Will Power Puts Chevrolet and Team Penske on Pole for São Paulo Indy 300 with New Track Record

Polesitter Will Power, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet
Polesitter Will Power, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Firestone Racing/Dennis Ashlock

SÃO PAULO, Brazil – (April 28, 2012) – For the fourth time this season, a Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar has won the pole for an IZOD IndyCar Series race. Will Power put the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet in the number one starting position with a blistering lap time of 1:21.4045, a new track record, around the a 2.536-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit in São Paul, Brazil.

“It’s good to put the Verizon Chevrolet on the pole,” said Power. “It was satisfying, especially knowing that Honda seems to have an advantage on the straights at the moment, so being on pole is a good start to the weekend. I have a feeling it’s going to be wet or maybe wet-dry for the race, so it will mix things up a lot.”

Today’s effort is Power’s second pole of the season and his second consecutive on the challenging Brazilian course. He has won two of the three IZOD IndyCar Series races run thus far this year, and is the defending and two-time winner at São Paulo.

"Congratulations to Will Power and Team Penske on winning the pole for the São Paulo Indy 300," said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing IZOD IndyCar Series Program Manager. "We are very proud of the preparation and determination of all of our Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar teams as they headed to Brazil for this weekend. There were some unknowns heading into the event, but everyone stayed focused and we have a strong qualifying result to show for it with three of the Firestone Fast Six. I am looking forward to tomorrow's race; it should be a great one for the fans."

Also with strong qualifying efforts behind the wheel of their Chevrolet V-6 2.2 liter IndyCar machines were James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, who qualified fourth. And, Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, who will start the 75-lap race from the fifth position on the grid.

Other Chevrolet driver qualifying positions were: Ryan Biscoe, No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet – 10th; Marco Andretti, No. 26 Team RC Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet – 11th; Tony Kanaan, No. 11 Itaipava/GEICO/MOUSER Electronics KV Racing Technology Chevrolet – 12th; Rubens Barrichello, No. 8 BMC/Embrase KV Racing Technology Chevrolet – 13th; E.J. Viso, No. 5 CITGO/PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet – 14th; JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet – 15th; Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Penske Logistics Team Penske Chevrolet – 20th; Ana Beatriz, No. 25 Team Ipiranga Andretti Autosport Chevrolet – 21st and Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Premium Ultra Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet – 22nd.

CHEVROLET DRIVER POST QUALIFYING QUOTES:

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, POLE WINNER: “It’s good to put the Verizon Chevrolet on the pole. It was satisfying, especially knowing that Honda seems to have an advantage on the straights at the moment, so being on pole is a good start to the weekend. I have a feeling it’s going to be wet or maybe wet-dry for the race, so it will mix things up a lot.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 TEAM GODADDY.COM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 4TH: ““I guess four is the number of the day: fourth place, fourth time in the Firestone Fast Six. It’s certainly not a bad starting spot to be on the first two rows, but we had a competitive car in (the second qualifying session) and were hoping for a little bit higher up. I need to get a better handle on how to make these tires work better on the second run. We seem to be good on sticker (tires) but in the second run (on the set of tires) in the Firestone Fast Six we were struggling a little bit. With the compressed schedule and limited track time the Go Daddy guys did a great job getting the car better every single session. We were 11th in the first practice, sixth in the second and now we qualified fourth. We’re steadily improving and if we can keep that trend up for the race we’re looking good.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 28 TEAM DHL/SUN DROP CITRUS SODA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 5TH: “It’s great having all the local DHL people here today to represent and support us. This historically has been a great track for us and we’re disappointed to qualify fifth – but anytime you are disappointed with fifth it’s good news. The DHL/Sun Drop guys did a great job preparing the car; we do need to make some changes for tomorrow but that’s what it’s all about. We’ll be ready to tomorrow rain or shine.”

RYAN BRISCOE, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 10TH: “It’s disappointing to just miss out on the top six by a couple hundreths of a second, but the balance wasn’t quite there in Q2 and I just couldn’t pull out a good enough lap time. But if there’s a track where you can pass, this is it. So I’m looking forward to the race.”

MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 26 TEAM RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 11TH: The RC Cola car was good and we had a good run but I lost my fast lap in Turn 11; the rear just kept coming and I lost all the time. I was a half a tenth off the Firestone Fast Six, that just shows you how competitive the field is - half a tenth takes you from sixth to 11th. I'm frustrated but we can do it from (11th)."

TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 NO. 11 ITAIPAVA | GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 12TH: "We have been chasing ourselves since the first practice... We made a ton of changes from the first to the second practice and then again from the second practice to qualifying. The car kept improving, but during qualifying we made one change that did not go our way. We will keep working on the car overnight to get it ready for warm-up tomorrow and hopefully put on a good show for my fans and sponsors here in Brazil."

RUBENS BARRICHELLO – NO. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 13TH: “I enjoyed qualifying. For five laps I pushed the car hard. I didn’t want to give away any small percentage. I just learned the track this morning and I am still learning about the red (alternate) tire. I think it was a good qualifying. It is just so close and I am still working my way up to get into the top-10.”

E.J. VISO – NO. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 14TH: “I am disappointed with how the day went. It was not the qualifying run we expected. I truly thought we were going to show the speed and performance that we did during qualifying in the previous races, but we couldn’t do it this time. We need to address a couple of things to get us back to where we belong. This series is so competitive that a little change, a little detail, can put you at the top or way down the grid. We have a strong team with a great group of drivers, so I think we can address the problems we have. As far as tomorrow, rain is predicted and that is a big variable that will affect the race strategy.”

JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 15TH: "The National Guard Chevy was good, and the Panther guys did a good job improving it over the course of the day. During qualifying, between overshooting a few corners and some other guys doing the same thing causing some local yellows, I don’t think I did a great job of putting a lap together until the tires were worn off. We were less than a tenth from transferring, and I think that tenth was out there for us, but I just needed to go out there and get it. It’s frustrating on my part because I think the car was there, but that bodes well for tomorrow’s race because we typically race well at these types of tracks and the weather feasibly being a factor doesn’t hurt our chances at all.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 PENSKE LOGISTICS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 20TH: "The Penske Logistics car did well today; we needed just a little bit more. The braking felt inconsistent during qualifying but the Penske crew did a great job fixing the car after practice. We just couldn't put it together today but we will be ready for a good performance tomorrow."

ANA BEATRIZ, NO. 25 TEAM IPIRANGA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 21ST: It was a good day; we just worked on improving time and getting back into the car again. I didn't get much time on red tires before qualifying but they seemed quicker than the black tires and with more time on them I think we could have been faster. We are just looking to be consistent in the race tomorrow and move up where we can and do well. I'm happy today with the Ipiranga and Andretti Autosport team and looking forward to tomorrow." About Chevrolet