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Long Beach Quotes, Notes and Post-Qualifying Transcript

CHEVROLET AERO KIT INDYCAR V6 2.2 LITER
STREETS OF LONG BEACH
TEAM CHEVY POST QUALIFYING QUOTES
APRIL 17, 2015

HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, POLE SITTER: “First off, I want to thank AAA. It was awesome. It was on rails. We really worked very hard. The team from yesterday, especially last night, we changed everything in the car and it was awesome. I want to thank Roger (Penske, team owner), Jonathan (Diuguid, engineer), Travis (Law, chief mechanic) and really the whole team. It was not pretty last night, but it proved that we were able to keep pushing. The strategy was great. To get the pole with the teammates I have, it’s really cool. Now we have to keep pushing. Chevy did a great job as well because (the series) took away some things from us but we were able to overcome those issues and now we’re in the No. 1 spot.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 2 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND: “In the first practice we were really good. We went one direction for the second practice and went slower, tried something this morning and went even slower, so I was like, ‘Oh, let’s put it back. We spent two days trying to figure it out and then just put it back the way we started and things were good. Welcome to motor racing. I really thought I had it (pole) there, but I made a mistake in the last corner, but it is what it is.”

SCOTT DIXON, NO. 9 TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET. QUALIFIED 3RD: “The Target car actually rolled off really well here – better than we normally do. We came into this weekend with a different mindset and I’m really proud of everyone on the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team for getting it going. We seemed to do really good on the black tires. We were hoping for bigger improvements and more of a time difference with the reds from the blacks, but we just didn’t find it. We were still quick enough, but hopefully we can find that time tomorrow during the race. Long Beach is always a tough one and strategy is definitely going to be top-of-mind

SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 5TH: “It’s been good. We’ve been fast in every practice. Congrats, Helio, good job. Team Penske is doing a great job. Personally we picked up a sudden understeer, don’t understand why, in the last qualifying session. Overall it’s been a good weekend so far. Hope it stays that way tomorrow.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 HARTMAN OIL CFH RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 6TH: “This was a good recovery from practice one as we didn’t roll of the truck stellar. The CFH Racing team is so good at figuring things out and recovering, and that’s exactly what we did. I am happy and proud of my team, they’re strong. Sixth is not as high up as we wanted to be, but we’re right in the thick of it. We’ve got a strong chance to challenge tomorrow, we’ve just got keep our nose clean for once around this place and we should definitely be primed for a good result.”

TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 NTT DATA CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 7TH: “It’s frustrating that we didn’t make it into the Firestone Fast 6, especially after the lap times we were running in that first round. We made a change between Q1 and Q2 and that unfortunately cost us a few tenths in the NTT DATA Chevrolet. We were less than one-tenth from sixth, so it was definitely tight. That’s what I love about INDYCAR though, the competition is so strong and I think tomorrow’s race will definitely be exciting.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO.11 TEAM HYDROXYCUT KVSH RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 9TH: “Disappointed definitely. The Hydroxycut machine is not where we want it to be, but it could have been a lot worse. We could have gotten taken out straightaway in the first round of qualifying. We just don’t have the speed. It has been a trying weekend so far. I think we got a little bit lost, so we need to hit the reset button. We will do that and see what happens in the warm up tomorrow morning.”

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 8 AFS CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 11TH: “I’m just still really excited to be back in the car and racing in such a competitive field. Everyone is just running so close and it’s really fun to be out there driving. The car was really good and it handled amazingly in that first round. The red came out perfectly for us and allowed us to finish in P2 and move onto the next round. We came out in the second round really fast, but ended up picking up some understeer that killed the momentum we’d been building. I’m happy with the car for tomorrow, and I think we’ll be able to come out fast and make our move to the front.

LUCA FILIPPI, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA CFH RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 14TH: “We had much more potential and the ability to get into Round 2. Unfortunately, we were caught in traffic and when we were just starting to push on the red Firestone Firehawks, the red flag came out. It’s a bit of a shame, but it’s important that Josef (Newgarden) proved our cards are fast and the team has done a good job. I’m very positive for tomorrow. Our potential is much better than where we started. We can really aim for a strong finish here at Long Beach.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 83 NOVOLOG FLEXPEN CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 15TH: We were so close to transferring through to the next round – I think it was something like half of a tenth of a second of my fast lap. There was a local yellow out there that I slowed down for and ultimately lost that tenth off my lap time that would’ve allowed us to transfer. We were actually penalized for not slowing down enough in the local yellow zone, so I lost my fastest lap and moved down a few starting positions. I’m excited about taking the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen into the race here in Long Beach tomorrow. I think we have a good car and great people on the stand to call strategy. We have 80 laps to sort it out and come from 15th up to the front.”

WILL POWER, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET , QUALIFIED 18TH: ON QUALIFYING EFFORT: “I’m just kicking myself for not finishing the lap that I had a bobble on. I turned the engine down, coasted for a bit and took off again. It’s going to be tough. You know how these IndyCar races go. Anything can happen. We have to be positive and hope a yellow falls our way. That’s kind of our only chance to make something of it.”

DO YOU START PLANNING HOW YOU’RE GOING TO ATTACK THE RACE TODAY? “You have to do it on the fly a bit. We just have to have a talk about it and see what we can do from there. It’s hard to pass… probably a little harder to pass with these cars, too. The good thing is that we have plenty of red tires. We’ll do our best and see what we can come up with.”

STEFANO COLETTI, NO. 4 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 23RD:

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Helio Castroneves Puts Chevrolet on Pole with Track Record at Long Beach
Juan Pablo Montoya Qualified Second for All-Chevrolet Front Row

· Five of Firestone Fast Six were Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers
· 2015 Corvette Stringray Pace Car will lead Castroneves, Montoya and remainder of Verizon IndyCar Series field to green flag for Grand Prix of Long Beach
· Seven of Team Chevy drivers score top-10 starting positions for Sunday’s race

LONG BEACH (Calif.) – April 18, 2015 – For the 42nd time in his career, Helio Castroneves will lead the Verizon IndyCar Series field to the green flag. Castroneves powered his No. 3 Auto Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet to the pole with a track record of one minute 06.6294 seconds/106.331 mph in today’s Firestone Fast Six qualifying. It is the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner’s second Verizon Pole Award for the Grand Prix of Long Beach, his first coming in 2001, and his first of the 2015 season.

Castroneves’ Team Penske teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet, gave the Chevrolet Aero Kit with integrated 2.2 liter V6 twin turbo-charged direct injected engine the front row for race number three of the 2015 season. Montoya, the current Series’ point leader, was the winner of the season opening event on the Streets of St. Petersburg.

“Congratulations to Helio Castroneves and Team Penske for winning the pole today and setting a new track record (1:06.6294) at the iconic Grand Prix of Long Beach,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program, Manager for the Verizon IndyCar Series. “With drivers from all four Chevy teams qualifying in the top 9, Team Chevy is well represented at the front of the field for the start of the race on Sunday. Kudos to our teams’ and technical partners’ preparations to demonstrate such pace and have numerous Chevy drivers eclipse the old track record during the rounds of qualifying. The race tomorrow is sure to be an exciting one for the fans as Team Chevy drivers wield the new Chevrolet Aero Kits and integrated 2.2L Twin Turbo V6 engines around this spectacular street circuit.”

Completing the Firestone Fast Six drivers were: third place qualifier Scott Dixon in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet; Ryan Hunter-Reay (Honda) fourth; Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet, fifth and Josef Newgarden, No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet qualified sixth.

Tony Kanaan, No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, and Sebastien Bourdais, No. 11 Team Hydroycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet qualified seventh and ninth to give Team Chevy seven of the top-10 qualifiers for Sunday’s race.

The Grand Prix of Long Beach Indy is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. PT/4p.m. ET on Sunday, April 19 with live television coverage on NBC Sports Network and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, plus Sirius channel 213 and XM channel 209 and www.indycar.com. Live timing and scoring can also be found on www.indycar.com.

An interview with:

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA
HELIO CASTRONEVES
SCOTT DIXON
SIMON PAGENAUD
JOSEF NEWGARDEN

THE MODERATOR: We’re pleased to be joined by one of our front row starters, Juan Pablo Montoya. Juan is a former race winner, won here in 1999.

Juan, you were 15th fastest overall in practice, so some things came together before qualifying that put you on the front row. What would you say those things were.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I think yesterday we were pretty good. In the first practice we were really good. I mean, I had a couple of laps, had tons of traffic. Went one direction for the second practice, went slower. Tried something this morning, went even slower. I’m like, Put it back. We put it back.

We spend two days trying to figure out. We just put it back the way we started and it was good. Welcome to motor racing (laughter).

But it’s good. I mean, I made a mistake in the last corner. Just too greedy.

THE MODERATOR: Your team obviously is very strong.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Will had a problem in the first one.

THE MODERATOR: Will is obviously a staple kind of in the Fast Six. Will it be strange for you not seeing him up front?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It’s a long race. Tim Cindric is really good at calling strategies and those weird things. I’m sure he’s going to be there at the end somehow.

It’s funny, sometimes you when you start at the back, you can figure out a race strategy. When you’re in the front, you’re kind of tight to protect that lead. When you’re in the back, you gamble. A lot of times it pays off. Look at last week. We did everything right, but we threw it away.

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. You won here before. Obviously you’re disappointed with not getting pole. What do you take from your previous experience here? Do you feel like you’re back 100% now?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Yeah, I feel pretty good. I mean, speed-wise it’s pretty good. Actually bounced off the wall today in qualifying, but I was pretty good. I was very proud of that. Always that close, but today actually I did bounce it twice. It was good. Not hard, just bump. You know what I mean? I mean, when you can do that and produce lap times, you’re doing a good job.

It’s coming. I mean, it’s not that I forgot to drive, it’s that I haven’t been in open-wheel for so long. You adapt to the cars. Last year was a big transition year, understanding setups and things.

If you look at my setups, I told this before, if you look at my setups compared to the other three cars, it’s completely different, but it works for me.

Q. What do you think of the aero package here?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I think it’s great. I mean, honestly the cars drive so much better than last year.

Q. What about turbulence and things like that?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It’s the same thing. I don’t think it’s that bad. NOLA was fine, St. Pete was fine. I could follow Will pretty close.

I mean, I think it’s okay. Chevy keeps doing a really good job. Everybody at Team Penske and my Verizon car is pretty amazing.

THE MODERATOR: We’re also joined by Josef Newgarden who will be starting sixth.

Josef, you have two top-five starts here and a best finish of 13th. What is it that’s so challenging about this race?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Well, geez, I don’t know. Trying to get through turn one in the first lap. That’s normally the hardest thing here. I’ve not had much success around this place in the race. I always have something come up. Just didn’t fall our way.

But we always seem to be pretty quick. We had a pretty disastrous practice one here. We tried something different and it didn’t work. I thought we recovered really well as a group, got ourselves some speed again, luckily got in the Fast Six.

I think we’ve got a fast car, just not quite quick enough on older tires. I think we need to work on that for the morning. That’s what’s going to be difficult for our team going into tomorrow. We can be quick, when we go to old tires, it’s been a little difficult for us. Q2, we were faster. Couldn’t hold that pace with old rubber.

That’s going to be our challenge tomorrow. I think if we can stay out of that, I think we have a chance of fighting for a podium or a win tomorrow.

Q. Did your teams find any difficulty in adjusting to the regulations based on the tethering of the wing parts, any of the adjustments they mandated?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I don’t think you notice it that much on a street course. A road course would be a much bigger impact. We’re trim here. It makes a little difference. But it’s what it is, you know. I’m sure Chevy will figure out a way so that we can win again.

