Thanks Gander RV Duels Up Next For Menard, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team

Thanks Gander RV Duels Up Next For Menard, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team

February 14, 2019

Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team, fresh off a strong run in the Advance Auto Parts Clash, are set to officially kick off their 2019 campaign in Thursday’s Gander RV Duel qualifying races.

Menard, who led a Clash-record 51 laps last Sunday, will be back in his Daytona 500 Mustang for the first of two 150-mile qualifying races that will set the field for Sunday’s Daytona 500.

Menard starts sixth in the first Duel after qualifying 11th this past Sunday.

Eddie Wood said he likes what he’s seen of his team so far this Speedweeks.

“I was really proud of Paul and how he ran on Sunday,” Wood said. “The new Mustang is impressive. We had some new people on the team and they did a good job. We had a good pit stop in the Clash, and we all think our new spotter, Joey Meier, is going to be a great addition to the 21 team.”

Wood said how the team fares in Thursday evening’s 150-miler will determine how the rest of the week goes.

“After you run the qualifier, depending on how you run and how things unfold, you’ll know what to work on in practice on Friday,” he said.

And, like last year, there will be points to be earned in the Duels. The top-10 finishers in each Duel will receive Stage points like in a regular points race, with the winner earning 10 Stage points and the 10th-place driver earning one.

“We’ve all come to understand how important each Stage point can be,” Wood said.

Likewise, the Duels offer the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team a chance to show some hospitality to some of the people from Ford Motor Company and others who make their racing possible.

“We’re looking forward to having Mr. Edsel Ford and Mr. John Menard with us,” Wood said. “It’s always an honor to have them with us wherever we are, but having them at Daytona International Speedway is extra special.”

The Gander RV Duels are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14, with TV coverage on Fox Sports 1, and the green flag for the Daytona 500 is set to fly at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2:30 p.m., with TV coverage on FOX.

Kaz Grala Joins Richard Childress Racing

Kaz Grala Joins Richard Childress Racing
Grala to Compete in Select NASCAR Xfinity Series Races during 2019 Season

WELCOME, N.C. (February 14, 2019) – Richard Childress Racing is excited to welcome Kaz Grala to its NASCAR Xfinity Series program for select races in 2019. The 20-year-old Boston, Massachusetts native will make his first start for the organization at Texas Motor Speedway this March in the No. 21 Chevrolet Camaro.

“This is definitely the biggest opportunity I’ve had in my career,” said Grala. “Running for a powerhouse team like RCR is a dream come true, and one I plan on making the most of. With only a limited number of races to make an impression, I’m ready to get to work and lay it all on the line.”

Grala’s story began at just four years old behind the wheel of a go-kart in his hometown of Boston. From youngest winner in series history, to youngest winner in track history, he has made his mark at each level of the sport on his way to national competition.

In February 2017, Grala won the NextEra Energy 250 at Daytona International Speedway becoming the youngest NASCAR winner in history at the storied track (18 years, 1 month, and 26 days old). He capped off his rookie season as the youngest driver to ever make the NASCAR Playoffs since their inception in 2004.

Grala made a limited number of NASCAR Xfinity Series starts with his family-owned team during the 2018 season, collecting an impressive two top-five and five top-10 finishes.

“I’m looking forward to having Kaz Grala join RCR this year,” said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of RCR. “Kaz is a talented young driver who has proven he can win in any type of racing. I think he’ll be up to speed and contending for multiple wins for us out on the track in no time.”

News on Grala’s sponsorship and crew chief will be announced at a later date.

Grala to Compete in Select NASCAR Xfinity Series Races during 2019 Season

WELCOME, N.C. (February 14, 2019) – Richard Childress Racing is excited to welcome Kaz Grala to its NASCAR Xfinity Series program for select races in 2019. The 20-year-old Boston, Massachusetts native will make his first start for the organization at Texas Motor Speedway this March in the No. 21 Chevrolet Camaro.

“This is definitely the biggest opportunity I’ve had in my career,” said Grala. “Running for a powerhouse team like RCR is a dream come true, and one I plan on making the most of. With only a limited number of races to make an impression, I’m ready to get to work and lay it all on the line.”

