FT. WORTH (June 9, 2012) – After an extremely competitive 228-lap race, three Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 drivers scored top-five finishes and a total of five Chevy-powered cars finished in the top-eight at Texas Motor Speedway. Ryan Briscoe brought the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet to the checkered flag in third after leading five laps in the Firestone 550 for the IZOD IndyCar Series.
James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 Team Go.Daddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, finished fourth, and was credited with leading one time for a total of eight laps. JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet, had a strong drive through the field from his 23rd starting position to finish fifth.
“Congratulations to Ryan Briscoe and Team Penske for their podium finish,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager IZOD IndyCar Series. “Chevrolet powered cars took five of the top-eight finishing positions in an exciting night race at Texas Motor Speedway under the lights. Congratulations to Andretti Autosport and Panther Racing on a great race with their drivers James Hinchcliffe and JR Hildebrand finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
"Despite a high attrition rate, none of the Chevrolet’s suffered mechanical engine failures. The issues resulting in the DNF’s (Did Not Finish) will be addressed and the Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 teams will be ready to do battle in Milwaukee next weekend.”
Helio Castroneves, No. 3 AAA Team Penske Chevrolet, recovered from a mishap on pit road that sent him deep in the running order to finish seventh.
Series’ points leader Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, led for a total of 24 laps before on-track contact with another driver forced him down pit road to serve a drive-through penalty. Power battled back to finish eighth in the final order.
The IZOD IndyCar Series moves next to The Milwaukee Mile for Milwaukee IndyFest on Saturday, June 16, 2012. The race will start at 1:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage will be provided by ABC TV.
CHEVROLET INDYCAR V-6 DRIVER QUOTES:
RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: “It was tough. Certainly you needed to work on the set up all night, the balance changed a lot from the beginning of this stint to the end, and man you just had to hang on. It was hard work. My car, the last two sets of tires just went off really badly in the back, so I was battling a loose car, which is hard work. I’m glad the race is over, you know, the guys put me in position to win tonight, I had the lead I just didn’t have the car to bring it home and stay in front. It’s disappointing, but I had a huge moment out there at one point tonight and I’ll take third.”
PARTIAL POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT: ON HIS RACE: “It was good racing, but it was tough out there tonight. It was exactly what we asked for. No complaints. Frustrating. Any other year with the track position I was given there at the end, we would have won this thing. Unfortunately I just didn’t have enough car in that final stint to hold off Graham (Rahal) and (Justin) Wilson at the end. They did a great job. Bad luck to Graham for that tire going down I guess. They are both deserving. A bit disappointing. We got away with a big one tonight. I had a huge moment off of turn two about mid-race. I was lucky to save it. It’s a shame we don’t have an in-car camera tonight, it would have been a good one to watch. It was great. It was just really hard work out there. Unbelievably hard racing. You need to look after tires; work on the set-up all night. I would say it was fun, but it was certainly good racing.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 TEAM GODADDY ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4TH: “Pretty solid day for us. We had a quick car and could run up with the leaders early on. We made a strategy decision half-way through the race to not take tires when some of the leaders did. In hindsight, it might not have been the best call. But, at the end of the day, we had a good enough car to run back up through the field. We had good Chevy power all race long. In the last stint, you were really hanging on to those cars. It got so loose, it was the longest sort of last 10 laps of my life. But, huge credit to the guys in the pits. The GoDaddy crew was solid. To have the GoDaddy car back in the top-five after the disappointment at Detroit. Hopefully we can keep that streak back going of qualifying and finishing in the top-six.”
JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 5TH: "Starting from 23rd, going a lap down twice, we’re definitely happy to come home with a Top Five in the National Guard Chevy. This is a place where Panther has been good, so there’s always a little bit of an expectation that when we come in here we can work our way up to the front. The last few stints the car was super loose, but we were able to keep the speed up enough that we didn’t lose a lot of time or positions. And when the car was good we could hammer on it and catch up. We would have liked the car to be a little bit better at the end of those runs, but shoot man, we’re happy to take a finish like this tonight. I definitely think all the drivers like being able to drive the car – I was going full swings back and forth during a run to make the car work better, and that’s fun for us when you’re the one that makes it work and you can see the results. It’s still an engineering project, but as a driver it’s super nice to have a lot more input into what’s going on.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 AAA INSURANCE TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH: “What a race, the AAA machine was great. We passed a lot of cars and were able to drive through the field. Unfortunately we had a lot of vibration and lost a lot of rear wheel grip towards the end, we just couldn’t hold the top three and finished seventh. It’s upsetting because when you have a set up like that because it really gives you a great opportunity. But I will take seventh with a big smile on my face because I’ve crashed many times out there and so I’m happy we were able to finish in the top ten.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 8th: ON INCIDENT WITH TONY KANAAN AND THE RACE: “Yeah, I mean I had (Ryan) Briscoe on the outside of me. Tony (Kanaan) took me by surprise. I feel bad for him because I ruined his day. He knocked his front wing off he had to come in and change it. I feel bad for the guy, we ruined our own day. We had one of the best cars out there, but I have to say this is the best racing I’ve ever had on an oval. You had to lift, you had to look after your tires, you had to really drive the thing, it was moving around. That is just the sort of racing that we need at these sort of tracks. I think it was great. I feel bad for my guys. To bloody end up with a drive through I feel as though we could have quite easily won this race. But, yep, experience.”
