CHEVROLET INDYCAR AT ST. PETERSBURG: TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE

CHEVROLET IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
STREETS OF ST. PETERSBURG GRAND PRIX
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
FEBRUARY 28, 2023

QUEST FOR EIGHTH NTT INDYCAR SERIES MANUFACTURER TITLE BEGINS ON THE STREETS OF ST. PETERSBURG

SETTING THE SEASON’S STAGE IN ST. PETE

Entering the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, Chevrolet looks to defend capturing the coveted 2022 Manufacturer Championship, in addition to the driver’s title with Will Power and owner’s title with Roger Penske. Both the Manufacturer and driver/owner titles were the seventh for Chevrolet since rejoining INDYCAR competition in 2012 with the 2.2 liter V6 twin turbo direct injected engine.

In seeking its eighth title, it all starts for Chevrolet on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. On the intricate street course, Chevrolet drivers have raced to victory eight times since 2012. The season-opening event holds a special place in Scott McLaughlin’s heart, who earned his first career win in INDYCAR last year in St. Pete driving the No. 3 Chevrolet for Team Penske.

“I know that we made a massive step personally for me last year,” noted McLaughlin. “That was due to a number of things clicking, working out really good. But now what we know of INDYCAR racing, you just need to continue stepping up a little. We need to continue to build as a team, and for myself. I’ve certainly looked at negatives that I can improve on. Hopefully that bodes well to repeat our win at the season opening race at St. Petersburg, and for the rest of the season.”

“There is a great vibe for all of us at Team Chevy heading into the NTT INDYCAR Series season-opening race on the Streets of St. Petersburg,” said Rob Buckner, Engineering Program Manager for Chevrolet in NTT INDYCAR SERIES. “Although 2022 is in our rear view mirror, there is positivity and momentum coming off our successful season for all of our teams and drivers. We are looking forward to working with new drivers, engineers, and other team members to get 2023 off to a great start. The fans at St Petersburg are awesome and have a great appreciation for INDYCAR.

“Every year the INDYCAR Series gets more and more competitive. We will have the largest grid we’ve had for many seasons, which ups the level of importance of getting the cars as close as possible right off the truck to ensure qualifying success. On some tracks, where you start plays a huge part in how well a race will play-out for a team and driver. Our teams powered by the Chevrolet 2.2 liter V6 engine have worked tirelessly throughout the off-season to gain performance out of every inch of the car. St. Petersburg is a challenge with changing surfaces and limited passing zones so maximizing tire and throttle management is critical. St. Pete has been good to Chevy over the past 11 years, so we want to continue to add to those statistics.”

The 19th Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg kicks off with practice on Friday, March 3, at 3 p.m. ET. On Saturday, practice will start at 10 a.m. ET; Firestone Fast Six qualifying will start at 2:15 p.m. ET. The morning warmup on Sunday is at 9 a.m. ET. All practice and qualifying will be live on Peacock, INDYCAR Radio and SiriusXM Channel 160. The 100-lap race Sunday, March 5 will take the green flag at 12 p.m. ET live on NBC.

TEAM PENSKE PREVIEW

Kicking off their 12th year of partnership with Team Chevy with the V6 engine, Team Penske looks to capitalize on Will Power’s 2022 INDYCAR championship and Scott McLaughlin’s St. Petersburg win, along with their nine victories last season. With eyes forward on the new year, Team Penske added to their strategic powerhouse on Josef Newgarden’s No. 2 Chevrolet, with Luke Mason moving to be Newgarden’s race engineer. Scott McLaughlin will continue to build on the momentum made in 2022 with race engineer Ben Bretzman on the No. 3 Chevrolet, while Will Power will continue to be supported by his long-time race engineer Dave Faustino on the No. 12 Chevrolet.

ED CARPENTER RACING PREVIEW

With a year of upcoming team and driver milestones, Ed Carpenter Racing enters 2023 looking to grace the podium with drivers Rinus VeeKay and Conor Daly. Milestones the team hopes to celebrate with on-track success will be Conor Daly’s 100th INDYCAR start at Long Beach, VeeKay’s 50th start at Barber Motorsports Park, and team owner/driver Ed Carpenter’s 200th start in the second race at Iowa Speedway’s doubleheader in July.

Heading into the first event of the season, the team sees Matt Barnes continuing oversight as Chief Engineer, while also serving as race engineer to Rinus VeeKay on the No. 21 Chevrolet. Pete Craik will lead Conor Daly on the No. 20 Chevrolet, while Brent Harvey serves as race engineer for Ed Carpenter and the No. 33 Chevrolet on ovals this season.

ARROW MCLAREN INDYCAR PREVIEW

Heading into the 2023 INDYCAR season, Arrow McLaren has shifted from two-full time entries to three. Joining drivers Pato O’Ward in the No. 5 Chevrolet and Felix Rosenqvist in the No. 6 Chevrolet, will be Alexander Rossi in the No. 7 Chevrolet.