Q. Juan, Coletti was running a pretty good clip, then clipped the wall. Can you relate to when you get greedy for a lap on a street circuit?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: You just got to know. If you think you’re going to hit it not hard enough, keep your foot on it. Most of the time when you think you’re going to get it wrong, pretty sure you’re going to get it wrong. At this level, you get into a corner, the thing gets sideways. There’s a little time in the braking zones, you go, Oh. You already know there’s no way. Don’t even try. We’ve done that already.

Q. Juan, track record fell today. Can you compare and contrast the different cars here? Different package entirely.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I think this car just drives so much better. The technology in the cars, it’s amazing. What Chevy and Honda have both done with the smaller engines. I mean, we got a ton of power. We make a lot of power.

The acceleration of these cars is amazing. Big difference with the old engines. Was pretty similar acceleration, but it kept going a little further in the straights. But the cars didn’t brake nowhere as good as this. They had no stability like we have nowadays. It’s a big difference.

Q. Josef, only non-Penske, non-Andretti car in the Fast Six. Is this earlier than you thought you were going to get into the Fast Six or was this when you were hoping to get in here for the first time?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I think Penske looks really good. Honestly, I know Juan is here. Let me tell you, Juan, you did some amazing work over the off-season. I’m sure your contributions were amazing, too.

Seriously, though, I think Penske looks the strongest. They’ve really got a strong car looks like underneath, they have good power down. We’ve been inching towards that. We started off a little slow. We found some setups that get us closer. So I think we can challenge.

For instance, today in Q2, we were really strong. We were right behind Simon there, just a nick off of him. I needed new tires to be able to do that. There’s a little bit of a gap there when I start to wear the tires out. Can’t quite keep the grip underneath me. There’s something there that we need to tweak a little bit more, then I think we’ll be closer to Penske.

Right now we’re close, but there’s still a little bit there that we’re searching for. Obviously Ryan has done a good job. Andretti is getting a little bit better, too.

You’re going to see that. Penske came out of the gate strong, but everybody is going to close the gap throughout the season. No one is going to stay ahead. Each weekend you have to be fighting to find more and more out of the car. It’s crazy. You think you find a setup, it works well, you keep running it, it’s successful. That’s not how it works. You need to keep pushing forward, not big chunks, but you have to keep developing. Everyone is doing that, too.

I think you’re going to see more competition for the Penske guys as the season goes on. You’re not going to see anybody run away with it.

THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Scott Dixon, starting third in tomorrow’s race.

Scott, you have a best start of fifth here, best finish of fourth. Tell us how conditions were in qualifying today and what you think we can expect from tomorrow’s race.

SCOTT DIXON: That’s a good start. 12 years, maybe my best starting position. That’s pretty good. I’m finally learning how to get around this place.

Yeah, as you said, statistically and race-wise it’s not been a strong track for us. Start of the season, whatever, it’s been a tough one.

Car rolled off. We were quickest in practice one. Practice two we had some issues with the engine and some wiring things which we didn’t get to run. For today the car seemed good on black tires. I was really surprised the times we could do on the blacks. I guess our downfall was maybe not gaining the full amount on the reds, which was a little bit frustrating.

All in all, third place, good starting position. Obviously in the starting position to have a good crack at winning this race, which is obviously our main aim here.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Scott.

Q. Scott, a bit of a slow start this season. This is nothing new. 2013 same situation, then you saw what happened. Put in context where you are at the moment, what you expect to see developing over the next while.

SCOTT DIXON: A little frustrating. I think St. Pete, that was just a situation that we couldn’t get around, trying to compete with no rear jacks, it’s like running with three wheels. It wasn’t a possibility.

NOLA was frustrating for everybody involved. It was frustrating. Tried to be a little overcautious. It was not a race towards the end. Real frustrated there because we tested there a lot. The car was super fast. It’s just one of those things.

It’s a rough start. I think we’re 50 points back already. A big margin that we need to regain. But it’s the early part of the season. Hopefully we can turn it around.

THE MODERATOR: We’ll introduce Simon Pagenaud. Simon, you were fastest in overall practice. Been a strong start to the weekend for you. What’s been going right so far in Long Beach?

SIMON PAGENAUD: It’s been good. We’ve been fast in every practice. Congrats, Helio, good job. Team Penske is doing a great job. Personally we picked up a sudden understeer, don’t understand why, in the last qualifying session. Overall it’s been a good weekend so far. Hope it stays that way tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: And last but not least, our polesitter, Helio Castroneves.

Helio, you set a new track record in qualifying today. Did you think you had the speed to break that record today?

HELIO CASTRONEVES: Well, we were going for it. Every time I go to the racetrack, I think we have not only a great speed but a great team. That’s what it’s all about.

Ryan, just to let you know, you guys keep me young. You guys keep me pushing. That’s why it’s fun, because I not only have you as a competitor, but I have inside my team Simon, Will, and Gordito Pablo, which is okay. But we still kicking ass, both of us. We’re first and second in the championship. We’re starting first and second. Guess it doesn’t matter, age or size (laughter).

The thing is, that’s what keeps is fun in our team. We feed from each other. In my team, to be honest, the group, the caliber of drivers in my team is awesome. Will, Simon and Juan Pablo. I mean, the talent that they have there.

For us, it’s great because we keep pushing. Yesterday wasn’t the best. AAA guys did a great job changing a lot. This morning we started the weekend. That’s why for me it was great because my engineer, and Roger with the strategy, it was spot on. So now we got to finish the job.

THE MODERATOR: We’ll continue with questions.

Q. Helio, based on your opening comments, do you think that Juan would have an advantage with the extra downforce?

HELIO CASTRONEVES: No. I tell you, sometimes it’s good. In the rain, yes (laughter).

No, but all jokes aside, we knew this year Juan Pablo would be really strong. It was impressive winning a race. And for us, we speak from all the entire guys, we’re pushing. I believe the result that the team is doing well, it’s because of the pre-season that we were pushing.

Nobody has an advantage at the moment. You see it. Everybody’s pretty consistent. Now we just got to keep going. We’re really focused on giving Roger again the championship. Obviously I want to do myself after finishing second so many times. But at the end of the day I want to put Team Penske in the number one spot.

Q. How would you say the difficulty of the track has changed from last year till now?

HELIO CASTRONEVES: The track is pretty much the same in terms of layout. The cars have changed. We’re talking about the aero kit, that we are one second quicker than last year. That’s the things that have changed. All of a sudden the brake marks become very short. Not much time for me to thinking.

Those are the difficulty challenges that I think every one of us having right now. But the track, it’s pretty much the same.

Q. For the Chevy drivers, do you really miss the rabbit ears on the car? I don’t know if that is extra drag down the long front straightaway. How is it affecting the way you run? Is it a qualifying or race issue?

HELIO CASTRONEVES: All I can, yes, it did affect us. It’s part of the aero kit. But in the end of the day we understand that the series decided to make a decision and take those off. We got to dance according to the music, let’s put it that way.

THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, congratulations and good luck in the race tomorrow.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

STREETS OF LONG BEACH TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRACTICE QUOTES APRIL 17, 2015

CHEVROLET AERO KIT INDYCAR V6 2.2 LITER
STREETS OF LONG BEACH TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRACTICE QUOTES APRIL 17, 2015

WILL POWER, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FASTEST OF THE DAY): HOW WAS PRACTICE?  “It was pretty good. A lot of cars were running and laying rubber, but with the new aero kits and everything, the cars were just faster. It’s always super tight around here when it gets to qualifying. The top six are usually separated by about a tenth and a half (of a second) or something. So definitely a track with a lot of corners, I don’t know why it is stacked so closely, I think that is going to be the case tomorrow. So you will have to do your homework.”

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN THE CAR WITHOUT THE UPPERS ON THE FRONT WING? “It is fine. We will get them back on when they are reinforced.  It is no big deal…let’s not make it one.”  

DID YOU HAVE TO COMPENSATE: “The crew made the right adjustments with the front wing”

HOW DO THE AERO KITS CHANGE THE WAY YOU DRIVE THIS TRACK? “The braking zones are a little shorter and you carry more speed through the fast stuff. It’s little gains on tracks like this. It’s high-speed tracks where you get the biggest gains. The faster you go, the more benefit you get from the (additional) downforce.”

WHAT MAKES THE LONG BEACH GRAND PRIX SPECIAL? “I think it is the history. It has been around time.  It is a very cool setting. I love coming here. The atmosphere is great. Big crowd. Really good track, but the main thing is the history.”

SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL CHEVROLET, 2ND FASTEST OF THE DAY: WHY IS THIS SUCH A SPECIAL RACE? “The history of this place is amazing for IndyCar. It is great to be part of it. This event is very special”

IS INDYCAR’S PROACTIVE, ONGOING REVIEW OF AERO KITS A GOOD THING? “Frankly, it’s really not my decision, it’s INDYCAR’s. For the safety of the fans, it’s great, but you’ve got to make it fair for the manufacturers as well. As long as it doesn’t slow down one manufacturer or accelerate the other one, then it just has to be fair.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “Obviously all of the Chevrolet teams were thrown a little bit of a curveball this morning with the changes to the aero kits. We are all in the same boat on that and we will make the best of it. The four Team Penske Chevrolets are still very fast, at the top of the speed charts. We collected a lot of information in the first practice about how the downforce changed and we made some really good changes for the second session. We are still improving it and have another session tomorrow to make the No. 3 Automobile Club of Southern California Chevy better before qualifying.”

SCOTT DIXON, NO. 9 TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET. 4TH FASTEST: “We started out the day really good with a lot of speed in the Target car. Unloading fast on a street course is always crucial as qualifying can really make or break you on a weekend like this. I was happy with the balance of the car overall, and we worked on getting the car ready for qualifying tomorrow. The whole Target Chip Ganassi Racing team has been working hard and we’ll stay after it heading into tomorrow.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 2 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 5th FASTEST: “I was really happy with the No. 2 Verizon Chevy in the first practice. It had a lot of speed. We made a few changes for the second practice and it just didn’t respond like we hoped, but we have a pretty good car and we have something we can work with. Qualifying is going to be very important for us. We’ve made a lot of strides in that area this year and I’m confident that we can get a good starting spot tomorrow afternoon.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 HARTMAN OIL CFH RACING CHEVROLET, 6TH FASTEST: “I think we’re finding our way. We started a little rough and were a little lost in the first session. We’re one of the best groups at recovering and I had a lot of faith in my guys. They’re very good at figuring it out and we recovered well in the second session. We’re a still a little on the back foot, when you roll off and you’re not great in session one you have a lot of catching up to do. We are still battling that right now and we’re much better, but we still need to find more.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO.11 TEAM HYDROXYCUT KVSH RACING CHEVROLET, 8TH FASTEST: “Obviously I’m disappointed. We are not where we want to be or thought we would be. The Hydroxcut – KVSH Racing team has a lot of work to do. We have to sit down and review all the date, keep our noses to the grindstone and keep working hard. The good news is we have another practice session tomorrow before qualifying and I am confident we will come up with something to make the car faster.”

 CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 83 NOVOLOG FLEXPEN CHIP GANASSI RACING  CHEVROLET, 12TH FASTEST:“We were pretty disappointed with the first practice session. We just didn’t quite get the lap time we thought we were capable of getting. Going into the second practice session we had a lot of gains to make. We found some good time and ended up knocking on the door of the top 10 in 12th. We need to definitely find that time in the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet tonight to break into the top 10. We have some improvements we need to make to the car and I have some things I need to work on before qualifying tomorrow.”

TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 NTT DATA CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, 14TH FASTEST: “It was a great day to be outside running on the streets of Long Beach – definitely better weather than last weekend. We had a solid first session and then we used the second session to work on a few things we needed to look at. The car feels really good, but we definitely have some things to work on tonight to make sure we’re ready for quals tomorrow night.”

