CHEVROLET RACING IN THE VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
STREETS OF LONG BEACH
TEAM CHEVY RACE RECAP WITH POST RACE TRANSCRIPT
APRIL 15, 2018
Will Power puts Chevrolet on Podium with Runner-up Finish in Long Beach Grand Prix
LONG BEACH, Calif (April 15, 2018) – Will Power capitalized on his front row starting position and scored a strong runner-up finish in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series (VICS) champion was credited with leading once for six laps in his No.12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.
Defending VICS champ Josef Newgarden was seventh at the finish behind the wheel of the No, 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Newgarden led three of 85 laps in today’s race, contested on the 1.968-mile, 11 turn temporary street circuit. He currently sits second in the standings with three of the 17-race schedule in the record books.
Tony Kanaan, No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet, finished 8th. It is the second strong top-10 finish for the 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner in his inaugural season driving for Foyt.
Charlie Kimball brought home the first top-10 finish for Carlin in its first full-time season in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Driving the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet for Carlin, Kimball started 23 and finished 10th, his best finish at Long Beach in eight starts.
2016 Series’ champion Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 DXC Technologies Team Penske Chevrolet started third, but his race ended halfway through Turn 1 of Lap 1 when he was hit from behind, and unable to continue. He was scored in the 24th finishing position.
The remaining drivers of the Chevrolet 2.2 liter V6 twin turbo direct injected powered cars finished as follows:
Matheus Leist, No, 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet – 14th
Spencer Pigot, No. 21 Preferred Freezer Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet – 15th
Kyle Kaiser, No. 32 Juncos Racing Chevrolet – 16th
Max Chilton, No, 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet – 17th
Jordan King, No, 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet – 18th
Gabby Chaves, No. 88 Harding Group Harding Racing Chevrolet – 19th
Alexander Rossi (Honda) was the race winner, and Ed Jones (Honda) completed the podium.
Next on the schedule is the Honda Indy Grand Prix at Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Alabama on April 22, 2018.
IndyCar Media Conference
Sunday April 15, 2018
THE MODERATOR: We will go ahead and get started with our Verizon IndyCar Series post-race press conference. Pleased to be joined by our second-place finisher Will Power. Will Power is driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet for Team Penske, finished second in today’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Podium No. 63 for Will Power in his career. Will, we noticed towards the end of the race, you did have a lot of Push-to-Pass left. Did you think you might have a shot to overtake and get the win?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I did. I mean, I needed to get close enough to him to make him use his, but I just stayed at that one-second gap, just kind of couldn’t make time on him enough to use it up. But yeah, it’s like qualifying every lap for both of us there at the end. At the end of the day, I mean, Rossi was just too fast all day. Just really good. Yeah, that’s pretty much all we had.
Q. How much did the weather play an impact in the car with the clouds coming in that weren’t there at any other point this weekend?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, track temp just helps this car because it gets its downforce from the floor, so any time the track temp goes down, you get more grip and less degradation, so yeah, that certainly helped a bit of that. There wasn’t that much degradation as we thought. If it had been a hot, sunny day, I think it would have been a little bit hotter, but yeah, it’s kind of hard to tell because we were all running full tanks and everything.
Q. Will, we talked about the tires; how much did fuel consumption figure into the pit stop strategy along with not so many yellows, I guess?
WILL POWER: Yeah, we got that yellow at the beginning of the race, which kind of really helped get to that number we needed to. I mean, we were saving fuel pretty much the whole first stint. But kind of after that, it was reasonably easy where the yellows fell to get that number on two stops. So yeah, we caught that last yellow perfect, or the yellow that came before the last stop, well, just after my last stop. It kind of caught Dixon out. But yeah, that’s the problem with pits closed, you can just totally ruin someone’s day who’s done a good job.
Q. Guys, Long Beach has traditionally been sort of a springboard. Even though it’s a road and street course, it’s sort of been a springboard going into Indianapolis. Do you feel like that this year?
WILL POWER: Yeah, well, looking at the crowd, it’s pretty impressive. A lot of people here. If you look at the series and everything as a whole, it’s at a great level as far as teams and drivers go, and it’s on the upward slope.
But yeah, it’s just a cool, historic race, and you would say it’s second to Indianapolis as far as wanting to win.
Q. Will, you’ve been in the series a long time now. Is this the most talented field that you’ve ever had to race against?
WILL POWER: Yes, I would say right now is the most competitive, talented group of drivers that the series has seen. When you look at how Rossi has come on and the rookies that are here this year, guys like Wickens and so on, it just gets harder. It gets harder and harder, and the common body kit I think was a really, really good idea. Yeah, great, great, honestly. To win and be on pole these days, you’ve just got to get it so right.
Q. The new car, the new downforce, the new aero package, is this an easier car to drive, or is it more driver, and you like being able to do the driving?
WILL POWER: It’s definitely more driver input. You’re just sliding — you slide around a lot more.
Physically, you know, not quite as physically as hard, but you’re just on the wheel so much more. I mean, you’re brushing the wall all the time because it’s just sliding a lot more. Way, way better. Enjoy this car the most. I can’t tell you — I think since Champ Car, honestly. That’s kind of what it reminds me of. Yeah, we’ve been talking about taking downforce out, and they’ve done it. I think when you think about the short oval when we raced at Phoenix, you’re actually braking there, and we haven’t braked in an oval for about — probably since CART days. Yeah, it’s exactly the right direction. You can follow closer, and it’s more about the driver.
Q. Will, you’ve had weekends in your career where you didn’t turn a wheel wrong all weekend. Alex had that weekend this weekend. What’s it like when a driver is just able to have a perfect weekend?
WILL POWER: Yeah, that’s a great feeling when you have one of those weekends. If I remember last year, I had one of these weekends going at Barber, quickest in every session, pole, leading all but the last 15 laps, and we got a flat tire. But yeah, that’s pretty — it’s great when you just dominate the weekend, don’t get caught out by a yellow. Yeah, when you look at what Rossi did this weekend, man, really, really, really strong. I think he’s going to be tough to beat in the championship. He’s definitely what I’d call a stand-out of the field right now in every respect. I mean, even when we saw him at Phoenix on the oval, as well. Yeah, you’ll have to beat him, I think.