CHEVROLET IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500
WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY RACEWAY
TEAM CHEVY RACE REPORT
AUGUST 27, 2023
PATO O’WARD PUTS CHEVROLET ON PODIUM AT WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY RACEWAY
- Pato O’Ward raced his No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet to a second place finish in today’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500.
- This is O’Ward’s fourth runner-up finish and seventh podium of the 2023 season.
- Chevrolet drivers have led 1,176 of 1,924 laps to date at World Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR) since the 2017 INDYCAR return.
- Team Chevy drivers have scored 306 podiums in the V6 2.2-liter twin turbo direct injected era so far, along with 22 of those podiums so far in the 2023season and 14 podiums at WWTR since 2017 return.
- Scott McLaughlin led the NTT INDYCAR Series field to the green flag, his first NTT P1 Pole Award on an oval and fifth of his INDYCAR career, as well as the sixth pole award at World Wide Technology Raceway for the Bowtie brand and 126th earned pole award for Chevrolet since 2016 in the V6 2.2-liter twin turbo injected era
- Alexander Rossi, driver of the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, and Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Odyssey Team Penske Chevrolet, joined O’Ward in the top-five finishers of today’s race.
- Chevrolet drivers have won five races so far this year, including McLaughlin for Barber, Newgarden for Texas, Indy 500, Iowa 1 and Iowa 2, and 111 wins since 2012 in the V6 era.
MADISON, Illinois (August 27, 2023) — With the opening practice of the race weekend starting eight and a half hours late after several rounds of severe weather at World Wide Technology Raceway Friday, coupled with grid penalties for several of the top-contenders in the point standings, as well as the addition of an alternate tire compound to be used in the race, no one was sure how the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 would play out.
Championship contender Josef Newgarden, No. 2 PPG Team Penske, took the lead from his front row starting spot at the green, and started his quest for another victory on the 1.25-mile ova. Newgarden maintained his place in or near the front through multiple pit stops and two caution periods, until lap 211 where he made contact with the turn two wall ending his afternoon.
Pato O’Ward, driver of the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, started third on the grid and battled in the top-three throughout the 260-lap race, but didn’t have quite enough for race winner Scott Dixon. A mildly disappointed O’Ward finished second to give Chevrolet their 22nd podium of the year.
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES races to the penultimate event of the 2023 season, next near Portland, Ore. at Portland International Raceway for the BITNILE.COM Grand Prix of Portland Sunday, Sept. 3, 2023. The green flag waves live at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, with additional coverage available through Peacock, INDYCAR Radio, and SiriusXM channel 160.
TEAM CHEVY TOP-10 RACE RESULTS:
2nd Pato O’Ward
4th Alexander Rossi
5th Scott McLaughlin
8th Felix Rosenqvist
9th Will Power
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING (QUOTES)
Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Chevrolet at Team Penske:
“I was just trying to catch up. I knew we were going to lose to someone in fuel save, mostly likely (Scott) Dixon or somebody even if the yellow comes out, we were still behind. So I was just trying to get through cars as quickly as I could after I pitted, and it didn’t work out. I got into the marbles, just a touch too high. I was trying, trying to catch up and ended up not being a good move. That’s where we landed. The team did a good job. Really proud of our group with the PPG car, and can’t thank the team enough for all of their efforts this weekend. It just didn’t work out.”
Can you go to Portland saying I did everything I could do?
“Yeah. Look, we put together a good car and a good race, and it just didn’t work out so we’ll go to the next one.”
Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Chevrolet at Team Penske:
“I’m content with how our Odyssey Battery Chevy ran today. It wasn’t a great day, but we were solid and grabbed some points. In hindsight, taking the grid penalty here may have been the wrong choice. We based it off how racy the track was last year, and we didn’t get that today. The tire marbles were significant and that made it a one-groove racetrack. But getting my first oval pole position was a big step for me and this team. We have two good tracks for us left on the year, so our goal is to get a win.”
Will Power, No. 12 Chevrolet at Team Penske:
“I could not be prouder of everyone on the No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevy. Last night was very long with the damage they had to fix, and it looked like we may be able to sneak a top-five finish if we get a caution late in the race. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out but very proud of the effort. Two races left and two more chances to get a win on the year. We can do it.”
Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren INDYCAR:
“Scott Dixon did Scott Dixon today. When they were telling me on the radio, the No. 9 car is trying to make it until the end, he’s going to make it until the end. I was mentalized that we were second in true running, and man, the lappers just don’t help any. I feel like I do my dues whenever I’m not having a good day, and I don’t screw the leaders’ race. It’s just miserable to be behind because they block to protect and it’s what it is. I’m happy with the result today. It’s another second place in the books for 2023. There’s two to go, so hopefully we’ll get that elusive No. 1 we’re trying to look for in this season and keep on pushing. I’m happy with the strategy today, I was happy with my car, but it was Scott Dixon.
