What IndyCar drivers said after Day 1 of qualifying for the 104th Indy 500

Indy 500 qualifying quotes
Chris Jones/IndyCar

INDIANAPOLIS — A roundup of quotes and social media posts from NTT IndyCar Series drivers Saturday after the first day of qualifying for the 104th Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

After turning the best Fast Friday lap in more than 24 years, Marco Andretti again led the way on the first day of qualifying as Hondas took eight of the Fast Nine Spots.

On the flip side, the Chevrolets struggled mightily as Team Penske failed to have a driver advance to the Sunday shootout for the pole position.

RESULTS: Qualifying speeds from Day 1

INDY 500 QUALIFYINGDetails for following the time trials

Fernando Alonso (No. 66 Ruoff Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “The speed was not there yesterday in practice and today in qualifying. We know that so we just wanted to put in a solid run in for qualifying with no mistakes and execute the best we could. I think we achieved that, and I’m happy with that. The No. 66 Ruoff Mortgage Arrow McLaren SP car was feeling great today. I think we have a good race car because the first few days we were on the competitive side. The starting place for the race is not changing our hopes for next Sunday. All our focus now is on the race. This place offers a lot of possibilities even for the people starting at the back, and we will be looking to take that possibility next week.”

Marco Andretti (No. 98 U.S. Concrete / Curb Honda): “The roll-off speed of the Honda, the team and car they put together. It’s fun working with my engineer. When you roll off with speed, that’s always the Indianapolis first hurdle. When you get over that, it’s about fine-tuning and circumstances, so hopefully we are on the better end of things.”

Oliver Askew (No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “My first qualifying at the Indianapolis 500 was pretty exciting. First run ended up being our quickest. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to go quicker. It looks like we are stuck in 21st right now. Probably the most frightening four laps of my life, but that’s what Indy 500 qualifying is all about. Looking forward to putting the race setup back on because I feel like Arrow McLaren SP have a much more competitive package in race trim. Looking forward to the rest of the week.”

Ed Carpenter (No. 20 United States Space Force Chevrolet): “Today was a day of mixed emotions. I’m very happy for Rinus (VeeKay) and the ECR team for once again prepping fast cars. Chevrolet gave us great power today, and we had a chance. We gave it all we had, but at least we have one car in the Fast Nine Shootout. I was really hoping to have the U.S. Space Force car up there, but this is the Indy 500, and you can win from anywhere. That’s still the mission.”

Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet): “Being on the second page (of the time sheet) isn’t what you want, but we are working on it. We are going to find out if we can find a little bit and if not, we race the Pennzoil Chevrolet from there and we have a very good car. We’ve all been really happy with the cars in race trim. You hate to start that far back as you need to pass a lot of cars and use some strategy, but it can be done from there. I’m just excited to run in another Indy 500 and do our best to put on a show for all the fans watching at home.”

Max Chilton (No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet): “All things considered, I’d say I’m pleased with how our day of qualifying ended. We drew a low number in the draw yesterday, so we didn’t even get out to do our first qualifying run until about two hours into the session, when the track was at its hottest. We just didn’t have it on our first run, and I’d say we didn’t maximize the setup we had for the conditions at the time of day we were running. We weren’t happy with where we ended up, and both the team and myself felt like there was definitely more in the car, so the guys went back and quickly looked through the data to see what direction we needed to go to make another attempt. The guys made some changes to the car, and we went back out with about 40 minutes to go in the session, which was obviously the right call as we averaged almost a mile and a half quicker and moved up two spots and into the row ahead of where we’d been. I’ve said it from the beginning, but I really feel that we have a good race car, and I’m looking forward to hopefully working my way up to the front.”

Conor Daly (No. 47 United States Air Force Chevrolet): “Not the day we wanted to have here. After yesterday, we knew our car was a challenge to drive in the heat. The time of day where we drew to qualify was quite hot. I had a bit of a loose moment on the last lap, which really didn’t help the four-lap average. We went out later in the day and improved a little bit, but it was just really challenging in the heat. We know the U.S. Air Force Chevy is a going to be a good race car, though. Ed (Carpenter) and I are starting from the same row and we can definitely move forward from there.”

James Davison (No. 51 Jacob Construction / Tilson HR Honda): “Today was a frustrating day for the No. 51 Jacob Construction crew. We had speed in the car running high 230’s on the first lap. No matter what we tried, in advance or on the fly to tune the balance, we would lose it. Not only would we lose it, but we would be fighting a car that pushed and was loose. Through no lack of effort, we have ended up qualifying further back than we would have liked, but there is 500 miles ahead, and we will regroup and do what we can to get on top of the balance in the final practice we have prior to the race.”

