Mechanical issues drop Helio Castroneves to 2nd in points heading into season finale
HOUSTON (October 6, 2013) – Will Power showed his prowess at street racing with a convincing win today in Race No. 2 of the Grand Prix of Houston at Reliant Park – round 18 of the 19-race 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule.
"Congratulations to Will Power, Tim Cindric and the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar team on their win today in Houston,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Will drove an amazing race, and the pit stops were quick and efficient all-day long. We are looking forward to the final IndyCar race in Fontana."
James Hinchcliffe returned to podium form with a third-place finish in his bright No. 27 GoDaddy Pink Andretti Autosport Chevrolet honoring the fight against breast cancer.
Sebastien Bourdais was the third Chevrolet IndyCar V6 driver in the top-five. Behind the wheel of the No. 7 McAfee Dragon Racing Chevrolet, Bourdais finished fifth.
Other Team Chevy drivers in the top-10 were: Oriol Servia – 7th and Simona De Silvestro – 10th.
Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Shell V-Power/Pennzoil Ultra Team Penske Chevrolet, suffered a mechanical issue that sent him to the paddock on lap 11. The crew changed the gear-box unit and Castroneves returned to competition on lap 47, 37 laps down to the leader. He lost the lead in the point standings for the first time in 10 races, and heads to Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, California 25 points down to the leader.
The battle for the 2013 IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ title will also be decided at the season-ending race. Chevrolet is tied with Honda for the crown at nine wins each.
The final race of the season is set for October 19, 2013. The MAV TV American Real 500. The race will start at 5:30 p.m. PST with live TV coverage on NBC Sports Network.
DRIVER POST RACE QUOTES: WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER: I KNOW ITS TOUGH TO BE HAPPY WHEN YOU SEE SOMETHING LIKE DARIO’S WRECK: “I just hate it for him and just hope he is okay. Man, I hate that. Really hate that. But a very good day, and good for Verizon. Good for Shell and Pennzoil because it’s the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix. So very great for our sponsors, kind of helped Helio a little bit there, and I feel really bad for him. I just hope Dario is okay.”
YOU GUYS HAVE HAD A LOT OF SPEED THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON, BUT WHAT HELPED YOU HAVE SOME SPEED AT THE END OF THE RACE TODAY? “Yeah, I believe we had the quickest car for sure. It was a little bit unsteady on cold tires but I knew at any time I could pull a bit of a gap on Dixon and I was very determined to get him there. I thought it was such a good battle yesterday between us and unfortunate we couldn’t finish it with the way the yellow was called. It was good battling and a very good day.”
TOUGH CIRCUMSTANCES TO WIN A RACE THAT WAY WITH LAST LAP DRAMA AND A BIG ACCIDENT, BUT FOR THIS TEAM THE WAY THAT THIS SEASON HAS CLOSED THE LAST TWO OR THREE YEARS EVERY WIN HAS TO FEEL PRETTY SWEET? “Yeah, very happy for the guys for Verizon and Shell. It’s been a bit of a tough season for us. Yeah, pretty bad sight coming around seeing that. Man, I hope Dario (Franchitti) is okay. I really do. We just don’t need that type of thing.”
HOW GOOD WAS YOUR RACE CAR TODAY? “Yeah, it was very strong. Very strong car. I was very determined after yesterday so good day. Very good day.”
TIM CINDRIC, PRESIDENT OF PENSKE RACING, STRATEGIST FOR THE NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET : CONGRATULATIONS A GREAT RUN FOR EVERYBODY ON THIS NO. 12 CREW: “Thank you very much. I think that everybody here really executed the day, but Will (Power) really driving from ninth to first there it was extraordinary for sure. I just hope these guys are okay on the race track because that is our biggest concern. Certainly a good day for us. A shame for Helio (Castroneves) but I guess I like the spirit seeing them change the rear end on that car and put him back out there.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY PINK ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 3RD: EVIDENTLY A LOT OF DEBRIS OUT THERE ON THE CIRCUIT TELL US WHAT HAPPENED: “Yeah, missing one of the screws from my visor there. I felt it get a bit drafty after that second to last restart and wasn’t sure why, but clearly that is the problem. First and foremost I just hope everybody is okay. That obviously looked really bad and nothing else matters. We just want everybody to walk out of here fine. From our point of view happy to be back on the podium it’s been a rough stretch for us since Iowa. It’s nice to have a good drive rewarded especially after what happened yesterday. Big thanks to Andretti Autosport guys. It’s cool to get the pink car on the podium too. The one off deal with the National Breast Cancer Foundation it’s a great cause. Huge props to all the fans for coming out and staying out. Obviously the problems we had on Friday, the weather this morning, how hot it was yesterday. You guys are the stars of this show really. Congrats to Will (Power) and Scott (Dixon) they had a little bit more than we did today. Like I said we are happy with that, but just hope everybody is alright.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 5TH: “Tough. (My hand) was pretty torn from yesterday. The grip today was incredibly high because of the cooler temperatures, and everybody running basically running the last two-thirds of the race on blacks (tires). It was just gripped up, and gripped up, and gripped up, and gripped up to the point that the steering got so heavy, I was just trying to keep it out of the fence. I feel bad for the guys because the car was really, really good, and really fast. Just couldn’t quite use it. The steering was slipping in my hands. Just tore my hand up, and it hurts.”
