Will Power Keeps Team Penske and Chevrolet Perfect in 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series Competition with Win at São Paulo
Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar Drivers Score Three Top-Five and Seven Top-10 Finishes in Fourth Race of Season
SÃO PAULO, Brazil – (April 29, 2012) – Will Power, behind the wheel of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 Indy car, kept Team Penske and Chevrolet perfect in 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series competition with today’s win of the São Paulo Indy 300. It is the third consecutive victory this season for the Series’ points leader, as well as his third consecutive win on the challenging 2.536-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit in São Paul, Brazil.
‘Full credit to the Verizon guys, Chevy and Team Penske,” said Power. “These guys make it possible. We did it; three for three. That was a good race; a great race; another good strategy by the team. The boys did a great stop on the pit stops."
It is also the second consecutive year that Power has won the Brazilian race from the pole position. With Helio Castroneves’ victory in the season-opening event on the Streets of St. Petersburg, for the first time in his 44-year career, Team Penske owner Roger Penske has achieved the milestone of winning the first four races of the season.
"What a win today at São Paulo!" said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing IZOD IndyCar Series Program Manager. "Will Power and Team Penske are showing the qualities that win championships. We are so proud of the efforts of all the Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar teams. With Ryan Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves bringing home top-five finishes as well, it is a testimony to the determination, dedication and depth of talent of our teams and technical partners in the IZOD IndyCar Series. What a tremendous first four races of the season. Now we shift our focus to the Indianapolis 500!"
Chevrolet-powered drivers claimed three of the top-five finishers today. Ryan Hunter-Reay brought the No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet to the checkered flag in second position, nine tenths of a second behind Power. With his second podium finish of the season, the Andretti Autosport driver sits fourth in the point standings.
Helio Castroneves’ fourth place finish today in the No. 3 Penske Logistics Team Penske Chevrolet kept the native Brazilian second in the standings. It is his third top-five finish of the season including his St. Petersburg win.
A total of seven Chevrolet V-6 2.2 liter IndyCar drivers were credited with top-10 finishing positions in the 75-lap race. James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, finished sixth, his fourth top-six finish of the year. Hinchcliffe is third in the standings after four races.
JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet, scored the seventh finishing position. He is tied for eighth place in the standings with fellow Chevrolet driver Ryan Briscoe, No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet. Unfortunately, Briscoe made an early exit from today’s race, and was credited with the 25th finishing position.
KV Racing Technology teammates E.J. Viso, No. 5 CITGO/PDVSA KV Racing Technology Chevrolet and Rubens Barrichello, No. 8 BMC/Embrase KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, finished ninth and 10th respectively. Barrichello is 11th in points and Viso sits 13th heading into the Indianapolis 500.
Other Chevrolet driver finishing positions were: Tony Kanaan, No. 11 Itaipava/GEICO/MOUSER Electronics KV Racing Technology Chevrolet – 13th: Marco Andretti, No. 26 Team RC Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet – 14th; Ana Beatriz, No. 25 Team Ipiranga Andretti Autosport Chevrolet – 20th and Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Premium Ultra Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet – 21st.
Next up for the Chevrolet in the IZOD IndyCar Series is the Indianapolis 500, May 27, at the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. The race will be broadcast live on ABC beginning at 12:00 p.m. (ET).
CHEVROLET DRIVER POST RACE QUOTES:
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER: "That (the final restart) was the key to winning. Ryan (Hunter-Reay) got a really good jump. I knew I just had to go like you wouldn't believe through the first complex of corners because I knew he could get a run on me. Ryan is one of the hardest guys you will ever race; he never gives up. Full credit to the Verizon guys, Chevy and Team Penske. These guys make it possible. We did it three for three. "I was happy that it didn't rain right there at the end. We were ready for whatever condition. That was a good race; a great race. Another good strategy by the team. The boys did a great stop on the pit stops."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 28 TEAM DHL/SUN DROP CITRUS SODA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 2ND: "I really really challenged him (Will Power) there on the outside (of the final restart). It was great racing with Will. He raced me really clean and it was a lot of fun. I thought that was my time to do it there on the restart because he was getting such a great exit shot on so many corners... I knew I had to do it early, so I jumped it (the restart) a little there to get him early but he had the inside. We raced clean and I'm glad to see Taku (Takuma Sato) here so it's a great podium celebration. I'm really happy for the Andretti guys... DHL, Sun Drop everybody who supports this 28 car. We've been right there on the podium three out of four races [a penalty moved Hunter-Reay's finish at Long Beach from third to a sixth-place finish], and we're really really happy the way things are going heading to Indy now." "Every year we've been here the weather's been so up and down we have no idea what to expect as we're going through the race. It started raining there the last couple laps and you're thinking 'wow, are we gonna end up going wet here?' You have no idea what's going on so it really keeps you on your toes."
"Great racing today. It was clean where we were racing and we had a lot of back and forth there. I saw quite a few tangle-ups back in the field but this turn one is so tight, it kind of breeds [crashes]. I think the guys are doing a good job and all the drivers have been pretty heads-up so far. I haven't seen what happened but it was a lot of fun, and man, I'm just so happy to be on the podium heading to Indy. I wanna go to Indy and I wanna have a good time. That's what it's about this year."
