Here’s What IndyCar Drivers Said after Friday’s two practices in Portland

There were all kinds of fans who turned out for Friday's two IndyCar practices. Photo: IndyCar/Chris Owens.

Here’s What IndyCar Drivers Said after Friday’s two practices (there will be one more practice Saturday, along with qualifying, with the Grand Prix of Portland on Sunday afternoon):

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “The Verizon car is really quick. We just kept getting held up today. There were a lot of yellow flags and a lot of people making mistakes. It was difficult to put a lap together. I don’t think Practice 2’s times were relative to our pace, but I think we should be in the top five tomorrow. We have a car to do that. The guys have been working really hard all weekend. I’m excited to qualify tomorrow.”

MATHEUS “MATT” LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Practice went all right, but the car is still not good enough to run close to the top 10, so we just have to keep trying new things, working hard, and hopefully at some point, we’re going to get there.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda): “Fairly productive day. The track here in Portland is a tricky little place. It’s great to be back, first of all, and I think everyone in the series is really embracing the event and the organizers have done a really good job. For 25 Indy cars around a less than two-mile track, it gets pretty busy out there; it’s always tough to kind of get a good lap in. This afternoon, we made some really good improvements in the Arrow Electronics car. Having Carlos (Muñoz) and Jack (Harvey) here has been a huge help at a new circuit to get as much data as possible. Unfortunately, there was a red flag when we were doing our red (Firestone alternate) tire lap at the end, so I don’t think we got to show our true potential today. Obviously, with Jack in the top five, we know what the car can do. We’ll put our heads together overnight to get it even better still, and hopefully, we’ll be fighting for the Firestone Fast Six tomorrow.”|

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda): “In second practice, I was definitely feeling more and more comfortable with the Lucas Oil car. It’s IndyCar – everyone is really close to each other (with on-track times). I’m happy with the progression I made from yesterday to today. Yesterday at the test, it was a completely new car for me; it’s been a year since driving it (on the road course). Today was a little rough on my body, getting my muscles used to it, but I think tomorrow I’m going to be even better physical-wise and also with the car. I think we are doing a good job. The car balance has improved a lot compared to yesterday. Jack (Harvey) seems pretty fast, so that’s great for the team. Overnight, we’ll study the data and see where I can learn more.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “I think it was a strong first day overall here in Portland. We had a good test day here yesterday where we were fastest in the PNC Bank car, so that was a good start for us. I think today really was about getting familiarized with the track again and just putting in the laps. It’s been several years, but it’s great to be back and I’m excited for the weekend.”

ED JONES (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “I just wasn’t happy with the car in the second session. We’re not where we need to be and we’ll need to go back and really work on where we are tonight before we get to qualifying tomorrow here in Portland. The NTT DATA car should be further up the speed chart and we’ll be working hard to figure out how to get it where it should be.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “Not bad. I think we’ve kind of been in the window with the No. 12 Verizon Chevy the whole time. We just need to look at a few driving details and pick up a bit of time in the first sector. We’ll have a look at it tonight and see if we need to make any adjustments and see what we have tomorrow.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Tough days. Two very difficult days for us. It seems like we’ve been trying a lot of things and we haven’t found a way yet. I think we have a good direction now, but it’s hard. The last couple days have not been fun…apart from having a baby! That brightens up anybody’s life. We’ve been expecting it for so long. I know people say, ‘It’s your fourth.’ But it doesn’t matter how many there are, it’s still very sweet. I feel very lucky that we have healthy kids-all born very healthy with no problems. When you have a bad day on the racetrack, you have to put life in perspective and believe there are much bigger issues than just having a bad race car and not starting well. Days like yesterday and then being up all night with Lauren (Kanaan, wife) on the phone, and hearing the baby cry and it was a girl, which deep inside, when you have three boys, you kind of hope for a girl, it’s awesome. I don’t think there’s anything this weekend that can make me upset, but I still want to do a good job for ABC and for A.J. (Foyt, team owner). We rebuilt this team quite a bit and we’ve been suffering quite a bit the last few races with some bad luck. Hopefully, we’re building things up and making us stronger for next year.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda): “It’s a tight field, so it’s a bad weekend to be off slightly. We need to keep working hard. There are no quick and easy solutions. Everyone is trying awfully hard and we’re just missing it a little bit. The track is slightly different, but in most respects, it’s the same. It’s great to be back. These cars are fast around here, they really scream around this track. If you are watching these things in person or watching the onboard cameras, that comes across. We are hauling the mail; just flying around this place.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Team Gorilla Automotive Products Honda): “It was kind of a two-speed day. The first practice was pretty good. The Gorilla Automotive Products Honda No. 18 was dialed in from yesterday’s test. Then, it got quite a bit warmer in the afternoon. The track temp was much higher and the whole afternoon session was disjointed – red flags, guys leaving the pits not really paying attention and blocking each other. So, it was difficult to get a real read about the car. We had a decent run on the black (primary) Firestone tires, then on the red (alternate) tires, I just didn’t get a read. We did our fast lap on the reds on Lap 6, which is far too late. My teammate, Santino (Ferrucci) was extremely quick and happy with his car on red tires and I am a little too accustomed to not being super happy on reds. We will have to regroup and analyze the data and see what happens.”