O’Ward looks to continue his quest for more podium finishes and wins starting at St. Peter. As the 2022 season wound down, Rosenqvist’s performances were on the upswing, and he and the No. 6 team look to continue their climb in the season opener. Bringing his seven years of INDYCAR competition experience, and 114 starts with eight wins, Rossi seeks to notch not only his first win on the Streets of St. Petersburg, but also his first win for Chevrolet as well. O’Ward will be led by race engineer Will Andersen, with race engineer Chris Lawrence guiding Rosenqvist, and Craig Hampson leading Rossi and the No. 7 team.

AJ FOYT RACING PREVIEW

AJ Foyt Racing welcomes two new full-time drivers for the 2023 season. Santino Ferrucci will drive the famed-No. 14 Chevrolet, with INDYCAR rookie Benjamin Pedersen behind the wheel of the No. 55 Chevrolet. Heading into St. Petersburg, Pedersen will be paired with Daniele Cucchiaroni as race engineer, while Ferrucci will be led from the timing stand by Roberto Garcia as race engineer.

JUNCOS HOLLINGER RACING PREVIEW

Returning to the No. 77 Chevrolet for Juncos Hollinger Racing is Callum Ilott. Joining Ilott will be Argentina’s Agustin Canapino in the No. 78 Chevrolet. Building on last year’s improving qualifying efforts as well as his two top-10 career INDYCAR finishes, Ilott looks to the new season as an opportunity to continue the team’s momentum. Moving from Argentina to the United States to start his INDYCAR career at the beginning of 2023, Agustin Canapino kicked off his rookie campaign with preseason testing at Thermal Club in February.

Ilott is supported by Steve Barker as race engineer for the No. 77 team this season, while rookie Canapino will be led by Charlie Ping as race engineer in the No. 78.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING (QUOTES)

Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Chevrolet at Team Penske:

“During our test, I felt really good with our package. The progress we made in 2022 was very evident here, very useful because of (…) first-gear corners, very big premium on traction, traction capability. I thought our drivability was fantastic. It’s good to have this type of environment [at Thermal Club] to get ready for St. Pete. I left the test feeling really confident that we’ve got a team that can build together and try and push from the very beginning of the season. I thought the performance on the 100% renewable fuel was fantastic. It’s a huge step that we’re making as a series with Shell to run 100% renewable fuel. The first series in the United States to be able to do that. I didn’t notice any performance loss from the engine. I can’t speak highly enough about that step. We should be shouting that from mountaintops. It’s very cool what Shell has been able to provide us. I think the Chevrolet engine has adapted quite well to it. The drivability has been excellent.”

Will Power, No. 12 Chevrolet at Team Penske:

“I think it’s the whole off-season of preparation. You’ve got simulators that you can go through setup items and somewhat keep sharp. It’s never the same as the real car. There’s no substitute for being in the real car. But everyone is in the same boat, and you’ve got to make the most of these very limited days. Then we turn up at St. Pete and it’s a track that suits me. It’s pretty tight, technical, got to brush walls to get it. Yeah, everything I like about qualifying is that track, and there’s not much time to think so you’re always in a corner. Yeah, always look forward to going to St. Pete.”

Conor Daly, No. 20 Chevrolet at Ed Carpenter Racing:

“It’s been cool to be around for nine seasons, but I’m just excited to be here again. This level of continuity is super important, right? We have a great off-season to work together with the team, to work with all of our partners, to really market what we want to market really well this year with BITNILE.COM. We want to be faster at certain places. We’ve been able to look at all those places all during the off-season, which is really cool. We got to do a lot of simulating days in the end of last season, the beginning of this season. There’s a lot of really cool stuff. I can hardly wait for St. Petersburg.”

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

“Starting at race one, my goals for the 2023 season are getting back to the top step of the podium, winning a race again, hopefully more than one. But ideally just to be more consistent and be closer to top-fives and top-10s all the time so we can be high up in the championship standings at the end of the season. I’m really excited to get to St. Petersburg; first race of the season. I’m excited for that.”

Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren INDYCAR:

“In terms of personnel, this year has been a very big one for Arrow McLaren. One reason being probably because of the third car, and the team is growing. It’s great to see everyone’s enthusiasm. Everybody’s here for that one goal. We all put so much time and sacrifice and energy into making these racecars go quicker. We, as drivers, put it into how we can maximize it. Really excited to get this season underway.”

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

“I think it’s a massive opportunity to be back for a third year. I feel like I have all the tools I need to perform. I’m feeling pretty good with everyone at the car. There were so many things happening on and off the track, and as a team we really learned a lot from that we can bring into this season, so I think we will be tough this year. We have a lot of things in the bag to try early this season. I’m in a great spot. I’m in a well-performing team, not only at Arrow McLaren but my No. 6 car will be strong this year. I feel well with everyone around me. I feel like I have good support from the team to go and perform. I just try to do what I can do which is go fast forward and races.”