"I have yet to be in this car at IMS [Indianapolis Motor Speedway], and I can't wait for that day. They certainly have done a great job preparing it, and the Andretti team is doing a great job this year. We have a great chemistry there - the team does - and we've been trying to race heads-up. I have to thank the crew, the strategist Michael Andretti, all the sponsors.... everybody. Thank you very much for putting us here."
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 PENSKE LOGISTICS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4TH: “It was an awesome day in the Penske Logistics car. I received many messages on Twitter yesterday when people saw my frustration after qualifying inspiring me and they were the ones really driving me today. It was a great call today by John Erickson on the pit strategy and the car was good. I didn’t know how much damage was done to the front until I got out of the car, but it was a great race and I have to thank all my guys, Ron Ruzewski, John Erickson, and all the guys on my crew.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 TEAM GODADDY.COM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH: “It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride, I’d say. We had a decent starting position but the first stint was shocking. We didn’t have the right car for the really slick conditions in the beginning and we fell like a stone; we had a bit of a slow first stop and it set us even further back, so we were really struggling. It’s a credit to these Go Daddy guys, ya know, we just never give up. As the track dried out the car really came to us and we had the car back that we had yesterday – we set the third quickest lap and the car was hauling. We were able to bring home another top six. It’s all perspective. If you had told us before the race started that we were going to finish sixth I would have been pretty disappointed, but if you told me after the first (pit) stop that we were going to finish sixth I probably would have been pretty pleased with that. We’ll take the finish and take the points – if we’re not thrilled with a sixth-place finish that means we’re doing something right.”
JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH: "I’m stoked for the guys because I had left something on the table during qualifying this weekend and I really wanted to get out there and hustle it and pick off some guys and get us up to the front. And through some good strategy calls and a good National Guard Chevy we were able to do that and it was a lot of fun. This track, especially now with the different engine manufacturers – and the car is more sensitive when you take downforce out – lends itself to being able to make some passes out there. You combine that with the difference between the red and black Firestone tires and it made for a really exciting race. It certainly was for us. I know all of us at Panther are happy to come away from here with a solid Top Ten and head into the month of May in the top ten in the points standings.”
E.J. VISO – NO. 5 CITGO | PDVSA – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH: “Another top-10 finish is always a good thing especially when I am looking for championship points. It was a bit of a sweet and sour weekend. We were not as fast as we expected in qualifying, however we had a strong race. Unfortunately, there were several strategies used today and ours didn’t pay off the way we hoped. We all acknowledge that it was a difficult situation with the weather constantly changing and the number of yellow flags due to accidents. I think we had a car that was good enough to finish in the top-five and want to thank the crew and my engineer for doing a great job.”
RUBENS BARRICHELLO – NO. 8 BMC | EMBRASE – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 10TH: “When you are in 16th place and at the end of the race you gain six positions you have to feel better. However, I have to say I did not understand the race. I was running third or fourth and all of a sudden I was 17th. We did have a few problems with the pit stops, but strategy was such a big factor this afternoon. In fact, when I saw Dario (Franchitti) after the race I stop to talk to him and asked him when you should spin so you can come in a take fuel. I just want to thank all the Brazilian fans for coming out to the race. I gave my very best today. Unfortunately, because of all the cautions flags our strategy didn’t work out today but it will out some other day.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 NO. 11 ITAIPAVA | GEICO | MOUSER ELECTRONICS – KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 13TH: “Unfortunately, our strategy didn’t work out the way we wanted because of the number of yellow flags. That is racing. If everything had played out the way we envisioned we would have been in the top-five. It’s a shame, but it is always fun to race in front of the Brazilian fans. I want to thank them and my sponsors for supporting me. From here we go to Indy, which is the most important race of the season and we looking for a good result in a race I have been close to winning, but never have.”
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 26 TEAM RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 14TH: “We were there in the end and were coming for Hinch (James Hinchcliffe) and got caught up in wreck and dropped back to 20th and managed to get back up to 14th by the end. We were slow on the straights anyway and that’s where I lost all my time. There were guys I couldn’t see yet in my mirrors and then they were by me by the end of the straight – there was nothing I could do. If we had finished sixth or seventh it wouldn’t have been terrible – another bummer day for the RC Cola boys but we’re coming ready for Indy.”
ANA BEATRIZ, NO. 25 TEAM IPIRANGA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20TH: “The race result didn’t show our potential. We ran in the top 10 and were consistent. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the beset speed on the straights and were being beaten by the other guys. But we were good on the corners so I’m happy to accomplish running in the top five. It was a shame being penalized twice and being involved in that last accident because I’m sure we had a great chance to finish in the top 10 with the Ipiranga car.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S PREMIUM ULTRA VODKA ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST: “Today was a tough day to swallow. We had a great race going and, then to get spun out, just made it look like a bad day. There is no use being upset with the result. We will just focus on the progress and start getting ready to go win at Indy!”