What Drivers Said after Sunday’s Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Grand Prix Race 2

Photo: IndyCar
0 Comments

Here’s What Drivers Said (and how they finished) after Sunday’s Race 2 of the Chevrolet Dual In Detroit Grand Prix IndyCar race at Belle Isle Park:

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda) — Winner: “You know, after I took that second set of blacks, the Firestone primary tires, I started to get in sync with the car and the balance started coming to me. I was really worried in the beginning because we were really loose, and then as I got into a rhythm, the car was doing everything I needed it to – everything. When we started that last stint, (Alexander) Rossi was more than a straightaway ahead of us. I couldn’t even see him. I just put my head down and this thing was flying. It was such a great car. I’m so happy for this No. 28 DHL Honda team. I wish my wife and the boys were here with me because they’re the best, and this has been a bit of a long time coming. That was going to be a heck of a fight at the end, but good thing we pressured him (Rossi) into it and we’re here in victory lane. It’s awesome – this car deserves to be where it is right now. That was a heck of a car, heck of a strategy, great in the pit lane and I drove my rear end off.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet) – finished 2nd: “I feel like this was about as good as we could get, given how fast (Ryan) Hunter-Reay was. There was just no way anyone was going to beat him. We just seemed to struggle a little bit on full tanks and cold tires, but very happy with the result. You know, I feel like with what we had, that’s the most that we could have got out of that race, so very happy.”

ED JONES (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) – finished 3rd: “It was a fantastic day for the NTT DATA team. The guys really did a good job with the car this weekend. We started off a bit slow, but the important thing is that we improved every session and earned our way here today. Today’s podium was another step in the right direction for the No. 10 NTT DATA team and I’m looking forward to getting back after it at Texas in a few short days.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) – finished 4th: “That was a job well done there by the whole PNC Bank team. I’m just not sure what happened to the red (Firestone alternate) tires there as they just really fell off and went away on us. We didn’t really change anything on the car from yesterday other than a few little things to stabilize the rear end. It was a good day overall for us and we got some good points.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 United Rentals Honda) – finished 5th: “I’m definitely proud of the performance and the effort that everyone on the United Rentals team put in. The guys did an amazing job last night. We had to switch to a backup and they were here until 12:30 in the morning. Luckily it was a bit of a late start today, but the guys got very little rest, but again, they put a car on the track that had no mechanical issues, no problems whatsoever. It was a decent points day. We should have put it all together yesterday, but that’s on me. I’m obviously still a little upset with myself from yesterday, but overall it was a good rebound today.”

ROBERT WICKENS (No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda) – finished 6th: “Mixed emotions today. When you start on the front row, you hope to be fighting for a podium. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t find the balance to increase the tire longevity to compete. We committed to the three-stop strategy pretty early on and we took the lead for a little bit in the second stint, and I honestly thought things were looking pretty good. We had to pit a bit early, which is how we lost out to (Ryan) Hunter-Reay and then we just kept losing track position not coming out in clean air. Coming home in the Lucas Oil car P6 – we can’t really complain… We qualified third on Saturday, second today, so you hope to at least finish in the top five both days. I think we are a little disappointed, but a good points weekend.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet) – finished 7th: “Great day for us. I had to redeem myself for this morning. The good part about it, what is awesome is when your boss (A.J. Foyt) is behind you regardless what happens. I was really down after qualifying today because I made a mistake. It looked like he was trying to find the reason that I crashed so that it wasn’t my fault. I said, ‘A.J. it was my fault.’ So that gives me a lot of confidence and a lot of motivation just to go and do it. And the guys did a great job in the pits. We had a fast car. I had a lot of fun. I’m exhausted, but it’s our best result of the season so far at one of the most difficult tracks and with one of our worst qualifiers. So pretty happy.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet) – finished 8th: “I’m really proud of the resiliency of this Carlin team. We didn’t get the job done all that well this morning in qualifying, but we had a nice clean race, good solid pit stops, and a really good strategy. It felt like I raced pretty cleanly and we had good pace in clean air, which helped us get good mileage when we needed to. I’m just so happy for the No. 23 car guys for getting a top-eight finish today. With Max (Chilton) coming home in the top 11 today, hopefully, we can get both of us into the top 10 in Texas next weekend.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 AutoNation / Curb Honda) – finished 9th: “The AutoNation car was great this weekend. Unfortunately, today we got caught out in a three-stop strategy and kept getting caught in traffic. The car had the pace, I had the pace, we just couldn’t take advantage of it. We passed a lot of cars today and it was a lot of fun out there, it just wasn’t the result we wanted.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet) – finished 10th: “Today was defiantly better than yesterday. We made big progress on the car. Still not enough though. We rallied as a team. It was a much more decent showing. We need to continue to progress and evolve. Street courses are definitely our weakest area at the moment. We are going to be on the superspeedway next week and we have been strong on those. We are going to try and get a hat and cowboy boots, especially with DXC being the title sponsor of the event. Overall, tough weekend and a lot of adversity, but the team did a great job.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet) – finished 11th: “It was a solid day, but a long day. It was basically a green race apart from the start. We had more pace today than we had yesterday and the team had really great stops every time we came in. I think I did the best mileage that I’ve done in my entire career by them telling me the fuel number and me sticking to it. Unfortunately, Charlie (Kimball) got me in the last stint and then I was in the marbles and was passed by a few others. We then had their pace and got one back, but it dropped us just out of the top 10. This has been a positive afternoon for the team as a whole, though, and we’ll concentrate, moving forwards, on getting both cars in the top 10.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda) – finished 12th: “It was a pretty disappointing day considering we led the most laps and started on pole. For sure we didn’t have the pace for Ryan (Hunter-Reay) – he was just on another level. So hats off to him and the DHL team, they certainly deserved to win. But the Ruoff Home Mortgage car definitely had a second-place finish in it. Unfortunately, with less than 10 laps to go, our luck changed. We’re not really sure what happened, we’re going to investigate to see if something went wrong because it was a very abnormal issue to have when we hadn’t experienced anything remotely similar all weekend.”