PIETRO FITTIPALDI (No. 19 Paysafe Honda): “Today was a tough day for the No. 19 Paysafe crew. We missed the first practice session because we had an issue with the brakes, so we didn’t make it out on track. In the second practice, I think we were good on the black Firestone (primary) tires, within the top 11 or 12. All three Dale Coyne Racing cars had slightly different setups, and when we went on reds (Firestone alternate tires), I didn’t find the grip like my teammates did, but it’s good that we’ll be able to go back and debrief and see what they did different and use it tomorrow.”

JORDAN KING (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “We made good progress again today. On the black (Firestone primary) tires, we were pretty good. We were up there straight away from the start, only a couple of tenths off. We’re getting there, small bits at a time. I am a little annoyed with the run on red (Firestone alternate) tires. More the warmup process, then there’s traffic and you only get one lap before you have to back off. From my side, it wasn’t the best lap in the world, so there’s a couple of tenths still in the car, for sure. I think a lot of people probably had a similar session to that because there’s a lot of good drivers who were down at the back. We’ll probably be a couple of tenths quicker, but we’ll see if everyone goes quicker, as well. I’d say we’re within the window, so it will be interesting tomorrow to see what we can get out of it. Going into qualifying, I have high hopes.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “We had a fairly decent day. We made some good changes throughout the day. The car we ended with at the end of the second session is the best we had all day, so that’s encouraging. It was really tough to get some clear track out there to validate changes or to put in a good lap. There was so much traffic, it was difficult to get a clear read. Other than that, we did lots of things that made the car better, and hopefully, that trend continues tomorrow.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “It’s super tight, but we’ve made big progress on the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet. I’m quite happy with where we are. We don’t have the balance yet to challenge for pole position, but we are right there. We just have to find a way to give it a little more turn. I think we will have plenty of pace, though.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet): “From the first lap we ran today, the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet was better than it was yesterday during the test. We worked through a lot on yesterday’s test day and we were able to dig through so much data to come up with a better starting point this morning. Do we still have room to improve? Absolutely, but at the same time we have a solid direction now and we have a really good idea of where we need to go to get stronger throughout the rest of the weekend.”