Grala’s story began at just four years old behind the wheel of a go-kart in his hometown of Boston. From youngest winner in series history, to youngest winner in track history, he has made his mark at each level of the sport on his way to national competition.

In February 2017, Grala won the NextEra Energy 250 at Daytona International Speedway becoming the youngest NASCAR winner in history at the storied track (18 years, 1 month, and 26 days old). He capped off his rookie season as the youngest driver to ever make the NASCAR Playoffs since their inception in 2004.

Grala made a limited number of NASCAR Xfinity Series starts with his family-owned team during the 2018 season, collecting an impressive two top-five and five top-10 finishes.

“I’m looking forward to having Kaz Grala join RCR this year,” said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of RCR. “Kaz is a talented young driver who has proven he can win in any type of racing. I think he’ll be up to speed and contending for multiple wins for us out on the track in no time.”

News on Grala’s sponsorship and crew chief will be announced at a later date.

RCR Event Preview – Daytona International Speedway

Richard Childress Racing’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history at Daytona International Speedway … Dating back to 1976, Richard Childress Racing has won 11 poles and collected six points-paying victories at the most-storied race track on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit. RCR owns three Daytona 500 wins (Dale Earnhardt – 1998, Kevin Harvick – 2007, Austin Dillon – 2018), three Coke Zero 400 trophies (Earnhardt – 1990, 1993 and Harvick – 2010) and 14 qualifying races, including a record 10-consecutive victories with Earnhardt (1990 – 1999). In addition, RCR has earned the Advance Auto Parts Clash a total of eight times, with drivers Harvick (2009, 2010, 2013) and Earnhardt (1986, ’88, ’91, ’93, and ’95). Continue reading RCR Event Preview – Daytona International Speedway

Honda Rookie Herta Stars at Indy Car “Spring Training” Pre-Season Test

Honda Rookie Herta Stars at Indy Car “Spring Training” Pre-Season Test
• Rookie Colton Herta impresses, heads time sheets for two-day test
• Alexander Rossi runs second overall; Honda drivers claim eight of the top 10 positions
• 2019 NTT IndyCar Series opens March 10 in St. Petersburg, Florida

AUSTIN, Texas (Feb. 13, 2019) – Second-generation Honda racer Colton Herta started his first full season of NTT IndyCar Series competition on a most impressive note, leading three of the four practice sessions during “Spring Training” activities at the Circuit of the Americas. Continue reading Honda Rookie Herta Stars at Indy Car “Spring Training” Pre-Season Test

DEFORCE RACING DOUBLES TEAM SIZE FOR 2019 F4 U.S. SEASON

DEFORCE RACING DOUBLES TEAM SIZE FOR 2019 F4 U.S. SEASON

DEForce Racing confirms two Brazilian drivers

INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 13, 2019) – After a strong championship finish last year, DEForce Racing enters the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda season with four Ligier JS F4 machines, doubling its program from 2018. The Houston-based team will field four cars for 2019, filling two seats with young Brazilian drivers Kiko Porto and Guilherme Peixoto.

In 2018, DEForce placed fourth in the team championship and its rookie driver James Raven claimed the F4 U.S. Vice Championship title.

“We are very happy to have a wave of Brazilian talents coming through our team,” said Ernesto Martinez, Co-Owner of DEForce Racing. “I’m sure we are going to have a very competitive squad to fight for the 2019 F4 Championship.”

Peixoto began racing karts at seven years old and went on to win several Brazilian national karting titles. After a very successful karting career will transition into open-wheel competition, debuting in a Ligier JS F4 machine outfitted in the neon blue and white DEForce Racing colors.

“I am very pleased to be joining F4 U.S. with DeForce for the 2019 season,” Peixoto said. “It will be my first season in open-wheels and we chose the North American path as, today, is the most promising way to become a professional racing driver. It will be very challenging, and I believe I have a very strong team around me. I can’t wait for the first race in April.”

Porto returned to the DEForce lineup for his first full F4 U.S. season. In his rookie year, Porto competed in eight championship races, earning five top-10 finishes.

