WARD (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “I truly feel like I gave it my all out there today. We need to work on our black-tire pace, but our red-tire pace is strong. Locking up in the last stint really put us back into the guys behind, but we had the pace to catch the guys in front and try to challenge. I had to make some really late braking moves to get by some people. I think it’s something good that we can work on tomorrow, just seeing what the tires did over the course of a stint. I want to qualify up front tomorrow. We have the car, and I know the Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolets can run up front.”
9th – TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Panasonic/Mi-Jack Honda): “It’s good to be back at Road America, everybody’s favorite. It was a tough qualifying for me. We didn’t get the balance we wanted, unfortunately, and I started from 15th . Lap 1 was terrible. I was side-by-side and was kind of pushed out and went all the way back, which was a bit like last week. But then we gradually came back, and I think the team gave me a great strategy for that. One time the air duct on the helmet fell out, and it was really, really hot. Overall, I think we got some very good data to come back and use tomorrow. I look forward to qualifying again. I think we will have a chance to start in front.”
10th– MARCUS ERICSSON (No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “I think we had a good race by making a good start and taking the right strategy. The car was really good, and we were making positions into the top 10. We had a good pass for P7, but I was really frustrated that I sort of threw it away on the last lap with a half-spin and dropped to P10. Once again we had great cars, as evidenced by Dixon winning again, so we’ll keep pushing hard to get to the front.”
Remainder of Drivers (alphabetical – with finishing position):
MARCO ANDRETTI (Finished 22nd – No. 98 U.S. Concrete / Curb Honda): “It was incredibly frustrating today to have another great race car go to waste – nothing seems to be going right right now. But thankfully we have another shot tomorrow and a fast race car. I’m looking forward to putting a full race together and getting a good result for the U.S. Concrete Honda team.”
OLIVER ASKEW (Finished 15th– No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “It was good to gain six positions today in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet and put what happened last weekend at IMS behind us. We obviously have a lot to work on for tomorrow, but luckily it will be a fresh start. The whole team is going to learn as much as we can from today and have a better race tomorrow. It was awesome to see fans back at the racetrack today and look forward to putting on a show for them tomorrow.”
MAX CHILTON (Finished 17th – No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet): “It was a long day at the office today with practice, qualifying and a race, but I love Road America. We were competitive this morning, but I felt like it was a bit like the Indy Grand Prix last weekend where we didn’t show our true speed in the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet during practice. I was confident going into qualifying and I felt like I drove the best lap I’ve ever driven here, but unfortunately it wasn’t good enough today. We started toward the back of the field on a track which is very hard with strategy, and the only way to get around strategy here is if you’re quick, and actually we started the first half of the race fairly quick. We were top-five pace and we were doing fuel-saving well, but it all got messy when we kept getting all of these yellows because our car was really struggling with straight-line speed on the restarts. So, I was having to defend very hard, and it was getting pretty scrappy out there. Then I went for a move down the inside of (Alexander) Rossi when he made a mistake, and we clashed wheels. I don’t know if I was ahead or if he was ahead, but it was a big hit with our wheels ripping the wheel out of my hand. He got suspension damage and I got suspension damage and that was pretty much the end of the race. Obviously it was a tough day for the team that was even more frustrating knowing how quick we can be, but it does make it easier to be optimistic about another chance tomorrow to qualify and race well.”
CONOR DALY (Finished 21st– No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet): (About accident): “I honestly don’t really know. Pato (O’Ward) got out onto the curb, and he was really slow exiting. So, I had enough of a run to where honestly, I thought it was going to be OK. But I don’t really race with him that much. It was tough there. That’s hard to go two-wide. That’s probably on both of us a little bit. It’s really hard to go two-wide there. But I had enough of a run to where you’ve got to take a chance. So, I can’t throw the blame on him. But it’s a little bit of a shame because he was on red tires, so I think he could have lasted a little longer, and it sucks for us. That was really painful. But the U.S. Air Force, these guys will fix it up, hopefully and hopefully we can have a better day tomorrow.” (How is shoulder, and how do you recover for tomorrow?): “It just popped out when I went around, so it was really, really painful for a little bit. So, we’ll just ice it down and see what happens.”
JACK HARVEY (Finished 23rd– No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda): “It’s such a shame that our race had to end early, especially after such a strong day for Meyer Shank Racing. I went into the corner at Turn 3, and my brakes locked up and the wheels spun. There wasn’t much I could do when the brakes failed in that way. All year we’ve had a fast car, and that is what is frustrating because this was a weekend that we could have had a top five. Something randomly happened that took us out of contention, which is greatly disappointing for myself and the whole Meyer Shank Racing team. I know that we have the speed, and these guys will work hard to figure out exactly what went wrong so that we can come back equally as strong tomorrow.”
DALTON KELLETT (Finished 20tht– No. 14 K-Line USA/AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet): “It was an interesting day at Road America. Definitely taking some time to get used to the track. This place has a lot more high-speed corners than Indy GP, so there’s a bit of familiarization with that. In the race today, once we got some pace, we weren’t half-bad on lap times. Had a couple rookie mistakes. Made a mistake on pit lane that cost us a bunch of time. Went long on my marks and guys had to reshuffle to get the stop done. On the restart, I was trying to miss a couple of guys that were checking up, and I dropped a wheel in the grass and I ended up stuck in the gravel trap at the exit of Turn 14 so went a lap down there, so that ended our chances to move up in the race. Feel bad for the guys. They were working great in pit lane all day, but we’re going to have a look at everything tonight and come back stronger tomorrow.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (Finished 11th– No. 4 Tresiba AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet): “Great day for the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet here in Race 1 at Road America. The guys did an awesome job in pit lane. All three stops were really quick, on the money all day long. The car got better and better as the race developed and we got close to that top 10 but didn’t quite get there. But learned a lot about the car, learned a lot about what we need to do for tomorrow for Race No. 2.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (Finished 14th – No. 1 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet): “That was a tough one. We had such a strong PPG Chevy, and the guys did such a great job putting together such a fast car. We started on the pole, and at the beginning of the race, we were just trying to hold track position. I think at one point, we had about an eight-second lead. Unfortunately, we had a problem in the pits and stalled the car. It took us awhile to get it restarted, and that lost all the gap we had built, and from there and we were fighting from behind. We had gotten back into the top 10, and I just locked up the tires going into Turn 1 on one of those late restarts. So, our day went from a great to pretty bad pretty quickly. But hey, that’s racing – we just didn’t take advantage of our opportunities today. I’m thankful we have another shot tomorrow since I really love racing at this place. We’re going to take a look at a few things tonight to make sure we have a solid plan going into tomorrow’s qualifying session with the PPG Chevrolet. I’m confident our guys will put together another fast car tomorrow.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (Finished 12th – No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “It was a really disappointing day. The Menards Chevy had a few struggles in qualifying, but we were able to get ourselves in a decent spot a few times during the race with some speed on the track and taking advantage of some of the other drivers’ problems. I think we were going to have a top-10 finish and limit the points we might have lost, then we got pushed off the track late in the race. That costs us some spots and points, which is frustrating with (Scott) Dixon winning again. But it’s all right; we learned a lot today, and we’re still second in points, so that’s great. There is still a lot of season left to go, and we’ve got another shot at this tomorrow. I have full confidence we will have the Menards Chevrolet ready to go tomorrow.”
FELIX ROSENQVIST (Finished 18th– No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It was a bit up and down for us in the beginning, but the NTT DATA car was really strong. We kind of ran around the place where we started and then found the car was really good on the red Firestone tires. I think we were one of the quickest cars in the first stint and then had some problems. We weren’t that far behind (Scott) Dixon, but then we had a gradual mechanical issue that came in and pit and lost a lap and never recovered. But we have another chance to get right back and win tomorrow, so that’s the goal.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (Finished 19th – No. 27 AutoNation / NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda): “We got a good start but got caught out in Turn 13 with cold tires – went off track and caught a bit of sign board under our front wing. So, we had to come in (to the pits), and that pretty much set our day. I think our pace was OK. Those last restarts, I felt like we were middle of the road in terms of stronger than a couple cars and weaker than a few cars behind us. We had some contact with (Max) Chilton in Turn 6, which gave us a flat tire and ultimately ended our day. I think we could’ve finished 14th, but instead we finished 19th . Nothing was really going to go well after Lap 1, so we will have to figure it out for tomorrow. We need to understand a couple question marks that we have. I guess that is the good thing about having two qualifying sessions and two races is we get to look at it overnight and have a blank slate tomorrow. In the past, you’d have to wait a year to come back, so we’ll take that as a small silver lining. I think if we can answer some questions, I think we have the opportunity to be a top-five car for the AutoNation / NAPA team tomorrow. But, congrats to our Honda family on solid results today. Eight of the top 10 today were powered by Honda, so really proud of that.”