STEFANO COLETTI, NO. 4 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, 15TH FASTEST: “It wasn’t really the result we were hoping for. We struggled to find grip and pace from the car, but I’ll sit down with my engineers tonight and we will make some changes for tomorrows session. I really liked the track though. Its a lot of fun to drive and some great passing zones. Hopefully tomorrow I can have a good qualifying and then a good race on Sunday.”

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 8 AFS CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, 16TH FASTEST: “It’s good to be back here in the Verizon IndyCar Series. I was just knocking off the rust and getting comfortable today really. The AFS car is looking good and I’m happy to be here. From what I’ve seen the last few races the level of competition is very high. You really can’t make any mistakes out there and it’s such a tough series. I’m looking forward to tomorrowand seeing what the No. 8 team can do.”

LUCA FILIPPI, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA  CFH RACING CHEVROLET, 20TH FASTEST: “It was a tough day for us. We had a lot to learn; myself, I had to learn the circuit. From the set up point of view, we’re still exploring this new aerokit and working towards the best drivability for me. We are not where we wanted to be in terms of lap times, but Josef (Newgarden) proved that our car can be fast. The pack is so tight, tomorrow is going to be very tough qualifying. It will be important to have a fast lap to be able start at the front.”

Connect with Team Chevy on social media.  Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TeamChevy, follow us on Twitter@TeamChevy, and add +TeamChevy into your Google+ circles.

Team Chevy Racing Display a Double Bonus for Long Beach Fans

Team Chevy Racing Display a Double Bonus for Long Beach Fans
Combined Chevrolet display highlights Verizon IndyCar Series, TUDOR Championship

DETROIT (April 16, 2015) – For fans attending this weekend’s Grand Prix of Long Beach, a double dose of Team Chevy awaits Friday through Sunday. Chevrolet Racing will feature two displays inside the Long Beach Lifestyle Expo. It’s a rare opportunity to see some of the best that Team Chevy has to offer with the Verizon IndyCar Series and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship sharing the same weekend.

Each display will be open to fans visiting the Convention Center starting at 8 a.m. Friday through Sunday.  Visitors can take their photo with the Corvette C7.R display car, and check out other specialty vehicles including the Ultimate Track Camaro SS enhanced with Z/28 performance parts, a Corvette Z06, and the 2015 Motor Trend Truck of the Year, the Chevrolet Colorado.

Additional production vehicles on display include the 2015 Corvette Stingray, Malibu, Silverado 3500 HD Duramax Diesel, Trax, Equinox, SS Sedan as well as the Impala and Tahoe activated with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspots

There also will be a display of Chevrolet crate engines, performance parts and accessories that are available for fans to purchase from their local Chevrolet dealer.

In addition, adults and kids can participate in a number of interactive games including racing simulators. Fans also can fill out electronic questionnaires and receive a complementary Chevrolet t-shirt.

“Having the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the Verizon IndyCar Series at Long Beach is a highlight of the road-racing season,” said Jeff Chew, Manager Business Strategy and Operations for Chevrolet Racing. “The Long Beach weekend highlights Chevrolet’s involvement in both series, and we are happy to invite event attendees – whether they are open-wheel, sports car or new fans to racing – to get a closer look at our involvement in top-level motorsports. A number of our knowledgeable product specialists will be on hand to answer any questions and help visitors get the most out of their visit to these Chevrolet Racing displays.”

A number of Chevrolet V6 IndyCar drivers will visit the Chevy IndyCar display during the weekend. On Saturday, defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud – all from Team Penske – will be available for fan Q&As at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 18.

Carpenter Fisher Hartman Racing’s Ed Carpenter, Luca Filippi and Josef Newgarden will visit the Chevy display at 11:30 a.m.Sunday, April 19.

The Grand Prix of Long Beach, the third round of the Verizon IndyCar Series, is set for 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday with live coverage on the NBC Sports Network. The TUDOR Championship’s Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET Saturday with live coverage on IMSA.com. FOX Sports 1 will broadcast the race at 4 p.m. ET Sunday.

Connect with Team Chevy on social media.  Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TeamChevy, follow us on Twitter@TeamChevy, and add +TeamChevy into your Google+ circles.

Chevrolet Looking For Back-To-Back Wins In Long Beach

Team Chevy in Pursuit of Win Number Two in 2015 with Chevrolet Aero Kit and Fully Integrated 2.2 Liter V6 Twin Turbo Charged Direct Injected Engine

* Chevrolet IndyCar V6 is defending race winner on the Streets of Long Beach (Mike Conway was victor) – the second temporary street circuit race of the season
– Will Power won for Chevrolet at Long Beach in 2012
* Current Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers with previous wins in Grand Prix of Long Beach:
– Sebastien Bourdais – Three (’05, ’06, ’07)
– Will Power – Two (’08, ’12)
– Helio Castroneves – One (2001)
– Juan Pablo Montoya – One (1999)
* The debut race for the Chevrolet Aero Kit with the fully integrated 2.2 liter V6 twin turbocharged direct injected Chevrolet engine on the Streets of St. Petersburg was won by Juan Pablo Montoya
– The Team Penske driver led five fellow Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers to the checkered flag in the season opening race

DETROIT (April 15, 2015) – The Grand Prix of Long Beach on the temporary street circuit constructed in downtown Long Beach, California is the third race on the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. Chevrolet enters the weekend as the defending winner on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street course. Team Chevy opened the 2015 campaign with a victory on the Streets of St. Petersburg and looks to continue that success this weekend.

Juan Pablo Montoya scored the first win of the 2015 season for Team Chevy in the debut race of the Chevrolet Aero Kit at St. Petersburg and returns to Long Beach as a former winner of the event (1999). Montoya currently leads the Verizon IndyCar Series standings by 10 points over Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves after the first three races.

“Team Chevy is eager to get to the streets of Long Beach this coming weekend and pick up where we left off at St. Pete,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager for the Verizon IndyCar Series. “Long Beach is always a special event on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule and the fan base is enthusiastic and loyal. Street courses present unique challenges and for this circuit in particular the solid execution of the hairpin leading to the curved front straight is a critical element for a fast lap. With the introduction of the 2015 Chevrolet Aero Kit and integrated Chevrolet Indy V6 engine, the excitement for each venue on the schedule feels new again.”

Chevrolet has notched one pole and two wins in the Grand Prix of Long Beach since the Bowtie brand’s successful 2012 debut of the 2.2-liter purpose-built engine fueled by E85. Several current Team Chevy drivers have enjoyed success on the tight street course. In addition to Montoya, Castroneves was the Long Beach winner from the pole in 2001. Sebastien Bourdais put together a string of three consecutive wins at Long Beach (2005 – 07), and Will Power is a two-time winner (2008 & ’12) at the southern California track.

“Long Beach is one of the most iconic tracks we run on,” said Scott Dixon, driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. “There are a lot of different tracks that stand out for different reasons, and like Indianapolis, it’s got a lot of background with a 40-year history. I’ve raced there in Indy Lights and CART, and Formula One raced there back in the day. Some of the best racers in the world over many generations have won there and participated there. It’s just such a cool place; you’re right on the ocean there and close to L.A., so it’s got a great vibe. They have something for everybody. That’s one of the coolest parts about Long Beach, but I’ve never won there. I’ve really got to sort my act out at that place and hopefully get a victory there this weekend.”

CHEVROLET AERO KIT QUICK FACTS:
The Chevrolet road course aero configuration delivers more than 15 percent greater aerodynamic performance than the previous design, delivering an optimal balance of downforce and aerodynamic drag while integrating safety enhancements regulated by IndyCar.

Starting with computer-generated designs, small-scale and full-scale models in a rolling road wind tunnel, and evolving to track testing with prototype bodywork, the aero package was refined within the regulations stipulated by IndyCar – dimensions and specifications outlined in the rules for the various body components.

The road course configuration’s changes over the previous aero package are easily identified by their major components:
* The front wings feature new pedestal-mounted “front uppers” toward the outer edges
* New side pod panels feature heavily sculpted “wheel wedges” in front of the rear wheels
* The engine cover and side pods have a tighter, more “shrink-wrapped” shape that were achieved with a revised turbo and exhaust system layout
* Larger bumper pods that contribute to the aero package’s enhanced aerodynamic performance.

The Grand Prix of Long Beach Indy is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. PT/4p.m. ET on Sunday, April 19 with live television coverage on NBC Sports Network and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, plus Sirius channel 213 and XM channel 209 and www.indycar.com. Live timing and scoring can also be found on www.indycar.com.

2015 Verizon IndyCar Championship

Driver Standings
1. Juan Pablo Montoya – 84
2. Helio Castroneves – 74
3. Will Power – 70
4. James Hinchcliffe – 65
5. Tony Kanaan – 63
6. Simona de Silvestro – 44
7. Graham Rahal – 43
8. James Jakes – 43
9. Luca Filippi – 42
10. Simon Pagenaud – 41

Team Standings
1. No. 2 Team Penske – 84
2. No. 3 Team Penske – 74
3. No. 1 Team Penske – 70
4. No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – 65
5. No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing – 63

Manufacturer Standings
1. Honda – 187
2. Chevrolet – 8

GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH (all times PT unless noted)
* Verizon IndyCar Series Practice 1: 12:30 p.m., Friday, April 17
* Verizon IndyCar Series Practice 2: 3:45 p.m., Friday, April 17
* Verizon IndyCar Series Practice 3: 10:00 a.m., Saturday, April 18
* Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifying: 2:05 p.m., Saturday, April 18
* Qualifying TV/Radio: 5:00 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Network, Sirius 213/XM209 and indycar.com live timing and scoring
* Verizon IndyCar Series Warmup: 10:00 a.m., Sunday, April 19
* Race: Green flag 3:37 p.m. ET, Sunday, April 19
* Race TV/Radio: 2:30 p.m. ET, Sunday, April 19(NBC Sports Network, Sirius 213/XM 209, indycar.com live timing and scoring)

Helio Castroneves Leads Team Chevy with Runner-Up Finish at NOLA Motorsports Park

* Persistent rain forces Verizon IndyCar Series to shorten race to a 105-minute/47-lap race that was originally scheduled for 75 laps
* Helio Castroneves leads Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers to checkered flag with runner-up finish in INDY Grand Prix of Louisiana
* Juan Pablo Montoya finished fifth to give Team Chevy two of the top-five finishers
* Chevrolet Aero Kit cars with fully integrated 2.2 liter V6 twin turbo direct injected engines scored six of top-10 finishers

AVONDALE, LOUISIANA (April 12, 2015) – Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, scored the runner-up finishing position in today’s rain-shortened INDY Grand Prix of Louisiana. The inaugural Verizon IndyCar Series race at NOLA Motorsports Park was plagued by inclement weather throughout the three-day event, that eventually resulted in the race being shortened to a timed race of 105 minutes rather than the 75 laps originally scheduled.

Castroneves’ strong finish, which landed him second in the standings after two races, led the contingent of 12 Chevrolet Aero Kit cars with fully integrated 2.2 liter V6 twin turbo direct injected engines.

St Petersburg winner Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finished fifth to give Team Chevy two of the top-five finishers, and maintain the lead in the driver standings.

Chevrolet drivers captured six of the top 10 with a sixth-place finish for Tony Kanaan, No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet; defending Series’ champion Will Power, No.1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet in seventh; Josef Newgarden, No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet in ninth and Luca Filippi, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet in 10th place at the checkered flag.

James Hinchcliffe (Honda) won the race with James Jakes (Honda) completing the podium.

Next up for Team Chevy in the Verizon IndyCar Series is the Streets of Long Beach on Sunday, April 19. 2015.

