Storied Venue to Host Close Championship Battle and Round Two of 2013 Fuzzy’s Triple Crown
LONG POND, Penn. (July 3, 2013) – As the second half of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season kicks into high gear, the Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers and teams prepare for a trip to the Pocono Mountains to take on the ‘Tricky Triangle’ known as Pocono Raceway.
Although none of the current Chevrolet IndyCar Twin Turbo V6-powered drivers have ever competed on the 2.5-mile three-turn track, it is not the first time that Indy cars have raced at the unique facility; having competed at the storied venue from 1971 to 1989. This year the IZOD IndyCar Series brings back the sights and sounds of Indy car racing with high stakes on the line, and a few twists thrown in for fans to enjoy.
Not only is there a close championship battle being waged that has Team Chevy drivers occupying the top-five positions in the order led by Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves, but once again the track will play host to one of the legs of the prestigious Triple Crown.
With nine races remaining in the season, Castroneves leads the standings with Andretti Autosports teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe close behind. Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan sits in fifth position, still within striking distance of the championship lead.
Back in the day, the Triple Crown contests included 500-mile races at Indianapolis, Pocono and Ontario, Calif. from 1971 to 1980, and from 1981 to 1989 at Indy, Pocono and Michigan. This season the three-race challenge returns with 1 million dollars up for grabs for the driver that can take home all three victories at Indy, Pocono and California (Auto Club Speedway). Chevrolet driver Kanaan is the only driver who can complete the trifecta after the popular Brazilian-born driver took his No. 11 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Victory Lane in May, 2013 to claim his first Indy 500 win.
“Team Chevy rolls into the Pocono Mountains this weekend for the return of IndyCar racing on ‘The Tricky Triangle’,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series. “The learning curve will be steep, but our technical partners, teams and drivers have been doing their homework in advance to get acclimated to this unique circuit which blends very fast speedway characteristics with three unique turns that require individual technique to get through quickest. We hope to carry the momentum of the previous weeks into Pocono Raceway and continue the quest for the championships by focusing on each race as a must win situation. The Chevrolet IndyCar Twin Turbo V6 is ready to do battle and put our Chevy drivers in a position to win at this special venue.”
This week the IZOD IndyCar Series announced another competitive element to put more excitement in the mix. Not only did the famous Indianapolis 500 start three abreast, but this weekend’s race at Pocono and the third leg of the Triple Crown at Auto Club Speedway will also start in the famed three-wide formation.
Before heading to their seats for all of the on-track action, fans can stop at the Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Fest area at Pocono Raceway. In addition to registering for a free Chevy IndyCar t-shirt, posing for a photo in the display, interactive games for fans of all ages; fans can see several of the great vehicles from the Chevrolet line-up including Malibu, Impala, Sonic RS, Traverse, Camaro ZL1 Convertible, Volt, Spark and the all-new 2014 Silverado. The display will be open Saturday, July 6th: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., and Sunday, July 7th: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
In addition, fans can see live on-stage several Team Chevy IndyCar drivers including Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and E.J. Viso on Saturday at 3:00 PM followed by Tony Kanaan at 4:40 PM and on Sunday Ed Carpenter will be in the display at 9:45 AM.
The 160 lap/400 mile challenge is scheduled for Sunday, July 7th at the three-turn Pocono Raceway. The race will be televised live at 12:00 p.m. (ET) ABC and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network, including on Sirius and XM Channels 211, www.indycar.com and the INDYCAR 13 App for most smartphones and tablets.
CHEVROLET IN THE IZOD INDYCAR SERIES – FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, POINTS LEADER (ONE 2013 WIN):
“I always like going to new tracks and I’m really looking forward to racing at Pocono this weekend. The track has so much history and it’s great that IndyCar is back at Pocono. We’re also back racing the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet this weekend and we learned a few things in the test at Pocono last week and we’ll get a chance to learn even more Thursday at the series open test. We need to make sure we keep the lead in the championship coming out of this weekend and we’re happy we have a guy like Rick Mears, who’s had so much success at Pocono in the past, in our corner. With the long straightaway and the unique three corners at Pocono, it’s going to be an awesome race for the fans to watch on Sunday.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, 2nd IN STANDINGS (TWO 2013 WINS):
“Racing 400 miles at Pocono will be a new challenge for every team and driver in the series, which really makes things interesting. No one really knows what to expect. We have a different tire compound and downforce package compared to what we tested last week, so I’m not quite sure what we’ll have to deal with this weekend. It’s a clean sheet of paper for everyone and I think that bodes well for the No. 1 DHL team.
“Looking ahead we have an exciting week and a half coming up with the Pocono race, Turbo movie premier in New York (City), Toronto race week and then the ESPY awards in LA. I want to thank all the fans, DHL, Sun Drop and Chevy for their votes and support.”
