CHEVY INDYCAR AT MID-OHIO: Ryan Hunter-Reay Wins Pole at Mid-Ohio with Chevrolet Power





AUGUST 3, 2013

Ryan Hunter-Reay Wins Pole at Mid-Ohio with Chevrolet Power

LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 3, 2013) – For the third time this season, defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay has set the fastest time in the Firestone Fast Six to win the Verizon P1 Award. The driver of the No. 1 DHL Andretti Autosport Chevrolet missed breaking the track record by just two-hundredths of a second with his lap of 01:05.3519 minute/124.385 m.p.h. around the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Lexington, Ohio.

Turning in the second quickest time of the session was Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. It is his fifth time this season Power has posted a front row qualifying effort.

“Kudos to Ryan Hunter-Reay and the Andretti Autosport team for winning the pole today at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series. “Ryan and his DHL crew have been strong all week here and are again showing that championship form. Will Power and his Verizon / Team Penske squad have been quick all week as well, and will start alongside Ryan on an all-Chevrolet front row for the 200 mile race. Our focus now shifts to providing the Team Chevy contingent with the most reliable, powerful and tractable engine so they may execute flawless race performances on Sunday. We will not rest until the Chevy bow tie is on the top step of the podium.”

Giving Team Chevy three of the Fast Six was Marco Andretti, No. 25 RC Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet. Andretti was posted fourth in the final order of 24 cars that qualified for the 14th race of the 19-race season.

Making up the remainder of the Fast Six were: Scott Dixon – third fastest, Charlie Kimball – fifth quickest and Dario Franchitti turned in the sixth fastest time of the day.

The Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers will have one more look at the track prior to the start of the 90-lap/ 203.22-mile race during a 30-minute warm-up scheduled for 11:00 a.m. ET.

Sunday’s race is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET with live television coverage on NBC Sports Network. Live radio coverage will be on XM Radio Channel 94 and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 212. In addition, IndyCar live timing and scoring with the radio broadcast can be found at


RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO 1 DHL ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, VERIZON POLE AWARD WINNER: ON HIS STRATEGY IN QUALIFYING: “It took a lot of guts to do that strategy there. We put ourselves at risk there in that middle session to go on used reds against a field this competitive, but the risk paid off. That was definitely the most nerve-wracking part of that session, going out on used reds.”

ON IF THE CAR HAS BEEN GOOD ALL WEEK OR IF THEY MADE A LOT OF CHANGES FROM TESTING: “We’ve been working on it steadily, but the track conditions, you know it’s been raining and then the track comes back, and then it rains overnight, so it’s been a big engineering exercise trying to stay on top of the grip of the track, but as always these guys have done a great job. Hopefully we can put the weekend together and have a good one here. I love Mid-Ohio, and it’s great to have the No. 1 DHL Chevy on top.

ON WANTING TO FINALLY GET A WIN HERE: “Absolutely, that’s the one thing I’m missing. I’ve finished on podium here a bunch, started on the front row before but never had the chance to win this race; I’ve never won this race. We need to bring it home, for the championship too. It’s going to be a long, hard race tomorrow going up against the Ganassi, Penske boys and my teammates as well.


We are now pleased to be joined by Ryan Hunter-Reay. You were just shy of the track record by two-hundredths of a second. Talk about qualifying.

RYAN HUNTER-REAY: Anytime you qualify around this place in IndyCar is some of the best times you’re going to have in a car. There’s not many tracks like it, so I really enjoyed it today.
We made some big gambles. Going with the used reds in the second session was a huge, huge gamble. We know where we are in the season right now with only five or six races left. We’re third in points, so it’s definitely time to get going.

Michael made the call to do it. I was skeptical at first, but I kind of just wanted to plug my ears and let them make the decision, I’d go out and drive it as best I could. They made the decision to go out on used reds.

We saw Dario, Scott and Will going out on new. We knew it was going to be tough to be in the Fast Six. Got it in there. I think we were second or third for that outing. The last one on new Firestone reds, knew we had to bring it home. It’s a shame to miss the track record by that much.
Whose track record is that?

THE MODERATOR: Tied between (Gil) De Ferran and Dario (Franchitti). Long-standing.
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: Wow, that sucks.
THE MODERATOR: But you got the pole.
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: Some good news.
Tomorrow is going to be a tough race, long race. They extended it now. We got Will and Dixon right behind me, my teammate Marco back there. Just going to be a really tough race. It’s going to be a long one.

