Will Power claims second place finish at Mid-Ohio and re-takes driver points standings lead

LEXINGTON, Ohio – August 5, 2012 – Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, reclaimed the lead in the IZOD IndyCar Series driver point standings with a second place finish in today’s Indy 200 at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. Power, who started on the pole, led the first 57 circuits around the 2.25-mile, 13-turn permanent road course on the way to his fifth podium finish of the season.

"It was another caution-free battle today in the IZOD IndyCar Series race at Mid-Ohio,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series. “Kudos to the entire field for demonstrating a high level of skill and professionalism throughout a race that started on a drying track surface. Without cautions, our Chevrolet drivers had to adapt to changing track conditions, and maintain a strong pace with focus for 85 laps around the very technical Mid-Ohio circuit. Congratulations to Will Power and Team Penske on earning the pole position, second place finish and most laps led. With three races remaining in the season, we are battling hard for the driver's championship."

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

Sebastien Bourdais brought the No. 7 TrueCar/McAfee Dragon Racing Chevrolet to the checkered flag in fourth position, and earned his best finish of the season. He was followed by fellow Team Chevy driver James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, in fifth place which gave Team Chevy three of the top-finishers in today’s 85-lap race.

In total, seven Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers scored top-10 finishes today. Tony Kanaan. No. 11 GEICO/MOUSER Electronics KV Racing Technology Chevrolet finished sixth. Ryan Briscoe, No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinishes Team Penske Chevrolet, was seventh at the line. Marco Andretti, No. 26 Team RC Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, crossed the line in eighth place followed by JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet in ninth position.

Two additional Team Chevy drivers in the thick of the driver’s championship battle faced challenges today that resulted in significantly tightening the point standings. Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda/Pelotonia Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, came to Mid-Ohio as the points leader, but suffered a mechanical issue that relegated him to the 24th finishing position. He is now second in the standings, five points behind Power.

Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet, was assessed a 10 grid position penalty prior to the start of the race for an unapproved engine change that put him in the 23rd starting position. Castroneves battled to finish 16th on the difficult circuit, and now sits third in points, 21 points behind Hunter-Reay.

Chevrolet continues to lead the Series’ manufacturers’ standings with three races remaining in the season.

The series now moves to Sonoma Raceway for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on August 26, 2012. The 75-lap race is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. PT) with live coverage on NBC Sports Network.

Team Chevy driver post race quotes:

Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finished 2nd: “These are such tight pit boxes here and he (Dixon) had a clean in. We had a tight in so some of that was me getting in. It’s hard for the fuel to get in clean because he has to step back from my front wing to swing in. Still it’s a very good points day. We’re happy to get the Verizon car on the podium. We’ll keep chasing after it, we’ll get a win here soon and keep going after that championship.

“That was definitely good points today. I mean, it was going to plan. That stop, I knew when (Scott) Dixon was behind us, was going to be tough. We were pitting the same lap because I had to get around his guys to get in my box. That really slows up my entryway. He has a clean in. And my fueler has to kind of stand back as my front wing swings around. All that combination made for a slower start, and that's where he got us. And then obviously it's so difficult to pass around this joint.

Still a very good day, though. Really happy to score the points we did. And that was everything we had. We can't ask for anything more. We couldn't have done anything better, I don't think.

On the final pit stop: "We had to save fuel. Obviously he burned more early. And we kind of just immediately went into a fuel save mode. Knowing how difficult it is to pass to ensure that maybe we can push hard at the end. But at the end of the day it's so hard to pass. It probably wasn't worth the risk really pushing hard on cold tires considering the championship, the state that it's in. And the team obviously informs me over the radio, Hunter-Reay had a problem so just be careful. And you take that all into account. So not going to take anything away from Dixon, he did a good job on cold tires, sure.

"You realize as you're coming in you it's going to be tight when he's sitting right behind you. You know, man, it's all about the stop. There's nothing you can do about it. All you can do is move on and try, make sure you get the miles you need to get to the end. Hopefully it's yellow, maybe it will rain, you don't know. So you just keep executing and there's things you can't do anything about. That's racing. These guys our guys did a good job, too. It's just the circumstance it was. So, you know, he won the race.

'I think our pit stops have been really good all year. Look at Edmonton. It will be the quickest on pit lane. Today, the circumstances made it difficult. It would be unfair to say that they didn't do a good job, because I think they did. It just happened to be that Dixon was the guy we're finding was right behind us, he's laid out as we're coming in. Nothing you can do about it.

Were you surprised there were no yellow flags? “I wasn't surprised. I think the caliber of driver is a lot higher. And it's slowly getting more and more intense. You can see it from qualifying. If you look at Q2 it was like eight cars covered by almost a tenth, a tenth and a half. It's insane how close everything is and how many good drivers there are and people just don't make mistakes now. And that's why there's no yellows.

Talk about the difference between Sonoma, Baltimore, and California is a toss up, how do see these last three races in terms of the way you need to go after them as you look to the championship and what your competition is? “It's simple for us. We just gotta do the best with the things that we can control. Obviously there's a lot of other factors in racing. But you can't nothing you can do about that. It's not worth worrying.

“Sonoma's been good for me. I enjoy street courses. So Baltimore should be good. And like you said, who you knows, at Fontana, we'll just keep our heads down. If everything goes right, I really think we'll be competitive. I think that we need to win a race here soon if we're going to win the championship. We'll do our best to do that.”

Do you see Fontana being similar to Texas or a little different than Texas? “I haven't run there. So I don't know. I'm hoping it will be like Texas. It's just a wide open race. Total lottery you may as well throw things up and grab one and it might be you.

