Championship Battles in the Forefront as Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Heads to Auto Club Speedway for Season Finale
DETROIT (October 16, 2013) – A championship battle is on the horizon for the Chevrolet teams and drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series as they head for the season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. After 18 weeks of racing on road and street courses the season ends at one of the toughest oval tracks on the circuit. The two-mile, D-Shaped Fontana, California track provides high speeds, an abrasive surface and the opportunity for tricky pit strategy for the championship hopefuls to traverse.
“The Finale at Fontana this weekend will decide numerous championships for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar racing season and our Chevrolet drivers, teams and technical partners are burning the midnight oil preparing for it,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series. “We have a strong racing package at this venue and deep talent within Team Chevy. Flawless execution will be required to come out on top. The drama of the championship battles coupled with 500 miles of superspeedway racing under the lights at Auto Club Speedway makes this race event the most intense of the year. Fans should be on the edge of their seats, or standing, whether they are in the grandstands or watching it live on NBC Sports Network or following it on Sirius XM radio.”
While everyone’s minds are focused on the tasks at hand this weekend at Auto Club Speedway the community’s thoughts are still with their injured competitor, Dario Franchitti from Chip Ganassi Racing.
“All of us at Chevrolet wish the best for Dario Franchitti and those who were injured or affected in the last lap crash in Houston,” continued Berube. “This sport pulls together like one family in these situations and everyone at Team Chevy is hoping to see Dario up on his feet and back in the race car soon.”
250 laps are all that remain between Team Penske Chevrolet driver Helio Castroneves and his first IZOD IndyCar Series championship. The veteran driver enters the finale 25 points behind the championship leader, but looks to have a strong run at Auto Club Speedway. The Brazilian has one victory on the season at the 1.5-mile oval Texas Motor Speedway and is poised to battle for the win and if all the stars align take home his first series title.
Chevrolet is also gridlocked in the battle for the coveted Manufacturers’ Championship title. The quest to defend their 2012 award will come down to if the Bowtie Brigade can find their way to Victory Lane for the 10th time this season.
All the championship hardware will be presented following the 250 laps/500 mile race which is scheduled to start Saturday at 8:00 p.m., PST with live TV coverage on NBC Sports Network. Additional live coverage will be provided by IMS Radio Network on XM and Sirius Channels 211 as well as on www.indycar.com live timing and scoring.
CHEVROLET IN THE IZOD INDYCAR SERIES – FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT:
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 AUTO CLUB TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 2nd IN STANDINGS (ONE 2013 WIN):
“It’s going to be an exciting weekend at Auto Club Speedway.. We have put what happened in Houston behind us and we are ready to go fight for the championship. We had a very fast Auto Club of Southern California car at the Fontana test a couple of weeks ago and we go into this weekend with a lot of confidence. I have all the faith in the world in my team and I know we are capable of getting the job done on Saturday night. Everyone should make sure they are watching, because I have a feeling this is going to be an awesome race.”