CHEVROLET AERO KIT INDYCAR V6 2.2 LITER
NOLA MOTORSPORTS PARK
POST RACE DRIVER QUOTES
APRIL 1, 2015

HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 2ND: “First of all I have to give congratulations to the entire track, and the entire Verizon IndyCar Series to keep pushing to have another round here. And congrats to the fans. I want to thank all the fans for the first race here at NOLA and we have to keep going. The track conditions were really difficult because there were areas where there was a stream of water on the race track and it was very difficult for us to keep the cars on there.
“Now talking about the Hitachi boys, man, you guys are awesome. We had a little bit of a misunderstanding because the guy I hit, I thought he was two laps down. I knew he wasn’t battling for the lead and unfortunately when I got the nose chopped, the information was a little bit iffy. But at the end of the day, Roger, Jonathan and everybody never gave up…..I never gave up and at the end of the day to be taking second place – it’s a very happy day.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 2 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 5TH: H: “We definitely had a fast Verizon Chevy today and it’s good to come away from NOLA with a top five. I think it’s one of those deals where we kind of caught a break yesterday starting on pole with the weather but our luck went the other way today. The cool thing is two races in a row to start the season Team Penske has had the fastest cars and I am very excited about that. I’m looking forward to getting back to Long Beach next week. Hopefully we can keep the ball rolling there.”

TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 NTT DATE CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH: “NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing started the race really strong and I was running up in the top five quite a bit there at the beginning. We were one of the first cars to change to slicks and I just came into a corner a little too fast with cold tires and ended up in the grass. We lost some spots there, but it allowed the team to use my position to our benefit and we were able to get a lot of fuel on the yellows and run as hard as we could when it went green. I think I was running all the way back in 19th at one point, so it just shows how much the team and my engineers and strategists came together to get the No. 10 NTT DATA Chevrolet a sixth-place finish.”

WILL POWER, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH: “The Verizon Chevy boys did a great job despite the difficult conditions. It was frustrating that we couldn’t go green most of the time and those were difficult conditions when you’re on slicks (tires). Great battling when we went green for a few laps and it was a lot of fun, but it didn’t last long. So, disappointed for the fans that they didn’t get to see is at our absolute best. We’ll just look forward for even better results in Long Beach.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 HARTMAN OIL CFH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH: “The thing I am happy about is that we got a Top 10 on a difficult day. It could have gone a lot better for us. We struggled a little bit on the wet, but when it was going dry we were very strong as a group and we didn’t get to capitalize on that. Too many cautions, too many yellows, and it just didn’t play in our favor. That’s racing, sometimes it falls your way and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m just happy we managed a Top 10, that’s good points but obviously leaves us wanting more. We will regroup, go to Long Beach, and keep chasing it.”

LUCA FILIPPI, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA CFH RACING CHEVROLET, STARTS 9TH: “I think we did everything right. Both Josef (Newgarden) and I were probably going to have a top seven or eight finish. Obviously, a few people got very lucky on the strategy in the middle of race. But another Top 10 finish is okay, especially on a strange day like this. Today’s finish was not quite what we were looking for, but it’s a solid way to continue our championship.”

SCOTT DIXON, NO. 9 BRITA CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 11TH: “It’s a shame we didn’t get much green-flag racing in today here at NOLA. I wish we could have gotten more racing in with the dry conditions after the start. Our Brita car was really fast in the last dry practice session of the weekend so we were optimistic for the race. It’s just one of those things where you spend a lot of time under the yellow flag.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 83 NOVOLOG FLEXPEN CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 14TH: “Obviously it was a tough day for everyone, but I’m glad we were able to get some laps in for the fans. It’s a great race track that NOLA Motorsports Park has put a lot of work into and we’re just happy we were able to get the race in. It’s just disappointing because all four of the Chip Ganassi Racing cars were quick in wet and dry conditions, we just never got the chance to completely show it. With qualifying being cancelled the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet had to start toward the back, so it was going to be an uphill battle the entire race. We have a quick turnaround this week heading into my home state of California for the Long Beach race, but I know Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing will be ready to go on Sunday.”

STEFANO COLETTI NO. 4 VARIABLE BORE RAMS – KVRT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 17TH: “The race started on wets and the No. 4 Variable Bore Rams – KVRT car was quick. I managed to go from 20th to 10th before I pitted around lap 12 for slicks. When I started pushing, the yellow flag came out a few laps later and on the restart I tried to pass on the straight but found a big puddle. This caused me to spin and hit the barrier hard and I had to return to the pits to change the rear wing. The crew did a great job because the studs on the gearbox that mount the new rear wing had broken off, so they had to fixed that first and in the end managed to get me going, but three laps down. The rest of the race was pretty much under yellow and there was nothing I could really do to catch up. It wasn’t the result that we expected and I feel bad for my sponsor this weekend Variable Bore Rams, Inc. We had good speed all weekend and the team gave me a great so we will see what happens at Long Beach next weekend.”

SAGE KARAM, NO. 8 COMFORT REVOLUTION/BIG MACHINE RECORDS CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 18TH: “It wasn’t the day we had hoped for in the COMFORT REVOLUTION/Big Machine Records car. We had spins, I made mistakes and the race just never really got going enough to get in a good rhythm. I hate it for the team and my guys. I learned a lot today out there and will go back and talk everything over with the team to get a game plan together on how we can improve on our performance.”

SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20TH: “Really too bad about the finish because the Penske Truck Rental Chevy was really fast. It handled great in traffic and we looked like we were heading toward a good result. I’m not sure what Hunter-Reay was thinking there. He just drove us off the track and I’m just glad everyone is OK. I want to thank the fans for staying with us this weekend despite the weather. I think the No. 22 Chevy team will be able to come back strong at Long Beach.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 11 TEAM MISTIC E-CIGS – KVSH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST: “It was a weird race obviously. We held our own throughout the race getting as high as fourth. The Mistic-Circle K car ran good in the wet and ran good as the track transitioned. Then the race just became a succession of cautions with restarts after restarts during which I made a couple of spots and lost a couple of spots. Because of all the cautions there were different strategies and as they played out we ended up having to pit when everybody behind us had already done so. The guys in back cycled to the front and we cycled to the back with the leaders. Then with all the cautions, the guys in back were able to stretch their fuel and on the last restart I was on the inside and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) came up and made it three wide with Simon (Pagenaud). Ryan pushed Simon into the grass, he then came back on track with no control and could not avoid collecting me ending our race. It was never going to be a good day, but now with the damage to the car it is a shame because this was going to be my Indy 500 car.”

Juan Pablo Montoya Will Lead Field to Green Flag at NOLA Motorsports Park as Weather Cancels Qualifying

* Persistent lightning storms forces Verizon Indy Car Series to cancel qualifying
* Field for the inaugural INDY Grand Prix of Louisiana set by entrant points following St. Petersburg race
* Team Chevy drivers occupy seven of top-10 starters for the 75-lap/205.5-mile race on the 2.74-mile, 13-turn permanent road course

AVONDALE, LOUISIANA (April 11, 2015) – Team Chevy’s Juan Pablo Montoya will lead the field to the green flag for the Verizon IndyCar Series inaugural race at NOLA Motorsports Park. Severe lightning storms delayed the start of and eventually canceled qualifying for the INDY Grand Prix of Louisiana that resulted in the Series setting the starting field by entrant points after the St. Petersburg race.

Starting alongside the driver of the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet is teammate and defending IndyCar champion Will Power, No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

The remainder of the top-10 starters, are Tony Kanaan, No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet starts 3rd; Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet rolls off 4th; Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet will start 5th and Sebastien Bourdais, No. 11 Team Mistic E-Cig – KVSH Chevrolet starts 6th.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Honda) – 7th; Jack Hawksworth (Honda) – 8th; Luca Filippi, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing-9th and Marco Andrettii (Honda) 10th.

The Verizon IndyCar Series Warmup: 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Sunday, April 12. The
green flag for the race will fly at approximately 2:45 p.m ET. Race TV/Radio: 2:30 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Network, Sirius 213/XM 209, indycar.com live timing and scoring)

DRIVER QUOTES:

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 2 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, STARTS ON POLE: “We were lucky, but at the same time that’s why you need the points, when you have days like this, it will pay off. ”

WILL POWER, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, STARTS 2ND:
“You hate to start an inaugural race with a rain-shortened qualifying session, but you have to give credit to INDYCAR. They did everything they could to get qualifying in. I was fairly happy with the Verizon Chevy in the wet and would’ve liked to finish all the rounds. We will start the race from a great spot, though, and we will deal with whatever Mother Nature throws our way tomorrow.”

TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 NTT DATE CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, STARTS 3RD: “The No. 10 NTT DATA Chevrolet has just been so good all weekend here and it’s disappointing that we weren’t able to continue with qualifying to see what it could do in the rain. I’ve had some luck in the past driving in the rain on race day and I expect that’s probably what it will look like tomorrow, so I’m ready to go. We’ll still start third tomorrow which isn’t bad at all, but I really wanted that pole position here and I felt like we had a really good shot at it.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, STARTS 4TH: THIS HAS BEEN A VERY FRUSTRATING RACE WEEKEND FOR YOU, WHAT HAPPENED IN QUALIFYING? “It was wet. So we had issues with the dry and in wet. The team is doing a phenomenal job. The Hitachi car was actually very consistent, but unfortunately it was consistent in the back. The good news is, it sounds like the race is going to be wet and we have some stuff we could have done. For me, I couldn’t see very well. I was actually following Juan Pablo (Montoya) until he spun out and I said OH, no man, you were my reference. It is just one of those things. We have two of our boys in the hunt. Roger will have to throw very good strategy on Sunday and see what happens.”

SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL CHEVROLET, STARTS 5TH: “I really hate it for the fans that came out today because they didn’t get a chance to see a full qualifying session. Once the lightening came it was pretty apparent that we wouldn’t get back out as it was really starting to rain at that time. If we race in the rain tomorrow I feel really good about my Penske Truck Rental Chevy, based on how it drove today. We still have a few things we can do to better prepare for the wet. We’ll do our best to control the things that are in our control.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 11 TEAM MISTIC E-CIGS – KVSH RACING CHEVROLET, STARTS 6TH

LUCA FILIPPI, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA CFH RACING CHEVROLET, STARTS 9TH: “Again the result of St. Petersburg and starting the season well becomes even more important. Regarding today, I think the right call was to do what they did and cancel the rest of the session. From my point of view we have a good car on the wet, so if tomorrowe have a wet race, I am confident and looking forward to having a good race.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 HARTMAN OIL CFH RACING CHEVROLET, STARTS 12TH : “It’s a shame we couldn’t run the whole session, this is actually a very fun track in the rain. There’s just some drainage issues. It’s a little difficult with the pooling of water in areas, so you get some hydroplaning. I think our car was great. We’ve had good cars here since rolling off the truck and I think they were good in the rain. If it rains tomorrow, we would be alright as we were pretty quick. It’s just a matter if we would be able to make the race work with the drainage. But hopefully we don’t get any rain tomorrow and it just makes it a lot easier on everyone. I think we’re in a good position to try and attack and get a good result tomorrow.”

SCOTT DIXON, NO. 9 BRITA CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, STARTS 15TH: It’s really a shame we didn’t get qualifying in today. The weather just hasn’t been cooperative for us this weekend here at NOLA. Our Brita car was fast though. We paced the practice session and were in a position to advance in the limited qualifying session we ran so I guess we did the best we could today. Hopefully the weather is better for tomorrow and we can get the race in for the fans.”

SAGE KARAM, NO. 8 COMFORT REVOLUTION/BIG MACHINE RECORDS CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, STARTS 19TH: “I thought the COMFORT REVOLUTION/Big Machine Records car was good today. We had a great practice session finishing P5 and I was excited for qualifying. With the rain we obviously didn’t get to show what the car was capable of but I guess the silver lining was that we know we have a fast car. We’ll just have to use that speed tomorrow, pass some cars, be patient with traffic and have a good result.”