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH: “Honestly three laps before the end I was disappointed that we weren’t a little higher on the grid, but then I realized how many races we’ve been running up front and something happens at the end. So we got a seventh, which is very decent after starting 21st and it was a legit drive to the front for the National Guard team. The car was great on track and we had a very good pit stop at the end, which is just like the Panther guys to deliver when it counts. It was a good day all around, just unfortunate that we didn’t have qualifying, because with our speed I’m sure we would have started in the Top Ten, which would have helped and made things a lot easier. But we’ll take this and it’s a way to build – you need races like this to start finishing regularly in the Top Five, on the podium and to get wins.”
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, FINISHED 10TH: First, I hope that everybody is ok from the last lap. In general with our race, I didn’t get off the line really well and then got into an incident with Rahal. I don’t think he saw me and I had to bail over the curb and got tangled up there. Then we just started fighting back. I think our car was ok, actually pretty fast, but when you’re in the back it’s definitely more difficult, so to salvage a top-ten from where we started is pretty good. I want to give a really big thanks to the team for this weekend as well as to Chevy and the Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign. It was really good weekend!
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 6 TRUECAR DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 12TH: " "I'm very happy for the #6 TRUECar team after having to battle our way from the back of the field. We took advantage of absolutely everything we could. Starting last and finishing 12th took a great job from everybody. We had great pit stops however our strategy didn't go as planned but we still gave a good battle. We had a strong car and we were battling upfront for awhile. Happy for the #7 McAfee car and Bourdais for a Top-5 finish."
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET, FINISHED 16TH: “Well, what can I say? Extremely disappointing race. We were making our way to the front and earning every single spot on the track when we started 12th and running sixth with a big possibility to get fifth. I had a couple more laps of fuel than (Sebastien) Bourdais, and I was pretty confident that I would be able to pass him. In the last pit stop we had a big problem in the pits and that ended up ruining our race. We lost six positions there and pretty much needed to stay there until the end of the race. After I got the white flag there was an accident in front of me that I couldn’t avoid; it was Dario (Franchitti) and Takuma (Sato), and there was nothing I could do, so unfortunately we ended up being involved in that incident.”
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20TH: “Today was just a bad day; we could have salvaged something out of nothing there in the end. It’s a shame that it happened the way it did, it cost us nine championship point for no reason. I’m a little disappointed because at this stage in the game we could have finished Top 12. That would have been a win for me, but I’m just really disappointed.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST: "I think we had another podium going today. We were running third and then the gearbox broke - it’s another DNF for the DHL Chevy. We have just had horrible luck this year and I guess we just have to look at it as unfortunately circumstances and bad luck. It is what it is; I just hope Dario Franchitti is ok."
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA/ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 22ND : “It was a disappointing day for our Fuzzy’s Vodka team with a clutch problem in the pits on the last stop. I couldn’t get the car out of gear. We had something fall off the car from the bumpy track and it was tough to handle. It was a rough weekend here in Houston after yesterday’s start. The team just said we had a bad race before Fontana last year and came back to win that 500-miler. Let’s hope that can happen again in two weeks. My job for Fuzzy’s is to be the spoiler for that $250,000 bonus for Tony (Kanaan) and Scott (Dixon) with a win again at Fontana. They are after two-thirds of the Fuzzy’s Triple crown award there. I think we have a strong car again for that event.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 SHELL V-POWER/PENNZOIL ULTRA TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 23RD: IMMEDIATELY AFTER MECHANICAL ISSUE: “Well, obviously this is not how we wanted our weekend to go. We started the race strong in the Shell Pennzoil Chevy and then I just couldn’t shift the car. To be honest, I’m not sure if we hit something or what. It was a very helpless feeling. I have to say, what an incredible job by my guys to fix the damage. The Shell and Pennzoil crew basically replaced the whole rear of the car and we were at least able to get back out on track and pick up another position. I feel bad for the team because they’ve worked so hard to get us in a position to win this championship. And there is still a lot of racing left. We know we have a strong car in Fontana. We were fast in the test there last week and we will definitely be going for it. I want to congratulate Will (Power) on a great win. At least the weekend ended on a positive note for Team Penske. Great job by the promoters here in Houston and Shell and Pennzoil for putting on an awesome event. I hope we can come back and win here next year.”bouncing back and I know this sounds repetitive, but I have faith in these guys.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 HYDROXYCUT KV RACING TECHNOLOGY - SH RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 24ST: “We had brake issues yesterday and still had them today. I wasn’t pushing the car. I got loose coming out of turn eight and got into the marbles. It was my mistake. I feel bad for the guys. We still have one more race to go on the oval in Fontana and I feel we have a good chance there.”
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