Chevy Racing–INDYCAR–Indianapolis 500–Day 3 Practice

MAY 17, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS (May 17, 2018) – Chevrolet teams and drivers prepared for “Fast Friday” with a full day of working through test programs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

All 16 Chevy Racing drivers logged laps during the seven hours of available track time that was briefly interrupted with 20 minutes left when the No. 66 Salesforce DRR Chevrolet driven by JR Hildebrand make light right-side contact with the SAFER Barrier between Turns 3 and 4. He was checked at the infield medical center and cleared to drive.

Thirty-five drivers recorded 2,771 laps.

Chevrolet drivers occupied three of the top five no tow lap times — indicative of the trailing race car not being pulled by the vacuum of the lead car – topped by Will Power in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet at 40.1837 seconds/223.971 mph.

Tony Kanaan, who had the best no tow lap of the 35 competitors the previous day in the No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Chevrolet, was second overall on the time chart at 39.8414 seconds/225.896 mph.
Speeds will climb May 18 as the boost level is increased TO 1.4 bar on the twin turbocharger of the Chevrolet 2.2-liter V6 direct-injected engine in preparation for qualifications May 19-20 that will set the 33-car starting field. The change in pressure adds about 40 horsepower to the engine.

ABC will telecast qualifications live at 4 p.m. ET May 19 and May 20. The 200-lap race will be telecast live on ABC at noon ET May 27.

MAY 17, 2018

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 1 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “Interesting day with a lot going on. We did qualifying work. We did race work. Hopefully we can get some time out tomorrow, but it looks like the weather forecast is not so good so we tried to get most of our qualifying work done today. We’ll see what the weekend holds, but we still need a little work in race conditions. That’s what we were chasing at the end of the day. I think Team Chevy has done a great job. The car seemed quick. We just need to get a little more out of it in race trim.”


MATHUES LEIST, NO. 4 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET: “I felt like today was pretty good. We established a pretty solid base line on track today. I’m pretty happy with the car balance. I think that we have a great set up for the race and qualifying this weekend. I’m looking forward to the rest of the month. I believe that we have great potential at this track. Can’t wait to see how Fast Friday goes tomorrow.”

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET: “We learned a lot today. We did a lot of qualifying work today because it might rain tomorrow, so I feel like we are in a good place for that. Still working on the race set-up. It’s been a busy day, busy week.”

DANICA PATRICK, NO. 13 GODADDY ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: “Today definitely didn’t go as well as we’d hoped for the GoDaddy team. The changes we made seemed to help a little bit in traffic, but it just felt worse alone and I had a lot more understeer. We’ll regroup tonight and come back tomorrow focused on trying to find more speed before qualifying.”

TONY KANAAN, NO. 14 ABC SUPPLY AJ FFOYT RACING CHEVROLET: “It’s been a good week for us. We unloaded pretty quick since the test. Now it’s more about trying to figure out what you’re going to need in 10 days, and it’s quite hard to know what the weather is going to do, so we’re trying to run in any type of weather. We’re recording everything on the books and have all that information for next week, so by Carb Day you can try to predict what can happen on Sunday and what the set-up you need. Tomorrow it’s ‘Fast Friday’ and you worry about four laps the first day (of qualifications) and four laps the next day. From tomorrow on, you’ll be making the car as fast as you can for qualifying.”

ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: “It was a busy day, but we got a lot done. In some ways, we got better, in other ways, we didn’t – it was a tough day! Track temperatures were probably the highest they’ve been all month and it was a little windier again, so that gave us more to work on. The car has good speed in it, it’s just a matter of getting it right for whatever the conditions are at that point in time. It’s funny, we were fourth on the board tonight and yesterday we were eighth, but I would say yesterday was a better day overall. It just goes to show it’s hard to make much of the timing and scoring on days like this. The day was productive, nonetheless. We tested a lot of things and we need to really dig through everything we’ve done and get reorganized for tomorrow.”

SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 21 PREFERRED FREEZER SERVICES ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET: “Track conditions were a lot more difficult today. We still got in some good work to get ready for tomorrow and also for qualifying. We still have to find some improvements for running in traffic. Overall, I feel like we’re in a good place and we’re moving forward every day. I’m just happy to be out at the Speedway and I’m really enjoying it. Every day, we are making gains!”


CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 23 FIASP CARLIN CHEVROLET: “It was a good day for the team. We were laser-focused today on qualifying setup and making sure that we were prepared for Saturday and Sunday in case the weather throws off practice tomorrow. We focused a little on race setup yesterday, but we’ve made single car pace our priority for the majority of the week. Hopefully the weather is okay tomorrow and we can see what we really have for qualifying in terms of pace for the No. 23 Fiasp Chevrolet.”

