Friday, Aug 19

Chevrolet Racing in Ntt Indycar Series - Indianapolis 500: Race Recap

Sunday, May 29 520

Pato O’Ward battled to the very end in search of his first Indianapolis 500 win. The driver of the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet has finished sixth, fourth and now second in his three races on the famed 2.5-mile oval in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

 

He battled the last 25-laps of the race with eventual race winner Marcus Ericsson, veteran Tony Kanaan  as well as teammate Felix Rosenqvist when the red flag flew for a crash scattering debris across the track. When the track returned to yellow, O’Ward lined up behind the leader, and battled for the lead. It became a five-car shuffle with O’Ward scoring a strong runner-up finish, with Kanaan in third and Rosenqvist in fourth.

 

In front of a near-record crowd, the Chevy banner flew near the front of the field from the drop of the green. From the outside of the front row, Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Bitcoin Racing Team with Bitnile Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, battled with fellow front row starters until a single-car incident in turn two on lap 38 put the young driver out of the race. 

 

Callum Ilott, No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet, started 16th and methodically was working his way up through the field to be halted on lap 68 by a crash very similar to VeeKay’s. Ilott walked away uninjured, but retired from the race.

 

Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin suffered a similar fate as VeeKay and Ilott, as the back of his No. 3 Pennzoil Chevrolet, stepped out in Turn Four ending his day as he had worked is way to the top-10 after starting in 26th position.

 

Conor Daly, No.20 Bitnile Ed Carpenter Chevrolet, finished sixth, Santino Ferrucci, No.23 Palermo’s Screamin Sicilia Dryer and Reinbold Racing Chevrolet finished 10th to give Team Chevy four of the top-10 finishers.

 

OTHER TEAM CHEVY FINISHERS AS FOLLOWS:

11.                Juan Pablo Montoya’

12.                JR Hildebrand

13.                Josef Newgarden

15.                Will Power

17.                Kyle Kirkwood

19.                Ed Carpenter

23.                Sage Karam

26.                Stefan Wilson

27.                Dalton Kellett

29.                Scott McLaughlin

32,                Callum Ilott

33.                Rinus VeeKay

 

CHEVROLET DRIVERS IN TOP-10 IN POINTS

2ND               Pato O’Ward

4th                 Will Power

5th                 Josef Newgarden

7th                 Scott McLaughlin

9th                 Felix Rosenqvist

 

Next on the calendar is the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle Presented by Lear on June 5, 2022

 

TEAM CHEVY QUOTES

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 SHELL CHEVROLET, TEAM PENSKE:

“It was another heartbreaking day around here. I’m not sure what happened in our pit stop that ultimately did our day in. We had a stall and it looks like somehow I got stuck in second gear instead of first gear. I’m not sure if that’s on me or not and not sure why that happened. WE will have to analyze the data. If that’s on me, I feel terrible. We have a great team and we did a great job all month. I felt like we were fighting for it all day long. I think we could have run in the top five. I am disappointed for our partners Shell and Chevy. We will assess it and come back stronger the next time around.”

 

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 PENNZOIL CHEVROLET, TEAM PENSKE:

ARE YOU OKAY?

 

Yeah, just a bruised ego and the Pennzoil Chevy is a bit dented and stuff. We were having a rip of a run there and had made our way into the top 10 and just caught a big puff of wind and spun out and boom.”

 

UNBELIEVABLE PROGRESS IN THOSE FIRST TWO STINTS AND YOU JUST CARVED THROUGH THE PACK AND YOU AND HELIO WERE MAKING SOME IMPRESSIVE PASSES THROUGH THE FIELD

 

“Yeah, it was awesome following him. I had a really good restart in one of them and a bad restart in one, but we really settled into a good rhythm and had a good couple of changes. We ended up being right there in the top 10 or their abouts but unfortunately you get caught up one time. I felt like I was on top of things, but it just caught me up.”

 

ARE YOU FEELING OKAY, ANYTHING WITH THE HIP, LEGS, NECK?

 

“Yeah, I am a little sore, but I got checked out and I am good. But you know, its hard to come out straight away after a shunt like that and that is why this place is so scary, and why we love it. I will be back stronger and better next year.”

 

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE UNLOCKED A LOT MORE KNOWLEDGE FOR PACE AT THIS PLACE?

 

“Oh yeah, for sure. I felt like I was making passes today that I had not made before, and I was really confident with things. I was feeling really good, so I am gutted for everyone because they gave me a good car this weekend and I am gutted that I didn’t finish it off.”