“This will be a very difficult season since there are so many good drivers who already have a lot of experience in Formula 4,” said Porto. “But I hope to achieve the evolution that I need to get my first podium in the American category. I am climbing one step at a time to give way in my career. God willing, we will make this a good year and achieve my goals to help my team.”

Focused on getting back to the competition mindset, Porto and Peixoto are completing a rigorous preseason test schedule with DEForce in preparation for the season opener at Road Atlanta April 18-20.

DEForce Racing is still finalizing its roster for 2019, testing prospective drivers during the off season. Interested parties should contact ernesto@deforceracing.com.

Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Media Day–Jimmie Johnson

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA DAY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Daytona 500 Media Day and discussed running the Boston Marathon, his Clash victory and many other topics. Full Transcript:

If you were going to pick somebody that could maybe take that title away from you, which guy would you pick amongst the younger set that might be able to do it? Continue reading Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Media Day–Jimmie Johnson

Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Jamie McMurray

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA DAY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019

JAMIE MCMURRAY, NO. 40 MCDONALD’S/CESSNA/BASS PRO SHOPS CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Daytona 500 Media Day and discussed the upcoming weekend of racing and other topics. Selected Quotes: Continue reading Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Jamie McMurray

Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Speedweeks–Media Day–Chase Elliott

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA DAY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Daytona 500 Media Day and discussed his outlook for the Daytona 500, trying to keep his momentum up after his victories last season, and many other topics. Full Transcript:

Coming back to Daytona, has it been different this time? Don’t have to answer the question about winning. Different feeling coming back as a winner? Continue reading Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Speedweeks–Media Day–Chase Elliott

Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Alex Bowman

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA DAY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 NATIONWIDE CAMARO ZL1 met with media and discussed the new rules package, what he works on to improve driver skills, what it takes to get ready for a new season, and more. Selected Quotes:

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO HAVE WILLIAM BYRON AS YOUR TEAMMATE?
“Well, he’s a nerd (laughs). He called me a nerd the other week. He does have the college education, but I probably have more street smarts and he definitely has more book smarts. But no, it’s been cool working with him and getting to know him as well as Jimmie (Johnson) and Chase (Elliott). It’s a pretty cool dynamic we have between the four of us. I think we all bring our individual strengths to the table and can all help each other with our weaknesses.” Continue reading Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Alex Bowman

Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–William Byron

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA DAY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Daytona 500 Media Day to discuss being the pole sitter for the Daytona 500, iRacing and many other topics. Full Transcript:

How does ‘polesitter’ feel, knowing that no matter what happens tomorrow night, as long as you don’t wreck, you’re on the pole?
WILLIAM BYRON: No, it’s good. It’s awesome to be on the pole. I’m looking forward to what it brings for us, what we can succeed with. I mean, just to be able to qualify on the pole like that is a goal of ours. It’s awesome. Continue reading Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–William Byron

Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Kurt Busch

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA DAY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019

KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media and discussed his return to Chevrolet, winning the Daytona 500, his brother’s upcoming milestone and many other topics. Full Transcript:

What is the memory that you have of something that happened in the Daytona 500? Is there something that always comes back to you?
KURT BUSCH: I have one from the losses, then I have one from the win.
The loss that sticks with me was 2005. I wanted to make a move on Jeff Gordon on the back straightaway on the last lap. As I went to look out to make the pass, because I had a good run from the guys behind me, it was a line of Chevys. I was in a Ford that year. It was Dale Jr. behind me and I think it was Jeff Burton and a line of guys were ready to go with Dale Jr. I was going to get hung out to dry. Continue reading Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Kurt Busch

Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Chris Buescher

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA DAY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019

CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 KLEENEX WET WIPES CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Daytona 500 Media Day and discussed his new teammate Ryan Preece, the outlook for 2019 and many other topics. Selected Quotes:

“We are in the Thursday race and we are in the first one and we are going to have to watch the go-or-go-homers, because they are going to have a really hard race to get into that one. So, we will be a little bit cautious since we know that is not the race that really pays anything. But we will be set to go in the (Daytona) 500.” Continue reading Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Chris Buescher

Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Bubba Wallace

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA DAY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019