SAGE KARAM, NO. 24 WIX FILTERS DRR CHEVROLET: “P5 today which is good. A lot of guys were out there running qualifying sims and we didn’t do that today. We really focused on the race car setup again. We struggled a little at first but we made great changes at lunch time. We came back out and the car felt much better. We were able to mix it up with a lot of people out there. Tomorrow is Fast Friday so we’ll get the extra boost. We’ll do our qualifying sims tomorrow. Need to get a good night’s sleep tonight as the next few days are stressful, but I’m looking forward to it. Overall, things are looking good for the Wix Filters team so far.”

KYLE KAISER, NO. 32 NFP/JUNCOS RACING CHEVROLET: “So it was another productive day. We made some big strides for our qualifying car which I am very excited about. We still have some work to do when it comes to running in traffic, but we got to try a lot of different things and we found out some that didn’t work. We are going to try some more things, hopefully next week. Tomorrow hopefully the weather holds off and we can work some more on our qualifying car to qualify for the biggest race in the world. So, I am very excited with the progress we made today and I am looking forward to expanding on that the next couple of days.”

JAMES DAVISON, NO. 33 JONATHAN BYRD’S 502 EAST FOYT WITH BYRD/HOLLINGER/BELARDI CHEVROLET: “It was a much improved day for the No. 33 team. We got in the mix in traffic, and found a reasonable balance that made us racy; something that we didn’t have yesterday. We trimmed the car for the first time at the end of the day and managed to run over 220 MPH by ourselves. That was a great sign for us, we believe that we have a decent chunk left. We are going to study all the information tonight, and come out of the box either tomorrow weather permitted; or Saturday.”

MAX CHILTON, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET: “We were really just focused today on getting the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet in setup mode for qualifying. Obviously for a new team it’s important for us to qualify and then we’ll shift all our focus onto race running. We’re getting quicker and quicker every day and I think our times today were pretty promising.”

JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 66 SALESFORCE DRR CHEVROLET: “We were making some good progress with the car today. We are chasing the same things with car as everyone else. And we looked like we were getting there with the race setup. We were looking forward to making a long run at the end of the day in traffic. We weren’t that deep into the run and we had something happen in turn three with the car. We are still analyzing what might have happen. The car felt out of the ordinary. I didn’t feel like I was losing the car at all. I thought for sure I could save the car, which why I’m a little confused on what happened. I did have enough warning to keep it under control. It felt like I had a wacky wheel of a shopping cart because the car kept wobbling a bit. But I’m fine and ready to go tomorrow. I feel badly for the crew guys getting the car repaired now. I’m looking forward to Friday’s runs.”

“Really productive and great day for the Harding Racing guys today. We’ve been steadily making improvements on the car and have been progressing nicely being in the top-ten the first three days of Indy 500 practice. Tomorrow is a fast Friday, so I’m really looking forward to see what the #88 Harding Racing Chevy can do on track with the boost. Hopefully the rain holds off!”

IndyCar Media Conference
Thursday May 17, 2018
Tony Kanaan
Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We are joined now by Tony Kanaan. Finished second fastest in today’s practice session.

Tony, you’ve been pretty quick all week so far throughout the practices. Take us through how your car has been performing, what you’ve been noticing out there in practice so far.

TONY KANAAN: It’s been a good week for us. We unloaded pretty quick since the test. Now it’s just the track playing some mind games with you. Some days are better, some days are worse. It’s more of trying to figure out what you’re going to need in 10 days from you. It’s quite hard. You don’t know what the weather is going to do.

We’re trying to run in any type of weather right now, hot, cold, windy, recording everything on the books. Really have all that information to when it comes next week by Friday or Carb Day, you can try to predict what’s going to happen on Sunday, then put whatever the setup you think it is.

It’s more of a gathering information. Sometimes you have a good car, sometimes you have a bad car. Sometimes you get a good draft, sometimes you run alone. Saying all that, it’s over. Tomorrow it’s just Fast Friday and you worry about four laps. That’s all you got to worry about. Then four laps the next day, and hopefully on Sunday.

From tomorrow on, it will just be making the car as fast as you can and the most consistent for qualifying.

THE MODERATOR: How do you feel the team as a whole, between you and your teammate, have been reacting to the week so far preparation for this week in qualifying?