You’re fourth in the points going into the last two races, this team looks like it’s on its stride…
“Yeah, I’m in acceptance. If we get it, we get it. If we don’t, we’ll come back next year and push, right? That’s ultimately what it is and what it’s going to be. You can’t always win all of them. There will be some of them where you think you’re going to win, and then the racing gods have other plans. For now, I’m happy with how we recovered, and we’ll keep searching for it.”
Felix Rosenqvist, No. 6 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren INDYCAR:
”Given the circumstances, we actually had a really good race. We had good speed. Strategy didn’t really play out well, and also we had Nick, our front right tire changer had a problem with his back, so we had a teammate step up as a replacement. He did really well getting thrown into the race like that but when you have a change like that to the crew, it’s never optimal, so we lost a bit of time in the pits. This track is such small margins, so if you don’t do a perfect race, you’re not going to be in the top five. P8 is pretty good for what we had, and the car felt good. Good job to Pato and Alexander.”
Alexander Rossi, No. 7 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren INDYCAR:
“That’s two weeks in a row they’re leaving everyone guessing. I think we were sniffing a podium. That’s all you can ask for. Overall, a really good day for Arrow McLaren. Happy with that. It’s tough to race around here. I applaud INDYCAR for what they did in terms of bringing the alternate tire; that certainly brings a differently element. You just can’t follow cars, and I just feel bad for the people here. You can’t get any better than the conditions here today, and you still really can’t race. We need to look into it. But ultimately, a great day. Happy to be back in St. Louis, and two more to go.”
Ed Carpenter, No. 33 Chevrolet at Ed Carpenter Racing:
“Today got off to a rough start, I was trying to work my way to the outside and made contact with the 55 car. I feel bad that it happened and I will talk to Ben. I am bummed that we started the race off so many laps down. We had a better car than we have had in awhile here and I am proud of the team for continuing to fight.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 20. Chevrolet at Ed Carpenter Racing:
“All in all, a good day for the points. Our pace in clear air was as fast as some of the leaders. I felt really good about the car in clean air, but in traffic we were just stuck all day. The guys did a great job in the pits cycling through that process, and like I said, most importantly we came away with some good points.”
Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Chevrolet at Ed Carpenter Racing:
Pretty good race! Really good strategy by the team. It was a long one. I struggled a little bit to make passes happen in the train of cars. I wish I could’ve moved a bit through traffic, I struggled a little bit with that. I sat back most of the time and we made the right calls in strategy! For myself and Ryan (Hunter-Reay) to finish P11 and P14, it’s pretty good. I did not think this would happen after qualifying. Thanks to the BITNILE.COM No. 21 crew for great stops and strategy. Two back-to-back P11’s, we’re pretty pleased with that. On to the BITNILE.COM Grand Prix of Portland!”
Santino Ferrucci, No. 14 Chevrolet at AJ Foyt Racing:
“It was the result we needed to get. The last set, we gambled on the strategy. I honestly think that was more my call than Larry’s (Foyt). Larry wanted to pit and nobody was set up, and everybody in front of us pitted. I figured let’s go for track position. We’ve been off sequence since the start of the race. We did have a couple of extra laps in the tank, so maybe we’ll get lucky again. I want to say that it worked in our favor without a doubt. The last set of tires, we had a massive vibration in the front which is very uncommon for Firestone. I actually hit the wall car enough to bend the rear toe link really good. We finished the last 25 laps without an issue, so I guess it was okay.”
Benjamin Pedersen, No. 55 Chevrolet at AJ Foyt Racing:
“We had a regular start. The initial launch was good, really good. And then as usual, people were braking into Turn 1, and I was maintain the gap. If anything, I was catching the car ahead of me a bit, but before I knew it on the entry I got plowed from behind and spun into the wall. It’s really unfortunate we were out of the race due to someone else’s fault and they’re still in the race. Just pretty unfortunate, but all I can do is to keep positive energy and work as hard as I can. It just really sucks in the moment.”
Callum Ilott, No. 77 Chevrolet at Juncos Hollinger Racing:
Agustin Canapino, No. 78 Chevrolet at Juncos Hollinger Racing:
“Unfortunately, we got a penalty on the second stop during our race when we were running P7. It’s a big shame because the car was in a good place. It was a pretty difficult race, because it was difficult to overtake here at (World Wide Technology Raceway). Anyway, it’s a shame – it is what it is. We’re still learning, and now we’re focused on the next one.”