STEFANO COLETTI NO. 4 VARIABLE BORE RAMS – KVRT CHEVROLET, STARTS 20TH

CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 83 NOVOLOG FLEXPEN CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, STARTS 21ST: “I’m mostly disappointed for the fans that we couldn’t make it all the way through qualifying. NOLA Motorsports Park has done such a great job of making sure they’re putting on a good event for the Verizon IndyCar Series. The Team Chevy aero kits ran really well in the rain and we had great grip. There were some puddles where we were hydroplaning, but any time you get cars this fast on a wet surface that’ll happen. Overall I was happy with the car and Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing. It’s unfortunate that we have to start on entrant points, but if there’s one thing my team does well it’s fighting back to overcome obstacles.”

POLE SITTER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
An interview with:
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 2 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET
THE MODERATOR: We’ll get started with today’s postqualifying press conference. We’re pleased to be joined by Juan Pablo Montoya driving the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet for Team Penske. Juan, it’s been a pretty wet track throughout the past couple of days. But tell us a little about starting from the front and being able to continue your strong start to the season?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Oh, I mean, we were lucky, but at the same time that’s why you need the points, when you have days like this, it will pay off. You know, we try something a little different for qualifying, and we made a mistake there with the setup, but it is what it is.
I think our car was actually pretty good. I didn’t get to run the entire practice session in the morning. Like I put new tires on my fast lap I got you know, the red flag came out, and on the lap I was actually up to the point I was running I was on pace with Simon, and Simon was T3 or whatever he was, so I thought we had a pretty good car.
You know, I still feel like to win the race I feel like we need a tenth or two to be a little quicker. Going to make some changes for tomorrow, and we’ll see what happens with the weather now. That is the big question mark. I think IndyCar did a great job today making an effort to run the qualifying. I think that was a ballsy call, and I think that’s what it takes. I think it was great.
To be honest with you, after I spun, when they were bringing me back and they found more water already from those two minutes, it was incredible how much more water was sitting. I don’t know how much this is going to last, and it kind of gave me a bit of a smile, but it is what it is.
THE MODERATOR: It seemed like the track time might give you a little more confidence knowing Team Penske was so strong in St. Petersberg and does seem so strong above the other teams. Would you say that’s true?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I think on the street courses we definitely seem to have the upper hand. For some reason we’ve been really strong. We’ve been really good in all the testing. This is the only place we didn’t do a lot of I mean, we tested with the old car, and it was tough the rest of the year. So I think everybody was getting used to it. And we came here the first day with the aero kit. I think personally we’re a little behind from where we needed to be. But, hey, it is what it is.
Q. You have no control over the weather, but it’s got to be something you think about when you’re doing the race setups and debriefs with the team. So how does that kind of change the whole thing when you meet with the team tomorrow?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Well, at the moment you’ve got to look at the two things. Okay, if it’s dry, where are we going to run? And if it’s wet, where are we going to run? You have to look at the two scenarios. If it’s dry, we’re going to go with this. And we’re going to try to run here, here and here. And if it’s wet, then you’ve just got to wait to see what the weather does, and how much rain are we going to get tonight? Are we going to have a warmup tomorrow? There are a lot of unknowns.
The hard thing is we keep going every time back to a green racetrack. Every time we’ve run there is a green racetrack. So the track hasn’t really rolled. So the question is, okay, we kind of know what it’s going to do from testing, but is it going to really evolve enough? We have a lot of entry issues with my car, for example, that we know when it rubbers up, they’re going to go away. But every time we go out there, the first time we’re like hanging on for dear life.
Q. How well did the track drain water? Did you see any trouble spots developing?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: There is, I think turn 9, the fast chicane, the rightleft, and that lefthander there is going to be a lot of standing water there. I’m sure there are a couple more spots. I mean, I think five was a little bit, six. The new asphalt on six was slippery, but it’s not standing water, so it doesn’t matter. There are a couple of apex’s where there is lots.
But the thing is if we can keep running, it’s okay. Once you stop, you’re done. I mean, the first group was lucky enough to run when it wasn’t too wet. I mean, it was wet, but there was not so much standing water they could actually start clearing the water. The car starts clearing water, and you start seeing the two like you go into the corners and that’s awesome. You’re looking for the two groups where you want to run the front tires. When that goes away, then you’re in trouble.
Q. Juan, I know you’re more worried about your car, but this is the first time you’ve been here. Can you express a little bit of the disappointment from the fans standpoint? The people that came out here today?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Yeah, it is what it is. We all want to have a beautiful sunny day, we do. But that is the only thing we can’t control is weather, you know? I think the event has been pretty good. To tell you the truth, I’ve watched a couple of races, that little Miata race, that was pretty cool. You look at that last lap, I mean, they were going at it. I mean, I was entertained watching it.
People see the cars and trucks all days. It was weird we were sitting just waiting for it to run. I mean IndyCar made a big effort even yesterday to try to clean the track, and they went too far, and they went, oh. So, we told them, hey, try to dry it more so we can run, and they did.
We were not even sure if we were going to run. I told the guys, IndyCar made the effort, we should make the effort, and we all ran and it was good. I mean, we’re here to put a show and make a good show for the fans, and I think we have done that. Are we disappointed with the weather? Yeah, everybody is. But you can’t control that, you know what I mean? A week ago we knew it was going to be raining or ten days ago. Tomorrow supposedly it looks a little better than it used to be. But it looks better because it’s not a hundred percent chance of rain. It’s like 60 or 70, so that’s better.
Q. You can run in the rain, but how much rain can you run in and feel comfortable that you’ve put on a competitive race?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I don’t think anybody knows that. Because there was a lot of rain in that second session, and the problem with the rain is it’s when you have thunder, like today. You can’t control that. But, I mean, I think you can run in more water than they think they can. It would be really slow, but everybody will be really slow.
I mean, if you know there is a big puddle and you need to slow down, if not you’re going to aquaplane, well, then you slow down. You know what I mean? You’ve just got to know how far you can go.
Q. Are there any benefits that you can see with your driving style racing in the rain, if that is the case? Is?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Normally I’m really good in the rain. Today we struggled, but, I mean, it is what it is. You know, we kind of think we know what happened, and we made a change on the basis of what happened. How you’re thinking it’s going to be good here, and it wasn’t. But, you know, I’m a big boy. I’ll take it as it is. What can you do? It is what it is.
Q. A lot of these fans were witnessing qualifying openwheel sessions for the first time. The very first time this Session 1 came around the turns and they saw the unbelievable rain from the water on the track. The question I kept hearing over and over was how can you see?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: You don’t.
Q. That is my question. The visibility, how do you see?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Normally there are a lot of reference points, and you normally look to the side of the track. Instead of forward, you guide yourself from the side. But that’s kind of normal in an openwheel. That’s nothing. The hard thing is it’s hard because you haven’t driven enough on the wet. You don’t know where the markers are, and you don’t know if the guy in qualifying that first stop, did the guy lift it or keep it wide open? If he lifted and you’re going wide open, you’re going to have a massive so you kind of the first time you go, oh, and everybody does it. When I was in Formula 1, I remember the style was like that when you went to the top of the hill, and after a rooster and the long strait in the wet, or the old Hockenheim, those long straits. I remember once in Hockenheim in the Junior Formula, like 3,000 in the Junior Formula, I went to the grass to avoid somebody, and I started 14th. When I made it back to the track out of the corner because I went like 300 yards in the grass, and I was P2. So how that happened, I don’t know. I didn’t hit anything.
But it is what it is. You know what I mean? You learn. But this place is pretty open. With the wind, it clears pretty fast.
Q. Juan, with the introduction of the aero kits and all the undertray changes they made, was the spray any better, any worse, no difference?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I would think it’s probably less because the parts are bigger, but it’s massive. Doesn’t matter.
Q. Juan, we heard some talk about there be a threestop race. With the rain coming and the cars being slower, do you see it changing to a twostop race or will it still be three?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I have no idea, because the fuel mileage gets a lot better in the rain. So milliondollar question. To be honest with you, I haven’t really paid attention to that yet. We’ll look at that tomorrow morning while we’re out there after this.
Q. Tomorrow you’re going to start alongside your teammate who is usually very fast here.
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: I don’t know, we haven’t raced here.
Q. True. Can you use your push to pass on the start?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: We all do. Like every restart we’re like honestly, you’re waiting, as soon as you get wide open, you think, oh, and get on it and keep going, you know? It is what it is. That’s kind of normal. Like every time you’ve got a long strait.
Q. (No Microphone)?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: You can get even more than several. Think about it, it’s wider. It’s pretty wide. I mean, the track is wide, plus that extra space behind the curve, so it’s really you have some wide to really wide.
Q. How is the visibility in the rain different on a permanent road course compared to a street course since the walls are much tighter?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: In street courses the speeds are so much slower, the water it’s not as bad. You saw it get a little on the strait but it’s not as bad because, I mean, you’re going to slow. Like Toronto last year in the long strait you couldn’t see anything. Like zero. You go wide open, and you’re just going through the gears, just, hmmhmm. Now I think I’ll start getting on the gas maybe here. That’s how you do it. At least this is how I do it.
Q. Do you think that not just you, but maybe Team Penske as a whole got a bit of a break based on how the other cars were practicing?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: Yeah, I mean, but it’s the way the rules are. You know, they give you the rules to play with, and that’s what it is. Were we strong enough to be up there? I don’t know. I think in the drive we would have been okay. Were we dominant? No. But I think Simon looked really good. Will looked really good, and I thought I had probably close to the same pace as Will.
But that is what it is. It’s the rules that we play with. If we would have struggled on some speed, then we would have started in the back. Sometimes it goes your way. Sometimes it goes against you. Look, Dixon’s been really quick, and where is he starting? There you go. He was going to start where I was supposed to start, but we swapped. Thanks. We did.
Q. Who do you consider the best drivers in the series in wet conditions?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It changes. I think I’m really good in the wet. I think Bourdais is really good in the wet. I think Will some days when things click for Will, he’s really, really good. But when it doesn’t click, it’s not. I mean, there is not a happy medium. Helio is really good in the wet, but we were really good here when we came to test the first day with the aero kit, we were really happy and our balance is nowhere near what we had before.
THE MODERATOR: Good luck tomorrow. Thank you.

Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Drivers And Teams Prepare For Inaugural Run At NOLA Motorsports Park

* Chevrolet V6-powered driver Juan Pablo Montoya opened the season with a win on the Streets of St. Petersburg
* Team Penske earned the first victory for the all new Chevrolet Aero Kit
* Montoya’s victory marked the seventh consecutive victory for Chevrolet in Verizon IndyCar Series competition
* Chevrolet’s winning streak extends back to the first race on the Streets of Toronto in 2014
* Chevrolet’s Tony Kanaan has finished on the podium in six of the last eight races

 

DETROIT (April 8, 2015) – Major league motorsports has not visited the state of Louisiana since 1995. But all of that changes this weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park (NOLA) when the Verizon IndyCar Series takes to the track for the running of the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana. All 12 of the Chevrolet IndyCar V6-powered drivers and teams have tested their Chevrolet Aero Kit IndyCar V6 2.2 liter cars at NOLA to prepare for the challenge of a new venue – a 2.74-mile, 13-turn permanent road course.

Chevrolet opened the 2015 Verizon IndyCar season two weeks ago on the Streets of St. Petersburg with a solid debut of the Chevrolet Aero Kit. Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya brought home the victory and was followed by a precession of Chevrolet V6 powered drivers sweeping the top sixth finishing positions and bringing home seven of the top 10 spots.

“A new venue or track layout always adds an element of excitement to the competition by requiring additional simulation and preparation, said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager for the Verizon IndyCar Series. “The addition of NOLA Motorsports Park to the schedule for 2015 is no exception. Our Chevrolet teams and technical partners conducted a number of tests at NOLA during the preseason so we feel well-prepared for this track with its long straights and high speeds. It should provide a great opportunity to highlight the integration of the Chevrolet engine and aero kit.”