TONY KANAAN: It’s been pretty smooth. I mean, the team has been extremely busy. We are a small organization in comparison to the big boys. The guys have been working really hard. I mean, after the GP, they worked on Mother’s Day until 2 in the morning, they worked Monday all day at the shop. A.J. gave us two brand-new cars for the Speedway, which is great, but at the same time gave the guys a lot of work.

Everybody has been a little tired, but I think that’s the price you pay to win this race. We’re working really hard. Mateo has had his ups and downs as a rookie, as a 19-year-old. I told him on day one, opening day, I said, This track will play mind games with you. I think he figured out by now how tough it is. We’re trying to keep him straight. Between A.J., Larry and I, I think we’re doing an okay job. Hopefully we’ll keep it that way.

It’s funny to watch. Just I’ve been around for too long, I know what to expect. I still get nervous, don’t take me wrong. But to see his eyes every time something different that he didn’t expect happened, I think it’s kind of funny.

THE MODERATOR: Can you relate at all? Can you remember your rookie experience?

TONY KANAAN: Yeah, I was much older. If I was 19, I think I would be change diapers, my diapers, underwear, every time I would go out there.

But, yeah, I remember. My first time here in 2002, it was crazy. Everything was new. The unknown was actually better at times because you don’t have any expectations. But I had Morris Nunn. He had a lot of experience. He was my team owner at the time. He helped me a lot. You can definitely relate.

I told him, Every year you’re going to think you come back because you have more experience, it gets better, it actually gets worse because you know more.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Tony.

Q. Do you put the winner’s ring after you got out of the car?
TONY KANAAN: This ring? Actually every year since 2013, I wear it in the month of May.

Q. Even when you’re driving?
TONY KANAAN: Yeah. Stays with me, but just the month of May. Then I retire him for the year. He comes back every May. I’m not like Helio that wears every time, every interview, like, Yeah, three times.

Q. When you were hired, you said you wanted to race the Foyt name back up to where it belongs. Do you feel like you’re doing that?
TONY KANAAN: Trying. I mean, you know, we haven’t accomplished everything we wanted. But it’s a long road. That’s why we agreed it was going to take a little long, so we made a multi-year deal. I’m doing everything I can, they doing everything they can. I think eventually it has to work.

It’s not for a lack of working, not for a lack of effort. We are still have some pieces we have to put in place, but that happens everywhere.

We’re here, right? Ann just told me on the elevator on the way up she hadn’t been here in a while. I said, Get used to it. Hopefully I’ll keep my promise to her. I’ve been here, but they haven’t.

We’re working on it, for sure. We have a long road ahead. We’re not as consistent as we wanted to be. It’s nice to see some people looking at us and saying, Hmm, they’re going to make this work.

I can’t thank all our partners to putting the trust. Chevy, at the end of the year when I went to them, I said, We need to do this again.

So anyway, yeah, it’s working.

Q. Talk about the new car, what you did, what you’re feeling, thinking going ahead.
TONY KANAAN: It’s a whole different beast. In traffic it’s a lot different. The behavior of the car, it’s a lot more difficult to drive. In a way, it’s just the characteristics. It’s not like I like it or dislike it. It’s what we have. It’s the same for everybody.

I think if you see how much people did long runs this week, which I think is the most that we’ve done in a long time, I didn’t worry about qualifying till tomorrow, it’s because everybody is really concerned how these cars are going to race as far as downforce, how we’re going to run in traffic. We lost a lot of downforce from the previous years, just with the new aero package. Everybody’s trying to understand. The more that you run, the more that you understand.

It’s different to drive. I’m not going to comment if it’s better or worse until we really go racing. Running in a pack like this, it’s not as representative as the race. I think sometimes you have people trying to back off and let you by. That doesn’t happen in the race. But it is more difficult, for sure.

It’s less difference than what we had in the past, because the full load, it’s really light. It’s not as big of a difference as it used to be.

Q. Coming from a five-car team in the past, to a two, how much are your younger teammates relying on you for help and experience? How much do you feel you and Eric are leading in the engineering room?
TONY KANAAN: That responsibility was there from day one when I signed with A.J. They definitely trying to rely on us a lot. They’ve been doing really well, too. Mateo found a couple things today, too, that I tried at the end of the day and I liked it. It’s working like we used to work, like I used to work.

Yeah, I mean, I do have more experience, so the tendency is always that they will come to me more than I go to them. But, yeah, it’s a normal chemistry, like a three- or four-car team.

THE MODERATOR: I’m sorry to cut this short, but Tony is doubling as a reporter on live television in four minutes, so run down there.

TONY KANAAN: Thanks, guys.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Tony.