BUBBA WALLACE, NO. 43 AFTERSHOKZ CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Daytona 500 media day and discussed last year’s Daytona 500 finish, his expectations for this year, finding sponsorship and many other topics. Selected Quotes: Continue reading Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Bubba Wallace

Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Ty Dillon

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA DAY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019

TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CAMARO ZL1 met with media and discussed the new rules package, Germain Racing’s shop move, goals for the season, and more. Selected Quotes:

ON THE NEW RULES PACKAGE:
“I think this package suits me extremely well. I’m an aggressive driver. And the just couple of tests we’ve done with this package, early-on in the runs, even though our car might not have had the best long-run speed, I’m able to do things that I couldn’t do last year with that package. I think there were two times where I was able to start behind guys like Brad (Keselowski) and Kyle (Busch) and my brother (Austin Dillon) and I went four-wide with Clint (Bowyer) and Kyle and Brad and passed all three of them, twice, at the test. That’s something different that I wasn’t able to show last year. I think this package allows me to show some of my aggressiveness and I’m exited for these re-starts for our team. Continue reading Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Ty Dillon

Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Ryan Preece

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA DAY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019

RYAN PREECE, NO. 47 KROGER.COM CAMARO ZL1 met with media and discussed his first Daytona 500, this year’s rookie class, feedback he provides to the team and other topics. Selected quotes:

IT’S YOUR FIRST DAYTONA 500. WHAT ARE THE EMOTIONS OF KNOWING YOU’LL BE PART OF THIS?
“It’s slowly coming to me, for sure. I’ve been running around so much between running over to New Smyrna to get that car through tech, coming back here for practice and qualifying Saturday and Sunday and then going back to New Smyrna. I’ve been staying busy and haven’t had a lot of time to think about it. But it’s very exciting because this is what you work for to get here. Going from a quarter-mile in Riverhead in Long Island to a 2.5-mile oval at Daytona is totally different and very exciting.” Continue reading Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Ryan Preece

Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Austin Dillon

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA DAY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Daytona 500 Media Day to discuss returning as the defending winner of the 500, the opportunity to repeat as winner and many other topics. Full Transcript:

What has this been like coming back to this place knowing that you’re the reigning champion? Continue reading Chevy Racing–NASCAR–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Austin Dillon

Chevy Racing–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Kyle Larson

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA DAY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019

Kyle Larson, No. 42 Credit One Bank Camaro ZL1, met with members of the media at Daytona 500 Media Day to discuss the upcoming weekend of racing and other topics. Selected quotes: Continue reading Chevy Racing–Daytona Speedweeks–Media Day–Kyle Larson

Chevy Racing–NASCAR– DAYTONA Media Day–Daniel Hemric

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
DAYTONA SPEEDWEEKS
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA DAY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 13, 2019

DANIEL HEMRIC, NO. 8 BASS PRO SHOPS/CATERPILLAR CAMARO ZL1, met with members of the media at Daytona 500 media day to discuss this year’s rookie class, his qualifying performance, the 50th year of Richard Childress Racing and other topics. Selected Quotes: Continue reading Chevy Racing–NASCAR– DAYTONA Media Day–Daniel Hemric

Chevy Racing–INDYCAR–COTA Test

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
OPEN TEST
CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS
AUSTIN, TEXAS
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2019

Team Penske Chevrolet drivers Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Josef Newgarden met with members of the media at Circuit of the Americas:

THE MODERATOR: Joined by three members of Team Penske who have been all out on track this morning. Helio, we will start with you. Your thoughts on the day?

HELIO CASTRONEVES: It was great. I have to be honest, a bit of a quick reaction first time out there, especially in the place I have no idea. The first time I’m driving. Kind of like it was very rush.

But towards the end of the day, it was a little bit better. Still getting the timing right. Great to be back in the NTT IndyCar Series. Great to feel the horsepower, the quickness of the car, as well. It’s just like you feel the wind on the visor because normally you have the windshield, a year running with the sports car. Quite a lot of fun.

Hopefully, I can help my guys, my teammates here, testing some things that they might not think it’s necessary. Somebody always got to take the short stick, and I think I will be the one.