Armed with confidence and preparation the Bowtie Brigade is ready to take on the task of the uniquely designed NOLA Motorsports Park.

“You have to acknowledge what an amazing job Chevrolet and all of the engineers at Team Penske have done in the off season, said reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power. ” They have a lot to be proud of with the way we performed as a team at St. Pete. There is no reason to think that it won’t carry over to NOLA this weekend, not only because of the testing we did there in the off season, but we have typically run very well at the new venues over the last couple of years.

“NOLA is wicked fast, and what it takes to get around that place really suits my driving style, continued Power. “The grip is very tight and it should promote great racing. To me, it’s really impressive that the fans can see the entire track. That’s a cool aspect of NOLA that not many tracks have. New Orleans knows how to have a good time, and I believe everyone that comes out to the track this weekend will certainly have one. Hopefully we can get our first win of the season in the No. 1 Verizon Chevy. It’s going to be a hard-fought race because I know everyone is going to want to be the first winner at NOLA.”

The 75-lap/205.5-mile contest just outside the “Big Easy” should prove to be a historic battle as the recently debuted Chevrolet Aero Kits continue to be put to the test. Twelve Chevrolet V6-powered teams will try and be the first to hoist the trophy down by the Bayou and make it eight straight for Chevrolet in Verizon IndyCar series competition.

2015 Verizon IndyCar Championship

Driver Standings
1. Juan Pablo Montoya – 51
2. Will Power – 44
3. Tony Kanaan – 35
4. Helio Castroneves – 33
5. Simon Pagenaud – 31
6. Sebastien Bourdais – 28
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay – 26
8. Jack Hawksworth – 25
9. Luca Filippi – 22
10. Marco Andretti – 20

Team Standings
1. No. 2 Team Penske – 51
2. No. 1 Team Penske – 44
3. No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing – 35
4. No. 3 Team Penske – 33
5. No. 22 Team Penske – 31

Manufacturer Standings
1. Honda – 70
2. Chevrolet – (-92)

Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana (all times CT unless noted)
* Verizon IndyCar Series Practice 1: 12:15 p.m., Friday, April 10
* Verizon IndyCar Series Practice 2: 4:15 p.m., Friday, April 10
* Verizon IndyCar Series Practice 3: 12:30 p.m., Saturday, April 11
* Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifying: 4:15 p.m., Saturday, April 11
* Qualifying TV/Radio: 5:00 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Network, Sitius 213/XM209 and indycar.com live timing and scoring
* Verizon IndyCar Series Warmup: 11 a.m., Sunday, April 12
* Race: Green flag 3:37 p.m ET., Sunday, April 12
* Race TV/Radio: 2:30 p.m. ET, Sunday, April 12 (NBC Sports Network, Sirius 213/XM 209, indycar.com live timing and scoring)

Juan Pablo Montoya Wins for Chevrolet on Streets of St. Petersburg

Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Drivers Score Top-Six Finishing Positions and Seven of the Top-Nine in First Race for the Chevrolet Aero Kit

ST. PETERSBURG (FLA) – March 29, 2015 – Juan Pablo Montoya delivered the first win for the Chevrolet Aero Kit today in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The victory is the fourth consecutive win on the Streets of St. Petersburg for the Chevrolet IndyCar V6, and the 34th win in Verizon IndyCar Series competition since the Bowtie Brand returned to the series in 2012.

The victory for Montoya comes in race one of his second year back in the Series after a 13-year hiatus, and is the 13th in his Verizon IndyCar Series career which includes an Indianapolis 500 victory in 2000.

“Juan Pablo’s great drive and his crew’s consistently quick pit stops were a powerful combination today on the Streets of St. Pete. And his win was also an exciting way to debut the new Chevrolet Aero Kit,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The Chevrolet aero kit development was a team effort, so it was exciting to see drivers that represented three different Chevy teams finish in the top six finishing positions.”

Montoya’s Team Penske teammate and defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion, Will Power, No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet, was second at the conclusion of the 110-lap race on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.

Filling out the all-Chevrolet podium was Chip Ganassi Racing’s Tony Kanaan, driver of the No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet.

“Will Power’s second place finish was a strong way to start his title defense,” Campbell continued. “Congratulations to Tony Kanaan on filling out the podium with a third place finish. As this first race weekend winds down, we’ll quickly focus on preparing for the next race at NOLA.”

Helio Castroneves, who gave the Chevrolet V6 IndyCar its first-ever Verizon IndyCar Series win in 2012 in St. Pete, brought his No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet to the finish in fourth position. Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet, completed the top-five finishers.

Sebastien Bourdais, No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet, was sixth at the finish, and Luca Filippi, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet finished ninth to give Chevrolet seven of the top-nine finishers in the debut of the Chevrolet Aero Kit.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Honda) finished seventh, Jack Hawksworth (Honda) finished eighth and Marco Andretti (Honda) completed the top 10 finishers.

A total of 12 Chevrolet drivers started today’s race, and finished as follows:
12. Josef Newgarden, No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet
15. Scott Dixon, No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
19. Sage Karam, No. 8 GE LED Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
20. Stefano Coletti, No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
21. Charlie Kimball, No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

Next on the schedule is the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports in Avondale, Louisiana, on April 12, 2015.

POST RACE QUOTES:

CHRIS BERUBE, CHEVROLET RACING PROGRAM MANAGER, VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES: “Congratulations to Juan Pablo Montoya and Team Penske for a solid win today at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. the Team Penske preparation and execution was first rate all weekend and all four Chevy teams finished in the top nine today. We are very proud of this result for the competitive debut of the Chevrolet Aero Kit, and the fully integrated Chevrolet 2.2L Twin Turbo V6 engine package. This first win is a tribute to the extensive efforts and integration put forth by our technical partners and teams working together towards this first race. On to NOLA Motorsports Park for the next venue to exercise the new Chevrolet IndyCar package.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 2 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER: YOU SAID ONE YEAR AGO YOU HAD TO BE SO PATIENT, BUT NOT TODAY. TAKE US THROUGH YOUR RUN: “Today was a good day to be honest with you. The car was really good on black tires and that was the key. The tires were not falling off and right there at the end I was just running slow to look after them. When I needed to push I could push. Everybody with Verizon and Team Penske did an amazing job – Chevy as well. This aero kit is amazing to drive.”

DID YOU SEE WILL POWER TRYING TO MAKE THE MOVE UNDER YOU IN THE MIRRORS? “I saw him make the move but he was way too far and I wasn’t going to give him the position. If he was beside me I would have said, ‘okay, go ahead’. When I got to the turning point he wasn’t even close. It is a shame we touched, but it’s all good, it’s racing.”

ROGER PENSKE, OWNER, TEAM PENSKE: YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE BY TEAM PENSKE THIS WEEKEND: “Well, I will tell you it was a fight between our two guys in front there. It was just an amazing weekend. The guys worked hard in the offseason on the aero kits and thanks for Chevrolet and Verizon for the support. But to come back this year with the fast times in qualifying and win this race 1-2, and four drivers in the top-six – wow, what a day.”

WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND WHEN YOU SEE TWO OF YOUR GUYS BATTLING AND THEY HAVE CONTACT LIKE THAT? “Well, we said at the beginning let’s take care of ourselves but at the end we have to go racing. Will was trying to get by, and Juan didn’t want him by. So I am sure they understand that and we will move on to the next race. But what a great day for all the people at Team Penske.”

WILL POWER, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 2ND: : ON FINAL ATTEMPT TO PASS JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: “If I hadn’t damaged my wing, maybe I would have had another shot. It is hard to close with these cars, it really is. But it is a great day for the Verizon car, it really is going to be a battle between teammates for the championship. It was my only chance. He was very strong on the front straight and my exits weren’t very good. That was really my only chance. I thought maybe I would catch him off guard there. You don’t expect someone to pass there, so, yeah, I gave it a shot. It was tight there, no doubt. I was surprised at how aggressively he turned, but he wanted to win the race and so did I.”

I CAN’T SAY YOU DID NOT GIVE IT YOUR BEST EFFORT TO MAKE THAT PASS ON JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: “Yeah that was the only place I could kind of get a run on him. He was very good in the last corner so the only chance I had was to try and get a run on him there. I think he kind of saw me and then…….it was kind of optimistic because if he had given me some, I would have taken it. He did what anyone would have done. So yeah, he was phenomenally fast and I couldn’t drop him on that stint before and he was very quick on the reds there.”

WAS THAT AN ALL OR NOTHING MOVE? “Yeah, it was kind of my only chance. If I had not damaged my wing, maybe I would have had another shot. He had to save a bit more fuel too, so I was counting on that but it’s hard to get close with these cars, it really is. But it’s a great day for the Verizon Chevy team. It was like we thought it would be with a battle between teammates and a battle for the championship I am sure.”

TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 NTT DATA CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: “Chip told me to bring the NTT Data car back in one piece, he didn’t want to see a scratch apart from the marbles. We tried to stay out of trouble. The Penske guys were definitely tough today. On that last stint there, we had to save a little bit more fuel, and not having the pace, I had to drop back. But we will take third, It’s good points, and we have to work from here.

“It was a really fun race for us and I’m just so happy that I was able to get NTT DATA Racing a podium finish in the first race out. We still have some things to work on to get better as a team, but I’m pretty happy with today’s finish. I have to give so much credit to the guys on pit lane – they just did such a great job today. This is a nice way to start the season and after this third-place finish I’m even more motivated to continue to do better.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4TH: “Really proud of the Hitachi Chevy guys today. They did a great job and we battled hard throughout the race. The car was fast. We didn’t end up where we would have liked to be but overall we had a good day. Really happy for Juan and congratulations to him on the win and to Will on his podium finish. Great way to start the season for Roger with a 1-2 finish.”

SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 5TH: “The Penske Truck Rental boys did a great job today. I am happy and you have to take it step by step. You just can’t walk onto a team and push your teammates out of the way. I didn’t want create a mess at the start of the race, which I thought was a smart move but it was too cautious, which cost me a position during the race. P5 is a good start to the season and I’m excited about the next race already coming up in NOLA.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 11 TEAM HYDROXYCUT -KVSH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH: “It was a solid result for the Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing team, but it was a bit up and down. Initially, it felt like we had something special going. I got TK (Tony Kanaan) and the car had good pace. Then I made a couple of mistakes and a restart didn’t go my way. After that Sato hit us and we lost three positions. It was one of those races where you controlled the damage, but you don’t feel you have achieved what you were capable of. I am satisfied with the result and happy for the team, they did a good job. It’s a good start to the season. The pace was good when we got clear air, but it is definitely is hard to follow other cars and get a run on them. We will keep digging, keeping working on starting higher up on the grid and see where we end up.”

LUCA FILIPPI, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH: “I am happy with that. Obviously, so many things are new to me. On one hand we want to have good results, on the other hand we know that we have to learn a little before we can really fight for the podium. The team did a great job, they gave me great pit stops and we can build on this. This is a good start for the season, from here I can just get better and better.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 HARTMAN OIL CHEVROLET, FINISHED 12TH: “It was a really strong effort from everyone to try to keep us in the fight. All the CFH guys were awesome, as they always are. I have to say thank you to Ed (Carpenter), Wink (Hartman) and Sarah (Fisher) for everything that to do to make this happen. Twelfth is not the best finishing position, but we can only go up from there. I think we had a car that was able to challenge for a top five finish, but we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Right when Charlie (Kimball) got spun out in Turn 10 it was a bottleneck, I got into the back of (Sebastien) Bourdais and damaged the front wing. It sort of hurt us; we struggled to fight with everyone after that. We lost a lot of pace then did what we could to finish as strong as possible. Twelfth was the best we had today, but I think we have more for the future.”