ZACH VEACH (Finished 16th– No. 26 Gainbridge Honda): “Today was a byproduct of a mistake in qualifying. We had a bit too aggressive tire pressures for our (Firestone alternate) red tires, so we didn’t get that second lap faster that everyone else did. Starting P20 sets your fate at a place like this because it was a follow-the-leader kind of race. We got lucky at the end to go forward to P16, but that’s nothing to be proud of. We’ve got a lot more work to do tomorrow. I know we’ll be insanely quick at Iowa, that’s not a worry, but I want to get out this weekend with a good amount of points. We can still turn it around tomorrow, and that starts with qualifying.”
RINUS VEEKAY (Finished 13th – No. 21 Direct Supply Chevrolet): “This was a very hectic race! I had a good start and passed some guys. In Turn 13, many guys went off, and I also tried to see how the grip in the grass was. I picked up a plastic bag on my left wishbone, which really slowed me down on the straights. I got it off after a few laps and then started to push the car. We went for a long run on reds, and I struggled a lot with understeer. Once we got sticker blacks on, it got better. I was happy with that first yellow that really packed up the field. I could just take positions restart by restart. That went pretty well, I had some cool passes and a nice fight with Simon (Pagenaud). In those last laps, I had to drive my butt off to keep Josef (Newgarden) behind me, but I did it! I think P13 is a good ‘bad’ result.”
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (July 10, 2020) – The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will race the first of three doubleheader events this season at this weekend’s REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR Doubleheader at Road America at 5 p.m. (ET) Saturday, July 11on NBCSN and noon (ET) Sunday, July 12 on NBC.
Scott Dixon has won the first two races of the 2020 season, scoring the win at Texas Motor Speedway June 6 and at last Saturday’s road course race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The 23 drivers entered in the weekend’s doubleheader will compete in a compacted schedule. The two-day event will feature a one-hour, 15-minute practice session Saturday, followed by an NTT P1 Award qualifying session before each 55-lap race Saturday and Sunday.
Practice times will set the field into two groups for NTT P1 Award qualifying, but there will only be one round. Each group will run a 12-minute session, and the fastest in each group will earn a bonus NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship point and the overall fastest lap will earn the NTT P1 Award.
Here are “5 Things To Look For…” heading into this weekend’s REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR Doubleheader.
Twice as Nice?
For the first time since 2014, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will conduct doubleheader events at tracks beside the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, and the first two twin bills will happen in consecutive weekends.
Road America and Iowa Speedway will offer the challenge of racing on the largest and smallest tracks on the schedule, but with a total of 200 points on offer over seven days, the stage for the championship race could be set.
“With doubleheaders in Road America and Iowa the next two weekends, the fans should get some really good action,” said five-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon. “That means lots of racing, and I think that’s what we all want both as drivers and as racing fans.”
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES held doubleheaders in 2013 and 2014 on the Streets of Toronto’s Exhibition Place and Houston’s Reliant Park. Dixon and Graham Rahal are the only drivers to sweep doubleheader races. Dixon took the two Toronto races in 2013, while Rahal swept the Belle Isle doubleheader in 2017.
For teams, the doubleheader is even more challenging as they have to prepare for a day of practice, qualifying and a 55-lap race Saturday, only to return after a night’s sleep for qualifying and a full 55-lap race Sunday.
And it leaves little room for error.
“One little mishap puts you in a tailspin the whole weekend, and it’s really hard to come back from,” Meyer Shank Racing co-owner Michael Shank told IndyStar’s Nathan Brown. “And it can be as simple as a little electrical issue that keeps you out of 20 minutes of a given session. That time in those one-day shows is so precious.”
The Iceman’s Hot Streak
Scott Dixon’s wins in the first two races of the 2020 season have him on the brink of history.
The New Zealand driver would become the fourth driver to win the first three races of an INDYCAR season should he capture the opener of the REV Group Grand Prix doubleheader.
A.J. Foyt won the first seven races of the 1964 USAC season, while Al Unser claimed the first three of the 1971 USAC season. Sebastien Bourdais won the first four races of the 2006 Champ Car World Series season. All three also claimed the championship in that same year.
“It feels great to get the start to the season we’ve had,” said Dixon, who has had a pair of three-race win streaks in his career – Watkins Glen, Nashville and Mid-Ohio in 2007 and Pocono and a doubleheader sweep at Toronto in 2013.
“The team has put a lot of work into the program, and we’ve unloaded with fast cars in both races so far. I’m glad we’re getting into racing every weekend. Road America is one of my favorite tracks, and our goal is to keep the PNC Bank car at the front twice his weekend.”
Youth vs. Experience
With six full-time drivers under the age of 24, there is a definite youth movement in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.
But while first- and second-year drivers are just beginning to show their vast potential in the early part of the season, the veterans of the series are not ready to give up the spotlight. In fact, drivers with at least seven NTT INDYCAR SERIES seasons under their belts have taken all the podium positions thus far.
“I’ll tell you, it’s getting tough. It’s getting really tough out there!” said Simon Pagenaud, who along with Scott Dixon has stood on podiums at Texas and Indianapolis. “There are some really good kids coming up. Some really fast guys. Oliver Askew was impressive in qualifying. We’ve got Pato (O’Ward) and Rinus (VeeKay) – I started behind him, and he marched his way to the front. I was very impressed with his race pace. I only beat him on his last pit sequence.
“A lot of good kids. (Felix) Rosenquist is always there, and Colton (Herta) is becoming more and more consistent. It is going to get tougher and tougher as the year goes on. It’s impressive to see how tight things are.”
Herta, who scored his first career pole at Road America in 2019, sees this weekend as an opportunity for the young guns to finally make their mark.
“I’m happy with how the year has gone so far,” Herta said. “We’ve been consistent. We’ve shown speed everywhere we’ve gone. Happy to get back to Road America. I’m happy it’s a doubleheader. Felt like we were very fast there last year. I think we do have a chance to win.”
Welcome Race Fans!
After two events conducted without fans in attendance, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will welcome race fans for events this weekend at Road America and next weekend at Iowa Speedway.
The fans and the atmosphere they bring to each NTT INDYCAR SERIES event have been missed by the drivers.
“It’s been strange,” said Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud. “It is strange to go to the track without any fans. It’s like being at a test session. Without the hype from the crowd, you don’t get the feeling of being a gladiator or a superstar. It’s quiet. It doesn’t have that racing feel.
“To me, race fans make racing interesting. It’s a party every weekend when we go racing, and without them, it is not. I’m excited about going to Road America, and for the first time we are going to open up the gates. I look forward to it. It is a great place to have people and for them to camp and see us racing around that beautiful track.”
Two Races, Two Looks for Rahal
The doubleheader event at Road America will give Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing the chance to showcase a pair of primary sponsors on Graham Rahal’s No. 15 Honda this weekend.
Rahal will debut the black, white and gold colors of TOTAL QUARTZ in Saturday’s Race 1 and return to the blue and green colors of the Fifth Third Bank car that he raced in Indianapolis for Sunday’s Race 2.
Rahal’s team will rewrap his car Saturday after Race 1.To aid in the process, the team will already have some bodywork, such as the engine cover and sidepods, prepared.
REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR Doubleheader Fast Facts
Race weekend: Saturday, July 11 – Sunday, July 12
Track: Road America, a 4.014-mile, 14-turn permanent road course (clockwise), in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Race distance: 55 laps / 220.77 miles (each race)
Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.
Firestone tire allotment: Nine sets primary, five sets alternate for use during the race weekend. Teams must use one set of primary and one set of alternate tires for at least two laps in the race.