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Relay Group 1001 Honda) – finished 13th: “I felt like it was a much better race for the Relay team today even though the results didn’t show it. We got caught up in the beginning with our Reds (Firestone alternate tires) falling off, so we had to switch from a two-stop to a three-stop strategy – which was something we were hoping we wouldn’t have to do. I feel like that cost us and placed us back in the 10th to 15th range. Everybody did an incredible job from my Relay crew to my engineer, Garrett. I’m just thankful we were able to walk away with two average finishes. That’s what this rookie year is all about – learning from each race and I can honestly say we’ve learned a lot so far.”

MATHEUS LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet) – finished 14th: “We probably had the pace to be in the top 10. We got a great start, but it just was not our day today. I’m learning a little bit more every time (on saving fuel), but it’s time to start running at the front, not the back. Hopefully, we’ll have a good race next weekend.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet) – finished 15th: “It was a rough day. We did what we could and we fought hard, but just didn’t come up with much from a results standpoint. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but sometimes you have days like this. It was fun having Hitachi here this weekend. They are super supportive of our race team, so I’m disappointed we couldn’t do a little better for them and especially for Team Chevy too. We will go to the next one.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda) – finished 16th: “A really disappointing day for us. The Arrow Electronics car changed a lot from yesterday, which we weren’t expecting… Ultimately, our day was dealt a blow when we pitted after a car spun on track thinking it was going to be a yellow, and the yellow just didn’t come out; it just really compromised our strategy. We lost a ton of track position, lost a lot of time behind guys on the two-stop strategy. It was one of those days where if it could go wrong, it did. Unfortunate way to end the weekend because the cars genuinely had pace. We’ll put our heads down and be stronger in Texas.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Fifth Third Bank Honda) – finished 17th: “It was a tough day. I think everything was against us; the strategy, timing and when we caught the traffic. At one stage, we were competitive, but it was not so long. Once we caught the tail of the group, it was so difficult to overtake. I tried really hard. It’s a shame there were no yellows, so today was really tough to have that aggressive strategy work.”

JORDAN KING (No. 20 Allegiant International Chevrolet) – finished 18th: “It was a long, long race. The only thing keeping me motivated was my lap time delta. I was just trying to beat my lap time delta every lap. Our speed was all right – we maybe could have had a top 10, but the first stint did not allow for that. We struggled a bit with the reds (Firestone alternate tires) and probably stayed out a bit long. By the time the pit sequence was through, we were a big chunk of time behind people. After that, on the blacks (Firestone primary tires), we were all right. Pace seemed pretty good, but I had no one behind and no one in front – it was just a long race.”

GABBY CHAVES (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet) – finished 19th: “Definitely a trying weekend for us in Detroit, especially Race 2 today. I thought we had the right strategy, but one of the cars spun coming out of pit lane and I picked up some debris. This caused us to think the tire was going flat, so we came to the pits, which cost us a lot of time. After that we just wanted to make it cleanly to the finish because we didn’t really have anything to gain at that point. Now we look to Texas next weekend. We finished fifth last year, so I’m hoping we can manage a finish like that again.”

SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 19 Paysafe Honda) – finished 20th: “I can’t thank the guys on the No. 19 Paysafe crew at Dale Coyne Racing enough. From the engineering team to the mechanics, they gave me an absolute stellar race car. I’m just upset, being a rookie, that I made a rookie mistake coming out of the pits and spinning the car. Despite that, we showed incredible pace throughout the race. These guys really deserve a good finish. I’m very happy that I was able to come out and participate this weekend in Detroit and I hope to be back.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda) – finished 21st: “It’s a shame. We struggled all weekend and then finally hit on something for the race. The SealMaster Honda No. 18 car was really good, and for the first time this weekend, I was finally able to race with people. It looked like we were going to have a top-five finish, then I barely touched the wall in Turn 7 and bent the left rear toe link. It collapsed in Turn 1, sent me into a massive spin and that was that. I feel bad for the guys. They worked hard all weekend and did a good job in the pits. We just have to move on and see what we can do in Texas.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet) – finished 23rd: “It wasn’t just a spin, I got hit from behind by (Santino Ferrucci). First, we banged wheels, then he just kind of punted me in Turn 5. It is very disappointing to end the race this way. The Fuzzy’s Vodka was strong yesterday and we were hoping to move forward in today’s race. It’s unfortunate when drivers come into the series and do silly things like that because they don’t respect that all of us are out here racing every weekend for the championship.”

Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi bring their storied rivalry to a new level at Rolex 24

Ganassi Penske Rolex 24
Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment
0 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – To measure the impact of Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi squaring off for the first time in overall sports car wins (starting at the Rolex 24), look at the auto racing titans’ lineups.

There are 12 combined drivers across four entries representing Chip Ganassi Racing (competing as Cadillac Racing) and Team Penske (as Porsche Penske Motorsport) in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona.

And with the possible exception of six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, none of those behind the wheel is as famous and accomplished as the U.S. motorsports icons who will be sitting atop the pit stands at Daytona International Speedway.

In the NTT IndyCar Series, Penske and Ganassi are synonymous with success, having combined for 23 Indy 500 victories and 30 championships. They also competed in the NASCAR Cup Series for two decades with several signature wins for each.

DETAILS FOR THE 61ST ROLEX 24How to watch, entry lists, schedules for the IMSA season opener

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN GTPRolex 24 at Daytona kicks off new golden era for sports cars

Until now, the rivalry never extended to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, where they competed in different classes from 2018-19 and have competed in the top category in differing times over the years.

But the 2023 season opener at Daytona will mark the beginning of a new era in which Ganassi and Penske will compete for sports car overall victories on two continents. A Ganassi Cadillac Racing V-LMDh and Porsche Penske Motorsports Penske 963 will run full time in both the premier prototype divisions of IMSA and the European-based World Endurance Championship – whose crown jewel is the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Having two of the world’s biggest sports car races welcome the Ganassi-Penske battle seems only fitting in a season in which IMSA’s new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class is expected to introduce a stiffer level of competition.

“We obviously like beating each other,” Ganassi told NBC Sports. “I think if you beat Penske, you know you’ve beaten someone. You’ve accomplished something great. It’s going to be the same as always. Just another platform at another track, but the rivalry will be just as heated I’m sure.

“On one hand, he’s always the first guy to call us out for a penalty or something. On the other hand, he’s also the first guy to congratulate me on a win, so I think it’s a healthy rivalry, but we certainly pound each other’s heads into the ground on race day. Monday through Friday it switches to more of a good relationship.”

After starting his career in sports cars, Penske also is looking forward to having a new arena to race Ganassi.

“There is a lot of anticipation and excitement about the Rolex 24 and the upcoming sports car season overall,” Penske said in a statement to NBC Sports statement. “With the new hybrid prototype formula ready to make its debut, and some great competition expected on the track between teams, drivers and manufacturers, there is a lot of momentum building right now. Porsche Penske Motorsport is excited to compete in both the IMSA WeatherTech Championship, as well as the FIA World Endurance Championship, this season and I can’t wait to see the No. 6 and No. 7 Porsche 963s in action at Daytona this weekend. We also look forward to bringing some new rivalries and storylines to the sport.

Roger Penske confers with Chip Ganassi before the 2013 Honda Indy Toronto (Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports Images).

“In the new IMSA GTP class, there should be a good competitive balance between Porsche, Cadillac, Acura and BMW. We have seen how the rivalry between Team Penske and Ganassi Racing has developed in the NTT IndyCar Series in recent years, and that could certainly extend to sports cars as our teams and drivers continue to develop the new formula and push the production on track in both IMSA and WEC. We will see how the competition plays out, starting this weekend, as we always enjoy racing against Chip and his teams.”

Though there have been some fiery moments over the years (Dario Franchitti vs. Will Power, anyone?), Ganassi vs. Penske mostly has been a story of respect between two organizations whose main strengths are people.