It’s been so far so good.

THE MODERATOR: Is that how you see your role here at this test, is providing an extra car of data for the team? Also, you’ll be competing on a permanent road course in May at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Does any of this help you out there?

HELIO CASTRONEVES: Absolutely. Right now it’s getting everyone, especially myself, but also the team. The team is incredible. We have some guys from the sports car program straight into Indy car racing. They’re ready to go. We just want to make sure that everyone is in sync.

Plus, if I can obviously add, as I said, Simon referred to me as a mule, if I can try something that nobody wants to do it, why not? Every time you have more data live, it’s always beneficial to the team.

Hopefully, that helps me get used to, and when it comes back to the Indy Grand Prix, we’re ready to go.

THE MODERATOR: We are also joined by our reigning Indianapolis 500 champion, Will Power.

Will, a new track for the NTT IndyCar Series, one you’ve been excited to get some laps on. How did that go for you?

WILL POWER: The track is phenomenal. I love it, love it, love it. Very technical. Obviously a lot of complexes. There is a place where the fans can see the whole track like there’s a cool tower. Not that you can fit 100,000 people up there, but it’s actually a good track. Great facilities. All the drivers are stoked to be here. Thoroughly enjoying it.

THE MODERATOR: Simon, we’ll move on to you, driver of the No. 22 Chevrolet for Team Penske. Starting off the season in true form, trying to become an NTT IndyCar Series champion once again. How are you feeling about the start of this season and your prospects heading into 2019?

SIMON PAGENAUD: It’s been really good. We’ve done a fantastic job, the whole team gathering right after Sonoma to try to attack the winner. We understand the program we needed to face to improve the cars and improve ourselves. It’s phenomenal.

Team Penske, they’re the best of the best. They still always try to turn every stone they can to be better. It’s impressive. It’s such an honor to be part of this organization. We’ve looked at everything.

I have to say I can feel a big improvement already. It’s about putting everything together now. It’s a bit like a recipe when you cook: it’s about finding the right ingredients. We’re putting all the pieces together.

At the moment we’re really just exploring. It’s still early stage. But the feeling is good. It’s good to be back at a track, especially a track like this one. I love Indy car racing, I love racing these cars. I have to say it’s awesome to start a new season.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What have you learned about this track, what you experienced today, that you found most challenging and most fun?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, it’s got corners from other tracks. I know Silverstone, that first sector. I think it’s starting in Turn 3 is an amazing complex of corners, very technical. I mean, it’s a really fun track.

I’d actually tested here before. It’s become a little bit more bumpy, which adds some character to the track. Yeah, I don’t know if there’s anything else really to add.

SIMON PAGENAUD: It’s an interesting track because it’s got a lot of low-speed corners, elevation changes, then all of a sudden you throw yourself into those fast S’s. It requires different things from the car to handle right.

You have to find the compromise to be the fastest around the whole racetrack. With driving, with techniques, you can adjust to turn around the bends.

It’s tough. There’s 20 corners, so it’s a long track. There’s a lot of little details to work on.

WILL POWER: A good idea is a good idea forever.

SIMON PAGENAUD: That’s a quote. Go write it down (laughter).

Q. Are you happy to have Helio here?
WILL POWER: He’s just a pest, a pain.

SIMON PAGENAUD: He’s totally unnecessary (laughter).

WILL POWER: That’s what dad used to call us kids when we were young, You’re a pest, get out of here.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: It’s nice, like when your grandparents come to visit (laughter).

HELIO CASTRONEVES: Just like a fly.

WILL POWER: Actually it’s great having him here.

HELIO CASTRONEVES: The feeling is mutual, by the way.

WILL POWER: Great to have Helio. Helio and I get along well, always joking around. At dinner, he had some great stories last night, great stories. I’d like to share them with you, but we haven’t got time (laughter).

Yeah, love it. I hope he comes back full-time. Throwing that out there.

SIMON PAGENAUD: You just did.

Yeah, it’s awesome to have him. I have him on the sports car side, too. I don’t get to miss him much. I love having him around because the biggest thing is his joy. It’s great to have someone with such joy of life. He’s still a kid when he gets in his racecar. It’s great to see and inspiring. I love having him on the team.