 

DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE INSULATORS CHEVROLET, AJ FOYT RACING:

 

PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 McLAREN CHEVROLET, ARROW McLAREN SP: “First of all, I'm really proud of the team. They gave me a really good car. I was so happy with the handling and we executed everything perfectly. We hit the fuel perfectly, we made no mistakes, and positioned ourselves perfectly to have a shot at it.

 

"We got done with that last pit stop, Felix undercut us, I then stopped and started to catch up with him, but Marcus [Ericsson], out of nowhere, came out with some insane speed. He got past me like I was standing still then caught Felix within two laps. I knew when the restart happened I would have one shot, I'd have to go flat and it still wasn't enough. So sadly, they had the faster car. We need to do a better job to beat them, but I'm really proud of the job we did today, it's my best result in the Indianapolis 500. It's a tough pill to swallow after a good race."

 

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 6 McLAREN CHEVROLET, ARROW McLAREN SP:

“Today was a good day. I'm a little disappointed, I felt like we should have had a little bit more. We struggled a little bit with the car in the long runs but overall I'm happy. We passed like 19 cars today, had a lot of fun and raced a lot of people. When you start so far back, you just run out of laps. I want to thank everyone at Arrow McLaren SP for the hard work. They have come a long way since last year, which is really exciting.”

 

FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 7 VUSE McLAREN CHEVROLET, ARROW McLAREN RACING SP:

“Like always, there’s mixed feelings at Indy if you don’t win the race, but it was a good day. I think this was a huge statement for us as a team to be able to be up there all race, all month with the GP as well. It’s a totally different energy in the team to previous years, I think we’re gaining confidence, and we saw that in the middle of the race, when we came in to pit in P8 and came out in P4. That got me so pumped. I feel like that was a turning point for us, when we prove that we can make up four places in the pits, in the biggest race in the world, that’s super cool.

 

"The team, along with our partners Chevy, did a great job all month to give me a great car. I’m really happy for everyone in the team. Obviously I wanted more, but we’ll build on this and try and get some wins over the rest of the season.”

 

JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 11 HOME FOR OUR TROOPS CHEVROLET, AJ FOYT RACING:

 

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON CHEVROLET, TEAM PENSKE:

“When the car doesn’t work on an oval, it’s the worst day you can have. We slowly got it together, I would say the last two stints when the car was a lot better and drivable. But by that time, we had lost so much track position, it was just trying to salvage what we could.”

 

EARLY ON YOU HAD THE STALL DEPARTING THE PIT LANE AS WELL

 

“Yeah, that didn’t help but we only lost five with that.  You know, it never helps, and its my bad on that one.  Yeah, that is just one of those days that you white knuckle it for a long time because its pretty intense when a car is loose on an oval. Its very tough. Terrific job by the team and all the guys to just hang in there. We were 15th with some of the contenders who were back there, so not as big of a loss as it could have been.”

 

KYLE KIRKWOOD, NO. 14 ROKIT CHEVROLET, AJ FOYT RACING:

 

CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE CHEVROLET, ED CARPENTER RACING:

“Ed Carpenter Racing did a great job all month. We knew we could run up front in the BitNile Chevrolet and we got there. The strategy is exactly what we wanted. We got a little lucky with the first yellow, but we passed cars when we needed to. Once we got to the front, we could run there, we could stay there, and that was the goal. I really enjoyed racing with Scott (Dixon). The guys up front are smart, respectful, and I just enjoy it. It was just fun to have a shot at it. I’m thankful to be here and have a 6th.”

 

 

RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 BITCOIN RACING TEAM WITH BITNILE CHEVROLET, ED CARPENTER RACING: WAS INVOLVED IN A SINGLE CAR ACCIDENT ON LAP 38 IN TURN TWO DAMAGING THE CAR SIGNIFICANT ENOUGH TO WITHDRAW FROM THE RACE:

WHAT HAPPENED? ARE YOU OKAY? “I’m okay, physically. The car just got loose in turn two and I was a passenger from that point on. I really felt like we had a car to fight for the win, or at least get a lot of points.  Big sorry to the team and rveryone who were cheering us on because it could have been a nice day.”

HOW WAS THE TRACK?

“It wasn’t like practice, definitely lacking in grip. We made a change during our pitstop and it was definitely better, but that snap just caught him off guard. It is very unfortunate.”

 

SANTINO FERRUCCI, NO. 23 PALERMO’S CHEVROLET, DRYER & REINBOLD RACING:

YOU WERE FAST IN THE BEGINNING

 

“Yeah, our car was phenomenal in the beginning, and we felt great. Our Chevy was fantastic and hats off to the crew. I mean we were the best car on pit lane. We passed so many cars in the pits and these guys did a phenomenal job. I am just upset that we started to lose the car near the end of the race in the final two stints, when we needed it most.  We will go back and check it out but damn, for an Indy-only team I am very proud of these boys."

