CHEVROLET RACING IN THE VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
101ST RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DAY 4 PRACTICE RECAP
MAY 18, 2017
Hot laps by Chevrolet drivers on the fourth day of practice for the 101st Indianapolis 500 reflected the warmest day of 2017 in metro Indianapolis.
Thirty-three entries, including 1996 Indy 500 winner Buddy Lazier, recorded 2,362 total laps on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval as the ambient temperature reached 89 degrees with a mid-afternoon high track temperature of 129 degrees. Lazier made his month of May debut, logging one installation lap in the No. 44 Lazier Racing Chevrolet.
Josef Newgarden was the quickest Chevrolet driver with a lap of 225.455 mph/39.9193 seconds on Lap 11 – his best of 106 total laps — but on his 36th lap the No. 2 hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet spun in Turn 1 and made left-front contact with the SAFER Barrier. Newgarden, winner of the Verizon IndyCar Series race four weeks ago at Barber Motorsports Park, was checked at the infield care center and cleared to drive.
Sage Karam, No. 24 DRR Mecum Auctions Chevrolet, also was in the top 10 on the speed chart as many drivers continued to fine-tune the set-up of their Chevrolet race cars for qualifications this weekend, while others worked on aerodynamic balance for the 200-lap/500-mile race. Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves logged more than half a race with a field-high 117 laps in the No. 3 Shell Fuel Rewards Team Penske Chevrolet.
All 33 entries will receive a turbo boost for “Fast Friday” that will carry over to Saturday and Sunday, the two-day of qualifying process for the Indianapolis 500. Chevy teams will maximize all available practice time on Friday to fine-tune the car set-up to reach the optimum handling in combination with the extra boost granted the twin-turbocharged V6, 2.2-liter Chevrolet engines.
Practice will resume Friday, May 19, at noon ET and run to 6 p.m., weather permitting. Isolated thunderstorms are forecast. It will be streamed live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com. ABC will telecast qualifications live from 4-6 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday. The 200-lap race will be telecast live on ABC at noon ET May 28.
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER QUOTES:
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HUM BY VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “I’m fine. Tough break for us in the (No.) 2 car with Team Penske. It’s obviously not something you want to do, especially on a day like today – a pretty nice day out, no big issues. I’m disappointed that we ran into a problem. I just got called into the pits, so I was coming in and I didn’t want to check up too much for the guys behind me and cause a problem. It just seemed to get away from me. Until I get to look at everything, I’m not 100 percent sure what caused it. We were having a really good day. We had a good run up until that, so again I’m not sure what went on. It was probably my mistake, but until I get to look at everything it’s hard to tell. I feel bad for our guys that we’ve got extra work.”
SAGE KARAM, NO. 24 DRR MECUM AUCTIONS CHEVROLET: “Pretty solid day. Made a lot of progress on the race car today, which was the main objective. P6 is great. We’re not too concerned with the lap times as we’re more concerned about how the car feels. The car feels good and I think I can pass anyone really. I feel good overall. We did some qualifying stuff at the end of the day. Trimming out at Indy is always sketchy. But we have to do that to qualify better this year, which is what we have to do. We made some aggressive steps today and we get the boost tomorrow, which helps. It’ll be interesting to see how tomorrow plays out.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “We got a lot of things done with the Verizon Chevy today. We collected a ton of great data and we’ll compare that to what our teammates were able to get. That’s one of the true strengths of this team is the amount of information available. Then we just have to figure out how that relates to what we’re doing and where we want to go. We’ll be able to do that this evening and tomorrow morning to see what tomorrow brings.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 22 FITZGERALD GLIDER KITS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “I think it’s coming together for the Fitzgerald Glider Kits Chevrolet. This team doesn’t have the advantage of working as group for any amount of time. We’re still getting used to one another to some degree. We didn’t throw a lot of laps out there, but we got some quality work done. I feel good about where we are. Hopefully, we can get some more done tomorrow and the weather will give us a little help over the weekend.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 SHELL FUEL REWADS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “The Shell Fuel Rewards Chevrolet felt pretty good today. We were able to turn a ton of laps today after not being able to get any track time yesterday with the conditions. Today, we had a good chance to continue down our checklist and experiment with a few things. We’ll just keep worrying about our program and moving forward and not spend time and effort wondering what others are or aren’t doing.”
