Team Chevy Driver and Points Leader Newgarden Earns Pole Position at World Wide Technology Raceway

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NTT IndyCar Series championship points leader Josef Newgarden, driving the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, will start from the pole August 24 in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway.
The pole is the eighth of Newgarden’s career and is Chevrolet’s ninth in 15 races so far this season. Chevrolet will also be seeking its ninth victory and fourth in the last five races on Saturday night at the 1.25-mile short oval track. The Bowtie Brigade has prevailed in all four oval races, including two victories by Newgarden, who will be aiming for his sixth win of the season.
Newgarden’s Team Penske teammates, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud, who are also in contention for the NTT Series Championship, join him with top five starts. Power, last week’s winner, posted the third fastest time while Pagenaud was fourth.
NBCSN will telecast the 200-lap race live at 8 p.m. ET August 24.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 PPG TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET (qualified – Pole Winner): “It rolled off perfect. We needed to make it a little bit better, but right off the truck it was fast. It was like let’s not do too much to this thing before qualifying. So we didn’t touch it, we just tried to go out and to the same thing we did in practice. It was enough . I knew we had a fast car, it’s just about putting it together most of the time. And we did that. We need to get rolling again. It is going to be all about traffic. So we will take the PPG car and work with Chevy on fuel mileage.

“The pole helps with the championship. Every practice. Every qualifying session. Every race. You just keep marching on until this thing finishes off. Every weekend you come in invigorated that you can put together a winning car and come in and win the race. I think that is why we show up. We are going to try and do that tomorrow night. 

“It is good. It is going to be tough in this championship. Even though we have at 36 point gap, I don’t think that a big gap. This race can change dramatically. Then you have Portland in between and with double points (at Laguna Seca), you just don’t know what is going to happen in this thing.You have to stay on our toes. You have to be alert and hopefully it’s enough and we can average better than everyone else the last three races.”

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET (qualified 3rd): “On the second lap had a big moment in turns one and two. Just cost me a little. The car is good, just had that moment,I think it would have been close.I don’t know how close it was…but think it was close. It was on the right rear and then it just let go and I had to catch it and get off the throttle and get back on it again.”

 SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET (qualified 4th): “”The first lap was very difficult. The car was very active in turn three then turn four. It came alive on the second lap so it was time to be very aggressive on the second lap. I am very happy with the performance. The 22 team did a tremendous job. Team Penske and Chevy as usual gave me a very fast car.”

 SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 21 AUTOGEEK ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET (qualified 13th): “It was tricky there in Turns 1 & 2. There was oil dry down right there at the bottom of the corner where you want to be. It was a difficult run, it just felt like the whole car lacked grip all of the way through. We definitely made some improvements from practice to have a solid run. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”

 ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 SONAX ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET (qualified 17th): “We really have gotten better as the day has gone on, but where we unloaded was too far outside the window. We used up a lot of time in that first practice correcting that. During my qualifying run, I bottomed a little too hard on the second lap and got loose in Turns 3 & 4. We’ll have to work our way through the field tomorrow night.”

  CONOR DALY, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET (qualified 18th): “It’s just such a shame – it’s an ice skating rink out there. These Carlin guys did an awesome job with the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet and we had a really good session this morning, but with the oil dry down we just didn’t have a chance. We didn’t even really get to show our true pace this morning because we saved a set of tires, so I feel like we could’ve been even stronger if we weren’t the first one out again in this qualifying session. There was just no grip at all in turn one, which is where you need it the most. It is a shame because the car was good and we were really aiming to start in the top 10, which was completely realistic with the car we had in this morning. We’ll just work on our race car tonight and work our way up from the back like we did last weekend.”

 CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 23 RIPKURRENT CARLIN CHEVROLET (qualified 19th): “The track was just a lot different for our qualifying run than where it was this morning in practice after that oil dry went down. The car balance caught me out in turn one and I had a big moment on the warm-up lap just trying to carry some momentum. It’s tough because you only have two laps to get the most of the car and when you’re first out and the track conditions aren’t where they should be, it’s just extremely difficult. The No. 23 ripKurrent Carlin Chevrolet is definitely stronger than where we qualified, but we just didn’t have a chance with track conditions the way they were. Thankfully we have another hour of practice under the lights tonight and 248 laps of racing tomorrow night.”

 TONY KANAAN, NO. 14 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET (qualified 20th): “It wasn’t a good run for us, the car had a lot of oversteer which was the opposite of what we had in practice and that slowed the car quite a lot. We’ll have to work on the race setup this next session and see what we can come up with for the race.” 

MATHEUS LEIST, NO. 4 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET (qualified 21st): “I thought we had a better pace but we just struggled with oversteer in both turns and I don’t think it was because the track was a little bit dirty, I think overall we were more to the oversteer side. We’ll work on the car to make some changes for the last practice and try to get a good baseline car for the race tomorrow.”