Twitter: @RoadAmerica @IndyCar, #REVGROUPGP, #IndyCar
Event website: www.roadamerica.com
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
2019 race winner: Alexander Rossi (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda)
2019 pole winner Colton Herta (No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda), 1 minute, 42.9920 seconds, 140.306 mph
Qualifying record: Dario Franchitti, 1:39.866, 145.924 mph, Aug. 19, 2000
NBC/NBCSN telecasts: Race 1 Qualifying: 2:15 p.m. ET Saturday, NBCSN (live); Race 1: 5 p.m. ET Saturday, NBCSN (live). Race 2: Noon ET Sunday, NBC (live). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for NBC broadcasts alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.
NBC Sports Gold livestreaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.
INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton with Jake Query, Michael Young and Nick Yeoman in the turns. All NTT INDYCAR SERIES races are broadcast live on the INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 211, XM 205, IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR MOBILE APP powered by NTT DATA. Live coverage of NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying is available on Sirius 211, XM 205, IndyCar.com, and the INDYCAR MOBILE APP.
At-track schedule (all times Eastern Time):
Saturday, July 11
11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice, NBC Sports Gold
2:15 p.m. – Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (two groups), NBCSN (Live)
5 p.m. – NBCSN on air
5:08 p.m. – “Drivers, start your engines”
5:15 p.m. – REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR Race 1 (55 laps/220.77 miles), NBCSN (Live)
Sunday, July 12
9-9:30 a.m. – Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (two groups), NBC Sports Gold
Noon – NBC on air
12:35 p.m. – “Drivers, start your engines”
12:42 p.m. – REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR Race 2 (55 laps/220.77 miles), NBC (Live)
Scott Dixon has won the first two races of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. He will try to become the first driver to win the first three races of an INDYCAR season since Sebastien Bourdais won the first four races of the 2006 Champ Car World Series season. Two other INDYCAR drivers have had at least a three-race win streak to start the season. A.J. Foyt won the first seven races in 1964, and Al Unser won the first three races in 1971.
The REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR Doubleheader will be the 30th and 31st INDYCAR events conducted at Road America since it hosted its first INDYCAR event in 1982.
Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden, Will Power and Alexander Rossi are the only entered drivers who have won an INDYCAR race at Road America. They also are the four most recent winners at the track. Rossi won in 2019, Newgarden won in 2018, Dixon won in 2017 and Power won in INDYCAR’s return in 2016 – the first race at the track since 2007. Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi have the most wins by an INDYCAR driver at the track (three).
Nineteen drivers entered this weekend have previously raced Indy cars at Road America. Six of those drivers have led laps at the track (Josef Newgarden 66, Alexander Rossi 54, Will Power 46, Scott Dixon 26, Graham Rahal 3 and Simon Pagenaud 2).
Eight drivers have won the Road America race from the pole: Mario Andretti (1983, 1984 and 1987), Danny Sullivan (1989), Paul Tracy (1993), Jacques Villeneuve (1995), Bruno Junqueira (2003), Sebastien Bourdais (2007), Will Power (2016) and Josef Newgarden (2018).
Drivers who have won at Road America have gone on to win the INDYCAR championship six times in the same season: Mario Andretti (1984), Michael Andretti (1991), Jacques Villeneuve (1995), Alex Zanardi (1997), Cristiano da Matta (2002) and Sebastien Bourdais (2007).
Team Penske has won five times at Road America (1989, 1992, 1993, 2016 and 2018) and is one of three current teams with wins at the track. Chip Ganassi Racing has won three times at Road America (1997, 2001 and 2017), while Andretti Autosport won its first race in 2019. Newman/Haas Racing won a record 10 times at Road America.
Rookies Oliver Askew, Dalton Kellett, Alex Palou and Rinus VeeKay will race an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car at Road America for the first time this weekend.
Scott Dixon, the longest-tenured driver for Chip Ganassi Racing, is third on the all-time Indy car victory list with 48 wins. Dixon has made 260 consecutive starts, the best among active drivers and second on the all-time list. Tony Kanaan set the record of 318. Kanaan’s streak, which started in 2001, ended July 4 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
REV GROUP GRAND PRIX PRE-EVENT QUOTES
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet): “I’m really looking forward to Road America. It’s definitely one of my favorite tracks, so it’s always a joy to go there. It’s beautiful to begin with and it’s a fun place to race. It also tends to really fit my driving style so my PPG Chevy team and I are excited to get back on track there. I also can’t say enough about how I am excited for us to have some fans back at track this weekend. We missed you guys and are glad we will see some of you in Wisconsin with us. We’re going to put our all into both races this weekend for this doubleheader and are thankful our friends at NBC will be airing one race on NBCSN and the other on NBC.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 4 Tresiba / AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “I am so excited to get back to Road America, especially, for a doubleheader! It is one of the most iconic racetracks in North America and runs through some beautiful landscape. The over 4-mile length lends itself to great racing and high speeds! After finding a strong direction with the #4 Tresiba Chevrolet at the Indy GP, I am looking forward to getting on track Saturday and continuing to move up the grid.”
PATO O’WARD (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “Road America can’t come soon enough. Coming off a solid race at the GMR Grand Prix in Indianapolis, everyone at Arrow McLaren SP and I are looking forward to building on the momentum we have created so far this season. Road America is an iconic track on the calendar and I can’t think of a better place to welcome fans back to NTT INDYCAR SERIES race in a safe, responsible manner.”
OLIVER ASKEW (No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “We know the Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolets are fast and can contend for pole positions, now we need to work on finishing strong on race day. A doubleheader at Road America is the perfect opportunity to get a great result for the whole team. I’m looking forward to welcoming fans and partners back to the track, it will awesome to have people cheering us on again.”
MARCUS ERICSSON (No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda ): “I’m really looking forward to getting back to Road America. It’s one of the nicest tracks on the calendar and it was really fun going there last year. It’s also exciting for us as a team to build on a strong performance at the Indy GP, obviously, for Scott winning, but also for me I think my race went really well. We had a strong pace and came home with a sixth place there in the Huski Chocolate Honda car. We’re aiming to build on that performance and we think we should be really strong in Road America. I’m bringing confidence from that strong weekend. So, I’m really looking forward to it and I can’t wait to get there!”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, NTT INDYCAR SERIES points leader): “It feels great to get the start to the season we’ve had. The team has put a lot of work into the program and we’ve unloaded with fast cars in both races so far. I’m glad we’re getting into racing every weekend. With doubleheaders in Road America and Iowa the next two weekends, the fans should get some really good action. That means lots of racing and I think that’s what we all want both as drivers and as racing fans. Road America is one of my favorite tracks and our goal is to keep the PNC Bank car at the front twice this weekend.”
FELIX ROSENQVIST (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “I’m really looking forward to the Road America doubleheader coming up this weekend. It’s a really fun track, one of the better ones on the calendar and I think that goes for the spectators, as well, because it’s a really beautiful, old-school track. It hasn’t been the start of the season that I wanted, but I think we have a good car with the NTT DATA Honda on both the road course and the oval. So, I’m really looking forward to getting back on a roll and try to get some results going here again. I think it’s a good opportunity in Road America. It’s a track where I had a good result last year. Personally, I love going there and having a doubleheader couldn’t be better. It’s going to be a lot of racing in a short time and coming with Iowa after that as well with a doubleheader. It’s good to be going again and good to be back so shortly after Indy GP.”
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I am so pumped for a doubleheader weekend at Road America. Last weekend just about everything that could have gone wrong for our Verizon Chevy team did, and we are just ready to head into the weekend super motivated to improve upon last weekend. I love road courses and this track is by far one of the most beautiful on the circuit. I’m glad we’ll have some fans there since that track always has such a lively crowd. They really make the event even more fun. NBC and NBC Sports Network are going to be airing the two races so I know we’re all thankful to give fans a great show two days in a row.”