TONY KANAAN – NO. 11 MOUSER ELECTRONICS | GEICO – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 12TH: “I have to thank my sponsor Mouser, this was their home race and I feel bad that I couldn't bring home a good result. I also want to thank my crew guys, we had a problem on the first pit stop and they managed to get it sorted and send me back out. Will Power then did the biggest block on me ever. We have been talking about safety and that wasn't cool. I did go and talk to him after the race and we talked it out. I had a busy night, it was unfortunate that happened because I think we had a pretty good car and hopefully we put on a good race for the fans.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 12TH: “It’s disappointed because we made our way to the front. We had a vibration during a couple of stints that cost us a lot of time. It was just a weird race. I know we are all worried about pack racing but I prefer the way we raced at Texas before. And I may be on an island in that sentiment. Hopefully the fans enjoyed the race never the less. We worked our way to the front and that we had a good chance to stay there. Obviously, we were hoping better than 12th tonight. We had a little tough luck on our green flag pit stop because, about two or three laps later, the yellow came out when Scott Dixon crashed. But that is racing. We’ll regroup and get ready for Milwaukee next week.”
KATHERINE LEGGE, NO. 6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 15TH: “That was one of the most difficult races I’ve ever done,” said Legge of her first race at Texas Motor Speedway. “With the weight jacker broken, I had no way of adjusting the car to control understeer. We had also made some big changes to the car overnight, but we made some big gains. We were very shy on front wing at the start of the race, so we kept adding it during pit stops. I feel like we could have been competitive near the end of the race if we had the tools inside the cockpit that I could have used to adjust the car. In the end, it was a learning experience.”
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 26 TEAM RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 17TH: "That's a disappointing finish because we were really fast tonight. We could run with the leaders, but the car caught fire after a stop and I had to come back in. It was out by then, but we lost a lot of laps. It's frustrating because it was a really fast car. Now, it's on to Milwaukee. If we can catch a break, we have the speed to win."
E .J. VISO – NO. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 19TH: NOTE- VISO RETIRED FROM COMPETITION AFTER STOPPING ON-TRACK ON LAP 130: “We had a strong performance today. We started with a car that was not in the best shape, however stint by stint we made it better. By the third stop we had a pretty good car that gave me the tools to fight my way into the top-six. At that point we had a problem that cut all the power on the car which ended my race. I am very proud of the work my crew had been doing week after week. Unfortunately, our results don’t reflect how strong our performance has been in every race. We all know this a tough sport, so we have to just keep fighting and good times will come very soon.”
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 22 PANTHER/DREYER & REINBOLD RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20th: NOTE-SERVIA RETIRED FROM COMPETITION AFTER SUFFERING A MECHANICAL ISSUE ON LAP 90: “We started to have a fuel pressure alarm on the wheel and every lap was just all of a sudden getting worse. I was running full throttle and it just wouldn’t carry any speed. We think we have an injector problem or something, which is rare, but it happened today. I was happy with the car. We worked very hard yesterday and it was a good race car. We were moving forward and just after the first stop is when we started to have issues. Already on the restart I couldn’t accelerate well.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 26 TEAM DHL/SUN DROP CITRUS SODA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST: NOTE – HUNTER-REAY RETIRED FROM COMPETITION AFTER SUFFERING A MECHANICAL ISSUE ON LAP 67: “Injector problem, I don’t know just lost power. We slowly but surely were losing power. It’s unfortunate, it’s really unfortunate. We had a really good start to the season going, really good in points. Now with three straight mechanical issues it’s so unfortunate. These guys work so hard and I think we had a good race car going tonight. I think it might be time for me to cut off the facial hair. I don’t know what to do.”
RUBENS BARRICHELLO, NO. 8 BMC/EMBRASE KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 24TH: NOTE – BARRICHELLO FAILED TO START THE RACE DUE TO A MECHANICAL ISSUE