THE MODERATOR: We’ll start with questions.
Q. 56 points. You’re not going to make them up in one race. How cognizant are you of the 56-point deficit?
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: I think it’s 69. Just opened up the gap.
We are cognizant of it. Last year we clawed back from bigger deficits. Being late in the season, we need to go like we did last year at the end of the season, which is go-for-broke. We’re not interested in banking results right now and going for second or third in the championship because nobody really remembers who finishes second a couple years from now. It’s all about the series championship.
We’re going for it. Hopefully this is the first step in it. But we got a long, long way to go, including tomorrow’s fight for the win.

Q. Since IndyCar has come back here in ’07, no one has won the race from further back than sixth. How important is it to be in the top six?
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: There’s certainly a lot of weight placed on qualifying here. It’s crucial to be up towards the front. The thing is here, if you’re mid pack, you can have a lot of passing because you have a lot of comers and goers. There’s varying setups and strategies. It seems to be much easier to pass back there.
Once you get into the top six, seven, eight cars, they’re all really dialed in. It’s tough to get that run on them, unless you experience lap traffic, which lap traffic really mixes up this race, or you have different fuel strategies or tires going off. At the end of stints, you’ll see some guys really lose the rear of the car and that will promote some passing.
It is somewhat difficult to pass here. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad race. We’re out there doing qualifying laps for two hours, so it’s plenty exciting from the car.

Q. When you were told by how much you did miss the record, do you flash back to that lap and go, That’s where I could have gotten it there?
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: You can always do that here. You never really get one that, Man, that one was perfect. It’s that kind of place. There’s always sacrifices in corners to be quicker in others. I can think of the corner, 12, what we call the carrousel. Definitely didn’t have the best of runs through there on my quick lap. Just trying to get a little bit too much in.
That would have been nice to have the track record around here, a track I respect so much, been here since I was 16 doing Skip Barber stuff, fresh out of go-karts. That would have been really cool.

Q. Being out front, how different is it to be out front here as opposed to behind two or three guys from the standpoint of your aerodynamics and everything else?
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: It is better because you have clean air. You’re the first guy to come up along lap traffic. It gives you the advantage of picking when you want to go, when you want to save fuel. You kind of set the pace that way.
The only reason tomorrow to save fuel I think would be to shorten up pit stops because the series lengthened the race so it’s a longer race to make it basically 100% racing the whole time, to just go, go.
It’s definitely an advantage. You set the pace. Yeah, hopefully we’ll be there all day. But you got to survive the start, first of all, with Dixon right behind me, and those Hondas have sure been fast in a straight line. It’s going to be tough.
But hopefully we’ll have that DHL Chevy up there at the end of the day. I’ll be pushing 110%, that’s all I know.

Q. I know you go into every race trying to drive your race. Do you ever learn watching other drivers, specifically Dixon here, to what worked so well for him and try to adapt that for yourself?
RYAN HUNTER-REAY: Dixon is super consistent and smooth. It helps with the setup. If you have a car that’s really good, you can be super consistent. Dixon is a guy that I respect a lot, looked up to for years. He’s definitely one of the best IndyCar has ever seen.
But, yeah, can you study his style, what he does. He’s just very consistent. He doesn’t have a lot of mistakes. If he’s leading out in front in the race, you’re not going to see him slip up and lose a position. Keep as cool head. The team executes for him.
It’s all a package deal, though. It comes with the team, what the car gives you, so… Definitely I’ve studied him for years.

“Yeah we definitely got it in a pretty good window right now. Just have to make it good for the race. Pretty happy to qualify on the front row then see what we can do in the race. I have finished second here many times in the race. I would love to go that one step further it would be awesome.”

“Oh well you have plenty of time around here, it’s just more about judging the track conditions because it changes constantly here. One good thing about the race is just a slow progression you get a real good understanding of it. Good to get the Verizon car on the front row. Definitely would love to get a win tomorrow.”

POST FIRESTONE FAST SIX QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT: THE MODERATOR: Will, another demanding session here at Mid-Ohio. Talk us through today’s qualifying.
WILL POWER: Yeah, quite uneventful, you could say. Getting the most out of the tires. Really happy to be second. Tough to try to get pole when Hunter-Reay had new reds.
Yeah, still very good. I would love to get a win sometime this year if it’s possible. But, you know, I can be quite aggressive because I’m not in the championship and the guys around me are. I just need to go for it and see what I can get.

Q. Will, talk about your opportunity to get a victory here. You’ve done well at this track in the past. How do you feel about tomorrow, being able to get your first win of the season?
WILL POWER: We’ve started on pole here a couple of times. Just lost out during the pit sequence, yellows. Definitely would love to get a win.
We’ll be doing everything possible. It’s going to be interesting to see how these strategies work out as far as fuel mileage goes. It looks like a three-stop race. Have to have something special to do it in two. We’ll see how the yellows fall and so on.

MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC COLA ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 4TH: “Even though it’s my first top six, I think we had a lot more potential in the No. 25 car. I’m a little disappointed, because obviously we have to beat Ryan in the championship as well and he goes and gets another point, but we need to learn off it and figure out where he beat me and come back tomorrow. That’s the one that pays the big points.”

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA KV RACING TECHNOLOGY CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 9TH: “P9 is definitely one of the better qualifying efforts we’ve had lately and I think we can be okay with that. We made a few changes and learned from it, so that was a good thing. We’ve been far away from this for a long time and now it’s really good to be back. We’ve worked really well through the weekend and just missed it by a little bit; I think it was a tenth to get into the fast six. We have a little more work, but we feel pretty confident. We have a really good pace and with where we’re starting hopefully we can finish up front. A top-ten would be huge for us. We started off the season so well and then hit a little bit of a slump, so now it’s really time to get it back on track and I feel that’s what we’re doing. My team is really good and we’re working really hard and that’s what counts right now.”

E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT HVM CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 12TH: “I qualified 12th – not too happy with that qualifying position. I think we had a little bit more speed in the car. We couldn’t finish our qualifying lap as we had traffic twice from (Tristin) Vautier. Starting in this position is definitely going to be a tough job tomorrow in the race, but I have a lot of faith that in the direction we are working in; we are going to find a good set up and a good strategy to bring a good race result tomorrow

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 13TH: “It was only about a tenth we missed it by and we had that on two different laps; the car had that and I made little mistakes. It’s the nature of the business with this qualifying format, you only get a couple laps to have a crack at it. We went out early and did an extra lap, but like I said, twice we had a car good enough to advance and just didn’t get it done. I feel bad for the guys, the GoDaddy Chevy is quicker than that. It’s a shame.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE DRAGON RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 14TH: “We have a disappointing qualifying session obliviously, we were not happy and super confident after the practice sessions. I thought we had a little better car than that, even though we were not able to get a good read on the car this morning. We have been dealing with a very loose car all weekend and we really haven’t been able to get the change we need. We anticipated some under steer, but it was worse than we thought. Just a little frustrating because its going to be a lot harder for the race since this place is so tough to make a pass. We will keep digging and keep fighting to see what we can get out of it.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 PG TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 15TH: “Of course we would have loved to be on the pole. Starting 15th is not ideal when you’re going into the race as the points leader. We will need to work out a new strategy since we still start towards the rear of the field but the PPG guys are working hard to make the right changes to the car. Fortunately, for us today is only Saturday and the race will be tomorrow. We’re going to try something different because what we were planning on doing tomorrow strategy wise won’t work with as far back as we will have to start. We have not given up hope yet, tomorrow will be a long race and I know we’ll be able to make it back up.”

ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD PANTHER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 18TH: “It’s very rare when you finish qualifying feeling the way I feel – where you don’t transfer – but the car is so good. I’m really happy with the National Guard Chevy and had what I needed; it’s just so tight that we missed transferring by half of a tenth. It’s just one of those things where you need to hit everything right, and on my second (hot) lap I was already two-tenths down a few corners in, but on the third corner I just tried a little too hard and l lost the rear. It’s amazing what IndyCar is today and what it takes to be up front, and this year is very special. But I’m really happy with the work we’ve done, I had the engineers here working until late, and the car is really good. You know with this place it’s hard to overtake and the way they’ve done the length of the race I’m not sure there’s room for multiple strategies. You never know what could happen, I’ve got a good car and hopefully we can get up front and make the National Guard proud.”

TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 SUNOCO-TURBO KV RACING TECHNOLOGY – SH RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 20TH: “Obviously I am disappointed and frustrated. We worked hard to improve the car during the practice sessions and we thought we had a top-10 car, but things just didn’t work out that way. We have to sit down, take a look at the data and make some changes. It is going to be a long race tomorrow. Hopefully we can improve the car and come up with a strategy that will get us back to the front.”


ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA/ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 23RD: “James (Davison) was in a hurry when the session started and went by and then decided he was going to back up. He was warming up the tires all the way down the backstretch. I started to go around him going into Turn 4. He about hit me into the grass so I was going to go around him in five. He was going to the left to set up for six and turned right back in the front of me when I was making a run on him into six. I’ve been there. There’s a lot going on. But he’s not paying attention to what’s going on. If that’s how he’s going to drive tomorrow, he’s going to end up getting run in to. I’m really just disappointed. We’d struggled yesterday and had really made good improvements this morning and the way that worked out, we broke a front wing, had to come in, and by the time we got everything fixed, we ran the least amount of laps that session than anybody. All you have to do is watch the way these sessions have gone. The track gets quicker every single lap. It wasn’t a good session for us.”

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