DALTON KELLETT (No. 14 K-Line USA / A J Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Coming off my NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut at the GMR Grand Prix, I can’t wait to be back on track in the #14 K-Line Insulators USA Chevrolet at Road America. The doubleheader will be a great opportunity to keep learning and build on the foundation work from last weekend. My first event was all about learning the car and maximizing track time. I’m going into this weekend with that same focus, the more quality track time and experience I get under my belt, the better we can position ourselves for a strong result. In the short turn around, we’ve reviewed the data and have a pretty good idea where we need to focus our attention to keep improving. We will be heading into Road America with clear goals in mind.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 TOTAL QUARTZ (Race 1) Fifth Third Bank (Race 2) Honda): “Obviously I’m very excited to get to Road America after a strong run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I think that we proved out some great theories and improvements at IMS. I’m very proud of our engineering corps, and Takuma, Spencer and everyone that worked hard to get us where we are. I’m excited; I think we should be very strong. We’ll keep our focus on it and do the best that we can but we should be very good. We had a good race there last year and fought for a podium and I feel like we’re a little better off this year with how we came out of IMS. Not just the end result, but the performance in general, by all three cars was good so I feel good about it. I think we should be pretty strong. The Aeroscreen is hot; it’s a challenge. For me physically, I actually felt OK (at IMS) except my neck was getting very tired. But as far as my heart rate, I burned some serious calories in the race at IMS, but I actually felt good. Road America is a little easier of a track, physically, than IMS is so we’ll be all right.”
SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 18 SealMaster Honda): “I’m looking forward to the doubleheader at Road America this weekend. INDYCAR and the track will be allowing some fans to attend for the first this season so that is exciting. I’m very happy with the way the Coyne Vasser Sullivan team has developed the SealMaster Honda road course car. The work we’ve done on the simulator is paying off. Our pace is definitely there and we are coming off a top-10 finish at the GMR GP. We’ll be back in the SealMaster colors this weekend and If we can have zero mistakes I think we can fight for a top-five finish and possibly a win for all our sponsors.”
CONOR DALY (No. 20 U.S Air Force Chevrolet): “I am very excited to get back to Road America in an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car after a few years away! I enjoyed being there last year in a sports car, it went quite well. We are hoping to continue to use what we learned from the GMR Grand Prix, have a strong qualifying run and follow it up with a strong couple of races. The doubleheader will be really interesting. I can’t wait to get back in it, it’s nice to have a continuous flow of work now. We’re going to keep improving, keep getting better and go trophy hunting.”
RINUS VEEKAY (No. 21 Direct Supply Chevrolet): “Road America is a very successful track for me. I had my first-ever win in American racing there in 2017, which was also my first win in race cars. I swept the weekend, which was nice! It’s been a good track for me. It’s my all-time favorite track so it’s cool to be able to race an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car there this season! Being a doubleheader, it’s good for me! It’s also a pleasure to drive in the blue Direct Supply car this weekend. I’m really excited and looking forward to it. I think we can pull another great weekend out of our hats!”
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “I think the Menards Chevy team really showed their strength as a group at the Indianapolis road course this past weekend. On Saturday we came through the field and ended with a podium finish. It was a really strong championship level weekend! Road America is a doubleheader with lots of points on the table. This is one of the most beautiful tracks we get to race on in the series but it also is quite complex. We are going to give it 100%. For our partners at Menards. Wisconsin is their backyard and it’s always great to represent them so close to their home. This weekend will mark the first time we see fans back at the racetrack and that is amazing. Thanks to NBC Sports and NBC for their support also in this unprecedented times, as well.”
ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda): “I’m really excited to go up to Road America, especially because it’s the first event that we’re going to have fans at. These race weekends have been nice to get back into the race car, but some element has been missing and that’s just the interaction with the people at the event. Being able to share the race with people that are there watching from the corners is such a special thing and so important for all of us drivers. I’m excited to get to Road America for that and hopefully get us back in the top 10 and compete for another top five and possibly a podium there. We have two races, it’s the first doubleheader that we have this season, so hopefully we can roll off the truck well, because if you’re fast on Saturday then you should be fast on Sunday.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 Auto Nation / NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda): “It’s been a tough start to the year with two mechanicals, but that is behind us now. We have four races in the next two weekends, which will give us a chance to come back. We’re focusing on race wins for the AutoNation / NAPA team, and looking forward to welcoming fans back to the track this week at Road America.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “We are headed back to one of my favorite places in the U.S. and top three tracks on my list! Over the past few years, we have been very competitive here, so I’m optimistic heading into the doubleheader weekend. The 28 team has been strong at the first two race weekends; however, we’ve experienced some unusual situations which have kept us from challenging for a win. We’re all super focused on a strong double race weekend at Road America and putting that DHL Honda up front.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Panasonic One / Cure Honda): “I think we are moving in a good direction with our road course setup. We haven’t done enough testing with it but we proved this road course setup had good potential at IMS. I think we are looking strong. Two road course races will be tough. I can’t imagine doing practice, qualifying and a race in one day and then the next day have qualifying and a race. I think last weekend was good training. It was a hot day and the Aeroscreen made it hotter but Road America has a longer straight so hopefully that will help us. (On the Aeroscreen at IMS:) “It was hot during the race at IMS. The cooling was technically working well, but the problem was that the debris and marbles were coming through the duct and broke into the helmet hose and blocked flow so we need to work on that.”
ALEX PALOU (No. 55 Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda ): “We’ve done some simulator work in preparation for Road America so that should help us heading into the weekend. It gives me a better idea of what to expect, but it’s still going to be tough because of the single practice session. Even if you’ve driven the track on the simulator, nothing beats driving on the real thing, so you still need some time to learn the track and get the car where you want it to be and that can be tough to do in just one 90-minute session. That said, I’m confident we’ll be stronger there than at Indy. From what I’ve seen by watching onboard videos and with the sim work, the track is really nice, it has a little bit of everything and I’m looking forward to not only one but two races there this weekend.”
MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet): “I think myself and the whole Carlin team are feeling extremely energized after last weekend on the road course at IMS. We didn’t have the best finish after some bad luck, but we showed so much promise and pace all weekend and it’s a really good feeling going into Road America knowing we have a fast car in the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet. Road America is such a great track and it really suits my driving style, so I’m very excited to get back to Gallagher’s ‘home track.’ It’ll be interesting racing back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday and I’m sure it’ll be quite the workout for both drivers and crews, but we’re ready to put on two days-worth of on-track action for the fans at the track and those watching at home.”
JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda): “Road America is just one of the most beautiful racetracks that you could ever go to. When you think about permanent road racing tracks in North America, Road America is definitely on that list. It was a tough weekend for us last year, but after we dissected it during the offseason and we feel pretty confident about what went wrong. Now we know what we need to do this year to have a strong result.”
COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda): “Road America is going to be AWESOME. Really looking forward to having the fans back, although we won’t get much interaction with them, it’ll be nice to see them around the track and in the stands when driving. Track-wise, there aren’t many places that we go that beat that track, the place is incredible. I was really fast there last year and had my first-ever pole, so really looking forward to getting back.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 U.S. Concrete / Curb Honda): “We have a good chance to get back in the top 10 in points this weekend. Road America is my favorite permanent road course and it will be good to have fans back with us. We have had pace this year, so some luck will put us back into the top five.”
|INDYCAR, IMS Announce|
‘Race for Equality & Change’
|INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, July 4, 2020 – INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have announced the “Race for Equality & Change,” a major effort to support diversity and inclusivity across the INDYCAR industry. A key pillar of “Race for Equality & Change” will be a $1 million fund to fuel internal and external programs and initiatives that will create fundamental change.“As our country has grappled with systemic issues related to race, equality and access to opportunity, we’ve been doing a lot of listening, learning and reflecting,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said. “‘Race for Equality & Change’ will create a more diverse and inclusive INDYCAR community that fundamentally transforms our sport.”Key focuses of the “Race for Equality & Change” include:Recruiting and developing a diverse workforce throughout all levels of INDYCAR and IMSDiversifying the competitive driver field at the grassroots, Road to Indy and NTT INDYCAR SERIES levelsSupporting impactful grassroots youth motorsports programs, including enhancing the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s longstanding partnership with Nexgeneracers, a 501c3 that introduces minority students to the world of motorsportsDiversifying employment, leadership and ownership within the SERIES and with INDYCAR promotersInvestment in minority communities to encourage greater engagement with INDYCAR and IMSEstablishing a procurement program to meaningfully increase the number of minority-owned businesses that contract with INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway each yearAs part of today’s announcement, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway pylon will light up with a special “Race for Equality & Change” message during the NTT INDYCAR SERIES GMR Grand Prix this afternoon on the IMS road course. The NBC broadcast also will feature a conversation on the initiative between host Mike Tirico and Miles.The GMR Grand Prix airs at noon (ET) today on NBC.|
1st – WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “We left nothing on the table in that lap in the Verizon Chevrolet. I knew that (Jack) Harvey had a pretty good time up there, so we put our best set on for the last run, and I just gave it my all. Fortunately, it was enough. But man, the heat. I just want to jump into an ice bath right now, I’m so bloody hot! We don’t need to be trying to get out first. If you’re thinking of that, you’re going to make a mistake, or I don’t need to be thinking about winning. You just need to be thinking about what you’re really good at, which is for me, driving; and for the crew the stops that they’ve done thousands of. We’ve all had a chat, and we all understand that. That’s how we’re going to win a championship.
