CHEVROLET INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS: Team Chevy Monday Practice Report

CHEVROLET IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
INDIANAPOLIS 500
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA
TEAM CHEVY PRACTICE REPORT
MAY 20, 2024

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, TEAM PENSKE, AND CHEVROLET LEAD MONDAY’S SHORT INDIANAPOLIS 500 PRACTICE AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  • Josef Newgarden, driver of the No. 2 Shell Team Penske Chevrolet, led Monday’s two-hour practice for Chevrolet with a best speed of 226.238 mph.
  • Chevrolet was represented by four drivers in the top-five and seven of the top-10.
  • Monday’s session saw the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 field turn a total of 2,655 laps, with Chevrolet completing 1,273 laps.
  • The NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers and teams have one practice left before the prestigious Indianapolis 500, with Carb Day on deck Friday. Coverage of Carb Day practice airs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Peacock, as well as the Pit Stop Challenge at 2:30 p.m. ET.

TEAM CHEVY TOP-10 PRACTICE RESULT:
Pos. Driver
1st Josef Newgarden (226.238 mph)
3rd Will Power (226.137 mph)
4th Agustin Canapino (225.747 mph)
5th Pato O’Ward (225.738 mph)
6th Christian Rasmussen (225.718 mph)
8th Romain Grosjean (225.507 mph)
9th Alexander Rossi (225.448 mph)

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING (QUOTES):

Santino Ferrucci, No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet:

“Feeling really good. We’re slowly tuning this thing up. Every time we go out there, we find a little bit and find a little bit, and that’s part of the game. As long as we don’t lose a little bit, we’ll be good.”

Sting Ray Robb, No. 41 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet:

“Today was good. I think that we have a better idea of where our Goodheart Chevrolet needs to be and where it is compared to where we were before today, which is nice. We had a little bit of an issue in the middle of the session and we were able to come back to the garage and figure it out quickly, which I’m super proud of the guys for doing. Got back out there, and got some race running in. I’m really excited about the race. I think we can go forward in the field. It’s going to be tight. Super competitive this year. Everyone is on top of their game this year. I’m excited to see how it shakes up. I’m really proud of the Goodheart crew and really want to do well. I think we have good potential.”

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

“It’s definitely not the best day that I’ve had all month. I’m hopeful that we can continue to make some changes to find even more. In terms of balance, I don’t think we’re in a bad spot. We just need to make sure we get all of the speed out of the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet that we can.”

Callum Ilott, No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet:

“It was pretty interesting session considering the hot temperatures. I think we made some big improvements towards the end and had some good traffic running. We went through everything we needed to, so I’m pretty happy with the No. 6 NTT DATA Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. Now we’ll move on to Friday and go for it there.”

Alexander Rossi, No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet:

“It was our next to last practice before the race and the No. 7 VELO Arrow McLaren Chevrolet is in a good window. We’re just carrying on the goodness all month. I’m looking forward to Carb Day on Friday.”

Kyle Larson, No. 17 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet:

“I thought today was great. I got more comfortable with different scenarios that I haven’t been able to put myself in yet, mostly focused on pit lane. It was good to finally get some runs at pit entry and run the length of pit lane. I like that our pit stop is on the Turn 1 side. It gives me time to think about how to execute a pit stop, which I still need get more comfortable with. I feel like I could race now and do a decent job, but it’s good that we still have another day left to get ready.”

Gavin Ward, Team Principal at Arrow McLaren:

 It’s always amazing how you feel like you’ve got all the time in the world when you get here, and then when you get through qualifying, you don’t have much time left. It was a busy session trying to get the Arrow McLaren Chevrolet cars as good as can be for the race. We feel pretty good about where we’re at and we have some happy drivers. We’re chipping away at things bit by bit. There’s one more session to go and then it’s time for the real thing.”

Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet:

“Happy to be back in race trim and in race running! It was a pretty solid practice. We were able to run closely to other guys which was good considering we are in a car that was put together in a few hours. The guys now have the time to straighten out the car ahead of the race. I’m happy and confident heading into Carb Day.”

Christian Rasmussen, No. 33 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet:

“Good practice. Gone from quali trim and focusing on that to race trim and focusing on traffic. I think we’ve done some good learning for me personally, but also some good tweaks on the car. We’ll be ready for the race. It’s exciting. I’m looking forward to it.”

Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet:

“The car feels good. I’ve been happy with it since we showed up. There’s been a lot of work put into this racecar all year from everybody. I’m excited to go racing. It’s exciting to have Shell back on board, trying to have another solid day this Sunday coming up. The team has done a great job. We’re excited to be here, like I’ve talked about all week. I love this place. We’re going to see how things shape up. You’ve just got to be ready for everything. I think we’re going to make a plan, and might follow the plan, or we might change the plan. You never know with the Indianapolis 500. Just ready for Sunday. I think we checked (the box) pretty early in the week. Our racecar and what we showed up with is very much intact. It’s there. The car is capable of racing and doing well. That’s kind of a box of its own. There’s a lot of other things you’ve got to be able to do in the race to tackle any challenges, but I think the car is very raceable and it’s got speed. You have that box check. You can kind of make anything else work, in my opinion.”

PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN CHEVROLET – End of Day Press Conference:

THE MODERATOR: Pato O’Ward has joined us, fifth quick on the speed chart today, 225.7 in the 70 laps turned by the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. He’ll start eighth, middle of row 3 coming up on Sunday in his fifth Indianapolis 500. Are you good to go or do you need a little more practice time on Friday? What’s the thought process right now?

PATO O’WARD: Definitely hasn’t been the best of the days of the month. We’re just — we’ve had some annoying issue that we just can’t seem to perfect. I just hope we can fix it. If not, we’re going to be in handicapped mode for the race.

But in terms of balance, I think we’re pretty sporty if we fix that.

Q. Now you’ve got us curious. What’s the issue?

PATO O’WARD: Too many variables.

Q. Was it speed? Was it balance?

PATO O’WARD: Yeah. We’re slow. We know what it is, but it’s a lot easier said than done to fix it or not have the issue.

It just sucks when you’re not fast enough around here. You feel helpless.

Q. How much does this elevate the importance of the two-hour Carb Day practice?

PATO O’WARD: I would love to get another run in. Just a few laps would be great, just to see if we’re able to at least minimize it. But it’s all good. Still enjoying the process. (Smiling).

Q. When you’re going through your practice programs and you’re seeing thing after thing that doesn’t quite work, how much does that exacerbate everything that’s going on?

PATO O’WARD: I mean, all you can do is kind of just ignore it and try to make all the other things work and just put a lot of emphasis on that to make sure it doesn’t happen on race day. Obviously there’s still a possibility that it could. I think it’s just part of what you have to kind of battle with around this place. There’s a fine line with everything. If you want the car to stop well, you’re going to give up in other areas. If you want more speed, you’re going to give up in other performance areas where you kind of need them all in the race.

It’s just part of it. It’s part of it. I mean, I’m confident my guys are going to fix it and truly kind of dig into just see how can we not have that issue and/or just get rid of it completely.

Q. How good is it to not have — maybe you do want practice between now and Friday, that by not having any track activity, they can go through everything, try and take everything apart and iron everything out?

PATO O’WARD: The problem is a lot of the times you take everything apart and it’s fine as soon as you go out, but then as runs go on, they start building, building, building. It’s just you’ve got to pepper it in is probably the best way I can express it.

I don’t want to worry about it. Obviously it’s just — it’s annoying whenever you’re not aware of it until — obviously until you are aware of it. Then it’s like, oh, that explains this, this and this. But up until then, it was kind of like, dang, where are we.

Q. How easy is it to go into race trim after spending the last couple days in qualifying trim? Is that an adaptation you have to make yourself?

PATO O’WARD: Definitely a lot slower. Qualifying is a different dimension I would say in terms of just how much lighter the car is by yourself. But in race mode, you can scare yourself for sure.

Today the track in 3 and 4 and 1 and 2 for me was a bit of a — a bit different than what I had felt in the past couple days of race running. In race day maybe it comes, and it’s the absolute opposite, or maybe both ends of the track feel the same. I think that’s why you’ve got the tools inside of the car. But ultimately it’s just all about staying on top of it and then just having enough things that you can kind of pepper in throughout the race in order to have it comfortable enough.

The worst thing that can happen is just the front wing or rear wing or the bars that you’ve got and the weight jacker, if you can’t really alter the balance to a somewhat comfortable liking, then it really is a miserable three hours.

Q. The last few weeks how has it been working with Kyle Larson? Have you learned anything from him? Have you been talking to him much in the entire process?

PATO O’WARD: Honestly, he’s had a very intense schedule, so I haven’t really seen him much. We’ve talked to each other a couple of times, but yeah, in a lot of the debriefs he’s not there because — like yesterday he had a race. He’s got a packed schedule, so we actually don’t get to see him a lot.

Q. I know you’re working on your own program, but was there anybody else out there who looked particularly sporty?

PATO O’WARD: I think a lot of cars looked very sporty, more than I can count with my fingers I would say. I think there’s a lot of cars with a shot. Maybe it’s just because I felt a little slow. We speed up, we’ll be fine.

About Chevrolet

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands. 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

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