Chevrolet Indycar at Mid-Ohio: Team Chevy Race Recap

Under threatening, overcast and humid skies at the green flag, the rain held off at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course just as Chevrolet raced to a podium finish with Will Power, driver of the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet taking the checkered flag third. Additionally, Power’s Team Penske teammate Scott McLaughlin, driver of the No. 3 Good Ranchers Team Penske Chevrolet, represented the Bowtie brand in the top-five.   

 

Reflecting on the race, Power said, “Yeah, very solid day. I had no clue where I finished, actually. I saw P3, but thought, ‘Oh wow, third!’ I thought I was like eight or something. There’s no mistakes all day. We drove really hard. Got the fuel when we needed it and had a fast car. Maybe I was a bit slow on my out laps. So, I’ll take a podium any day in this series.”

 

“Pretty solid day,” noted McLaughlin. “I think we were capable of a podium today. The car was really strong. Just picked our way through the fight. Got held up on our last exchange there, but, annoyingly, but I think we’re in a good spot. I think we’re only 30 points out of second in the championship. [Alex] Palou’s doing a really good job at the moment. It’s up to us and Chevy and everyone else to work hard and catch up to everyone. Really proud of the hard work, but we just need a little more and we’ll be right there. Good day.”

 

Additionally, Chevrolet was represented in the top-10 by Arrow McLaren INDYCAR teammates Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi, finishing eighth and 10th respectively.

 

“I was comfortable and happy in the car today, a great job by the entire team to fight from 25th to eighth,” reflected O’Ward. “We didn’t have help from anybody today. No yellows, no lappers, no nothing. I’m happy with our result considering that we truly had to fight for every single position. We passed nearly every single car on the track, so there wasn’t one lap that went through that we weren’t pushing to the absolute maximum, so I’m pleased with that and congratulations to Alex Palou.” 

 

The 10th round of the 2023 NTT INDYCAR Series season takes Team Chevy next to the streets of Toronto for the Honda Indy Toronto Sunday, July 16. With 85 laps, or 151.81 miles determining the victor on the 11-turn, 1.786-mile temporary street circuit, the race broadcast airs live Sunday starting at 1:30 pm ET on Peacock. Additional radio coverage is available from INDYCAR Radio and SiriusXM Channel 160.

 

TEAM CHEVY TOP-10 RACE RESULTS:

Pos.  Driver

3rd     Will Power

5th     Scott McLaughlin

8th     Pato O’Ward

10th   Alexander Rossi

 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING (QUOTES):

Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Chevrolet at Team Penske:

“It was just a tough day. Not what we wanted on the No. 2 car. Great fight for everybody. Great hustle all weekend trying to figure out what this track and road course package needs to be. Proud of our effort for working through it this weekend, but we just didn’t quite get there. Had a tough Saturday, which led a little bit into a tough race. But for us, it’s just keeping going, and trying to work on it one race at a time. Proud of everyone at Team Chevy and PPG, and we’ll go to the next one and try to be better.”

 

Will Power, No. 12 Chevrolet at Team Penske:

On the heat and humidity as well as being at a physical racetrack…

“Even though it was hot, I never seem to suffer physically these days. I think it’s because I’m just so attuned to it because I’ve been racing for so many years. It’s just, I rarely feel pain in the car. I probably feel it, but just tune it out.”

 

Felix Rosenqvist, No. 6 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren INDYCAR:

“It was a frustrating race for us. We got taken out on Lap One by Ericsson. I gave him a lot of room, but I think he misjudged a corner. He came up to say sorry, and he took on the responsibility, but it doesn’t help, you know. We tried to get it back. We tried to run long every stint, hoping for a yellow so we could get a lap back, but it just didn’t work out. We had really good pace in the car, but it just wasn’t our day.”

 

Alexander Rossi, No. 7 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren INDYCAR:

“The race was probably our best session of the weekend, which just goes to show how much of a struggle it was. The team did a good job overnight with a lot of changes to get the car more in the window. It’s disappointing to only have a 10th-place finish, but we’ll move on to Toronto.”