 

SAGE KARAM, NO. 24 AES INDIANA CHEVROLET, DRYER & REINBOLD RACING:

INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT AT THE CHECKERED FLAG

 

STEFAN WILSON, NO. 25 DRAGONSPEED/CUSICK CHEVROLET, DRAGONSPEED/CUSICK MOTORSPORTS:

 

ED CARPENTER, NO. 33 ALZAMEND NEURO CHEVROLET, ED CARPENTER RACING:

“It just wasn’t our day. we came in with high hopes and just didn’t quite have enough. Early on we were okay, we were getting good mileage. Those first two yellows, we missed the lottery and lost a little track position because we had still been out on track. The guys did a good job in the pits, but we got shuffled back in line. The balance was tough once you got as far back as we got, and we just couldn’t recover from that lost track position and that was that. We’ll come back again next year and try again.”

 

CALLUM ILOTT, NO. 77 DYNAMIC EDGE CHEVROLET, JUNCOS HOLLINGER RACING: INVOLVED IN A SINGLE-CAR ACCIDENT ON LAP 68 AND RETIRED FROM THE RACE.

 

 PATO O'WARD PRESS CONFERENCE

 

 

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with the driver of the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP, Pato O'Ward, coming home a career-best second in the Indianapolis 500.

 

Pato, I can tell you're still thinking about the last couple laps. What did you make of the day, coming home second?

 

PATO O'WARD: Yeah, first, of really proud of the team. They gave me a really, really good car. I was so happy with the handling. We did everything perfectly. We did the fuel perfect. No mistakes were done. We positioned ourselves perfectly to have a shot at it.

 

When we got done with that last pit stop, Felix undercut us, then when I pitted and started catching up to him, then Marcus out of nowhere just came out with insane speed. Got by me like I was standing still. Got up to Felix I think within two laps, passed him like he was standing still, left him. I got to Felix finally. I passed him. I had nothing for him. I said, I need a yellow to try and have a shot.

 

Tony was also really quick coming behind me. I know he was catching me faster than what I was catching Marcus. When the restart happened, I said, I have one shot, I have to go flat, and still wasn't enough.

 

Sadly, they have the faster car. We need to do a better job. We need to come back next year and give it hell again. I'm proud of the job we did today. It's my best result in the 500. It's a bit of a tough pill to swallow after such a long race, doing everything correctly.

 

 

Q. Pato, how big of a reward is this for you given the season you've had so far this year but also going into Detroit next week?

 

PATO O'WARD: Yeah, I love Detroit. I think we've had a great month. Very, very, very good result for us to get our championship in good position again.

 

Yeah, Detroit, I love going there. I'm excited to go. Yeah, for the rest of the championship...

 

Q. Pato, the last two laps were pretty exciting. Ericsson was defending really close down to the pit wall and everything like that. Do you think it was a little too much weaving on the frontstretch?

 

PATO O'WARD: I'll leave that to the race directors.

 

Q. If you had another lap or two, do you think you would have gotten another run on him?

 

PATO O'WARD: Too fast in the straight. Maybe if I would have timed it a little bit better. I really don't think I could have done it much better. I did enough to what we had been doing all race.

 

But, yeah, at the end I was surprised with how much more pace they had in a straight line with quite a bit more downforce. I was just trying to time it as good as possible.

 

Obviously the weaving helped him. Staying on the inside helped him. I got alongside him, but we all know how that ends up in the last lap. No way he would have backed off.

 

Q. What did you think about the decision to red flag it and try to give the fans a finish?

 

PATO O'WARD: I think that's okay. Obviously I wanted it because there was no way I was going to get caught. Tony was probably going to catch me before I would catch Marcus and get by me pretty easily, just like he did.

 

I was happy with it (smiling).

 

Q. Pato, obviously you spoke about it being a little bit bitter this week for you at the end. Can you talk about how difficult the car was to drive in the conditions? How much on the edge were you?

 

PATO O'WARD: Yeah, especially this last stint, the car was hairy out of a few moments. That was the only way for me to have a shot. That was the only way for me to have a shot because I knew they were going to pull out something from their back pocket. I knew it.

 

I think we were one of three cars that was really trim. Yeah, like whenever we practiced and we put the wicker on with everybody else, I said, no, this is turtle slow. We need to trim out and we risk it. I will make sure I don't put the car in the wall.

 

But it was hairy. At the end it was tough. The red flag really helped me cool down the rear tire.

 

PATO O'WARD: I was loose. That was the only way. Without that I would not even have had a chance.