“It’s just the depth of the organizations going up against each other,” Ganassi said. “It’s not just he and I. It’s at every level of the organization.

“We’re smaller. I’d like to think we’re a little more nimble. This is all I do is race cars. I don’t have 200 car dealerships or a truck rental company or a transportation company. I just have racing is all I have.”

Heading into Saturday’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, here are the thoughts of Ganassi and Penske drivers in the Rolex 24 at Daytona:


Earl Bamber, No. 02 Ganassi Cadillac: “When I grew up as a kid, I remember watching Chip Ganassi Racing and Penske battle each other for many years, obviously following Scott Dixon and his career in IndyCar (Bamber is a New Zealand native like Dixon). And when the opportunity came up to come and race for Chip, it’s a no-brainer. It’s one of those teams you want to drive for in the world. It’s one of the biggest and most successful teams in the world. And then we’ve got Porsche, where I used to drive, with Penske. It’s going to be a phenomenal rivalry over the next couple of years and that rivalry continues between two absolute legends of our sport. Two people who have been the most successful. I hope we can get Cadillac and Chip their first Le Mans win. That’s obviously the ultimate goal for us and beat his old rival, Roger.

“Those two powerhouses of the sport, they definitely raise the bar. You’ve seen it in IndyCar for years and years. One finds something and the next pushes it forward and forward. You’ll see the same in sports car racing. We all saw what Chip Ganassi Racing did back in the day with the GT program. So no doubt we can do the same again. It’s the ultimate highest level of motorsport when it comes to sports car racing, and there’ll be no stone unturned to make sure that we’re winning these races. It will be a really great fight, great for the fans and great for the sport, because both of them love winning.”

Dane Cameron, No. 6 Porsche Penske: “I think anytime you have Chip and Roger come to town to start fighting for wins, it raises the profile of the whole thing. Hopefully it brings a few more eyes to everything. Certainly brings a lot of expectation with it as well, and I also think it reflects really strongly on the championship to show how competitive it is. They respect the championship and challenge, but when they come to town, they come to win for sure.”

Scott Dixon, No. 01 Ganassi Cadillac: “The battle between Chip Ganassi Racing and Penske is always a fierce one. I obviously know it well from the IndyCar side. But I think it’s a lot more than that. It’s impressive to see a lot of the manufacturers that have come in for this battle. I imagine if it’s not from the first race but during the season that Penske and Ganassi will fight it out pretty hard.

“I think the rivalry between Chip Ganassi racing and Penske has always been strong and in a good way. There’s been some battles and the 2010s for me and other drivers when it gets fierce. Some disagreements here and there. But it’s always been a great pure battle, which is what I think these championships are made of and what brings the fans to the track. So I’d sum it up as a very healthy rivalry.”

Alex Lynn, No. 02 Ganassi Cadillac: “Even as a little boy (growing up in England), you knew exactly who Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi were. You knew what their teams represented. For me to represent Chip and his team is a huge honor. I’m extremely motivated to try to add to his legacy and be part of the fabric of this team. I think having the battle between Penske and Ganassi is iconic. Also Porsche and Cadillac as brands, respectively, just adds to the occasion. Makes me smile even thinking about it knowing what we get to represent when the flag drops.”

Felipe Nasr, No. 7 Porsche Penske: “I think it’s fantastic especially because we’re merging the IMSA and WEC Series and giving the opportunity for teams like Penske and Ganassi to fight for overall victories. You look at the history of those teams, they’ve been on top. We always hear it from the IndyCar guys or the NASCAR side, you’re talking two big names in motorsports. You expect nothing but them fighting for wins. For sure Ganassi has strengths, and we have strengths as well. I’m pretty glad I have the opportunity to be representing Team Penske and continue to write history with them and Porsche is a great opportunity.”

Richard Westbrook, No. 02 Ganassi Cadillac: “The chance for the two most famous teams in America to go head to head in the Daytona 24 Hours and also the Le Mans 24 Hours. I expect that rivalry to keep going up more notches.”

Renger van der Zande, No. 01 Ganassi Cadillac: “Obviously, it’s such the big houses of racing in the U.S. Penske and Ganassi are taking it at each other. The rivalry is big. The best of the best. The most famous ones in the U.S.

“Ganassi is part of Cadillac. We’re the race team that runs the factory program for Cadillac. Penske is running it for Porsche, obviously a high brand as well. Those teams have their little rivalry, but they’re working for a bigger company, a bigger brand, which is Cadillac and Porsche. So those two premium brands taking on each other and then two of the best teams in America taking on each other. It’s very simple: Cadillac got the best team in the U.S. and Porsche got the best team in the U.S. So let’s see what happens. It’s going to be a cool fight.”