2nd – JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda): “Mega effort by the entire Meyer Shank Racing crew to put the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda on the front row for the GMR Grand Prix. We did well in practice this morning and we have been working really hard to be competitive, and I felt that we were going to have good pace during qualifying. This is the best we have done as a team. The No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda has been great. The car has great straight-line speed, and we have the pace that we need to carry into the race. The car is very strong on both the black and red sets of Firestone tires. We are so optimistic to follow that into tomorrow and have another successful day.”
3rd –COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana Honda): “We made a really good leap from practice; we weren’t super special but all right, just outside of the top 10. We made some good changes to the Gleaners Food Bank Honda. I love qualifying around here and I love being in Indy, so its super special to be on the second row of the grid for the second year in a row. I’m hoping we get a good result out of it.”
4th – GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Honda): “It was a good end to our first day here at the GMR Grand Prix with qualifying. We’ll start fourth, so it’s a really good run for us in the Fifth Third Bank team. The guys did a great job. We had a really good lap in Round 2 to get us into Round 3 and then in Q3 we had one going that was just a hair better, but it still ended up being our best lap. All in all, I’m happy with P4. We can go race from there; we can do a good job from there. Honda has done an amazing job; you could see it. The other guys (Takuma and Spencer) didn’t have the luck we did today in getting through, but they will have a good day tomorrow. We’re pretty pleased with today.”
5th – OLIVER ASKEW (No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “Today was more than we could have asked for, honestly. The goal was to move on from Round One of qualifying, but once I felt the car was capable of competing in the Firestone Fast Six, it was game on. The guys at Arrow McLaren SP did a really good job of making the right changes between practice and qualifying. It comes down to that and being able to put down your theoretical best lap together by not making mistakes. Everyone sees how close it is out there in lap times. I felt really good out there, and these are the days I love about racing, when you feel connected with the car and you don’t have to think about it. It just all comes together naturally. Really happy with today.”
6th – JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet): “We couldn’t really get going there on that lap. I came out of the pits and had a huge lockup to start the lap on the first corner. I’m not sure. It snuck up on me and hasn’t done that all day. I’m sure I have an influence on why that happened, but not 100 percent positive why we got such an aggressive lock-up. We had one lap on the tires ready to go just like Will (Power). I thought we were getting better all session but were a little bit behind him all day. We definitely need to work on our pace, and I felt like we were getting there. You come to this track, and you don’t see the separation of people on track. Everyone is just kind of the same speed. There’s definitely people that shine. Obviously Will and Simon (Pagenaud) have been very good here, but it doesn’t separate people out, so you’re all clumped together. Team Chevy has worked with us all session, and we were pulling forward; they were giving us a little more each time. I think we can still have a good show with XPEL tomorrow and go for a win.”
7th –SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “We went through a bit of an aero experiment. We tried some different things up and down on downforce between the black and red tire runs. I don’t think we nailed it maybe as best as we could have, but on the red tires we were pretty good. We were definitely pretty close, though, with the PNC Bank car, and maybe some of the guys we didn’t think would have been up there ended up being up there to challenge. It will make for an interesting race tomorrow, for sure.”
8th– CONOR DALY (No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet): “We felt like we had a lot of grip on the red tires. For some reason, there’s a big difference in tires for us. On the blacks, the car just doesn’t quite come in the way I like it. As soon as we put on reds, I can really get on it, even on Lap 1. We have to try and bring those balances a little closer together for tomorrow, but I’m super pumped. We’ve got the U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, all of us here together for the first time at Ed Carpenter Racing, this is a great start. We’re right in the fight, starting eighth. That’s all we want – a chance to be up there and get good points at the end of the day.”
9th – FELIX ROSENQVIST (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “P9 is not terrible, but not great, obviously, and not where we were looking to be. I thought the car felt good, but it wasn’t so quick, which is always a bit perplexing. So, we will have to go back and just look where we lost time. I felt like I should’ve put a good lap there in the end, and that was only good for P9. It’s a long race tomorrow, so we have any chance to have a good result in the NTT DATA Honda.”
10th– MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet): “All in all, I’d say it was a pretty decent day for us. We were up front quite a bit in practice this morning, and then we dropped down and ended up 18th toward the end of the session, but I knew we were quicker than that for qualifying. Surprisingly I came in from my final run in the first round of qualifying and was having a hard time finding myself on the time sheets and then realized I was up in P2 and moving onto the second round with the rest of the top 12. We went out in the second round and the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet was really good, but I didn’t really drive to the grip levels because I was worried about the temperature. I went out and did what I’d done before but tidied it up on the first lap on reds. Then on the second lap, I went out thinking there was no way I was going to go any quicker, so let’s just over-drive it and see what we can do and ended up actually going quicker. Unfortunately, I think it just proved that I didn’t get the most out of the first lap, but that does prove that Gallagher Chevrolet is quicker than where we are, so hopefully we’ll have a good day tomorrow and move quickly through the field to the front.”
Remainder of Drivers (alphabetical – with qualifying position):
MARCO ANDRETTI (Qualified 25th – No. 98 U.S. Concrete / Curb Honda): “I guess we shot ourselves in the foot. We had good pace – I bottomed and fired it off for Lap 1, and then we didn’t leave ourselves time for Lap 2. We just didn’t have time to cover for something like that. But we did have pace, so hoping to build on that tomorrow.”
MARCUS ERICSSON (Qualified 14th – No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “Obviously a bit disappointing to just miss out on advancing in qualifying. I think we had a really good car and finished P3 in practice today. In qualifying, the car was really good, as well, but as you know in qualifying and every session, it’s just extremely tight here in INDYCAR. We just missed out, though, and we think there was a bit more there. I think we have a good Huski Chocolate Honda for the race tomorrow.”
SANTINO FERRUCCI (Qualified 15th – No. 18 MOUSER MOLEX Honda): “The Mouser Molex Honda was still really good; I just didn’t get the front tires to where I wanted them for the first half of the lap. I think we have a good race car, but qualifying did not go the way we hoped for coming off P2 in practice. Unfortunately, it’s basically a one-lap qualifying, and I just missed advancing by about a tenth and a half, which is definitely something to work on.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (Qualified 19th – No. 29 Genesys Honda): “We’re obviously starting a little further back than we’d like to be. The first session was a kind of a baptism by fire, trying to get up to speed with how the team operates and how the car behaves a little differently than I’m used to. I haven’t turned right since September, so a bit of a catch up there. The team did a good job preparing the car, just working at putting it all together on a hot, greasy track. We made a bunch of changes after practice, and you only have two laps on blacks to figure it out before you put on the reds. It’s a tough deal, for sure, but tomorrow is a long race, and I know we are just going to keep getting better every time we get in the car.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (Qualified 12th – No. 28 DHL Honda): “We had a pretty good car all day – very competitive. We just tried to be proactive and made a few tweaks on the car in that last outing in the top 12. It just tipped the rear over a little bit, and I started to drive defensively trying to keep the rear in check. Hopefully we can put it together tomorrow. The DHL car is quick; it has promise to it.”
SAGE KARAM (Qualified 23rd – No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet): “It was a big INDYCAR first for the DRR crew and I on the IMS road course. So we’ll take P23 in qualifying in our initial day on the track. We are chipping away at it and getting stronger each run. We had a small car issue in practice when we stalled on the track. But we got it back quickly, and I was able to finish the practice session. We are going to have to work some magic in the race tomorrow, but I’m feeling good! Thank you to all the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing WIX Filters boys for the continued hard work.”
