Helio Castroneves and Will Power Finish One-Two in Pole-Qualifying Heat Race at Iowa Speedway
Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Drivers Claim Top-Four Finishing Positions in Unique Format to Set Line-up for Iowa Corn Indy 250
Newton, Iowa – (June 22, 2013) Helio Castroneves earned the number one starting position for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 by turning the fastest time in single-lap qualifying, which put him on the pole of Qualifying Heat Race No. 3. The driver of the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet led from green flag to checkered flag in the final of the three 50-lap “Heat”, races which set the field for tomorrow’s race at Iowa Speedway.
Will Power brought the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet to the checkered in second behind his teammate in Race No. 3. However, the result of an unapproved engine change for Castroneves’ car, Power will slide over to the pole position for the start of the race. Castroneves will start 11th with the 10-grid position penalty.
“Team Chevy continued to demonstrate some depth of strength tonight during qualifying at Iowa Speedway, carrying some momentum from Milwaukee,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series. “The heat race format used to set the grid is unique to Iowa and this year added driver’s championship points to the qualifying process. We are very proud of the five different Chevrolet teams that secured spots in the top ten to start the race tomorrow afternoon. Based on the 50 lap heat races tonight, it looks like setup, great pit stops and tire management will be keys to success tomorrow. “
Andretti Autosport teammates James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet, and Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet finished third and fourth respectively in the 50-lap run for the pole.
Also earning top-10 starting positions for Team Chevy are Ed Carpenter, Tony Kanaan and Oriol Servia.
Sunday’s 250 lap/218.75-mile race will be televised live at beginning at 2:30 p.m. (ET) on ABC TV. It will also be broadcast live by the IMS Radio Network, including on Sirius and XM Channels 211, www.indycar.com and the INDYCAR 13 App for most smartphones and tablets.
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, POLE WINNER: ON WINNING THE POLE:
“It’s really welcome, to be honest. I’m very excited for what we achieved. The car is really good. We were watching the other ones in the first heat and second heat so we can learn something. It’s the toughest one because you want to make some change, but you don’t know what. And, but it was in the end, the right decision what we did, again. So this weekend seems that we’re making the right choice on the changing of the car.”
ARE YOU NOT 100% HAPPY WITH YOUR CAR?
“You guys (the media) are going to find out very soon what’s going on. Hopefully; yeah, you guys are going to find out very soon.
“I might be overpowered. That’s what I’m saying. I’m going to try to make sure I get my voice heard.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND: ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP AND RACE: “Practice, really came on there during the race so, yeah, happy with second. I had a moment when I crossed the bottom line there in (Turns 1 and 2) and had a big moment, and then I just decided to settle for second. But the car was very solid. Obviously we have to go back and work on this. Hopefully we’ll have a good car tomorrow and another good result because we keep chipping away on the points.”
YOU ARE MAKING GREAT PROGRESS ON THE OVALS. TALK ABOUT THAT: “Yeah, the ovals have been my best results this year. And I haven’t been slow on the ovals, I’ve just had rotten luck you could say. There’s always a reason for some sort of mistake. But in the past years, that’s been the case. But, definitely I’m having fun on ovals this year and enjoying them and hopefully I can bring a good result for the team.”
DID THOSE LAPS HELP YOU MORE ABOUT WHAT THE CAR CAN DO FOR TOMORROW, EVEN THOUGH THE CONDITIONS MAY BE DIFFERENT? “Yeah, they did. Definitely. It definitely gives you a bit of a heads-up of what your problems are or where your car is strong and where you can run in traffic, and so on. I don’t think the conditions will be much different tomorrow. I hope it doesn’t cool down any because the cars are just stuck. I mean, they’re just stuck. So, if you ever had a moment or you went in the wall it’s just going to be so hard. I just think that the downforce is too much. Although, it’s helping me. I’m enjoying it.”
THIS IS SIX TRIPS FOR TEAM PENSKE TO IOWA. YOU’VE ALWAYS BEEN STRONG. THIS IS AS GOOD A TIME AS ANY FOR PENKSE TO GET THAT FIRST WIN “Yeah, you can never tell in these races. There are so many competitive people. But, hopefully; I really need to gain some points on those guys, Helio and Hunter-Reay, and everyone in front of me. There are a lot of people in front of me. But at some point, the championship is going to become out of reach. But, I’m not racing with a head like that. I’m just racing smart and getting a solid result each weekend.”
