CHEVY - Josef Newgarden puts Chevrolet in Middle of Front Row for Indianapolis 500

MAY 22, 2016
Josef Newgarden puts Chevrolet in Middle of Front Row for Indianapolis 500
· Four Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers capture Fast Nine starting positions in first three rows of 100th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing
· A total of 16 Team Chevy drivers will take green flag on Sunday, May 29 at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway
INDIANAPOLIS (May 22, 2016) – Two words can describe the on-track action – exciting and dramatic.
Josef Newgarden went out for his qualifying run about halfway through the Fast Nine Shootout – the only cars eligible to win the pole for the Indianapolis 500 – and laid down a blazing four-lap average speed of 230.700 mph (2 minutes, 36.0470 seconds total) on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. The run took the young American driver of the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Service Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet to the top of the scoring pylon.
After that strong effort, all he could do was wait until the remainder of the Fast Nine drivers took their best shot at the grabbing the top spot.
Newgarden held the provisional pole as the final driver went out for his attempt at the coveted position. With a four-lap effort of 230.760 mph/2 minutes, 36.0063 seconds, James Hinchcliffe (Honda) grabbed the No. 1 spot from Newgarden by less than four-hundredths of a second over the 10-mile run.
Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, will start the 200-lap/500-mile race from the outside of row two in sixth position. Power’s teammates, Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Chevrolet, and Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Pennzoil Chevrolet, will start eighth and ninth, respectively.
All but one of the 33 entrants made their mandatory qualifying run today to set the starting field. The car that didn’t run because of on-track contact will start 33rd in the field.
Four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon, No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, will start 13th. JR Hildebrand, No. 6 Preferred Freezer Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, who was the 2011 race runner-up as a rookie, will start 15th.
Chevrolet drivers Charlie Kimball, No. 42 Tresiba, Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 2 Verizon Team Penske, and Tony Kanaan, No. 10 NTT Data, will occupy Row 6. Montoya is a two-time winner of the race, most recently in 2015, and Kanaan won in 2013.
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Chevrolet, will start 19th, while team owner/driver Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet, will start 20th.
Rookie Max Chilton, No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, came back from an on-track incident Saturday to qualify solidly in the field by grabbing the 22nd starting spot. Fellow Chevrolet rookies Matt Brabham, No. 61 PIRTEK Team Murray-KVRT Racing Chevrolet, and Stefan Wilson, No. 25 Driven2SaveLives-KVRT Racing Chevrolet, had solid efforts that put them in the field for their first start in the prestigious race.
Second-year driver Sage Karam, No. 24 Gas Monkey Energy Chevrolet, will start 23rd, and 1996 Indy 500 winner Buddy Lazier, No. 4 Lazier/Burns Racing Chevrolet, qualified 32nd.
The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be telecast live on ABC, beginning at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 29. Live radio coverage will be on XM Radio Channel 209, the INDYCAR Radio Network, and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 212. In addition, Verizon IndyCar Series live timing and scoring with the radio broadcast can be found at, and INDYCAR App on your mobile device.
The 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Press Conference.
2016 Front Row
Josef Newgarden
Sunday, May 22, 2016
            Q: Everybody has been saying let's make the cars tougher to drive.  Will Power said yesterday this is as hard as it's ever been to drive around here.  Your thoughts, both of you, on the cars here this weekend.
            JOSEF NEWGARDEN: It's been tough, you know.  I was telling everybody yesterday in this room, I was watching Scott Dixon's run, and I was, like, you have no idea how stupid loose he is and how crazy it is driving that car.  Some guys looked better and they were working just as hard.  I wish it looked more spectacular.  You saw some good stuff.  Townsend's save this morning in Turn One was amazing, if anyone say that.  I mean they have been difficult to drive.  We've been running with more downforce than we have in years past.  I think that's a lot to do with the floor.  But we adjust.
            Everyone has adjusted to that.  They figured out how to make it work.  It's been tricky to drive with the wind conditions and when the track heats up, I think it's been tougher to drive the cars than normal.  The way they slide is a little bit more unpredictable now.  I think in years past you're always on the edge here in qualifying, and they slide and that's hard to drive when they slide, but this year they were just sliding in a different way.  It was almost unpredictable the way the car was sliding, and it made it tough to drive.
            Q: Josef, how stressful was the run considering yesterday you ran with the winglets on the back, had more downforce, and once you completed the run to wait for the last five or six guys?
            NEWGARDEN: The run itself wasn't terribly bad.  I thought we had the car pretty sorted this morning.  It was a tough run.  I mean it wasn't easy to drive the car but, you know, running around with a little bit more downforce today, it's been hotter.  So it kept the speeds up somewhat.
            But it was tough.  It wasn't, you know, as on the edge as I think it could have been.  We tried to make it that way.  I think putting it on the ragged edge has not been as successful this weekend.  So we tried to not do that.
            But it was tough.  It was difficult waiting.  I was trying to remind myself it's not about -- the pole is incredible.  You want to win the pole.  I wanted to win it so bad.  I don't want to make it sound like I didn't want it.  It was amazing.  I was trying to remind myself we got to win the race, we got to figure out what we got to do to win the race.  We've already done a great job getting in the Top Nine.  Goal number one yesterday was doing that, and getting a good starting spot today was the second goal.  Pole would have been the best of that, but we got the second best.  So we'll make that work, I think.
            It was a shame we couldn't get the pole, but you can't take anything away from James and Honda and his whole group and his team.  They really are a stout operation.  It's been a pleasure to compete with them and they did an amazing four laps, as did Ryan and, you know, we all had an equal opportunity to lay it down.  They deserve everything they got today.
            Q: Josef, I saw Ed Carpenter hanging around you as you were about to make the final run.  I wanted to ask you real quick, what did you learn from both Ed and JR in regards to the track conditions and how everything was going? Did they give you any advice or was that advice at all for your qualifying run?
            NEWGARDEN: Oh, gosh.  The whole week you're learning stuff from those guys.  It's awesome when you have teammates that are just very talented, very skilled.  We can get through a lot of work with three cars compared to one.  You know, it's a massive help.  All week in practice we're learning things, trying different things, we get to compare.
            Today just Ed hanging around.  He's won the pole here twice; he knows how to get it done.  He's been in that spot.  He knows what it's all about.  I think for him he was keeping me calm and my head in the right place.  He tells me the right things and just wants me to go and get on with it.  But it's a huge help.
            JR has been a huge asset for our team.  I wish we got to work with him more throughout the year.  Like I said, it's not even today, it's all week.  Everything we do, they're very solid drivers, and I think we all complement each other in some way.  So we get to learn so much more over a practice session, a qualifying session with everything that we do.

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Volume 2016, Issue 5, Posted 10:16 AM, 05.23.2016