DALTON KELLETT (Qualified 26th –No. 14 K-Line USA/AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet): “First INDYCAR qualifying is in the books. What better place to do it than at Indianapolis? This is the track that means a lot to me and means a lot to the team – all their history here – so I can’t think of somewhere better to have that great first experience. It’s definitely been a learning day without having a lot of testing in the offseason, given the big break and all that. Just trying to go hard right off the bat on the Firestone reds. It’s pretty tough and definitely something that I’m going to have to learn and get better at as the season progresses. But I think we’ll be reviewing the day, looking at the onboard between the 14 and the 4 cars and seeing what we can learn from that and make improvements for tomorrow’s race.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (Qualified 24thth – No. 4 Tresiba AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet): “Honestly, pretty disappointed. It was not the result that anyone at AJ Foyt Racing wants, not anything that the No. 4 car wanted, but I still have a huge amount of faith in the team, the guys, the engineers tonight. Headed into the engineering office, we’re going to work on it, look through all the data, talk about previous experiences here plus what tomorrow’s going to bring strategy-wise, weather-wise. It’s supposed to be another hot one tomorrow, so that changes a little bit with what we do, but I have every bit of confidence that come warmup tomorrow morning the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet will be faster. And then in the race we’ll roll some strategy dice and hopefully end up inside the top 10.”
PATO O’WARD (Qualified 13th – No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “We were just outside of getting into the Fast 12 and competing for a spot in the Firestone Fast Six. The No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet is super-fast, and I think we showed that at times throughout the day. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race and making my way to the front. Congrats to my teammate, Oliver, for qualifying fifth and make sure to watch us both tomorrow on NBC at noon ET.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (Qualified 21st – No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “I said this morning we felt pretty good, and I think the adjustment we made went in the wrong direction. It comes down to downforce. If you decide to run less downforce when you let that rear wing down, there’s a lot of speed. I think we might have to do that tomorrow with the Menards Chevy. We’ll see. I thought the tire degradation rate was low, so that might help us to make that decision.”
ALEX PALOU (Qualified 21st – No. 55 Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda): “I’m disappointed with my qualifying result today. When we first went out on the primary Firestone tire we were really good and were sitting P3 before going back out on the reds for our final lap. I had traffic on the out lap, like everybody, but I was not able to get the tires up to where they needed to be, so I didn’t have enough grip on my final lap and that’s why our result wasn’t so good. It’s all part of the learning experience, I guess. However, I’m happy with the first run we did, and I’m also encouraged for tomorrow because I believe we have a strong car for the race and that’s when it counts the most.”
SPENCER PIGOT (Qualified 16th – No. 45 Mi-Jack / Shield Cleansers Honda): “Overall, the day wasn’t too bad. I think we made some good adjustments and changes throughout the first practice. Qualifying was just really tricky; it was super-hot. It was easy to miss a little bit of time. I think we have a pretty solid car. It was pretty good on blacks (primary Firestone tires) and on reds. We just missed it a little bit. Hopefully tomorrow we can make a few more changes in warmup and have a good debut race for everyone at RLL with Citrone/Buhl Autosport.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (Qualified 11th – No. 27 AutoNation / NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda): “I don’t think we’ve ever been super-strong around here, so I think 11th is about par for the course for us, unfortunately. We’re trying some different things. We had a pretty disjointed practice this morning, so I think this is a pretty decent result considering some of the issues we had to overcome. It’s going to be a long, hot day tomorrow, but I think we have some team cars that are pretty strong. We’ll look at that tonight and see what we can come up with for the warmup.”
TAKUMA SATO (Qualified 17th – No. 30 Panasonic One Cure Honda): “It was a tough one. Starting off, I thought the car was pretty good. I thought we were hovering on position three or four on the black tires, and then I put the red on and just didn’t get any bite with it; the car started to slide. And the grip wasn’t there as expected, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to improve the time a lot and ended up 17th. But Graham (Rahal) did a great job and had a great qualifying. We’ll go have a look and compare data to see what we can do, and hopefully all three of us will be strong for the race.”
ZACH VEACH (Qualified 22th – No. 26 Gainbridge Honda): “Qualifying was disappointing. We started practice with a car that we weren’t really confident in. We made really good changes between practice and qualifying. The car felt reasonable. I just think we made a mistake with the brakes for our fastest lap, for whatever reason leaving on the reds. No matter how good the car actually felt, I couldn’t get into the brake zone very well, so that unfortunately cost us. We will work our way forward tomorrow. As a team, I think we’ve always struggled here. We’ve had good race cars, just struggled with qualifying speed as a whole. I think tomorrow will be good for us by the end of it, just going to be a lot of work until then.”
RINUS VEEKAY (Qualified 18th – No. 21 Sonax Chevrolet): “It was a tough first qualifying in INDYCAR. We had a pretty good first run on blacks, then went to reds. I anticipated having two flying laps, but at the end of my first one I caught the checkered. It’s a bummer. I think there was more time the car if we’d had a second lap. We’re starting 18th, which isn’t where we wanted to be, but we’ll make the best of it.”
|INDIANAPOLIS (July 3, 2020) – Whether considering raw speed or history, it will take quite an effort to beat Will Power on Saturday in the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.|
CLICK HERE: GMR Grand Prix Qualifying ResultsPower earned the NTT P1 Award for winning the pole for the second NTT INDYCAR SERIES race of the 2020 season, setting the pace at 1 minute, 10.1779 seconds, 125.116 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet on his final lap in the Firestone Fast Six.
Qualifying took place in steamy conditions, with air temperatures in the low 90s on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course.2014 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Power drove to his 58th career pole, second best all time and just nine behind Mario Andretti’s record of 67.
He also led the one practice session earlier in the day at 1:09.9487.“We left nothing on the table in that lap in the Verizon Chevrolet,” Power said of qualifying. “I knew that (Jack) Harvey had a pretty good time up there, so we put our best set on for the last run, and I just gave it my all. Fortunately, it was enough.”
Not only does Power have pace on his side for the 80-lap race that starts at noon (ET, live on NBC) Saturday, he also has history for support. This was his fourth career pole in seven starts in this event, and he has won all three previous years he started from the pole, in 2015, 2017 and 2018.Power’s scintillating, last-gasp pole dash was enough to knock a superb lap from Jack Harvey from the top of the charts.
Harvey, who finished third in this event last year, ended up qualifying second at 1:10.3653 in the No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda.Colton Herta was third at 1:10.5197 in the No. 88 Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana Honda, with Graham Rahal fourth at 1:10.5844 in the No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Honda.
Oliver Askew was the top-qualifying rookie, fifth at 1:10.8404 in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. Reigning series champion Josef Newgarden rounded out the Firestone Fast Six, not posting a lap time after going off course in Turn 12 during his flying lap in the No. 1 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet.
Five-time series champion Scott Dixon will start seventh in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda after just missing a berth in the Firestone Fast Six by 57-thousandths of a second.Three-time and reigning GMR Grand Prix winner Simon Pagenaud had a tough day, not making it out of the first round of qualifying in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet. He will start 20th in the 26-car field.
INDIANAPOLIS (June 25, 2020) – The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will welcome fans back to the track for the first time in 2020 on July 9-12 at Road America for the REV Group Grand Prix presented by American Medical Response doubleheader race weekend.Under the guidance of public health officials, medical experts and local, state and federal authorities,…
Event To Follow State Guidelines for INDYCAR Doubleheader/ARCA Race Weekend;
Limited Remaining Tickets To Go on Sale June 26
INDIANAPOLIS (June 18, 2020) – INDYCAR will welcome fans to Iowa Speedway for the upcoming July 17-18 race weekend featuring the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Iowa 250 races and the ARCA Menards Series race.
Under the guidance of public health officials, medical experts and local, state and federal authorities, INDYCAR and Iowa Speedway will observe safe social distancing and provide enhanced hygiene and safety precautions for all fans in attendance at the event. Only a limited number of tickets will be available for the upcoming race weekend with each group of fans in attendance separated by at least 6 feet of distancing at Iowa Speedway, in order to align with Iowa state COVID-19 guidelines.
