Archive for March 11th, 2017

Power Continues St. Petersburg Qualifying Dominance

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Saturday, March 11, 2017) – Will Power continued his mastery of Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg qualifying, winning the pole position today for the seventh time in the last eight years for the opening race


the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

Driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, Power navigated the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street course in 1 minute, 1.0640 seconds (106.118 mph) on his final lap in the climactic Firestone Fast Six – the third and final round of knockout qualifying. The 2014 series champion’s lap was 0.1579 of a second better than Scott Dixon in the No. 9 GE LED Lighting Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“I saved a good set of tires for the end there,” said Power, a two-time St. Pete race winner (2010 and ’14). “They had one (fast) lap on them.

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“What They’re Saying” from Firestone Fast Six qualifying at Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet): “Well, we’re certainly disappointed, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to pack up and go home. The PPG Chevrolet team and I will go to work and figure out how we can improve. They are the best in the business. We have our work cut out for us, but once the race starts, all sorts of things can happen.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I have been told numerous times that this car has been victorious twice in the last two years here. So no pressure, right? Hopefully, go get it done. But I think we have a good start. Fourth place, it’s the best that I’ve started around St. Pete here, so I think our guys did a great job. I feel like I didn’t maximize that final Firestone Fast Six as much as I could have, but I also don’t think I would have gotten Will (Power). I think Will put a really good lap together. He did an awesome job. We’ve had good cars. I think our race cars off the truck have actually been pretty good, and we haven’t had to do much. We’ve been able to stay inside of our window, for the most part, this weekend. I’m excited. You know, the next thing for us now and certainly for me is to learn the race car, how it’s going to perform over a tire stint. We haven’t done much of that, at least I haven’t, with the team here at Team Penske, so I’m excited to figure out that portion. As you said, they’ve had luck with this car in the past, so hopefully, it’s going to be a strong race car, and I think we can do a good job with the Verizon No. 2 car this weekend, and hopefully we can seal it up for tomorrow.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “We didn’t miss by much, but that’s how close it is in this series. Fortunately, I have the Hitachi Chevy guys behind me and I have all the confidence in the world that they can give me a car to go to the front. You just want to get to the next round. Anything can happen. We came up a little short, but I think we have a great race car.”

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Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Qualifying Results

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg qualifying results

Click HERE to view and download the official qualifying results of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – Qualifying Saturday for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.8 mile(s) St. Petersburg street circuit, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, time and speed in parentheses:

1. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 01:01.0640 (106.118)
2. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 01:01.2219 (105.844)
3. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 01:01.3039 (105.703)
4. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 01:01.7229 (104.985)
5. (26) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:01.9851 (104.541)
6. (10) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 01:02.0824 (104.377)
7. (8) Max Chilton, Honda, 01:01.3516 (105.621)
8. (98) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 01:01.5198 (105.332)
9. (83) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 01:01.6066 (105.184)
10. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:01.6181 (105.164)

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Schatz Secures the Sweep at Vegas

Abreu and Schatz battle in the closing laps
LAS VEGAS – March 10, 2017 – In front of a nearly packed grandstand, local fans and beyond witnessed an exciting performance from one of the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Sprint Car Series’ most elite drivers, Donny Schatz. Not only were members of the Nellis Air Force Base in attendance to witness their racing heroes fly around The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but the drivers were also racing on the fast-action track as a salute to America’s servicemen and women in the final night of the FVP Outlaw Showdown.
Schatz not only won his 11th series race at the half-mile, but also swept the event. Schatz doubled his $15,000 purse from the opener, collecting a total of $30,000 in winnings at Vegas. The North Dakota native was awarded the “Badlands Bonus” for both shows, as well as a gold-toned tool set commemorating Craftsman Tool’s 90th anniversary. He also took a pair of slot-machine trophies home to Fargo, N.D., one for each of his victories. Since the season opener in mid-February, Schatz has won five of the first six shows in 2017 – a personal best to start a World of Outlaws season.
“All I can say is, I finally got to ‘Park It,'” said Schatz in front of a roaring crowd. “We had something happen there in the mid-part of the race – I just couldn’t get into rhythm. I tried to get through lapped traffic and Rico [Abreu] obviously got by us there on the restart. I got in good position to get out front and had clear track after that. It’s been tricky here, but if it was easy then it wouldn’t be fun for any of us. I was a little nervous when he got by. Every time I get into this car, it’s unbelievable.