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN INDYCAR CHEVROLET – Post-Race Press Conference:
THE MODERATOR: Wrapping up today’s race, we are joined by Pato O’Ward, coming home second today, leading 18 of the laps. Seventh podium of the season, 20th career podium, fourth runner-up finish here in 2023. And David Malukas, first podium of the season, second of his career, second here at World Wide Technology Raceway, as well.
Pato, your thoughts on coming home second here on the oval?
PATO O’WARD: Good points obviously. It’s another second in the books for us this 2023. Yeah, Scott Dixon decided to do a Dixon today. Whenever they told me, He’s going to try to make it without stopping again, the guy’s going to do it for sure.
THE MODERATOR: How does he do it?
PATO O’WARD: Well, he just does it. He’s just Scott Dixon, you know? I feel like that’s what he’s best known for.
THE MODERATOR: Saving fuel?
PATO O’WARD: Yeah. He knows how to do it better than anybody with a great combination that he has with his team and car and everything. It’s a bummer that we weren’t even close to kind of even race him.
But, yeah, I’m happy with today. I’m super happy with the strategy. I don’t think we would have been able to make that three-stopper work.
Yeah, boys were stout in the pits. Super happy with the car. Yeah, a bit annoyed with all the lappers. I’m sure David and Scott are, as well. It’s nothing new, but it has to change. Like, they’re just…
Q. What effect did you think the different tire compound had on the race today?
PATO O’WARD: It brought in some pretty horrendous marbles onto the racetrack, which made the second lane almost impossible to use. I don’t think I was the only one.
Were you struggling with that, too?
DAVID MALUKAS: Yeah, it was pretty treacherous.
PATO O’WARD: I think not that the blacks don’t create marbles, but definitely this alternate tire was a special add-on to that. It made it pretty hard. The difference in grip wasn’t that big of a difference.
Q. Would you be in favor of being on those the rest of the ovals going forward?
PATO O’WARD: I think two different tires for the ovals is actually pretty cool. I just think if they want good racing, we can’t be in single file. Then even the lappers can be racing with the leaders.
Just get out of the way, yeah.
Q. You’re both among the younger drivers in the series, the future of the series. Does it amaze you sometimes when you see that Scott Dixon is still able to do all of these great things? He’s been in the series since 2001.
PATO O’WARD: He’s a six-time champion for a reason. Yeah, you just don’t run out of talent. You just don’t. You don’t forget it either. So the guy is going to be good until he decides to retire.
I think he’s got another 10 years, yeah.
DAVID MALUKAS: I hope not (smiling).
Q. Just the way he’s able to masterfully use that fuel saving strategy, maintaining a big gap, how do you do that?
PATO O’WARD: Starts with S, ends with N. That’s what it is.
DAVID MALUKAS: I was just trying to figure out what that meant.
PATO O’WARD: Scott Dixon (smiling). You tweaking, bro? What you doing?
DAVID MALUKAS: I just spaced out (smiling).
If I knew, then maybe we would be able to replicate it. But we don’t know how he does it yet, so…
Q. You both mentioned traffic issues. If there were something like more downforce where you could easily drive beside them, would that help the issue?
PATO O’WARD: No. Just move. Like, you’re getting lapped, move.
Q. Is the single-file nature of it the crux of the problem?
PATO O’WARD: No. Because if they were fast enough, we wouldn’t be catching them.
DAVID MALUKAS: I think what he said earlier with marbling, if you can do whatever possible to reduce marbles and we can actually use the second lane, then the lap cars won’t be as much of an issue.
PATO O’WARD: Texas, you don’t need them to move because you have a second lane. But you have nothing to do here.
I feel it’s more of a gentleman’s agreement, but nobody follows it. I feel like I’ve followed it pretty much my all my career. If I’m not having a good day, I’m not going to screw your race.
Hopefully that comes in return whenever I am having a good day and they’re not, which has been a few cases. Definitely it’s not everybody. But the consistent lappers, it’s like, Dude…
Q. Heavy marbles make it harder for them to move out of the way safely?
PATO O’WARD: No, just slow down in the straightaway and somebody pass by. It’s super simple.
Q. Pato, how was it having to qualify again on race day morning, then get into the race in the afternoon? Does that change a lot of the dynamic for the team?
PATO O’WARD: I didn’t think it was too bad actually. I enjoyed it. I think it was all right.
Obviously I’m not the one that’s preparing the car. I’m not the one that’s going to be preparing the car if something happens.
I think it does bring in a bit of an extra stress because of just how tight the schedule was from qualifying to the race. Especially around this place, if you get greedy, it will bite really quick.
It’s just finding a fine balance. But I didn’t think it was an issue.
Q. Going into the final two races, Portland and Laguna, very different to where you are today. Portland has been a surprise going through the first turn. Any thoughts looking ahead to that?
PATO O’WARD: I guess just be flexible to the chaos, the right calls.
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