All previously purchased tickets for the July 17 and 18 race weekend will be honored by Iowa Speedway, including season tickets. Seating will be reassigned for all existing ticketholders in order to follow safe social distancing guidelines. Ticketholders will be notified about their specific seat locations in the coming days, and tickets will either be emailed or printed and distributed beginning July 1. A limited number of remaining tickets for the race weekend will then go on sale Friday, June 26, and fans will be able to secure their seats online through www.iowaspeedway.com or by phone at 866-787-8946.
Single-day tickets start as low as $15 for Friday, July 17 and $20 for Saturday, July 18, while all two-day ticket packages include a 10% discount. Tickets to the Iowa Speedway luxury hospitality suites will also be available for purchase, along with weekend camping and parking options. Safe social distancing protocols will also be in place for suite ticketholders and for all of the camping options at Iowa Speedway.
The July race weekend will feature two full points races for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES on back-to-back nights – the Iowa INDYCAR 250s. Friday, July 17 will include the high-powered NTT INDYCAR SERIES cars competing in the first of two 250-mile races under the lights at Iowa Speedway. On Saturday, July 18, ticketholders will enjoy the ARCA Menards Series Shore Lunch 150 in the afternoon, followed by the second Iowa INDYCAR 250 race that evening.
As part of the enhanced health and safety measures for the event weekend, all guests will be screened in their vehicles with contactless temperature checks before entering the parking areas and only essential racing personnel will have access to the infield. Hand sanitizer and face coverings will be distributed to each guest when they enter the track, and enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures will be implemented throughout the facility over the course of the weekend.
Additional protocols and guidelines for guests planning to attend can be found at www.iowaspeedway.com, along with pricing and seating options. A limited number of available tickets will be placed on sale beginning at 9 a.m. CT Friday, June 26 through the website or by calling 866-787-8946.
INDYCAR is the Indianapolis-based governing body for North America’s premier open-wheel auto racing series known as the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The series features an international field of the world’s most versatile drivers – including five-time series champion Scott Dixon, reigning series champion Josef Newgarden and defending Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud – who compete on superspeedways, short ovals, street circuits and permanent road courses. The season, which runs from June to October, currently consists of 14 races in the United States and is highlighted by the historic Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, which is annually run in May, but rescheduled for August at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The NTT INDYCAR SERIES, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IMS Productions are owned by Penske Corporation, a global transportation, automotive and motorsports leader. For more information on INDYCAR and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, please visit www.indycar.com.
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, winner): “I can’t thank the team enough, everybody at PNC. It’s such strange times right now, and I just can’t thank the team. It was such a team effort. We had a couple mistakes at the start and throughout the race, but we recovered. It was awesome. Honda, they were huge with the power out there. It was just so fast. Any situation we were in, we could just go for it. Huge thanks to everybody involved. Bummed that the fans aren’t here. We wish everybody was here to celebrate.” (About dealing with traffic late in the race): “It was more traffic I think. We could check out. It was just when we got to a few people that were going to be a little more challenging to pass. That definitely cropped up. Will (Power) was pretty tough, and I knew he was going to be. He was trying to stay on the lead lap. A bunch of those guys were. (Alexander) Rossi, I think, was going two laps down, so I don’t know what he was up to. So, all in all, that’s racing. We had to make some big, bold moves around the outside into Turn 1, especially on Felix (Rosenqvist) and on Josef (Newgarden), which was definitely a nice repay and a nice way to get back to the lead.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet, second): “We knew coming in it was going to be a tough situation for the INDYCAR SERIES putting together the race and making sure we could put on the show to entertain people. That’s what we do; that’s what this business is about. I’m very proud to carry the DXC Technology colors here; you know, they are from Texas. It was just an intense night. We had balance changes – some stints we went really loose, one stint we had understeer. It was very difficult to understand, so I had to be really cognizant of that with the adjustments in the race car. At the end, we managed to take some front wing out, and it came back to us and it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet, third): “Tonight was just a night for just hanging on for the No. 1 XPEL Chevrolet. We came home with a podium finish, and that is what we needed to do. You have to have nights like this. Tonight was a night to swallow your pride and get the best out of what you got. If I can go out there and win the race, I’m going to try and do it. But tonight wasn’t that night. We weren’t good enough throughout a tire stint to challenge Scott. He was just so, so good all night. But that is what this team is capable of doing. They are the best in the business and give me everything they can to put me up front. Now, we just got to regroup I’m not pleased with third because I want to go win a race. But tonight, third place for us almost feels like a win.”
ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda, fourth): “Really, really good night here in the Gainbridge Honda. I wanted to start 2020 off good because 2019 was so rough, and we came out here to Texas and got a top-four and started fifth. I’m just very happy. This kind of momentum will be great to go into the Indy GP and hopefully have the season we’ve been needing to have. The guys did an awesome job. My engineer Mark Bryant, the car was amazing and all my pit crew: They were awesome for everything, and that played a big part in a race with not many passes. I’m just happy and a big thank you to Andretti Autosport.”
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, fifth): “I was being pretty aggressive! I had a good shot at getting Josef (Newgarden) out of Turn 2 but got way loose. I’d rather go for a podium. The ECR team did a great job all night. and Chevy did a great job. It was obviously a track position race. If we got to the front, we could have challenged. We were back of the line but kept getting people for position, picking people off. Good to be back racing. Firestone did a good job under tough circumstances.”
CONOR DALY (No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet, sixth): “It was an awesome night, and I knew we had a great car in the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet. I messed up a little bit in qualifying and just under-drove it, but we made up for it with such a great race. The team had great pit stops, really incredible pit stops all night. The car was fantastic to drive, and it really gave me the confidence to go forward. We made such a great improvement from last year. To be honest, we probably should’ve been in the top five, but we just got a little loose in those last three laps and just couldn’t hang onto it. I was driving it pretty sideways for final couple laps. I’m just super thankful to Carlin and Gallagher for giving me the opportunity to be here with the team and to be in the series. It’s such a great way to start out the championship.”
COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda, seventh): “I’m happy with that to start the year for the 88 Capstone Honda. I don’t think we had the car to win today, but we got a lot out of it. Congrats to Zach (Veach). He did a really good job. I’ll take a P7 from starting P14. We have some stuff to work on, but, again, great points to start the year and go off of this for the rest of the season.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda, eighth): “Incredibly unfortunate events got us at the start of the race. The team did a great job and turned the car around for qualifying. I got in it and drove the wheels off it — up to P4 in qualifying. It ended up being a track position race, which would’ve really benefited us. And unfortunately, we had an issue with the electronics starting up and had to make a change. Because of the impound rule for the event, we got penalized twice. I’m not really sure why the cartoon anvil keeps dropping on the 28, but it’s frustrating. Great job by the whole 28 DHL Honda team. We had a good car to represent our partners and our teammates great today, but we were robbed.”
OLIVER ASKEW (No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, ninth): “It ended up being a great day for Arrow McLaren SP and the No. 7 team. The whole crew and Chevrolet put a great car under me, and we were able to execute our game plan perfectly. To finish in the top 10 in my first-ever INDYCAR race is more than I could have asked for. We are carrying a ton of momentum into the Indy GP, and I think we will only get stronger as a team. This is a great way to begin the partnership between Arrow, McLaren and Schmidt Peterson, and I’m happy we could have a good result after months of preparation. Thank you to everyone at Texas Motor Speedway, INDYCAR, Roger Penske and the state of Texas for making this race happen.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 14 7-ELEVEN / AJ FOYT RACING Chevrolet, 10th): “A difficult race. I had a little mistake in pit lane. First time in 23 years I got a speeding violation, and that cost us track position. From then on, I was just trying to minimize the damage because track position was extremely important. But I had a great qualifying, and at the end of the race, we actually got lucky and got the yellow at the right time, and we gained seven positions and finished in the top 10, so I’ll take it.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 4 TRESIBA / AJ FOYT RACING Chevrolet, 11th): “A disappointing result for a really strong night for the Tresiba Chevrolet team. The car was so good. We unloaded pretty well, and I think we made it a little bit better, qualified solidly and then the green flag came out and the car felt so good I was able to make moves and move forward. A small miscalculation in pit lane meant that we had to make an unscheduled pit stop, which was unfortunate which put us back, and we got caught up and ended up with a little bit of damage at the end of the race. Still two AJ Foyt Racing cars finishing 10th and 11th , I think it’s a solid start to 2020. I can’t wait to get back in the car for the next NTT INDYCAR SERIES race.”