 

Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 20. Chevrolet at Ed Carpenter Racing:

“We had a really good start, we were up three positions in the first few corners. We pitted early on reds on the first stop and that just handcuffed us to fuel strategy the rest of the day. I’m not really sure what happened on the pit sequences, I didn’t get passed on track once but we got leapfrogged all day and ended up falling back a bit. We will go back and look at it, learn from it, grow from it and be better in Toronto.” 

 

Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Chevrolet at Ed Carpenter Racing:

“It was a tough race, a lot of work. We were not fast enough. It is tough to pass here and track position is so important. We finished around where we qualified and I think it was that way for the majority of the field. We maximized what we had, but it was a day full of a lot of work with a pretty hard fuel save at the end. I am pretty happy with my execution, but not the result. We have to start doing better.” 

 

Santino Ferrucci, No. 14 Chevrolet at AJ Foyt Racing:

“Long day in the office. I thought we obviously had found a better race car than it looked, also wrong strategy trying to run the three (pit stops) instead of the two, but at the end of the day we took a gamble hoping for a later yellow and it just never came. So either way, we need to go and understand why we were so quick at Road America and not so quick here at Mid-Ohio and bring that into Portland and Laguna.”

 

Benjamin Pedersen, No. 55 Chevrolet at AJ Foyt Racing:

“When you look at the weekend as a whole, we as a team with both cars struggled quite a lot actually most of the weekend with our actual pace and we actually made the car feel a lot better throughout the weekend but we’re just struggling as a team to get pace out of the car here. Gave it everything I had in the race to fight for position for the team and yeah, just gave it everything I could. We’re working really hard to figure out how we can get more pace at tracks like this and understand why we happen to have on the other hand why we have very strong pace at places like Road America and other places like that. All in all, we’re working really hard to get better.”

 

Callum Ilott, No. 77 Chevrolet at Juncos Hollinger Racing:

“P16 overall. Probably could’ve got a little bit more out of that. I had a tough time after the first pit stop, and it wasn’t easy to maintain track position. But after that, once we were going, pace was good, and I was able to move forward a little bit. It’s P16. But, on to the next one. We’ve got Toronto coming up. Last year we were strong there. We have to take these points when we can get them and learn what we can.”

 

Agustin Canapino, No. 78 Chevrolet at Juncos Hollinger Racing:

“We finished our race in Mid-Ohio. Unfortunately, it’s not the race we wanted. Anyway, we finished the race, and now we will focus on the next.”

 

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – Post-Race Press Conference:

THE MODERATOR: Also joining us finishing third today, Will Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet. Third podium of the season for Will. Of course, the defending INDYCAR SERIES champion. 97th podium of his career. He is one shy now of the late great Al Unser for fifth great all-time in that category.

 

Will, you said on the TV broadcast you looked up and heard at the very end you finished third. A little surprised by it?

 

WILL POWER: Yeah, I didn’t know where I was the whole race because the last I knew at the start I was P9 and then obviously the whole sequences went on.

 

Yeah, real fast. Solid day. No mistakes. I think if I got a bit better start, I could have been — it’s hard to say. Obviously Palou is very quick.

 

Yeah, not much more we could have got out of the day. That was kind of what we had.

 

THE MODERATOR: Feel good about it? Did you guys need this, need a podium?

 

WILL POWER: Yeah, obviously everyone needs to beat Palou, but I don’t think — that’s going to be a very tough challenge to beat him in a championship this year. He is so on point in every respect, in every respect.

 

He is not missing a thing, which is very difficult in this series to be extremely fast, which there are a lot of guys that are, but then being able to do all the disciplines as well plus the intricacies of fuel save, tire conservation, in-and-out laps, the qualifying.

It’s bloody hard to have that all nailed, and he is doing it.

