CHEVROLET INDYCAR V6
VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Driver Helio Castroneves Earns Podium Finish at Inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis
Chevrolet Continues to Lead Series Manufacturer Standings
INDIANAPOLIS (May 10, 2014) – Helio Castroneves led the way for the Chevrolet IndyCar V6 contingent in his No. 3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet with a podium finish in the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis. On his birthday, Castroneves matched his best finish thus far in 2014 with a third-place effort.
In a very tight battle in the Verizon IndyCar Series manufacturer standings, Chevrolet continues to lead with four races in the record book.
A total of six Chevrolet IndyCar V6 powered drivers scored top-10 finishes in the 82-lap/200-mile race. Sebastien Bourdais, No. 11 Mystic E-Cigs KVSH Racing Chevrolet, finished a season-high fourth. Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Charlie Kimball, No. 83 Novo Nordisk Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, finished fifth followed by Ryan Briscoe finishing sixth in the No. 8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, continues to lead the championship standings with an eight-place finish on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after also overcoming an infraction..
Tony Kanaan, No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet rounded out the Chevrolet V6 power in the top-10 earning a 10th-place finish.
Simon Pagenaud (Honda) was the race winner, and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Honda) completed the podium.
Next on the schedule is the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 25. The live ABC television broadcast is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m ET.
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: “Sometimes you’re just there and you’re going for it. I guess you just didn’t want to take a chance with the fuel. But at the end of the day, I’m happy with the result. I’m ready for practice tomorrow and I’m ready for the Penzoil car, too.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: No. 11 MISTIC E-CIGS KVSH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4TH: “I knew this race was going to be a bit of a crash fest and sure enough it turned into one, but I am sure it was exciting to watch. It was one of those days when you feel you have the pace, if you can just keep your front wing on and not get hit you can usually have a good day, a good result and earn strong points and that is what we did. I am really proud of the Mistic E-Cigs crew. They did awesome pit stops and the car was strong. We faded a bit at the end on new tires, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a strong finish and that was what we were shooting for this weekend.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 83 NOVOLOG FLEXPEN CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 5TH: “This is a great day for Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing. My engineer, Brad Goldberg, and my team manager, Tom Wurtz, gave me the right pit stops at the right times and just let me go race the car. There were so many different strategies going on and all of those yellows made it challenging for our strategy because we had to run hard towards the end just to get back up into the top five after that last stop. I think without that last yellow at the end we might not have had to fight as hard to get back into the top five and could’ve possibly finished even higher. Overall, I’m just really happy with the guys. We needed this result, especially with the Indianapolis 500 coming up.”
RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 8 NTT DATA CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH: “It’s a really exciting result for us. I wasn’t confident after we got the penalty in pit lane early on in the race, but we had a couple of really strong restarts and the car just came to us as the rubber went down on the track. The No. 8 NTT DATA Chevrolet just got better and better as we went through the race. I’m really happy with the result from today and it’s just a great way for the NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing crew to roll into the month of May.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 8TH: “ I am disappointed for the No. 12 Verizon guys, as they did a good job in preparing us for the race and we were reasonably fast in the Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. We thought we were in pretty good shape to win before the penalty. It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen after restarts. But we will move forward and look ahead for a better finish at Indy 500.
TONY KANAAN, NO.10 LEXAR CHIP GANASSI CHEVROLET, FINISHED 10TH: “Not the day we wanted today but the restarts were really tough and people needed to pay more attention. I think our cars are improving but now it’s time to turn the page with the Lexar car here for the grand prix and starts having some fun getting ready for the 500.”
SCOTT DIXON, NO. 9 TARGET CHEVROLET, FINISHED 15TH: “It was a tough day for the Target car. We had good pace and got a good start to the inaugural road race here for the Indy cars. The turning point of the race for us was really battling with Power. We had a moment right before I spun where he didn’t give me room, and then the next time he opened the door, closed it, and I locked up the tires and spun. Not the day we wanted obviously but we need to focus on tomorrow and prepare for the 500.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 2 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET,
FINISHED 16TH: “We had a winning Verizon Chevrolet today, to be honest. It was very frustrating to have all the problems we had. Got off on the wrong foot at the start. We did what we normally do on a standing start; I dropped the clutch and it just stopped. From there we were behind, but even then we were catching everyone. The lead pack knew we were coming. I really thought we were going to win the race. Then we had the problem in the right rear and lost a lap. That was it. We had a good run but just weren’t able to finish were we should.”
MIKE CONWAY, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20TH: “We had a good start and I started picking my way through some guys. I went to the right and I heard on the radio that (Sebastian) Saavedra had stalled. I stayed inside and I could see that the car was stopped. I went for the spot that was open along the wall. (Carlos) Munoz was in front of me and he misjudged the space and clipped Saavedra. That moved Saavedra’s car out just enough that there was no enough for me and it caught me. That put me into the inside wall and we broke the right side suspension, front and rear. The ECR/Fuzzy’s boys did a great job fixing it. And all I could do was go back out and salvage his points. We tried to learn something with couple of setup changes. Still need to pick up some speed but it was good to get some points and I think we are in 6th now.”