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

“Arrow McLaren is a fantastic organization whose results speak for themselves. I think that what they’ve done in the past couple of years is very impressive. They’re a great organization with great partners and great people and getting to work now with GM and Chevy has been pretty cool as well; to see what they’re doing and to push the program forward. Like Is aid, it’s been a lot of conversations and things in theory, and we don’t really know anything until we get on track, but from where we sit, we’re very, very excited for what’s to come.”

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

“I actually haven’t driven on a street course in INDYCAR in quite some time. Hopefully it’s like riding a bike and just comes right back to us. It’s been nice though to be with the team since September, so I kind of already feel like I’ve had a season before the season, so we’ll see what we can do. Getting the opportunity to work with AJ [Foyt] and the team to take this team from where it is and to build something with Michael [Cannon] and Larry [Foyt] is going to be nothing short of a challenge. But I’m really looking forward to that. I really think I’m up to that challenge now. It will be a reflection on all of us how we do this year because it’s not just on me, it’s not just on Michael Cannon, it’s not just on our leadership. It’s on everybody coming together as a team and making this effort, making a really good effort.”

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

“I felt like last year I was a part of the team. The only thing I wasn’t doing was driving the car; every team meeting I was a part of. Being on the timing stand, seeing strategy come into play, it was a really big help. It made me feel like I got a season’s worth of experience without driving the car, and now the only difference is, I’ll be driving the car. The strategy meetings, everything like that, will feel similar and I’m grateful to the team for letting me be a part of that last year. I can’t wait to do it now for real, and as an official driver for them and working together.”

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

“What sets INDYCAR apart from Formula 2 or whatever, you are constantly competing with the best. If you look at the grid this year, it’s incredible. I thought last year was good, and this year is going to be a touch better. Going into St. Pete, Long Beach, the ovals, for me, that will be really where the performance gain is. To be able to really compare what the performance gain that we had across the season to last year compared to now this year, that will be important to see. St. Pete will be a tough one, but a good one to see where we’re really at.”

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

“I chose to take the opportunity to come to America because it’s INDYCAR. INDYCAR, in my opinion, is the most demanding and competitive category in the world. For me, it’s a big opportunity to try something at an international level. We’re here with some of the best drivers in the world. It’s a big opportunity. I don’t know the cars, the tracks, the ovals, but I love the challenge. I love the situation. I know it will be difficult to me, but I have confidence. I need time. I need to learn day by day, test by test. t’s awesome. In my country, Chevy fans are a lot. You can see a lot of people with tattoos of with the Chevy logo, my car, my signature. The Chevy brand in my country is very popular so for me, it’s a good thing.”

CHEVROLET ON THE STREETS OF ST. PETE (STATS)

Wins at St. Petersburg (since 2012): 8

2012 – Helio Castroneves (Team Penske)

2013 – James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport)

2014 – Will Power (Team Penske)

2015 – Juan Pablo Montoya (Team Penske)

2016 – Juan Pablo Montoya (Team Penske)

2019 – Josef Newgarden (Team Penske)

2020 – Josef Newgarden (Team Penske)

2022 – Scott McLaughlin (Team Penske)

Number of Team Chevy Pole Awards at St. Petersburg (since 2012): 8 (2022, 2020, 2019, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012)

Chevrolet Driver with the Most St. Petersburg Pole Awards (since 2012): Will Power, 6 (2020, 2019, 2017, 2015, 2013, 2012)

Number of Team Chevy Podiums at St. Petersburg (since 2012): 21

Number of laps led by Team Chevy at St. Petersburg (since 2012): 624

2023 CHEVROLET BY THE NUMBERS

182: NTT INDYCAR SERIES races as V6 engine supplier since 2012 return to INDYCAR.

106: Wins in NTT INDYCAR SERIES since 2012.

120: Earned poles since 2012.

8: Chevrolet drivers have won eight of the 12 races since 2012 on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit in St. Petersburg, Fla., that opens the 2023 season, including three of the past four years by Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin (2022) and Josef Newgarden (2022, 2020, 2019).

21: Chevrolet drivers have corralled 21 of the 33 podium finishes at St. Petersburg since 2012.

7: Manufacturer Championships since 2012.

7: Driver/entrant champions since 2012.

26: Wins by Will Power since 2012 – all with Chevrolet power – most of any driver with same manufacturer.

14: Consecutive seasons with at least one win by Will Power, including past 11 with Chevrolet power.

9: Wins from pole by Will Power with Chevrolet power since 2012, most by any driver.

44: Pole starts by Will Power since 2012 in a Chevrolet-powered car, most of any driver.

*Will Power’s career total of 68 poles makes him the all-time pole winner in INDYCAR.

Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, available in 79 countries with more than 3.2 million cars and trucks sold in 2020. Chevrolet models include electric and fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Best New Zealand Online Casinos

RacingJunk.com and Leaf Racewear Safety Equipment Giveaway

Rocketplay Casino

10 deposit casinos

Best Betting Sites in Canada

Latest articles