CARLOS MUNOZ, NO. 14 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET: “Another day of trying different stuff. It was a day with ups and downs. If I’m honest, sometimes we work so much that it feels different. So, yeah, now we have to go back to tomorrow with a qualifying mentality. Let’s see how it goes. That’s our main goal. It was a good day. A little bit short from my point of view. It is what it is and hopefully we’ll have an OK car for the race.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: “It was a challenging day, but you can have days like that around IMS. We’ve made a lot of progress the last couple of days and our qualifying sims have been good. Looking forward to the weekend and hopefully finishing running through our planned program tomorrow.”
JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 21 PERFERRED FREEZER SERVICES ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: “It was a little bit of a challenge out there today. I felt pretty good with the qualifying running we did, but we are definitely still working on the car and have things yet to try. Tomorrow, we shift our focus to doing qualifying running and see what tomorrow shakes out. Hopefully the weather holds up for tomorrow and the weekend and we can see what type of speed these ECR cars have.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 1 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “We’re pretty happy with the Menards Chevy especially in that last run. There were a lot of cars out there and we got a good feel of what we can do in dirty air. It really was pretty good. Everyone has been working really hard. The Chevrolet guys are giving us all they have and that’s generally quite a bit. Tomorrow should be really fun with a little boost. But, overall, we’re in a good place.”
CONOR DALY, NO. 4 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET: “It was still windy today, too, which I thought was funny because everyone was like ‘No, no we can’t run’ yesterday’ and I was like ‘why not? Let’s run,’ and today was pretty much the same and everyone was out there, so tough conditions still, but you know it could be like that on qualifying and race day so all the information is very important. I’m definitely not happy where we are yet, but it’s been a long week, a long learning process for us in this Chevrolet aero kit, but we’ve got Fast Friday tomorrow and still have some days on track so one change could easily put us right where we need to be.”
ZACH VEACH, NO. 40 INDY WOMEN IN TECH CHAMPIONSHIP AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET: “Pretty tough day overall, just still not much track time. We just kept making some changes, getting the car ready for race day. Had a few little gremlins come out there at the end that the crew is working extremely hard to fix so want to thank everyone here at A.J. Foyt for working as hard as they can to make sure everything is ready for tomorrow. Still, just extremely happy to be here in the IWIT Champ car making great progress every time out. It’s just that that’s the way Indy is – sometimes it doesn’t go your way. We’re just going to keep working overnight and tomorrow will be a better day for all of us.”
GABBY CHAVES, NO. 88 HARDING RACING CHEVROLET: “It wasn’t as great of a day as we were looking for but we accomplished a lot of work, a lot of items that we needed to go through. We did that and we’ve got some more data now. We’ll be able to use this information to improve the No. 88 Harding Racing car and go from here.”
SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 11 JUNCOS RACING CHEVROLET: “Yeah, it was nice to get some more running in today after yesterday when we didn’t do any. It was good to get as many laps in today as we did.in different aero configurations, but we still have some things to work on. Specifically, just getting the gear ratios right is going to be very important to be able to suck up in the draft and pass people. So we’ll study up on that and see what we where we can improve. Overall, a good day and thanks to the guys for all their hard work. We’re looking forward to getting into qualifying mode tomorrow.”
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 17 AFS JUNCOS RACING CHEVROLET: “Today was a rough day for the No. 17 AFS/Juncos Racing car. Losing yesterday, we tried to cramp as much as we could into today’s practice. Unfortunately, we didn’t find the speed that we were expecting to be honest. That has put us in a positon to have to start looking in a different direction tomorrow. I have a lot of faith in the whole AFS/Juncos Racing organization and I’m very interested in the new concept stuff we are going to be developing for tomorrow. Really, out there, you need to have a good race car. Forget about a good qualifying car. That’s kind of where we’re at right now. I’m very proud of the team. They have done a good job in the short time they had to put everything together. We still have a long week ahead of us and it is important we maintain a good mentality. Everybody here is working very hard to put both of the cars out there and I am looking forward to a solid test day tomorrow. Especially with the big changes that we’re going to make overnight.”
BUDDY LAZIER, NO. 44 LAZIER RACING CHEVROLET: “Obviously, it’s a late start but our program came together late. We had a lot of stuff missing off our race car when it came out of winter storage. Having all of that against us, we’re in pretty good shape to have a good race car. There’s no sense trying to go out to be on pole because we missed half the week, but there is plenty of time to have a really strong race car.”