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, 3rd IN STANDINGS:
“The last three races have been strong for the RC Cola Chevy, but we maybe gave up a couple of wins when it came down to it. Pocono is basically my home town, so it would be an awesome place to close the gap to the points lead. I think we can have the car to do it – we just need to execute.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, 4th IN STANDINGS (THREE 2013 WINS):
“Everybody is really excited to get to Pocono. First of all, there’s a lot of history there and we love going to tracks with history. Secondly, it’s a new challenge for everyone and I think every team believes that they will be the ones to get the jump on the field at a new venue. Of course, only one of us can be right! But the test went well, I think the racing is going to be just like Indy, and in case you missed it that race was nuts! We’ve had good momentum on the GoDaddy Chevy the last three weeks, obviously capped off with the Iowa win last race. The big thing for us is to keep that trend going, not only to keep us in the title fight but also to have the confidence high heading into Toronto!”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 SUNOCO “TURBO” KV RACING TECHNOLOGY – SH RACING CHEVROLET, 5th IN STANDINGS (ONE 2013 WIN):
“Pocono will be the third of four races (Mid-Ohio fourth) I will run in the Sunoco “Turbo” car and after the success we have had in the first two with them, finishing on the podium at both Texas and Iowa, I really want to keep that momentum going at Pocono and hopefully do even better. You know, this is also the second leg of the Fuzzy’s Triple Crown and because of the Indy 500 win I am the only driver with a chance to win all three events (Fontana third). I have never raced at Pocono Raceway, but we know we had a good car at Indy and had a good test at Pocono a few days ago.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 10th IN STANDINGS:
e had a good test with the Verizon car at Pocono last week and we look forward to getting some more time on track this week before the race on Sunday. Pocono is a pretty interesting track with the tri-oval and the unique and separate corners. You have to make some decisions on how you set up the car and how it handles through the three turns. It will be good to spend the day running the Verizon Chevrolet at the IndyCar open test on Thursday so we look at all of our options heading into race weekend. Hopefully we’ll get a good crowd this weekend because I know we’ll put on a good show over the 400 miles of racing on Sunday.”
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET, 11th IN STANDINGS:
“Heading back to a 2.5-mile oval, it’s something that I can see is going to be good. With the pace we had during the (Indianapolis) 500 – it was awesome; going back to a long track is going to work in our favor. Two weeks ago at Iowa, practice wasn’t the best for me as we experienced some issues with the engine, but I have a lot of confidence in the Chevrolet team and that they already have my engine back up to speed. I can’t wait to have another weekend, and Pocono, I think, is going to be an amazing race.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA/ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, 13th IN STANDINGS:
“A lot of NASCAR tracks don’t seem like they would make a good IndyCar track, but that’s not the case at Pocono. I am really happy that Brandon and Nick (Igdalsky) worked out a deal with IndyCar to get us back there. I would like to see the schedule be a little more balanced, say 50-50 (ovals, road and street courses), and I think the series would like to see that too. But, it is a matter of finding more good partners like what we have found here at Pocono to put them (ovals) on the schedule. We can’t just add them if they are not going to be quality races and not promoted properly. I think you’ll see the number grow, but it’s not going to happen overnight. Turn 1 is the really tricky part of the lap and that’s the hard corner to get right without messing up the other two. The challenge of doing something new. Everybody came here with a set-up on the car that we thought that would work, but, with having no experience here and being how unique the track is, you are just guessing on the car. We don’t go to too many new tracks, so it’s fun trying to figure out what the car needs. Every corner offers a different challenges, especially Turn 1. It’s a beast! It’s a monster of a corner.”
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, 18th IN STANDINGS:
“I’m pretty excited to be going to Pocono. It’s a brand new track for everybody and it should be a lot of fun driving there. We tested there last week which was good. I’m sure the Chevy power is going to show really strong at this track and the team has been working really hard, so hopefully we’ll have a good result.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, 21st IN STANDINGS:
“I am really looking forward to running at Pocono this weekend. It’s a really different oval and I am up for the challenge. We have had a tough season so far, so I am looking to get back up front this week.”
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, 23rd IN STANDINGS:
RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, 28th IN STANDINGS:
“It will be a busy weekend between racing the National Guard Chevrolet at Pocono and the Level 5 car at Lime Rock. It’s great that Panther is giving me the opportunity to race at Pocono even though I won’t be here Saturday for practice and qualifying. Fortunately, I will be able to prepare the car for the race and it was a big bonus having the test day last week and then the open test on Thursday to get as much track time as possible. Last week we spent our time working on our race prep and we worked hard on trying to find something that will get us through the field during the race on Sunday. Pocono’s a big track and it’s a long 400-mile race, so we feel plenty confident even having to start in the back. I know the National Guard crew will work hard, and with all the track time we’ll have on Thursday, we can get to the front.”