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Group 1001 Honda): “Overall, today was pretty good. I’m a little upset that we didn’t get the most out of our Firestone reds (alternate tires) at the end of the day. I made a small mistake that put us P8 instead of probably in the top three. I think we have a pretty good car and a pretty good chance this weekend, but I need to put it all together.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda): ” We made good progress from yesterday to today. We weren’t able to get our fast lap in at the end of the session when we were on reds (Firestone primary tires), which is unfortunate, but I think the car is pretty good. It’s very difficult to pull it all together around here with it being such a short lap. We’re going to have to keep moving forward and stay on top of the conditions, but I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Today was just one of those days when absolutely nothing went right, especially during the second session with new red (Firestone alternate) tires. We weren’t able to get a good run on them. Cars kept coming out in front of us on track, and we weren’t able to get our run going or able to do anything with it. I think right now we’re about a P7 car and that’s not going to cut it. We need to go back to the drawing board tonight and make sure the DHL machine has a shot at the pole tomorrow.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda): “It was a mixed day today. After a good day yesterday where we got more understanding of the car and the track, this morning I felt pretty positive, the car was competitive. We were comfortably in the top 10, there were a lot of 57.8’s, and we were only a couple of tenths off of the leader and that was quite encouraging. The balance was good, too. We tried to improve the balance of the car for this afternoon, and of course, it was in warmer temperatures and a hotter track. The temperature made the car have less grip, but not only that, it didn’t feel as good as this morning. We need to look at the data. Both cars also underperformed on the red (Firestone alternate) tires. Luckily, we have one more day to work on it before the race, so hopefully, tomorrow is a better day. This is a fantastic track. It’s a little road course, but it is quite challenging. You need a lot of commitment. It’s a busy track, especially considering you have two long straights. There are so many corners together. It’s just nonstop, constant work. It’s a great track. We had a good autograph session today. There were so many fans here and they were so enthusiastic that IndyCar is back. It’s a great venue and it’s so close to downtown, which has great food and a great atmosphere.”

ALFONSO CELIS JR. (No. 32 Juncos Racing Chevrolet): “Today we learned a lot. We have some things to work on and figure out for tomorrow. We will go back and analyze the data and make some decisions for our setup. I look forward to improving in qualifying tomorrow.”

SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 39 Cly-Del Honda): “I can’t thank Dale (Coyne) enough for giving me this opportunity. The team has done a great job preparing the No. 39 Cly-Del car. They’ve been working really hard the past couple of weeks because it’s been back-to-back-to-back. I’m very happy with how today went. We were really quick on the Firestone red (alternate) tires, but on the blacks (Firestone primary tires), there’s still some work to do.” (About his thoughts on the track): “Learning the track has been a bit of a challenge, but it’s been nice to have Sebastien (Bourdais), who coached me, with which lines to take. The track is also really challenging because you have so many people on track within a short distance, plus it’s a really quick track and extracting every little hundredth and thousandth of a second that you can is making the difference here. I can’t thank the guys enough, they’ve given me a really good car so far, and hopefully, we can keep going in that direction the rest of the weekend.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet): “We made a big step forward overnight after our test day here yesterday. It might not necessarily show in the timing sheets after that last practice session, because the reds (Firestone alternate tires) just come in so quick, and we caught traffic when I was on my quick laps. I’m not exactly sure where we are with the red tires, but I think we’re better than where the timing sheets are showing us position-wise. Like I said though, we made a pretty sizable change on the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet after yesterday and I think it’s probably one that we should’ve done all year. I feel like we’re in a better position than we’d originally thought we’d be. With how short of a lap it is here, everything is critical and it’s all very close.”

JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation SiriusXM MSR with SPM Honda): “Honestly, I think we have been quite OK since we got here. That last session we hovered around 10th and then ended the day P5. The track is awesome, I can’t believe we haven’t raced here in so long. Portland, the city, has been good fun as well. There are just a lot of positive vibes around us right now. I try not to get too carried away, but it is nice to take the time and enjoy the result. The whole team has done a great job, and we have consistently improved and we will try and do the same tomorrow.

GABBY CHAVES (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet): “Productive day, we made some good changes and ended the day with a solid run of seventh. Very happy with that, so looking forward to practice and qualifying tomorrow. I’ll try to do a really good job at nailing a quick lap time. The field is so tight that it’s going to be really important to make sure we hit everything as perfect as we can to execute a perfect lap in qualifying.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 / Curb Honda): “We’ve been in the top four all weekend and the car is particularly good on reds (Firestone alternate tires). I think we can still make a small improvement, but I think we have enough to make it into the Firestone Fast Six tomorrow. We’ve been guessing correctly with the balance between the blacks (Firestone primary tires) and reds, and that makes it fun for me because we’re kind of hitting it on both compounds, and I think if we follow the track correctly, we can have a shot at pole.”