THE MODERATOR: We’ll let the original crew go, and Josef, you can stay.

THE MODERATOR: Josef finished third fastest in this morning’s session in the No. 2 Penske Chevrolet. We were talking with your teammates on their outlook on 2019.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I thought it was fun to get a look. Obviously, it’s new for us. It was interesting to see. It’s a very nice facility. You can tell the track is quite high quality. There’s definitely some surface shifting. They were telling me about the soil. You can tell it’s old farmland for sure because it’s got quite a bit of waviness on the backstretch. There’s some high bumps in a couple places. Other than that, it’s a really cool racetrack, fun to drive.

I like that it’s long and flowing. It’s not short. You have to put a whole lap together here. Yeah, we’ll see how we get on in the afternoon. We weren’t super strong in the morning. Got a little bit better on the second set of tires. I still think we’re a little out of the window, which is okay.

It’s a brand-new circuit. Didn’t know 100% where to be to start. I think we have a better idea now. We’ll see what we do in the afternoon.

THE MODERATOR: What about weather conditions? Here in Austin, Texas, you would think maybe we’d be a little warmer than we are today. Maybe in March, it is quite warmer. Will that information gathered from today still be applicable to a different sort of weather climate?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, I think so. The temperature goes up 20, 30 degrees, it will change things. The general characteristics of the track you’re learning today. The wind looks likes it’s kicking up. I think that’s going to be a very big deal here. The wind could probably play more of an effect than the temperature. We’re learning about that today.

When the temperature does or doesn’t change, we’ll learn about that, too, later on. I think the bulk of the information we’re going to pick up will be very useful for the race weekend.

THE MODERATOR: What are some key goals for you heading into the season? A year ago today coming into the season as the reigning series champion. What would you like to put together to repeat that?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: It’s the same goals. We firstly want to win the Indianapolis 500. That’s obviously goal number one for our group. The championship follows that.

I think for the championship side, we just need to be more consistent than we were last year. That’s where we were lacking, in my opinion. We had great performances. We had some really solid weekends. From a consistency standpoint, we didn’t put a whole year together very well. That’s the big thing from that.

Obviously going back to the 500, we just got to execute on race day, give ourselves an opportunity. Hopefully, it works out.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Josef.

Q. You’re at 149 today. How much time do you think is still left out on the track for you?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Hard to say. I think we’ll get in the 47s probably by the time we’re done. The test, these two days, I’d be surprised if we don’t get into the 47s.

How much quicker we go than that, I’m not sure. We can go down to 45s with reds on, race weekend, full rubber. High 45s maybe. That’s my guess, my best guess of what we’re going to do. Maybe low 46s. I think that’s probably what is in us at the moment.

Q. (Question about degradation.)
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: The surface itself, if you look at the actual material, it’s very polished. From that standpoint, there’s not a lot of abrasion. But that doesn’t necessarily equate to keeping the tires underneath you the whole time.

Yeah, I don’t know yet how bad the tire deg is going to be. The first set of tires, they definitely were degrading. They wear out. Tire life is not going to be easy here. I guess you really notice a new set of tires is what I’m getting to.

They’re going to last just fine. Firestone, we always have good durability. That’s one of the traits of the tire, it’s durable and reliable. I don’t think we’ll have problems with that.

Figuring out the nuances of how much they’re going to degrade, we don’t 100% know yet. I don’t at least, yeah.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

F3 AMERICAS GAINS MOMENTUM HEADING INTO ITS SECOND SEASON

F3 AMERICAS GAINS MOMENTUM HEADING INTO ITS SECOND SEASON

F3 Americas field grows as new teams and drivers enter for 2019

INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 12, 2019)- The F3 Americas Championship Powered by Honda ushered in a new era of racing in North America last year. Now with more than a dozen cars purchased and early registration entries rolling in, the 2019 roster is developing with new talent committed to elevating this season’s competition. Continue reading F3 AMERICAS GAINS MOMENTUM HEADING INTO ITS SECOND SEASON

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