SCOTT DIXON, NO. 9 TARGET CHEVROLET, FINISHED 15TH: “It wasn’t the day we had hoped for in the Target car today. We had some early issues with the air jack and couldn’t get the car off the ground during our pit stops. It seemed like the front would come up, but the rear end would stay on the ground. The team did the best they could on our stops but in reality you can’t be competitive in this type of racing when your stops are taking that long. We just never seem to have the best luck in St. Petersburg but we’ll keep pushing for the results we know we’re capable of.”

SAGE KARAM, NO. 8 GE LED CHEVROLET, FINISHED 19TH : “It was funny, I came into the pits after the race, took off my helmet to debrief with the guys and noticed I didn’t use any tear offs from my helmet! A rookie mistake I guess. I was so focused on taking care of the car and running good laps I totally forgot. But all in all I just tried to do what the team told me to which was keep the car in one piece and run all the laps. That was the plan today. Although I wished we would have finished higher I know that this is a learning process. I spoke with Dario after the race and we talked about saving fuel and how crucial that is in these races. I know we’ll get better and I had a good first experience in the GE LED car in my first road and street course in the series.”

STEFANO COLETTI, NO. 4 KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20TH: “The KV Racing Technology team gave me a great car today, but unfortunately we didn’t have the result to prove it. The car was fast and I overtook a lot of people. Every restart I overtook several cars, improving three or four positions. Obviously, I am disappointed with the final result. I had some issues and had to make up a lot of positions so I used a lot of fuel. As a result I had to pit with four laps to go. At least I had fun today in my first Verizon IndyCar Series race and hopefully the result will change when we race in New Orleans in two weeks.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 83 NOVOLOG FLEXPEN CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST: “Obviously it’s a disappointing result for the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen guys. Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing has worked really hard over the winter. We had great pit stops, and I got taken out by some dumb driving. We ended up fixing the rear wing and when I was in clean air the car was really fast. I guess that is the frustrating thing really. The result wasn’t there but the speed in the car was. I can’t wait to get the car back to NOLA where we had a good test at the beginning of the week, and then to Long Beach.”

Will Power Puts Chevrolet on Pole for Verizon IndyCar Series Season-Opening Race on Streets of St. Petersburg

Will Power Puts Chevrolet on Pole for Verizon IndyCar Series Season-Opening Race on Streets of St. Petersburg

Competitive Debut of Chevrolet Aero Kit Nets Eight of Top-10 Starting Positions

 

  • Five Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers transfer to Firestone Fast Six in competition debut for Chevrolet Aero Kit
  • Team Chevy drivers claimed top-four starting positions, five of the top-six and eight of top-10
  • Will Power broke the 13-year-old track record with a lap of 1:00:6509 seconds to capture his 5th St. Petersburg pole and 37th career Verizon P1 Award
  • All four Chevrolet IndyCar Series partner teams are represented in top-10 starters for Sunday’s season-opening race

 

  1. PETERSBURG (FLA) – (March 28, 2015) – Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power started his 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season with a track-record shattering lap to capture the Verizon P1 Award for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in the first competitive event for the Chevrolet Aero Kit.  With a blistering lap of 1:00:6509 seconds, Power scored his fifth pole on the Streets of St. Petersburg and the 37th of his career behind the wheel of his No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

“Hats off to Will Power and Team Penske for winning the pole today with a new track record on the Streets of St. Petersburg to kick off the 2015 season and cast the first official result for the new Chevrolet Aero Kit,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager Verizon IndyCar Series.  “The race tomorrow will be the real stage for the new competitive landscape and we are very proud to have all of the Chevrolet teams represented in the top 10 to take the green flag. We expect the racing to be intense and the fans should be in for a real exciting battle.”

 

Joining Power on the front row is the newest member of the Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series team, Simon Pagenaud, driving the No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet.

 

Row two is also a pair of Team Penske drivers with Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet, turning in the third fastest time, and Juan Pablo Montoya starting fourth in the No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet.

 

Five of the six Firestone Fast Six drivers were powered by the Chevrolet IndyCar 2.2 liter V6 turbo charged direct injected engine.  Sebastien Bourdais, No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet was sixth in the final qualifying session to fill out the third row.

 

Tony Kanaan, No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet will start seventh with his teammate, Scott Dixon, No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, starting from the ninth position on the grid.

 

Josef Newgarden gave CFH Racing a presence in the top-10 with a lap that placed his No. 67 Hartman Oil Chevrolet in the 10th starting position.

 

Takuma Sato (Honda) completes the Firestone Fast Six securing the fifth starting position.

 

Sunday’s 110 laps/198 mile race on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street course is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. ET.  Live television coverage on ABC will begin at 3:00p.m.ET.  IMS Radio Network will provide live coverage will be broadcast on Channel 213 on Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Channel 209.  IndyCar.com will have both live radio and real-time timing and scoring.

POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:

An interview with:

HELIO CASTRONEVES

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA

SIMON PAGENAUD

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS

WILL POWER

 

THE MODERATOR:  We’ll get started with today’s post qualifying press conference.  We’re pleased to be join by our third-place starter and also our fourth-place starter, Helio Castroneves starting third and Juan Montoya starting fourth.

Helio won pole here in 2007, also won the race in 2006, 2007, 2012.  Tell us your thoughts on qualifying and what we might expect tomorrow.

 

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  The Hitachi car has been pretty consistent, I have to say.  We basically worked a little bit harder than what we thought.  I have three other very good guys in the team which is good because each one tries something different.  In the end of the day, you just pushing to the limit.  So it’s a perfect testament of great teamwork.  Having 1, 2, 3, 4 shows we’re pushing to the limit, all four of us.

I think each one want to be in front, but at least for the team is a good problem to have, having all four guys fighting for the pole position.

I’m very exciting at this point because we work in a way that hopefully we going to have a result like that.  That’s our goal.  Our goal is to go out there and try to win a race.  Best day for each car.  We will find out tomorrow.

 

THE MODERATOR:  Your teammate, Juan Montoya, is starting fourth tomorrow.  Started 18th in last year’s race, finished 15th.  How are things going?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  It’s good.  I’m kind of disappointed with that lap, to be honest.  It’s funny because from my previous session I was 3/10ths up coming to turn 10.  It’s the last corner.  Just had to lift on the exit.  Mad, but still ran a decent lap.

I don’t know, for the team I think it shows how hard we work over the winter.  I think it shows as well having Simon onboard and being a four-car team, I think it’s been really, really good.  Running the Verizon car has been amazing.

I don’t know, like we said yesterday, what could be better 1, 2, 3?  It was a 1, 2, 3, 4.  To be honest, I think all the year is going to be like that.  We just got to make sure we don’t beat each other.

 

THE MODERATOR:  Questions.

  1. Why are you guys so good here for a decade and more?

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  For him it’s been great.  For me I did one Fast Six all year.  Fast Six, qualifying on road course, I did one last year.  It was in Detroit.  We did two set of tires to make it to the second round, reds.  Somehow I nailed the lap.  I made it to the Fast Six.

It’s good.  I’m really happy.

 

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  You already matched last year.  That’s a good thing.

 

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  One for one so far (laughter).

 

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  Each track sometimes favors one team.  I mean, you can go around and you can see some of the places that other teams do extremely well.

I believe at this point it suits the work that we done, the preparation that we do.  Basically so far it’s been working well.

We don’t want to change what things are working.  There are tracks that we maybe are not so successful, we want to beat the other teams up.  But at this point I feel it’s a great beginning.  Like Juan said, I hope we’ll be like that the whole season long.

 

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  I’ll tell you something.  I think one of the funny things in testing, I think we push each other so hard, we really don’t look at anybody else, we just look at each other.  Having four good drivers, you look at the data, they’re always quicker than you somewhere.  They’re trying to get where you are in the good places.  It just keeps raising our level.

We look at ourselves, our videos, Oh, my God, he’s good there.  Look how late he brakes there.  It just helps, you know what I mean?  Even from qualifying two to three, I looked at the data with Will, he’s better here, I need to make sure I picked up two and a half seconds doing that.

 

THE MODERATOR:  We’ll quickly introduce your Team Penske teammate, Simon Pagenaud, starting second in tomorrow’s race.  A new best start for Simon.  His previous best start was 14th in 2014, where he finished fifth.

Simon, we were talking about the strength of Team Penske.  How has that been noticeable to you as a new member of the team?

 

SIMON PAGENAUD:  What Juan said actually is very true.  There’s four of us, four really good drivers, great equipment, similar equipment.  It’s easy to look at the data and improve yourself personally in this corner if you’re not the best there.  It just makes you stronger every session.

It’s a good dynamic.  We’re having a good time actually.

 

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  Are we (laughter)?

 

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  It’s just acting.  No worry, Simon.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  It’s just the beginning.

 

SIMON PAGENAUD:  It’s good.  It’s a friendly environment, knowing that we’re all competitive.  We all want to win.  Everything’s going well for me.

Personally I’ve been very well welcomed by my teammates, by the whole team.  I feel at home.  It’s very enjoyable.

 

THE MODERATOR:  We’ll continue with questions.

 

  1. Simon, you’re starting on the front row.  So is Will Power.  When you go into turn one, it seems fairly wide.  Is there more than one line going into that turn?

SIMON PAGENAUD:  Yes.  That’s the advantage at St. Pete, you can really make the first corner side-by-side.  Usually the one that decides what is going to happen is turn two, who turns left.  Depends who is ahead at that time.  Yeah, so we’ll see.

 

  1. Do you drivers know if there are acceleration cones when you come towards the green flag?  If Will is the polesitter, sometimes when you come out of the last corner, the polesitter just goes and sometimes that leaves some people behind.  Do we have the cones set up where you can start accelerating so the field stays together?

SIMON PAGENAUD:  Yeah, there are cones that were in place actually this morning.  I believe it was for the challenge race.  We talk about it in the drivers meeting tomorrowmorning and see what Brian Barnhart wants to do.

 

THE MODERATOR:  Also joined now by Sebastien Bourdais, who qualified sixth fortomorrow’s race.  This is Sebastien’s home race.  He’s a resident of St. Petersburg and previously held the track record in qualifying in 2003.  Finished 13th last year.

Sebastien, with a strong showing in qualifying today, is it more special because this is, in a way, your home race?

 

BOURDAIS: Just really proud of the KVSH boys.  It’s one of those goes where it can go either way.  For the first time since ’03 I got out of the group and got in the Fast Six.  Okay, we got off to a good start.  Pretty proud of that.

The car was pretty good.  We started the weekend really in a hole.  It might not have shown in the lap times, but we were not happy with the car.  It was pretty rough.

So to come out and make the Fast Six, it’s a good achievement.  It’s definitely better than where we started last year.  We’ll see how we can race.

But there was definitely something in that last lap.  I got a bit greedy.  I was up a 10th and a half, I went for it, went to the escape road and probably ruined Simon’s lap.

It is what it is.  But very happy with the progress we made and looking forward totomorrow.

 

THE MODERATOR:  Other questions, please.

  1. Sebastien, hometown.  How big would a win be?

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:  Yeah, I mean, obviously it would be pretty sweet.  I don’t know.  I might have to wait a year.  Won Daytona last year.  Sebring last year.  Maybe have to wait a year.  I hope not.

Like Takuma said, it’s a bit of a Penske lockout.  Kind of feeling the best of the rest here, which in a way makes you feel good and bad.  We’re just going to have to step it up and mix it up with these guys.

I don’t know if we got what it takes to win, but we sure felt like we had something to play in qualifying.  There will be other weekends and we’ll keep on trying.

Tomorrow is a different day.  It’s one of these things where when it gets that close, the race can go either way.  It only takes one yellow to flip the whole thing around.

We’ll stay on our toes, run a clean race and go from there.

 

  1. Were any of you surprised that we didn’t get sub one minute there?  Was it just the heat of the day?  Seems like the reds should have been worth a little more than they were.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  I don’t think the track was gripping up with the rain last night.  I think the rubber would have come up.