‘Baby Borgs’ bring special Indy 500 bonds, memories for Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi

Ganassi Ericsson Indy
Mike Levitt/LAT Images/BorgWarner

THERMAL, Calif. – Winning the Indy 500 is a crowning achievement for driver and car owner, but for Chip Ganassi, last May’s victory by Marcus Ericsson had meaning even beyond just capturing one of the world’s greatest sporting events.

When Ganassi was 5 years old and growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, his father, Floyd, attended a convention in Indianapolis in 1963. Floyd went to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to tour the track and visit the former museum that used to stand next to the main gate on 16th and Georgetown.

Ganassi’s father brought young Chip a souvenir from the gift shop. It was an 8-millimeter film of the 1963 Indy 500, a race won by the legendary Parnelli Jones.

“I must have watched it about 1,000 times,” Ganassi recalled. “More importantly than that, something you did when you were 5 years old is still with you today.

“I was 50 years old when I celebrated my Thanksgiving with Parnelli. It dawned on me that something I did when I was 5 years old took me to when I was 50 years old. That’s pretty special.”

Ericsson and Ganassi were presented with their “Baby Borgs,” the mini-replicas of the Borg-Warner Trophy, in a ceremony Feb. 2 at The Thermal Club (which played host to NTT IndyCar Series preseason testing). The win in the 106th Indy 500 marked the sixth time a Ganassi driver won the biggest race in the world.

Ganassi will turn 65 on May 24, just four days before the 107th Indianapolis 500 on May 28. The 2023 race will mark the 60th anniversary of the victory by Jones, who is now the oldest living winner of the Indianapolis 500 at 89.

Jones wanted to do something special for Ericsson and Ganassi, so each was given framed photos personally inscribed by Jones.

Parnelli Jones (Steve Shunck Photo For BorgWarner)

“Congratulations Marcus Ericsson and my good friend Chip Ganassi on winning the 2022 Indianapolis 500,” Jones said in remarks conveyed by BorgWarner publicist Steve Shunck. “There is no greater race in the whole world and winning it in 1963 was by far the biggest thrill in my life.”

Ganassi’s relationship with his racing hero began 60 years ago, but the two have shared some important moments since then.

It was Jones that signed off on Ganassi’s first Indianapolis 500 license in 1982. Jones was one of the veteran observers who worked with Ganassi and other rookie drivers that year to ensure they were capable of competing in the high-speed, high-risk Indianapolis 500.

When Ganassi turned 50, he got to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with Jones.

“We’ve been friends over the years,” Ganassi told NBC Sports. “He wrote me a personal note and sent me some personal photographs. It really says what this race is all about and how important it is to win the biggest auto race in the world.”

Michelle Collins, the director of global communications and marketing for BorgWarner, presented the “Baby Borgs,” first to Ganassi and then to Ericsson.

“More special is winning the Indianapolis 500,” Ganassi said during the presentation. “It’s been a big part of my life. I want to call out my buddy, Roger Penske, and thank him for the stewardship of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and what it means to us. It’s about the history, the tradition and, to me, it’s about the people that have meant so much in my life.

“Thanks for the trophy, Marcus.”

Marcus Ericsson and Chip Ganassi hold their Baby Borgs while posing with the Borg-Warner Trophy (Bruce Martin).

The Baby Borg presentation also came on the birthday of sculptor William Behrends, who has crafted the Bas-relief sterling silver face of each winner on the Borg-Warner Trophy since 1990. The “Baby Borg” presents each winner with a miniature of one of the most famous trophies in sports.

“I have to thank BorgWarner for everything that has happened since winning the Indianapolis 500, including the trip to Sweden,” said Ericsson, who took a November victory lap in his native country. “I’m very thankful for that because it’s memories that are going to be with me for the rest of my life.

“To bring the Borg-Warner Trophy to my hometown, seeing all the people there on the city square on a dark day in the middle of November. It was filled with people and that was very special.