Pole Winner Press ConferenceJosef NewgardenNo. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet
THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden, who wins his eighth pole of his career. You started on the pole last year at Pocono, but that pole was determined by points. Josef, you came in here this afternoon, and I almost remarked that you looked as relaxed as I’ve seen you in a while. Do you feel like you’ve — you must feel like you’ve got a good car.JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, inside I’m just dying slowly. Years are just coming off me. You can’t see that, but…I did actually feel a little bit better today because Sebastien knows this, but when you roll off with a car that is just fast and it feels comfortable, you don’t have to do too much to make it more comfy, it gives you a lot of confidence, and I can’t remember the last time — probably Iowa, we had a really good car like that, too. And you don’t know, because in ’17 we had a really good car here, ’18 we dropped off with the new aero kit; we just ran out of time and didn’t hit it right.And then we looked at everything, and we came with a completely different philosophy, and right off the truck it was just perfect. I mean, it was like right on. And it’s hard to do that. It’s really, really hard to do that. You try every weekend to make that happen, and it’s like maybe once or twice out of the year you go, okay, we don’t have to do much there. The only problem is I don’t know how that’s going to translate to the race. By myself it was fine, qualifying was fine, but in traffic I kind of hope it’s the same thing.I think we’ve only come to — only gone through half the journey this weekend. We need to go through the race simulation and then see where we really end up. But I feel pretty confident that the PPG car is going to be strong, and Chevy has obviously done their homework and given us a great package.Q. If I recall correctly, two years ago, Josef, you were on the hot seat after the race. I don’t know what those team meetings were like, but do you anticipate that the winner this year will also have to nudge somebody out of the way to win?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Well, I forgot to pack my crystal ball, so tough to answer. But it’s possible. You know, this place could breed it. We’ve seen it. Maybe it will repeat. I don’t know. Hopefully not. Hopefully we’re like up the road and nobody has got to worry about that. But you know, this place because the straightaways are just long enough, I think it invites a little bit more of that late move. You saw last year, too, every move is late. You’re kind of late into Turn 1, and it’s just the style of racing here. So I think everyone kind of knows the drill after a couple runs.It’s really going to be kind of down to is it different than last year as far as lane usage. We were kind of pinned on one lane last year, which hurts the racing, unfortunately. But can we open that up this year, will we get a second lane? That’s what we need to figure out tonight. I will say, though, I think there’s more grip than last year. I think Firestone has brought a bit grippier package. The left side tire change, it just feels a little easier to drive.I still don’t know in traffic how it’s going to translate, but it could be a little different style than what we saw last year. Maybe a little bit more passing. That’s our hope. So we’ll see. I think we’re going to get a lot of answers this evening before we race tomorrow.Q. Josef, in a lot of ways you’ve kind of been the center of attention here in St. Louis. Does that kind you surprise you to a degree? You count last night, and rolling in today you win the pole? Who knows, you may win tomorrow night. It really seems like you can’t really do anything wrong this weekend here.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Give it time. Just give it time. We all can mess up, as everyone has seen from me. But yeah, so far, so good. You know, it’s the same drill every weekend. Sometimes you start off hot and you stay hot, sometimes you start off hot and you get cold. We’re going to try and stay in the good side of the temperature for this weekend. But we’ll just see. I don’t know. Like I said, I don’t know anything about the car in traffic. That’s the biggest unknown for me. I was good by myself. Are we going to be good in race conditions; that’s kind of the next thing on our list.Q. You mentioned temperature. You don’t know race conditions yet. But I think it’s pretty pleasant here and for the fans. Can you talk about that aspect from a fan perspective what you expect, and how much more is the car going to tighten up do you think when it cools off?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I think it’s case by case, depending on the team. Last year we didn’t change much from daylight to night. I think it depends on the car, but for us we were pretty consistent. Grip comes up. We got quicker in the race, and you feel a little bit comfier as you get towards the end of it. It was already getting that way in qualifying. I felt like the grip had come up, aside from the Turn 1, Turn 2 quick dry that was down there. That made it a little bit trickier. But once that gets run off, I think you’re going to have more grip than we’ve had. So 3, 4 is very possible we might get flat towards the end of the night. We’ll see. But I just don’t know. I think temperature-wise it’ll be nice for the fans. I was at a ballgame last night and it was beautiful. If it’s like that, it’s going to be a good night for the fans for sure. But racing-wise we don’t know yet.Hopefully we’ve got a little bit more ability to pass. That’s the goal from everybody. But we just don’t have answers. I don’t have any answers for anybody on that yet.

Inside Track Communications PR

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