DO YOU LIKE THE WAY INDYCAR HAS SET UP THE POLICY TO BRING YOUR PIT LOCATION FROM THE PREVIOUS QUALIFYING? HOW DOES THAT AFFECT YOU? “It’s a method. It’s good for me, I think. Solid qualifying results, I’m always up the front. But yeah, I’ve had my fair share of pit lane incidents in the past and it’s usually due to the fact that you’re back there around people you’re not used to being around.”
ANY THOUGHTS ON YOUR TEAMMATE A.J. ALMINDINGER CELEBRATING HIS NATIONWIDE VICTORY? “We’re real happy for him. I know how seriously he takes racing and how down he gets when he doesn’t do well. He puts everything into it. So, I’m really happy for him. It’s actually his first NASCAR win. So, everything that he’s gone through it’s just brilliant to see him win a race and Roger too, who is enjoying his vacation with a win in the heat race and a NASCAR win. So hopefully I can do us another one tomorrow, too; and we can do it here.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 3RD: “The GoDaddy car was great. Huge credit to the Andretti (Autosport) guys because they gave us a car we could move up. We didn’t see a lot of guys making passes today, and we were able to move up from where we started. It’s a shame we lost that position to Will (Power) there with about 20 (laps) to go – I would have liked an outside starting spot (for tomorrow’s race)… We’re certainly in the ballpark. Helio (Castroneves) has been quick all weekend, and we know where we are relative to him so we just have to keep our heads down, make a couple changes for tomorrow and hopefully we can be there.”
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC
COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 4TH: “I think we were a little conservative in the Heat Race with the RC (Cola) car. We ran a little more of a (race day) car and we could have been more aggressive – that kind of hurt us. In the end of the stint we would have started moving forward but it was too late. Starting fourth isn’t all bad though… we’ve done it (won) here from 17th.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA/ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 6TH: “We missed the balance a little bit in qualifying. We had a little too much understeer. It’s too bad it’s not a night race because it helps with the grip in the race. It will be a little more slick in the day and will probably be more of a one-groove track. It’s easier for a second groove to open up at night. I think more people will run the second grove in the race because there is more banking. Then the low grove won’t be as good in the race. You are drafting all of the time here. It’s non-stop drafting. This is one of the most physical tracks that we run. Iowa is a little less physical that it used to be because the grip level isn’t as high. But it is still a very tough race. We were not too good in our first heat race tonight. We tried something different. It wasn’t very good and I felt fortunate to transfer to the final heat. But the Fuzzy’s Vodka crew busted their butts to make some quick changes in between the heats and the car was much better in the final heat. We ran 100 laps today and I think we learned some things for Sunday’s race. Unfortunately, it will be in the heat of the day. So I’m hoping our changes in the final heat will help us on Sunday. I definitely feel better about our Fuzzy’s Chevy now.”
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 10TH: “Tenth is definitely good for us, and you’ve seen the way things can go here with people going back and forth, so it’s not a bad place to start. Today we really accomplished what we wanted in the NationalGuard Chevy with a little bit of a race sim to see where the car is going to go. I felt very good in qualifying and in practice, we were just a little bit off (in the heat race) but that’s what this is good for; it gives us a chance to get it better for tomorrow. Honestly, the car felt good it just had a little too much understeer, which is the better evil to have and to solve. So I feel pretty good about tomorrow.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 SUNOCO “TURBO” KV RACING TECHNOLOGY – SH RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 8TH: “The car was good in the beginning of the race, but we developed some understeer as the laps came in. The good thing is that we found out about the problem tonight, so we have some time to work on the situation and I am confident we will be ready to race tomorrow.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 14TH: “You know, it was way off the mark. We’ve been sitting on our own thumbs all day today. We just missed it today. No. 1 DHL team will have to regroup and come back tomorrow because we’re starting buried in the pack. We gave up points today. An important day and we just missed it a bit. It’s to fight another day and that’s tomorrow.”
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 19TH: “Very difficult day for me today. I believe we didn’t get all of our factors together. Qualifying was really not the best, and then in the Heat we were lacking plenty of grip so we lost some positions. That is not a huge issue – I started from the same place in the back and have made it all the way to the front in the past, and that could also happen tomorrow.”
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET,
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET,
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 23RD: “I’m really disappointed. The team’s been working really hard, but we’ve been fighting with the car since the second practice in Milwaukee. The car was great in the first practice there, but since then we haven’t been able to get it back to where we need it to be. It’s really frustrating. I know it’s there, because it was awesome in Texas as well. We’ll make some changes again tonight and hopefully get a good car for tomorrow’s race. We really want to go out and put on a good show for the Nuclear Clean Air Energy sponsors that are here this weekend. Hopefully we’ll be able to do that.”