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA: NO. 17 KV AFS RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 23RD: “I don’t know what happened. As soon as I released the clutch, the revs went from 11,000 RPM to zero, which shouldn’t have happened. I just feel so bad for the entire KV AFS team, the guys worked so hard to give me such a strong race car. It’s amazing how the happiest moment can turn around so quickly. We won’t give up though, we still have a long season ahead and will prepare now for the 500.” (Started on the pole, but involved in multi-car crash at the line)
PODIUM PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Helio Castroneves, your birthday. Looked for a moment you were headed towards Victory Lane. In your mind did you know you were going to have to come in for a stop?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: I have to
say Roger did a great job. The Verizon No. 3 car was actually getting better. Not having the warmup, it was very difficult because we didn’t know if the setup we did was going to be good or not.
It was good. I feel we could improve it. Good job from John and the rest of the Verizon boys. And off course, Roger, man, the guy knows a great strategy, I tell you. I didn’t know to be honest what’s the position. He was just telling me, Push, push, push. I kind of understood the message.
I was so focused because it was so difficult. The light was changing. The track was getting better so you could push a little bit harder on the braking points but at the same time not make any silly mistakes.
I tell you, after Barber and Long Beach, after not having so much good momentum, I want to win as bad as anybody, but it’s a great momentum for the month and the start of the Indy 500. I can’t wait to go back in the car tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: We’ll take questions.
Q. What was your view of the start and how close were you to potentially hitting anything?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: I had a great start from 10th. I didn’t see the guys inside. I went to the middle, then outside, went for it. I did not know that Saavedra had an issue or if anybody else had an issue. The only two guys in front of me, which was Juan Pablo and Tony, I saw they kind of like bubbled a little bit. Other than that, I didn’t see the rest of it.
Q. Helio, when you came in, you were a breath of fresh air, climbing fences… Is Simon a breath of fresh air these days?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Absolutely. Simon has been on the radar already for quite some time. Last year or the year before he finished close on the championship. Now he’s winning again.
Certainly Simon has been showing an amazing potential here. He already won races. Great effort for them, especially being local here in Indianapolis.
But I think, to be honest, not only Simon, but a bunch of drivers. It’s been so competitive. It’s amazing how close it is out there. You guys don’t realize to finish here on the podium, it’s so difficult. That’s why it’s great to be here.
Q. Back to the first start with all the chaos, do you think the Dallaras are too sensitive for a standing start?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: I agree. I’m very surprised for what happened today on the start. This is one of the widest places that we actually go. To have that kind of scenario…
Yes, it is sensitive. We don’t do that many because we switch back and forth. But, I mean, that’s why we’re different. The IndyCar Series is different because we go street course, road course, short ovals, superspeedway.
Q. (No microphone.)
HELIO CASTRONEVES: During the practice they allow us to do that, yes. You have to remember, everything is improving. If we got to have them, maybe a warmup.
Q. (No microphone.)
HELIO CASTRONEVES: I used the wrong finger (laughter). Now I’m on probation. End of the month, please (laughter).
Q. Changing the subject a little bit, how pumped now are you for the 500? How quickly do you turn your focus to win the next one?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Exactly. Got to take the moments. Right now it’s a great moment. I’m sure my boys are already thinking about what to change. Like I said, it takes about 12 to 15 hours to convert the road course to oval. You know what I mean.
Tomorrow is going to be a new day. I’m wearing different colors, a different suit, just like the month of May.
But it’s great momentum. At the least your mind is not thinking, I could have done that, this. At least now you’re focused on the 500.
Q. Today’s race probably had a brutal impact on Indy 500 practice. There’s going to be guys without cars tomorrow. We don’t know whether Hinch is going to be able to be cleared to drive. There’s a lot that happened today putting people behind tomorrow and maybe into Monday or Tuesday. .
HELIO CASTRONEVES: I think coming over, a lot of teams are prepared for Plan B or C. You know what I mean? Those teams are all professional. It’s tough, yes, but that’s the name of the game.
Q. Do you have a separate car for the 500? Are you going to try to convert these cars over?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Good question.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: I heard today this Verizon is going to be a spare car. But you got to confirm with the team. I heard that.
Q. We saw an accident on a rolling restart today, typical to St. Petersburg, where the drivers seemed to bunch up. The leaders slowed up for the start. The guys from behind came plowing in. Do you think there should be a change in the procedure?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: We trying to figure it out, man. Right now it’s very difficult. Actually, again, this is the better place to keep most of the people behind. I think everybody trying to work together.
Right now, yes, there is some areas that maybe needs to be fixed. In the end of the day we’re still working on it. Everybody is working together and hopefully we find a solution.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Why don’t you tell them that in the meetings?
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Thank you.
CHEVROLET INDYCAR V6