Will, what was the race like from a physical standpoint? Was it what you thought it would be? “Yeah, it was. Like physically steering got really heavy at the end. I could have done it with power steering. It's pretty cool. You have to be fit. I find at the end I could push hard still. No question, if you're not fit, definitely drop in lap time, no question.”

Sebastien Bourdais No. 7 Truecar-Mcafee Dragon Racing Chevrolet – finished 4th on today’s run: “It was a really good run. The car was really fast. There was a lot of fuel saving, but we’re pulling it off. I think we could have dared it a little bit more. Both times we could have made it a lot further, and I think that would have been the hot ticket. But, you don’t want to be the last one out there if they pull out the yellow and close the pits for any reason. That was a good race, the car was good. We needed the points finish. As much as I wanted to be on the podium, we will take P4 any day!”

James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 Team Godaddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet – Finished 5th: "I think that may have been the toughest race of the year. We had planned from the start to pit early and to be the best of the cars on three-stop strategies is great - we knew that was our only way to try and move forward today, especially going all green in a way, it almost worked out really well for us. Huge props to the Go Daddy guys because we knew we had a better car than (our starting position showed). In qualifying we got held up and obviously started way further down than we wanted, so to bounce back and get another top five and sort of get us back on track is great. That was a tough race… with three sets of red (Firestone tires) in a row, every lap was flat out, not saving any fuel... it was a lot of hard work."

Tony Kanaan, No. 11 Geico/Mouser Electronics Kv Racing Technology Chevrolet – Finished 6th: “I am very happy with today’s result. The car was very good in the race. We went with a three stop strategy and despite no yellow flags we made it work. It was a very physical race with no cautions. Now we have to build on this over the last few races.”

Ryan Briscoe, No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinishes Team Penske Chevrolet – Finished 7th: “We had a pretty solid day in the PPG car and getting Marco there on the last lap to get seventh made for a decent finish. With the fuel saving strategy, which the Chevy engine did a great job of, it made for a strange race. Overall it goes back to the first lap where we got out of the top five and shuffled back a few positions and we did what we could from there to make it a good day.”

Marco Andretti, No. 26 Team RC Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet – Finished 8th: "My car was pretty good in the middle of the race on (Firestone) Reds. We lost some track position at the start of the race on the used Red tires. Because of all the rain, the track was really green at the start, and I think the new Reds were the ticket on a green track. The second half of the race, we were really able to do some decent lap times, and we pushed hard to get by (Ryan) Briscoe. But, with three laps to go, I had to back off to save fuel and we came up a bit short. He caught me perfect on the last lap- he was able to push all-out - and he was able to get by."

JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet – Finished 9th: “We were banking on there being some yellows in there to make it a two-stopper like the guys up at the front, but we ran too hard in the first stint for that to pan out. We ended up having to make a splash for fuel that cost us a few spots there at the end of the race. But, having said that, we really battled back to come here with a racecar that was legitimately fast. We’ve had some decent races and and good racecars, but this weekend we focused on making sure we had the out right speed and we made some significant gains, so great job by all the National Guard Chevy boys for that. I’m happy with the race; we didn’t make mistakes and we had a lot of pace, so I think if the cards had rolled a little bit of a different way we could have finished in the Top Five and had no problem running up there.“

Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet – Finished 16th: “The Penske Truck Rental boys did a great job with the pit stops today. Certainly it was a day where we ended up taking a big hit in our race for the championship as starting in the back with an engine change created a big challenge. But we need to just keep going and hopefully we can have a strong race out in Sonoma.”

E.J. Viso, No. 5 Citgo/Pdvsa Kv Racing Technology Chevrolet – Finished 20th: “I am pretty happy even though we didn’t get the result we wanted. The car was decent. We had the pace of the front pack and with the strategy we had, without question, we could have finished in the top-seven or eight. I am happy for Tony (Kanaan) that he was able to make it to the front. We were pretty much racing together. Unfortunately, I was penalized for a pit speed violation and I got a drive through penalty. It was a tough race and without any yellow flags we never got the opportunity to recover the gap to the pack I was running with. I think we learned a lot this race, so in that way it was very useful and now it is on to the next one,”

Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Premium Ultra Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet – Finished 22nd: “Wow, another green to checkered run today. It makes for long races for us. Qualifying at the back (of the field) is difficult for anyone to move up without a yellow or two. We were off pace in qualifying but our pace was much better in the race. We were able to run some pretty consistent laps in the middle of the race. There was a difference between the red tires and the black Firestones today. We are encouraged that our race pace was better. I think I need to do a better job in qualifying. We need to start up in the field better. These cars are more durable and the attrition rate isn’t as high now as in previous years. I was surprised there was no full course yellow period, especially in the early laps. But you can bang on each other with these cars and get away with it. So qualifying badly doesn’t make for a lot of chances to improve in the race. We did learn some things today that we can put to use at Sonoma in a few weeks.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda/Pelotonia Andretti Autosport Chevrolet – Finished 24th: "We were positioned pretty well just past halfway. We were catching the leaders while still taking easy and saving fuel. I think we were a third-place car at the worst. Then, the engine just started losing power and it just gradually got worse the longer we tried to run. It finally just gave up there at the end. It died a slow death. It's disappointing to start the day with a 23-point lead and leave in second place, but we'll get over this quick. There's a lot of racing still to go, and the only thing we can do is dig deep and move on. I think it's going to be a good championship fight, but you can't have any more days like this. I'm confident we're going to be right in it until the finish - it's certainly do-able for us to win it all."

Source: Team Chevy

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Tony Kanaan , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Sébastien Bourdais , Ryan Briscoe , Marco Andretti , Will Power , James Hinchcliffe , Ed Carpenter
Teams Andretti Autosport , Panther Racing , Team Penske , KV Racing Technology , Dragon Racing
Article type Race report
Tags chevrolet, chevy, indycar, penske, power