 

Felix wasn't as trim as I was and you saw how much more he needed. I kind of had the step up, but then we both didn't have that bigger step that we needed.

 

These guys had the better car. They did the better job. They had the better package. We need to work. That's just the only thing we can kind of look at. Come back next year and give it a run again.

 

Q. You alluded to maybe you were missing something.

 

PATO O'WARD: Yeah, want to guess (smiling)?

 

 

Q. Is that something you can fix?

 

PATO O'WARD: I sure as hell will do everything in my power to find more. We need to do a better job and just be better.

 

It's frustrating because I think they've done a great job, the team has done a great job, but not enough, not enough. So, yeah, work to do for next year (smiling).

 

 

Q. With two laps to go, restart, the Indy 500 victory is right there in front of you, all you got to do is pass this guy. What is it like in the cockpit, in your head, to have that kind of shot and come up short?

 

PATO O'WARD: You clinch. You clinch a lot every corner (smiling), yeah (smiling).

 

Q. That's it?

 

PATO O'WARD: You go flat and you hope to God the car doesn't snap.

 

Q. Pato, I think everybody knew coming in the Ganassi cars were the strongest. Were they even a little bit better than you were expecting?

 

PATO O'WARD: No, I don't think they were better, especially in traffic. I think my car was the best and I was the most comfortable with it. Yeah, like, in a train of three or four cars, five, six, no one stood a chance against me.

 

Out front, not so much.

 

Q. It sounded like you're satisfied with the way your team executed. Everybody talks about this race is so much about not what you do on race day but the prep. Did the team take a step today in how you performed but still need to take another step?

 

PATO O'WARD: They did a phenomenal job. They gave me such a good car. The way that we worked all month, just getting comfortable with it, knowing that there's that little part of you has to be a little bit uncomfortable for the thing to do good in traffic, which is what you need. Most of the race usually is in traffic.

 

But, yeah, I was so happy with it. I was super, super happy with it, better than what I was last year. Yeah, I'm so proud with what the team gave me. I'm sure Felix is, as well.

 

 

Q. Pato, you finished sixth in 2020, then fourth last year, second this year. What has been the last couple years, how has that pushed forward? What have you done to keep moving forward?

 

PATO O'WARD: Every year not really doing much different. Just knowing a little bit more of how this race usually unfolds and how much to give in certain parts of the race.

 

It's such a such a long race. We positioned ourselves to really open our strategy windows. Yeah, I think you got to do the race, right, to just keep gaining experience like this guy. He's got I think 17 more than me or something.

 

PATO O'WARD: Three.

 

PATO O'WARD: Okay, 18.

 

I think every time you do laps around this place you learn. It's the race where you learn as you go. You don't go out and go balls to the wall. If you do, you're going to put it in the wall. It's a race of a lot of patience, but it's a race where you have to be really smart and you have to be thinking a lot of different things.

 

Yeah, it's definitely a race that's different to any other. We keep getting better and better, so I'm proud of what we've accomplished so far.

 

Q. Pato, finished second. You've had a really nice turnaround the last month or so. Sitting there looking pretty unhappy. Does it suck to be second?

 

PATO O'WARD: Does it suck to be second? Well, I definitely know we didn't suck. I think it's a great result for all of us, a great result for our championship.

 

Yeah, it's a tough pill to swallow whenever the team does everything correctly in such a hard month to achieve something like this. We've been working for this not just all month but the whole off-season. They gave me a car that was fantastic. Felix had the same. I'm not sure where Juan Pablo was. I don't know where he was at in terms of happiness.

 

They gave us all really, really good cars. It's also up to us to see how much can we be comfortable with in order to make it go as fast as possible.

 

My car, the 5 group, was the riskiest of them all because I wanted to win this freaking race. We trimmed out like anybody else in the grid, at least like any other top 10 car. It's just frustrating when not even that is enough.

 

Q. Juan finished 11th. Only one other Chevy was in there between the Arrow McLaren SP. What does that feel like for the team to come out here and really carry the Chevy banner?

 

PATO O'WARD: We've got work to do. We need to get on with working right now. This is when it starts. We need to come back next year with something that's better because it's not good enough.

 

Q. Pato, on the restart, that was the only restart of the day where the leader wasn't able to get past. Marcus took some aggressive moves to try to break the draft. Is that about the only way that works? Usually the guy in second has a pretty good head of steam into turn one.

 

PATO O'WARD: Yeah, I had a really, really good run on him. He was a lot more -- the weaving was a lot more aggressive than what it usually is. Last year, I was in Tony's spot looking at Palou and Helio. They were a lot more gentle with it.

 

PATO O'WARD: Thanks, man.

 

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