CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
105TH INDIANAPOLIS 500 PRESENTED BY GAINBRIDGE
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY FINAL PRACTICE RECAP
MAY 28, 2021
Team Chevy drivers finished final practice for Indy 500with strong runs
INDIANAPOLIS – MAY 28, 2021
All 16 Chevy powered drivers completed the 1:45 hour final practice (cut 15 minutes short by weather) without incident and are ready to roll in Sunday’s 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge..
Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menard’s Team Penske Chevrolet, was the fastest of the Bowtie Brigade setting the second quickest lap of the session at 227.157 mph.
Teammate Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Shell Fuel Rewards Cheveolet was third on the charts at 226.856 mph followed by Conor Daly, No. 47 US Air Force Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet with a speed of 226.399 mph.
Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet, was sixth, with rookie teammate Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Pennzoil Chevrolet in seventh. Sage Karam, No. 24 DRR-AES Indiana Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet in 10th.
Remainder of the Team Chevy drivers finished Carb Day as follows:
11.Pato O’Ward. No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
12.Max Chilton, No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet
14.Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 ROKiT/AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet
16.Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 86 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
17.JR Hildebrand, No. 1 ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet
24.Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
25.Dalton Kellett, No. 4 KITS.com/K-Line Insulators/AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet
30.Ed Carpenter, No. 20 SONAX Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
31.Rinus Veekay, No. 21 Bitcoin Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
32.Simona De Silvestro, No. 16 Rocket Pro/Paretta Autosport Chevrolet
NBC will telecast the 200-lap race at 11 a.m. ET Sunday, May 30. Former race car driver Danica Patrick will lead the field to the green flag in the 2021 mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette Stingray hardtop convertible. The 2021 race marks the 32nd time for Chevrolet to pace dating to 1948, and the 18th time since 1978 for America’s favorite sports car.
Will Power and Conor Daly Press Conference Transcript
THE MODERATOR: Looking at low 70s and sunny on Sunday.
WILL POWER: I saw low 60s. The most recent.
THE MODERATOR: Depends who you talk to.
We’ll take questions.
Q. Will, much better day for Penske today. Is this what you knew all along, once you were out of qualifying trim you would be much better?
WILL POWER: We have been. Low boost race trim we’ve been very good all the time. It’s just a bit confusing why we’re not fast in the qualifying high boost level.
Yes, haven’t really ventured far from our original setup from the last couple weeks. Yeah, in a good window, got a new engine obviously. It’s probably a little bit better. Felt good, felt good. It’s just going to be a matter of catching a good yellow or if it’s cool you can pass. Hoping for a cooler day. We’ll see what happens.
Q. Roger said this morning, the question was are the cars going to be okay on Sunday, and he said our cars are always good on Sunday. Is that accurate?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, based on practice, yes. We’ve had pretty good cars. Even last year in the race, they were reasonable. Obviously starting way back there just makes it super hard.
Q. You each have said two different things. You said you hope it’s cool on Sunday, Scott hopes it’s warmer. Some people actually called today racing, the racing was amazing today. What is the better show for the fans?
WILL POWER: Cooler.
Q. Selfishly you want it warmer?
WILL POWER: It’s pretty tough back there. Either way…
Q. Conor, what time do you and Ferrucci throw down so we’re all there?
CONOR DALY: I don’t really care. I’m happy to do so. Just kind of crazy. It was a bit ridiculous. I don’t really mind. It was on track, he hits the curb in turn two, nearly crash, but also decides to drive me all the way into the grass.
WILL POWER: Who is that?
CONOR DALY: Santino. Earlier on when I passed him, the guy tries to, like, I don’t know. I was like I thought this is Carb Day. I get it, but I thought we were practicing. I didn’t know we were sacrificing our vehicles for a prize today.
Q. Conor, do you feel you’ve had a good two weeks?
CONOR DALY: We were until we went out today. Completely different. It’s actually very confusing.
WILL POWER: Loose?
CONOR DALY: I won’t tell you.
WILL POWER: It was loose for me. Massive push.
CONOR DALY: We were pretty good. I think it was just a much more difficult science project today. I think when you work towards the days getting hotter and hotter, we thought we made the right moves. I was very happy Sunday afternoon. Sunday afternoon I was like let’s go racing right now. Now I want another four days of practice.