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 DR PEPPER ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, 5th IN STANDINGS:
“We have been dominant in the 500-mile races and have led a lot of laps, but Fontana is about leading the right lap, and that’s what we need to do. I’d really like to end the season with a ‘W’ for the Dr Pepper team. Auto Club Speedway is a tricky place to get right with the seams, but will be rewarding if we do.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, 6th IN STANDINGS (TWO 2013 WINS):
“As a team we have some great memories of what we accomplished at this race track. This time last year we fought through adversity all weekend long to claim the overall championship by just a few points… what a comeback. We learned a heck of a lot about what we need to do different with our setup at this track, and following a successful test just a couple weeks ago, we’re optimistic headed into the final race. For one reason or another, things just haven’t gone our way this year despite recording three poles and two wins. We may not have the championship on the line Saturday night, but we’re really hungry for that third win this season. I think we’re ready.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, 7th IN STANDINGS (TWO 2013 WINS):
“We’re looking forward to ending the season strong with a good result this weekend in the Verizon Chevy at Auto Club Speedway. With the series championship and the manufacturer’s title on the line for Helio and Chevy, it’s definitely going to be interesting. We want to build on the good finishes we’ve had here in the last few races and score some points to hopefully help with both championships.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, 9th IN STANDINGS (THREE 2013 WINS):
”This is one of the toughest tracks we race on all year! The low downforce configuration and the seams wreak havoc for us. It’s so easy to be caught off guard, and so 500 miles there feels like 1000 anywhere else! That said, the team had a strong test there a few weeks ago, and hopefully that translates into a good package on the GoDaddy car for the race weekend. It would be great to end the year with a podium and head into the off-season with some momentum.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 HYDROXYCUT KV RACING TECHNOLOGY – SH RACING CHEVROLET, 11th IN STANDINGS (ONE 2013 WIN):
“I’m really looking forward to the final race of the season in Fontana. We had a good test there last month and over the season we have shown that we are very competitive on ovals. This is a big weekend for the team. We have $250,000 on the line for the Fuzzy’s Triple Crown Award if we can win here and also, obviously it will be my last race with KV, so I would like to give Kevin Kalkhoven, my good friend Jimmy Vasser and the whole KV Racing organization another victory to remember me by.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, 12th IN STANDINGS:
“Fontana, last oval and last race of 2013. After a strong second half of the season with a few podiums, it would be great to finish in style on a superspeedway. We haven’t been very strong so far on these kind of tracks, but during the last test, I think we found some interesting setup options and I am hopeful Dragon Racing and myself will be able to put the No.7 Mc Afee / True Car / Chevrolet at the top.”
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET, 13th IN STANDINGS:
”Excited to finally head to Fontana which has always been a controversial place. Last year was a very difficult race with a lot of bumps in the track, a lot of changes in the height and seams in the lanes which makes the stability of the car more difficult. It’s also a place that is normally pretty hot, so with all these factors together, it’s going to be a tough weekend. But, we, once again, have faith in the research and development we’ve done as a team.”
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, 15th IN STANDINGS:
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend’s race at the Auto-Club Speedway in Fontana. We had a test there last month and I think it went really well. I’ve improved a lot on the ovals this year and am looking forward to a strong finish! I want to thank my team, the Nuclear Clea
n Air Energy campaign, and Chevy for all their support this year. We’ve had some really great momentum the last few races, finishing the last four races in the top-10 and getting my first IndyCar podium in Houston. We’re working hard to keep that momentum going with another great finish this weekend in Southern California.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA/ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, 18th IN STANDINGS:
“Last year’s Fontana win was the most gratifying since it was my team and we were in our first year of operation. It meant a lot to go up against the big teams like Ganassi, Penske and Andretti and win the race with our new one-car team. Winning the pole at Indy was a huge accomplishment for our team too. We were the little guys going against the big ‘Goliath’ teams and we prevailed. Now, we come to Fontana and the big teams are racing for a series championship. But I think they know that our one-car effort will be a contender too. It’s always fun to come back to tracks where you’ve had success. Last year we were successful at the Fontana Open Test and that carried through the race. We were pleased with our recent test last month. So let’s hope that carries over again in Saturday’s 500-miler. Fontana is always fun because it’s really challenging. The weather changes a lot and the track changed too. One of the things we have been working on this year is to be able to use more of the track.”
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, 21st IN STANDINGS:
“It’s amazing how quick this year went by, we’ve been working so hard and seeing where we are right now compared to where we started makes us wish that there were a lot more races ahead. We need to keep the good strides we’ve put forward and finish strong. The test we had last week was good with a strong race car, we need to continue to work on the car to have a good show out there on Saturday. “
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, 22nd IN STANDINGS:
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 2 IZOD TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET:
“It’s going to be a lot of fun to get back behind the wheel of the No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Chevy this weekend. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve raced in IndyCar so it’ll be important in practice on Friday to get comfortable in the car and with our setup. It will be an honor to represent IZOD in their final race as series sponsor and hopefully we can come through in a big weekend for Team Penske.”