 

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  I agree.  I believe maybe the ambient is a little bit cooler, but the track temp was a little bit higher because of the sun.  That’s probably one of the reasons.

 

  1. Helio, talk about the physicality of this package and the reds, no power steering right now.

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  The good news about here, we don’t have like very fast corners.  Even turn two and the fast chicane, they are fast, but they’re not long duration.  They’re very quick with this package and the reds.

I do feel in the race is going to be harder.  For sure is going to be difficult because as you start to go through those areas, for sure is going to become harder.  The track is going to grip up, as well.

At this point it’s not that bad.  But tomorrow, it will be tough.

 

  1. Sebastien, remind us the difference between the course now and in 2003 when you set the first track record.

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS:  Yeah, I mean, it was much more narrow.  There were no curves.  It was only walls.  Kind of what the street courses used to be.  We pushed the walls a little bit, put curves, opened the visibility of it.  In a way it’s good for safety.  In a way it’s kind of taking the street course challenge away.

But it was very different days, man.  The cars were obviously quite a bit more powerful.  The track had just been repaved.  It was very smooth, but very slick.  When I came back in ’11, I was like, Wow, that place changed a lot.  It was just different days.

You’re really only looking what you were on that given day.  That’s how you base it off.

  1. Helio and Juan, you mentioned probably the best thing that drivers do is adjust.  You had a great start.  Things are going well.  You both have a lot of accomplishments in the past.  Talk a little bit about adjusting to success.

HELIO CASTRONEVES:  I guess it depends.  If you work hard, for sure the rest of it comes natural.

But in my view, as we seen, we have three other drivers in my team.  Seeing those guys with the different ways, you just update.  Plus we love the sport.

Many times, Juan Pablo and I were talking about it, Man, this is getting more fun than ever.  That’s the way we keep ourselves going.

I feel great.  I feel that I have a chance to beat all of these guys.  That’s why we keep going.

It’s natural.  We’ve been raised in this way.  Our mind is already preparing that way.  It’s just becoming natural, I guess.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA:  Yeah, same thing for me.  We’re at a point where it’s a lot of fun to do it.  There’s no pressure to do it.  You still push yourself as hard as you can.

We still got the hunger to beat everybody, you know what I mean?  We want to be the best.  We still do.  We still can get the job done, so it’s good.

We’re really good at Indy, so it helps (laughter).

 

THE MODERATOR:  Gentlemen, thank you.  Good luck tomorrow.

We’ll continue with our post qualifying press conference.  We are now joined by our Verizon P1 pole winner, Will Power, driving for Team Penske.  He is our defending race winner and champion.  This is Will’s 37th career pole.  He is sixth on the all-time career pole list.  This is his fifth pole on the streets of St. Petersburg.  Will set a new track record of 1.6509 seconds in qualifying.

Will, you say you’re very focused on the present, but how does it help your confidence knowing you can win a championship then start a new season off right where you left off?

WILL POWER:  It’s been a really good off-season.  I think just the way the team is, the teammates, it provides a lot of motivation.  Obviously winning the championship makes it a very pleasant off-season.  You’re not sitting around wondering why you didn’t win again.

Yeah, I’m enjoying it.  I was really satisfied to get pole here today.  All the practice sessions are working towards that, literally one lap that gets you pole.  It’s a session where everyone gives it everything they’ve absolutely got.

When you get pole, it’s very satisfying.  It’s really difficult these days to do that.  You don’t see anyone getting more than three or four poles during a season now.  It’s the same for wins.  Anytime you’re at that end of an IndyCar field, it’s awesome.

 

THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Will.

  1. How much does the anticipation of a new season ramp up when you know you’re starting at a place where both you and the team have been so ‘lights out’ for a long time?

WILL POWER:  Yeah, you know, racing’s always a different story to qualifying.  Obviously we’ve had a lot of success here.  Everything’s got to fall your way on race day.  You know how it can go.  Just focus on the things you can control.  A bit of guesswork with this new body kit.  Don’t know how the tires will degrade, that type of thing.  Just have to manage the best we can.

We’re in a great position obviously as a team.  We’ve been P1 in every session so far, 1, 2, 3, 4 almost.

 

  1. When you’re already the big dog out there, they come with these aero kits, was there a fear that the edge you have you might lose?  There was a lot of uncertainty by some teams as to what actually might happen.  Was that a fear entering this season?

WILL POWER:  No.  It’s usually easier in a big team when something new happens because you can work it out faster than the smaller teams.

What was surprising is how tight it was in qualifying today between Chevy and Honda.  When you think about it, different engine, different body kit, but very similar lap times.

I was kind of worried that the competitiveness of this series wouldn’t be such this year.  But it is.  It’s right there as it was.  So, yeah, to me it’s the toughest open-wheel series in the world to compete in, and probably the best racing that fans can watch.  We just got to get it out there because I think people would love it.

 

  1. Will, how much harder are the cars to drive now?  Do you think fatigue and conditioning will become a factor tomorrow?

WILL POWER:  No, I think there’s actually lower grip than I thought.  It hasn’t been that physical because the air temperature is cool.  It’s the heat that gets you the most.

I think it will be fine.  We’ve tested at tracks with a lot of grip, really heavy steering.  All the tests we’ve done have been at tracks like that.  You come here, it becomes easier.  It’s like doing pull-ups with a 50-pound vest and taking it off.

Not really, but similar (laughter).

 

  1. The new car looks a little battle ready, to be polite.  A lot of parts and pieces hanging off.  Would you expect the racing to be like that?  Are people going to be careful to keep all that stuff on them?

WILL POWER:  I don’t know.  I think we’re good.  We just have two little rabbit ears to knock off.  Once they’re gone, great (laughter).

The Honda definitely has a lot more stuff to knock off, so they probably have to be a bit more careful.

I don’t think it’s going to change the racing.  You can still bang side to side without knocking too much crap off that’s going to make a difference anyway.

 

  1. How is the visibility following the cars?  Seems like there’s more stuff on the sides.

WILL POWER:  That is something.  Looking in the mirror is definitely more difficult.  I think they should not have allowed anything above the height of the tire.  I don’t know why they allowed all this stuff.  It wasn’t really necessary.

Yeah, it is more difficult to see, absolutely.

 

  1. Obviously there’s so much competitiveness on your team alone with four outstanding drivers, but is there a challenge that as the season goes on for, say, people like Roger and Tim Cindric to channel that intensity so it doesn’t possibly get out of control amongst the four of you?

WILL POWER:  The thing is, all four drivers have a lot of experience, have worked with a lot of different teams.  Not Helio, but everyone else.  But, you know, he’s old, so he knows how to get along with people (laughter).

But honestly, it seems as though Penske employs people with lots of experience.  That’s the case there.  So we know how to work together.  I don’t think it’s a problem.

I know when you’re younger, you’re working in a team with someone, it can be very intense, mind games, all that, but that definitely doesn’t go on at Penske.  Just very experienced guys, great work ethic.

 

  1. Will, I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to talk within the team about strategy fortomorrow’s race.  Sometimes on road courses, someone will go flat out, other drivers might be told to conserve fuel, don’t do as many pit stops.  Do you think we’ll see different strategies tomorrow?  New aero kits, fuel…

WILL POWER:  The fuel mileage might be a little different.  I think it will be the same old story.  Depends where you qualify.  You get the guys who are kind of out of the top 10 will try to catch an early yellow, pit early, go off strategy.  That’s the problem with the way the pits works.  It closes.  If you get caught out, it’s almost like having a drive-through penalty.  You have to keep that in mind.  Especially if you’re at the front, you can get absolutely hosed.  Might be better to take off into the distance.

 

THE MODERATOR:  Will, congratulations.  Good luck tomorrow.

WILL POWER:  Thank you.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

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FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG STREETS OF ST. PETERSBURG (FLORIDA) POST QUALIFYING QUOTES – BATCH ONE

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CHEVROLET INDYCAR V6 FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG STREETS OF ST. PETERSBURG (FLORIDA) POST QUALIFYING QUOTES – BATCH ONE

MARCH 28,2015

WILL POWER, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – POLE WINNER

THAT WAS TIGHT, WASN’T IT? “It was. I thought we had an extra lap. We were trying to be the last car, so we left a little late and got the checkered flag. But full credit to the team and Verizon. I’m stoked to get pole, I really am.”

TALK ABOUT THE QUALIFYING EFFORT FOR TEAM PENSKE, A 1-2-3-4. “That just shows the work we did over the winter. It’s four good drivers who will battle it outtomorrow.”

WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO STAY OUT FRONT TOMORROW?
“All the normal things. It has to be your day and it has to fall your way. We’ll talk about the race after this and see what we’ve got.”

SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED SECOND
YOUR CAR SEEMS AWFULLY FAST.
“It’s very fast. I’m super happy to be honest. It’s incredible to start this way with Team Penske. We have a lot of pace. The car is fantastic. Thanks to everyone for searching and developing so much. The 22 crew is brand new and is doing a great job. It’s fantastic to be a part of the Penske family. I’m really proud. Today was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed qualifying.”

TONY KANAAN, NO. 10 NTT DATA CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED SEVENTH
WHAT HAPPENED NEAR THE END OF THE SECOND QUALIFYING ROUND?
“It was a blocking situation between a couple of guys. It’s tough. Everyone is out there, and you see how close this qualifying is. Nobody blocks each other on purpose. Sometimes you try to create a gap, sometimes you try to cool off your tires. It’s a great effort from us. We missed it by half-a-tenth, so it should be an exciting race for the fans tomorrow.
“Scott (Dixon) got blocked by Simon (Pagenaud), so basically it was a chain reaction. It is what it is. Sometimes it happens to you, and sometimes you do it to other people.”

DO YOU FEEL PRETTY GOOD ABOUT THINGS? “I think we are decent. We improved a lot from this morning, but I still think we have a little bit of work to do. We don’t have warmup until noon tomorrow so we have a lot of time to think about what we’re going to do. Hopefully we’ll charge to the front tomorrow and give these fans a pretty good run in the race.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 HARTMAN OIL CFH RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 10TH
ARE YOU PLEASED WITH THAT?
“I’m relatively happy. You’re in the front end of the grid. There are 24 cars, so starting in the top-10 is strong around this place. This is generally a very difficult place on tires, so the further up you start, it’s always better. We’re going to have to look after them better tomorrow. I think we’re kind of burning off our rears a little too quick. So in the morning warmup we’ll have to maximize that and make our tires live. It’s such a long race, and you have to be able to make them live. If you don’t people keep sneaking up behind you out of the hairpin and you get dive-bombed going into Turn One. I think that’s what we’re working on to maximize fortomorrow. As far as today, we struggled in the practice earlier and I think we made a huge leap forward. Now we’re in the top-10 and we have to work our way a little bit more, try to get into the top-five and challenge the guys up front.”

SAGE KARAM, NO. 8 GE LED CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 18TH
ARE YOU SATISFIED?:
“It’s pretty frustrating. That was the expectation for me – to go to the next round. It’s a good car. It’s the first time I’ve driven on red (tires). So it’s a learning experience for me. Every lap, I felt like I was getting better and better, and I was starting to brake later and later. I was starting to loose the tire a little bit. I think that’s one of the things the rookies are going to face here this weekend is that we’ve never driven red tires. We have to learn them. We’re going to go to the next race and have a better understanding for it and be able to qualify better. The GE LED car for Chip Ganassi Racing is a pretty good car now. I think we have a good race car and can race our way to the front.”

LUCA FILIPPI, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA CFH RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 19TH: The lap times were very close and I felt good in the car, especially the last few laps. I thought we were doing quite well, but actually the times were so tight I missed the first cut and did not make it to Round 2. We ran the first few laps on used tires and I didn’t have a good read on the condition. Tomorrow is a long race, we’ll think about the strategy and try to get the best out of it. I think we will be strong for the longer run

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