WILL POWER: How much practice we have, engineers still want to try stuff. It’s crazy.
CONOR DALY: Tough, for sure. I think we made some progress towards the end. We’re not bad, but I didn’t feel as sporty as before. We’ll have to put our thinking caps on, go through our notes.
Q. Obviously Sunday is going to be a little sunnier, probably a little warmer. Do you experiment with practice today for setups for Sunday or for the conditions you ran in today?
WILL POWER: You try to run the downforce level that you’d run on Sunday. The track temp will certainly spread things out. If you have a clear day, it’s such a cool track temp today, everything works together, also keeps the tires under you. Track temp will certainly change the game, even if it was a cool temperature like this.
Q. I notice the wind direction is coming out of the north. Sunday looks the same. Anything play a factor that you can to over to Sunday?
WILL POWER: Different every day, honestly.
CONOR DALY: It’s been different. I think the wind is still very powerful. Something better about each corner every day.
WILL POWER: Two was awesome today. You can just be hooked up. Four sucked. That could just change. If the wind changes 180, it will be the opposite so… That’s this place. You never work it out.
Q. Will, from your position, are you going to have to be like a Tasmanian devil to get up to the front?
WILL POWER: No, obviously you can’t be too conservative but you can’t be too aggressive either. You don’t want to end up in the wall. Just a methodical day. Good pit stop sequences, maybe fish for a lucky yellow, strategy call like that.
Yeah, you can’t force it around this place. You just can’t. You got to get a good balance and get in that rhythm. It’s very difficult to tell if you can pass 32 cars back. Like last year at the start, qualified 24th or something. Yeah, you couldn’t do much at all. It’s a bit more downforce this year, I’m hoping that you can, if you got a bit better car, get through a few cars.
Starts and restarts will matter, and good pit stops.
Q. Will, the broadcast picked up you talking some talk about you discussing Simona’s steering trace during qualifying, being quite impressed by what you’ve seen. Can you tell us a bit more about that, if that was the case?
WILL POWER: Yeah, no, she held onto it and didn’t lift. More impressive than what I did, I reckon. She didn’t hit the wall, but she was catching it multiple times a lap.
Yeah, she certainly wasn’t scared of the car, put it that way. We all looked at her, went, Yeah, man. That’s hanging it out. She didn’t lift. That’s pretty good.
Q. Will, your race pace today seemed good. Is that a confidence booster for Sunday?
WILL POWER: Yeah, we actually improved the car by the end there. Car’s really nice. Yeah, it would just be a matter of circumstance and also performance to make it happen, to get to the front. It’s not impossible.
Last year where I started, I felt like we didn’t have a very car at all. We could have finished sixth if I didn’t go long in the last pit stop. You can move forward, no question, just through other people’s mistakes and doing a solid day.
Q. Conor, definitely hasn’t been the start to the year that any driver wouldn’t want from the Texas accident, Truck Series start, the accident. When it comes to readjusting for this type of month, what this track means to everybody, what has it been like this year with that stuff behind you? What’s the mindset been like?
CONOR DALY: You can’t change the past, you can’t predict the future. You just got to be the best you can be every day.
That stuff, I’ve been through a lot of that stuff before, wild and crazy times. As do most drivers. I think we’ve had an incredible couple weeks so far. Even from qualifying at Indy GP. We had great progress with the car there, which I’m excited to use at Detroit, as well.
Yeah, I mean, obviously it would be fantastic to just have a nice Sunday, you know what I mean? Something where we can go to the end, Things went okay today. We’ll try to avoid any type of chaos that goes on, but also we want to be patiently aggressive, be there at the end, but also take advantage of every possible start and restart.
You’re going to be putting your life on the line those starts and restarts how this is going. You better be ready to find some new areas of the track that you’ve never been to before.
Q. All right. Last year by leading 111 laps, you went from ninth to third in all time laps led. I don’t know if you knew that. During the course of the race, you passed Vukovic, Parnelli Jones, Foyt and Mario to run third. I think this year if it’s 82 laps that you lead, you would pass Ralph De Palma and Al Unser. You could very easily leave here on Sunday as the all-time lap leader. I think that is an astonishing accomplishment.
WILL POWER: That’s big.
CONOR DALY: Put that on a T-shirt (laughter).
THE MODERATOR: We’ll let you guys go.
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