PATO O’WARD (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, 12th): “I think it was a good first race for everyone at Arrow McLaren SP. Our first objective was to finish and the second objective was to get into the top 10. We were just two positions shy of getting into the top 10, but my teammate Oliver did a fantastic job and ended up in ninth. I ended up 12th because of a personal mistake during one of the pit stops. I think for not practicing much and coming into this track not knowing anything about it, coming out with a 12th -place finish after starting from the back is a huge positive. It’s something that will give us momentum going to the Indy road course in a month. I think it was a great start for the whole Arrow McLaren SP team, our fans and our partners. It definitely left us wanting more.”
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, 13th): “The Verizon Chevy was really good. It was just so hard to pass. Obviously, we had a mishap on a pit stop and that put us at the back, and, man, there were four cars that went 36 laps on the first stint. I feel like they should be penalized. It’s unbelievable. That could be four more positions for me. It was a frustrating night. We had a mistake that put us in a bad place, and it’s just unfortunate.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 U.S. Concrete / Curb Honda, 14th): “Glad to get the season started for the 98 U.S. Concrete / Curb team. The car overall felt good today. We were able to make the adjustments we needed to in practice to be in the top five and had decent qualifying, but the race didn’t go our way. This was a track position race, and we moved back with a couple of pit stops when we needed to move forward. With those and fighting through traffic, we didn’t end where we had wanted.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation Honda, 15th): “I think we came into this weekend with a lot of unknowns. We tried to get through a lot of things at practice. We probably gave away a couple spots in qualifying, but ultimately I think we did a good job considering we had a pretty difficult practice. We were pretty optimistic for the race, starting toward the front and being there for the night, but unfortunately couldn’t get the car started on the grid because of an ECU issue. I was among a couple of other cars that that happened to. We had to start from the back and had a drive-through penalty. Then during the drive-through, there was an issue with the pit lane speed limiter, which followed up one drive-through penalty with another. From that point our night was pretty much over, but we tried our best to salvage what we could. The fact we ended up 15th was better than nothing, and I think the one takeaway is that the NAPA / AutoNation team did really well in pit lane. That was one of our big focuses in the offseason. This is a good step in the right direction, and we will be back in four weeks at Indy.”
JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda, 16th): “It’s been a super busy and eventful day. We made some good gains in the race, and we had some genuinely good moments. As a whole, Texas is a hard place to come to. I’ve never been here before. I’ve never done an oval in an Indy car outside of Indy before, so it was a big ask coming here and cramming it all into one day. We also had a tough pit box, which made it hard to get in. It was a fine day, not exactly what we wanted, but we brought the car home in one piece.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Fleet Cost & Care Honda, 17th): “This one got away from us, for sure. Our car was fast and I think the guys did a great job, but we just had a lot of unforced errors and a couple of stop-and-go penalties. The car wouldn’t start on the grid and needed to be reprogrammed. I said to the guys that the car was built perfectly; the car was fast today. I’m disappointed to come out of here with no points for either car considering we had fast race cars. Off we go to the GMR Grand Prix and turn this around.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 29 Genesys Honda, 18th): “We’re all thrilled to be back racing. Hopefully it was a good show for the fans watching at home. For us, it was a disappointing day. We raced our way in and around the top 10 in those first two stints. We had some kind of wheel gun failure, not sure what the cause was, and it put us back a couple laps. From there we kept working on the car. It wasn’t stellar over a long run. We were decent on short stints, but the guys were working on it and near the end we got pretty good. That last stint we were pushing it all the way to the end, and it got loose on me. We got involved with that deal with Felix (Rosenqvist). I was just super loose, and I was trying to save the car, and he went on the outside. I tried to stay out of it. I feel bad for him. It’s a tough break when you’re running that well. We’ll regroup and attack at the Indy GP.”
MARCUS ERICSSON (No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, 19th): “It was a tough race, especially starting from further back than we would’ve liked. Going first in qualifying is always going to be difficult. But I think we were playing the patient game and trying to pick off guys throughout the race. It was working out really well, and we were running really good. The car felt really good out there. The No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing car was flying out there. Every time we had some free air, it was looking really good. The track today was a bit difficult to overtake. Offline had really low grip, so a couple times throughout the race I was stuck behind slower cars. But still, with 10 laps to go, we were looking strong for a top-eight finish, which would have been a really good start. But unfortunately we picked up a problem. I don’t know exactly what the problem was, but we couldn’t put in fuel in the last pit stop. So, with eight laps to go, we ran out of fuel. I lost a lot of laps and pretty much the race. A shame after a really strong night. A lot of positives, though. We had a really strong car and good driving with no mistakes. But it’s disappointing to not get that top-eight finish that I think we deserve.”
FELIX ROSENQVIST (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, 20th): “I can’t blame others for whatever situation I have. Obviously, we came out on new tires, and I don’t know if James (Hinchcliffe) was on really old tires there. It’s my judgment. I went for the outside, and I probably shouldn’t have done it. It’s one of those things where you sit there and you’re going like 40 mph slower than you want to go behind another car. It’s kind of tempting to just move up one lane, but it was just so slippery. I just feel really sorry for my guys. Our NTT DATA car was just unbelievable tonight. It was really my breakthrough on ovals, I think, and I had a really good shot there and I threw it away. Really disappointed. We pitted earlier and had clear track. I think we did one (lap) 215 mph and one (lap) 214 mph in a row there. We had a really good two out laps there. Not sure where that put us. Scott (Dixon) was really, super quick, as well. It was going to be close. But even a second place tonight, I would have taken it. I didn’t feel like I was going crazy for the win. I just kind of wanted to roll in on a good finish with good points, and just one silly thing screwed everything up. Tough.”
SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 18 SealMaster Honda, 21st): “We were having a great race. My SealMaster Honda was on rails. We started last and didn’t get a chance to qualify. These guys worked up a sweat going into the race here, and we had a great car. We got a little antsy on that last stop. I pulled the shift a little too soon in the air, and when they dropped the car down to release me, something might have happened on the right rear. Man, you know, that’s racing. We haven’t been out here in a long time. Hats off to my crew, my team and everybody at INDYCAR for putting on this show. I’m excited to get back to it.”
RINUS VEEKAY (No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet, 22nd): “I got a little too high around Santino (Ferrucci), lost the rear in the marbles and made contact with Alex (Palou). It’s very, very unfortunate. I expected my debut to be a lot different. I’m so sorry to the team. We’ll get better from here. I had very limited time, a lot of learning, but unfortunately I crashed twice. I will have to sleep and think about it for a month. But our Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy was good.”
ALEX PALOU (No. 55 Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda, 23rd): “I don’t think there was much I could have done. In hindsight, I should have gone high instead of going low, but that’s easy to say now. I have to watch the replay. Maybe I could have done something different, but not with the oval experience I have right now. It’s a shame because the Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh car was really good. I was getting comfortable and getting up to speed. Every lap I was getting better and better and keeping up with the cars in front. I was trying to get the car balanced right for the last stints. Unfortunately, we were not able to do that.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 ABeam Consulting Honda, 24th): “I’m sorry to all the fans that I couldn’t race. The boys did all they could to repair the car after the crash in qualifying. It’s really hard to believe and understand what happened. It was before the actual timed lap; it was only the warm-up, and usually you build up speed and feel the car. When I approached Turn 1, I immediately lost the rear end. Perhaps I was maybe a little outside to make a better feeling of it, but unfortunately the track today was extremely slippery, which I really didn’t know. Unfortunately I crashed into the wall. In normal circumstances, I think the boys would be able to quickly repair the car, but since it was a compressed one-day event and not enough time before the race, they did absolutely everything they could up until the last minute, so I want to thank them. I have been waiting for eight months to race and have to wait another three weeks now and am extremely disappointed. I also feel bad for my teammate Graham (Rahal). He had an absolutely fantastic qualifying and he drove the race so hard, but it was unfortunate neither car scored points today. I’ve been pretty disappointed today, but I have to stay focused and come back stronger in three weeks’ time.”