 

Q. For both of you, the last time a driver won three in a row was you in 2020. You started the season with three victories in a row, and you have had some pretty good seasons. The last year you won with consistency. When you look at a situation where a driver is not only winning the most races, but he is also the most consistent, isn’t that almost an unbeatable combination?

 

SCOTT DIXON: Definitely. Yeah, it does make it tough. As Will commented, and it’s not just Alex, but Julian, the whole 10 car group are just doing a phenomenal job. Even with Barry as well.

It’s never a single person. The effort is big I think on all the cars in Chip Ganassi right now, but they’re firing on all cylinders.

 

It’s hard. I think we had a pretty good race today, but obviously we still didn’t have enough to overcome that. I think had a few things changed, same as with Will, same as anybody out there, could have been a bit more racier.

 

Yeah, it’s going to be tough to beat.

 

WILL POWER: Yeah, like Scott said, he has a — just from a strategy standpoint as well, which I know it’s the first time he won a championship. That group on that car is very smart. Like, they’re putting it all together. Yeah, it’s an absolute team effort, but he is also nailing it.

 

I think Ganassi in general seems to have a very good package right now all-around. So they’re a tough group, tough group. All good drivers. Obviously a very strong team. I think we all have a little bit of work to do.

 

Q. If both of you could talk about the peace of the race, other than the first lap incident between the two drivers from Sweden. It was fast, and it was green all the way until the end. What’s it like out there from the driver’s standpoint to where you’re just out there running all the way to the checkered flag without stopping?

 

SCOTT DIXON: It was still really tough. I think to get your laps right for me actually and I think talking to Alex, we got pretty loose towards the end of the race, which is a little bit unusual, but lap traffic was pretty tough.

 

Some of the people seemed tougher than some of the others, but I actually had a couple of pretty good runs on most of them, and it wasn’t too much of an issue.

 

I know Alex got held up pretty heavily there by the 55. I think we closed about a 10-second gap with him there on that situation.

 

Yeah, trust me, it’s not easy, man. You’re flat out trying to get as much as you can every lap, and it’s hard work, hard work.

 

WILL POWER: Yeah, I think that the blue flag rule, it’s crazy. You use push-to-pass up and have to race somebody that’s going to be a lap down like you’re racing for position.

 

The series is so tight and competitive, and everyone is so good now that I think we could have a blue flag rule. It’s not like we have yellows constantly, and you’re going to get your lap back.

Maybe they do it in the second half of the race, but it’s ridiculous when a leader gives up 10 seconds. I mean, I think you were five seconds down the road, closed it right up. Probably would have overtaken you if I didn’t get held up on going a couple of laps longer.

 

Yeah, there should be — we should have a talk about it, I think. I don’t know what you think.

SCOTT DIXON: We do every year.

 

WILL POWER: We tell them every year. They’re, like, yeah, yeah, no, we hear you. Crickets.

 

THE MODERATOR: It’s better than not hearing it at least.

 

Q. What is the simple solution there because the car you’re talking about held up quite a few guys today as you are alluding. Is there a solution in the sense of if you’re doing it to everybody, maybe it’s time to move? How do you go about that, Will?

 

WILL POWER: I think that’s actually the problem is it takes a lot of people to police that because if there’s a blue flag rule and the first guy passes and then you’ve got to have a command blue for everyone, but I think if everyone just understood, if you get the blue flag, you have to let the driver go within the lap.

 

That I think is their issue is the amount of people in race control that would have to police that. It becomes — I think that’s the thing. It becomes a bit difficult, but we’re at the stage where this competition is so tough maybe we have to add some people to do that.

 

SCOTT DIXON: I think disabling the OT would be the first kind of…

 

WILL POWER: The disabling of the OT, and that was the one they say, well, how do we police? Do we disable it for everyone after that? It sounded like that was a big problem, but not like a ton of people go a lap down anymore anyway.

 

Yeah, disabling the push-to-pass would be a big step if you are going to be a lap down, yeah.

 

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