“I’m very proud and honored to be part of Chip Ganassi Racing. To win the Indianapolis 500 with that team is quite an honor. It’s a team effort and a lot of people worked very hard to make this happen.

“Our focus now is to go back-to-back at the Indy 500.”

If Ericsson is successful in becoming the first driver to win back-to-back Indy since Helio Castroneves in 2001-02, he can collect an additional $420,000 in the Borg-Warner Rollover Bonus. With Castroneves the last driver to collect, the bonus has grown to an astronomical amount over 21 years.

Ericsson is from Kumla, Sweden, so the $420,000 would have an exchange rate of $4,447,641.67 Swedish Kronor.

“It’s a nice thing to know I could get that if I do win it again,” Ericsson told NBC Sports. “But the Indianapolis 500 with its history as the biggest and greatest race in the world, it doesn’t matter with the money, with the points, with anything. Everyone is going to go out there and do everything to win that race.

“It’s great to know that, but I will race just as hard.”

Marcus Ericsson points at the newest face on the Borg-Warner Trophy (Mike Levitt/LAT Images/BorgWarner).

A popular slogan in racing is “Chip Likes Winners.” After winning the 106th Indy 500, Ganassi must really love Ericsson.

“It doesn’t get much bigger than that, does it? I’m very thankful to be driving for Chip,” Ericsson said. “He likes winners and winning the Indianapolis 500, it doesn’t get better than that.”

When Ericsson was presented with his Baby Borg, he stood off to the side and admired it the way a child looks at a special gift on Christmas morning. The wide-eyed amazement of his career-defining moment was easy to read and met with delight by executives of BorgWarner (an automotive and technology company that has sponsored the Borg-Warner Trophy since its 1935 debut).

“I noticed that immediately and I was watching him look at it wishing I had a camera to capture that,” Collins told NBC Sports. “But maybe not because we always have our phones in front of us and it’s nice to take in that moment as it is. That is what makes the moment well worth it.”

Marcus Ericsson (Bruce Martin)

Said BorgWarner executive vice president and chief strategic officer Paul Farrell: “It’s very special to have the big trophy that has been around since 1935 and to have a piece of that. Hopefully it’s something that (Ericsson) cherishes. We think it’s special, and clearly, Marcus Ericsson thinks it is very special.”

The trophy process begins shortly after the race as the winner has the famed Borg-Warner Wreath placed around his neck, and the Borg-Warner Trophy is put on the engine cover. The next morning, the winner meets with Behrends, who has been sculpting the faces on the trophy since Arie Luyendyk’s first victory in 1990. Later in the year, the winner visits Behrends’ studio in Tryon, North Carolina, for a “Live Study.”

The process takes several more steps before the face is reduced to the size of an egg and casted in sterling silver. It is attached to the permanent Borg-Warner Trophy and unveiled at a ceremony later in the year. Ericsson’s face was unveiled last October during a ceremony in Indianapolis.

That’s when it hit Ericsson, a three-time winner in IndyCar after going winless in Formula One over 97 starts from 2014-18.

“Until then, it was strange because you are so busy with your season right after the Indy 500 you don’t really get much time to sit back and think about what you had accomplished,” Ericsson said. “It was the offseason before I really realized what I had done.”

The permanent trophy remains on display at Indianapolis Motor Speedway but has been known to travel with the winning driver on special tours, such as the Nov. 3-7 trip to Sweden.

“It’s been incredible to see the amount of interest in me and the IndyCar Series and the Indy 500,” Ericsson said. “The trophy tour with the Borg-Warner Trophy we did in November really made a huge impact in Sweden. I was on every TV show, morning TV, magazines, newspapers, everywhere. People are talking about IndyCar racing. People are talking about Marcus Ericsson. It’s been huge.

“I was back in Sweden last month for the Swedish Sports Awards and I finished third in the Sports Performance of the Year. Motorsports is usually not even nominated there, and I finished third. That says a lot about the interest and support I’ve gotten back home in Sweden.”

