Chevy Racing–Inydcar–St. Pete–Post Race

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET:, RACE WINNER:  ON HIS WIN: “Man, I’m mentally tired. That was physical and hard, but pretty stoked to get the first win for Verizon as the series sponsor with the Verizon car. It’s a great day, a great stop there when we all pitted at the same time, the boys got me out there. Really happy with that and we executed well.”
ON 2ND TO LAST RESTART: “They threw the green early, I thought we were meant to go in that zone. So that was – I was surprised. I don’t really know what happened behind me, what happened? I left it a little, I didn’t touch the brake at all. They can look at my data, I did not touch the brake. I worked so hard in the offseason. We came into the season wanting to win a championship for Roger, and the way it went down last year was really disappointing for Helio not to win. Between the three of us – Juan, Helio and myself- we’ve been working really hard to get the car right. The field is so tight that I’m just happy we had a good race car today. Didn’t quite have the pace in qualifying. That’s how you want to start the season. Last year was horrible, and this year it’s good to get a points lead.”
ROGER PENSKE, OWNER TEAM PENSKE:  “It was just a great run by Team Penske. Obviously, Will (Power) had the car under control all day and Helio. Great to see Chevrolet come in 1-3. Also for Verizon, who just took over as series sponsor. It couldn’t be a better day.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: “What a race! I was having such a great time. We knew exactly what we needed (during the warmup). That’s why the warmup is great to try new things that maybe will work. At the end of the day, I knew what I needed to do. I was just pushing all the way along. Toward the end, my used red tires were a little difficult.”
THOUGHTS ON THE RESTART: “It was a little strange on the restart. I’ll have to review that. He was being very tricky, for sure. I understand that it was too slow on the first one and on the second one he was playing a little bit. I got hung out to dry and (Ryan) Hunter-Reay took advantage of it. They had a little better tires as well. As I kept pushing, the tires were going away. But all the way, it’s a great, great start to the season. I love it.”
START TO THE SEASON: “As soon as we had a moment back there in one of the corners, I said, ‘RP, I don’t think we’re going to go anywhere.’ He told me to just bring it home. It was at the limit. But at the end of the team, great job Team Penske.”
SCOTT DIXON, NO. 9 TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4TH: “Overall we had a good race.  Historically we haven’t had the best start to the season here at St. Pete.  But the crowd was great and I’m really impressed with the turnout today here.  It’s such a great event here.  We had a lot of fun and the Target team bringing two cars home without any damage to start off our year is a small win.  We’re looking forward to improving and heading to Long Beach in a few weeks.”
TONY KANAAN, NO.10 TARGET CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH:  “I need to thank the Target team really.  Everyone was so close out there it was all about track position.  Then we caught on our out lap and lost a position on track as well.  The No. 28 almost put us in the wall after that and overall I think we lost maybe half a second and that equates to two positions out there. I think we had a car to finish in the top five and we finished sixth.  Not the start we wanted, but we’ll take it.”
FINISHED 10TH: “It was a pretty tough race just with the tires and our balance wasn’t quite where we needed it to be. Then I didn’t help the situation either running into the back of Montoya exiting the pits and damaging our front wing.  We ran about three fourths of the race with a broken front wing, which really didn’t help us at all.  Despite the issues we faced today though, we were able to hang in there and get a top 10 result to start the season off.  We’re looking forward to even better results with the No. 8 NTT DATA Chevrolet moving forward.”
“I am happy with how the first race of the season went. Unfortunately we didn’t have the pace at the end but after where we started at the weekend, I am pleased with the 11th position points in the bank. At the end it was a survival race. We had a strong stint on the reds, the blacks were not very quick and that really caused us to drop places and that last stint was a big battle to the end. I’m very proud of my KV AFS boys, everybody did an amazing job in the pits. We just need to keep focusing and prepare for Long Beach in a couple of weeks time.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: NO. 11 TEAM HYDROXYCUT – KVSH RACING CHEVROLT, FINISHED 13TH:  “It was a tough race. Guys from back of the grid ruined the start of the race and I lost four positions on the first lap. I also bumped into Juan Pablo Montoya when the field checked up in turn eight. I ended up having to pit to replace my front wing on lap 12, which was very early and forced me to save a lot of fuel for the entire race. Despite all that, we were going to have a really good result because we had a rocket ship for a car. Then just as I was going to make my third stop the track went yellow, so I had to stay out. When I finally pitted I was out of fuel and the car stalled, but we were still in a good position and I knew I had a fast car. Then I was penalized for not packing up fast enough, which was pretty rough because I was packed up before the pits opened and no one was harmed. That really set us back, but we kept digging.  It was such a valiant effort by the whole team and to finish where we started is very frustrating. I really feel bad for the guys because they worked so hard and for all our sponsors who came to the race and supported us. The only positive note is that we have a fast car so our time will come.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 2 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 15TH:  “I think it went pretty good.  We were just burning up the rear tires with the setup that we decided to run.  It was just a little too aggressive.  You know, we will learn and pass some people and some people passed us.  There are a few things we have to do better but I didn’t feel my pace was too bad there at the end.  I was keeping up with everybody and it was good.
How does it feel to be back in open wheel:
Fun!  It’s going to be a lot of work but I am very excited.
MIKE CONWAY, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 16TH:  “As the day went on, we steadily moved up and we got to third.  I think we had a different strategy from other people.  We made some big gains on the red Firestone tires drove by many people today.  So that was very positive.  I wasn’t really hoping for a safety car there around lap 80.  I was hoping to hold the gap when we went to the black tires.  I didn’t hear a radio communication to come into the pits then.   I thought the safety car waved me by but they were waving (James) Hinchcliffe by instead.  I don’t know if there was a communication problem there too.  I didn’t know if they waving at me or both of us.  Then they said it was only for Hinch.  And that was it.  It screwed up our whole day.   Then on the restart, there was a big pile up.  With the single file restarts, you can’t see around the big rear wings because you can’t pull out to pass before the green flag.  And we can’t see
the green flag with these rear wings and we bunched up single file.  So we have to rethink that area I believe.  We have to be able to see around the other cars.  It definitely needs to be looked at in the future.”  
CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 83 NOVOLOG FLEXPEN CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20TH : “It was encouraging that we had that much pace in car but it was obviously disappointing that we had some mechanical issues early in the race.  We lost quite a bit of ground dealing with those issues.  Overall though the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen crew really fought hard today and had some really clean pit stops.  I have complete faith in the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew and the Chevrolet team that they’ll figure out the issue we faced today and get us ready to have a great race in Long Beach.”