Ericsson continued to reap the rewards of his Indianapolis 500 victory last week at the lavish Thermal Club, about a 45-minute drive from Palm Springs, California.

Earlier in the day before the Baby Borg presentation, Ericsson, and Chip Ganassi were among the 27 car-driver combinations that completed the first day of IndyCar’s “Spring Training” on the 17-turn, 3.067-mile road course. The next day, Ericsson turned the test’s fastest lap.

The 32-year-old still seems to be riding the wave, along with his girlfriend, Iris Tritsaris Jondahl, a Greece native who also lived in Sweden and now lives with Ericsson in Indianapolis.

“Today, receiving my Baby Borg, it was another thing of making it real,” Ericsson said. “It’s not a dream. It’s reality. To get the Baby Borg and bring it home. My girlfriend, Iris, and I are house hunting, looking for a house in Indianapolis. It will definitely have a very special place in our new home.”

Marcus Ericsson and girlfriend Iris Tritsaris Jondahlc share a kiss at the Baby Borg presentation (Mike Levitt/LAT Images/BorgWarner).

Ericsson told NBC Sports his most cherished trophy before getting his Baby Borg was for his first NTT IndyCar Series win in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix in 2021.

“It was such a huge win for me and such a huge breakthrough for me and my career,” he said. “After that, it catapulted me into a top driver in IndyCar.”

The Brickyard win was another level for Ericsson, who moved to Ganassi in 2020.

“Marcus kept himself in the race all day,” Chip Ganassi Racing managing director Mike Hull told NBC Sports. “Anybody that ran a race like Marcus ran, maybe you deserve the race win, but you don’t always get it. Marcus did everything that it took, and we are really, really proud of him.”

Ericsson also proved last year to be one of the best oval drivers in the series, a much different form of racing than he experienced until he came to the United States.

“Racing in Europe and around the world, I always liked high-speed corners,” he explained. “It was always my favorite. I always had this idea if I go to IndyCar and race on the ovals, it is something that would suit me and my driving style. I was always excited to try that. When I came to IndyCar and started to drive on ovals, I liked it straight away. It worked for me and my style.

“The first few attempts at Indy, I had good speed, but it was always some small mistakes that got me out of contention. I learned from them. I’m very proud I was able to pull it off, but it was a lot of hard work behind that.”

Michelle Collins of BorgWarner presented Baby Borgs to Marcus Ericsson and Chip Ganassi at a ceremony also attended by Chip Ganassi Racing managing director Mike Hull (Mike Levitt/LAT Images/BorgWarner).

The victory in the Indianapolis 500 is etched in history, as is Ericsson’s face on the trophy.

“It’s such a special thing,” the driver said. “The BorgWarner people and IndyCar and everyone at IMS, I get to experience so many cool things since winning the Indy 500. It’s a win that keeps on giving. It never ends. It still does.

“I can’t wait to get back to Indianapolis, the month of May, as the champion. I still have to pinch myself. It’s a dream, for sure.”

Ganassi doesn’t have to pinch himself — all he needs to do is look at his collection of Baby Borgs.

His first Indy 500 win — as a team co-owner with Pat Patrick — came in 1989 with Emerson Fittipaldi’s thrilling duel against Al Unser Jr.

In 1990, Ganassi formed Chip Ganassi Racing. Juan Pablo Montoya won the Indianapolis 500 in 2000, Scott Dixon in 2008, Dario Franchitti in 2010 and 2012 and Ericsson in 2022.

“It’s a feather in the team’s cap for sure just to have our representation on the Borg-Warner Trophy with five other drivers,” Ganassi said. “It’s a testament to the team, a testament to Mike Hull that runs the team in Indianapolis. I just feel really lucky to be a part of it. It’s great to work with a great team of great people.

“Just to relive that moment again and again never gets old; never goes away. I’m really lucky to be in the position I’m in. It’s an honor to represent the team with the great people that it took to bring Marcus across the finish line. He and I get to celebrate events like this, but it’s really about the people at Chip Ganassi Racing in Indianapolis that pull this all together.”

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500