Scott Dixon (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “I didn’t know if our first attempt would be good enough to put us in the Fast Nine when we ran. We were fairly conservative on balance and overall downforce. As we got through the hotter parts of the day today, it got harder for the drivers to hold on to the cars when they were this trimmed out. I don’t think you want to go fastest today because that means tomorrow you’ll go last in the hottest part of the day. I’m pretty happy, though, with the PNC Bank Honda. Our second attempt was better, and we improved some, for sure, but I made a change in the car that stiffened it up and I had to save it from the wall. We improved from sixth to fifth at the time. We’ll keep working on it and be ready for tomorrow.”

Marcus Ericsson (No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “I think I had a decent first run. The No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda felt really good. We built really good balance in the car yesterday, and that carried over to today. It felt good out there, but I feel like we left a little on the table. I was quite keen to go out again after the first run. I thought there was more speed in the No. 8 car. After our second attempt, it felt better out there. We were so close to being in the Fast Nine, finishing in P11. However, I think the track conditions got worse throughout the day.”

Santino Ferrucci (No. 18 SealMaster Honda): “Qualifying for the SealMaster Honda team went really well. I’m super proud of the crew for getting the car sorted overnight. It’s never a good feeling going to sleep when your last run (yesterday) before qualifying was right next to the wall. Today, I was able to run wide open for four laps, and putting the car mid-pack feels really good. I’m confident we can have a strong result in the Indy 500.”

Jack Harvey (No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda): “Today was a bit disappointing for us. We had a great draw, and somehow we weren’t able to maximize getting to go out so early on in the session. With the temperatures just getting hotter as the day went on, nailing that first run was so important. And not nailing that run was a product of a difficult day. I went into today thinking we had the pace to be between eighth and 13th, so it was a bit of a disappointing result for us today.”

Colton Herta (No. 88 Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana Honda): “Today was an OK day and qualified right inside the top 10, in 10th, so I am happy with that. A little disappointed on why our pace isn’t as good as our teammates and confused on that front. I think we have a pretty good race car, and that’s what matters. I am happy to roll off 10th and give it a crack next Sunday.”

JR Hildebrand (No. 67 DRR Salesforce Chevrolet): “I wasn’t psyched about being the last qualifier today. We know how the track gets later in qualifying, and after 115 or 120 degrees track surface, it starts to get really slick out there. We knew that after Friday’s practice in the afternoon, and it was 127 on my qualifying run today. The car feels good in race trim, but once we started trimming out the car, we have been struggling. It’s a bum draw, for sure, today. The crew guys have been working super hard to improve our cars throughout practice and qualifying. I felt good about the first lap in the heat with a 228.5 (mph), but the conditions were different in Turns 1 and 2 from 3 and 4. I did have a big moment on the second lap in Turn 1. The focus now is on the race, and I feel that our setups are good. We’ll try to improve on some of those settings in Sunday afternoon practice. If we have a good car in the race, we can move up. It’s 500 miles, after all.”

James Hinchcliffe (No. 29 Genesys Honda): “A great day for the whole team, finishing 1-2-3-4 and Colton (Herta) just outside the Fast Nine in 10th . It’s a testament to all the hard work that everyone at Andretti Autosport puts into this program for us. Great to see the Genesys car up there with the teammates. Only .15 mph between the four of us there over 10 miles is absolutely crazy. We are going to dig a little deeper and harder overnight trying to see where we can kind that extra little bit of speed. Obviously, (Scott) Dixon is going to be quick tomorrow after what we saw at the end of the day, and we want to try and get that Genesys car on pole. Going to get everything we can get out of it and go for broke tomorrow.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 DHL Honda): “It was a really encouraging day. We had speed in the 28 car that we felt we had yesterday and in some of our qualifying simulations in Fast Friday. It was good to replicate that performance, stick the 28 up front for the Fast Nine tomorrow. Hats off to the 28 team for preparing a great car. I think all of Andretti Autosport did a great job putting the cars P1-P4. Well done to Honda, as well, for all of their performances today.”

Tony Kanaan (No. 14 ABC Supply/AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Well, a little bit disappointing. I think we could have been in the top 15, but the car was pretty comfortable. We concentrated a lot on the race setup, and the car is actually pretty decent in race trim, so just a few more cars to pass, but, all in all, the temperature didn’t help us. Of course, we would have like to drawn an earlier (qualifying) number, but that’s just the luck of the draw. So, it is what it is, but we’re ready for next weekend.”

Sage Karam (No. 24 DRR WIX Filters Chevrolet): “This isn’t what we wanted, obviously. Around Lap 2 we ended up blistering a tire, and that made the car pretty loose. I just stayed flat (on the throttle) and made the best of it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough today. We missed the first-lap speed because the car didn’t fell off that badly. We wanted a few more mile per hour on Lap 1. We have started in the back before and worked our way up. We are going to focus on how to make the race car platform better. Our race setup is definitely more comfortable than the qual setup. And our DRR WIX team is real good in the pits, as well. I know this race is going to come down to track position. In laps and out laps are going to be huge. Obviously, pit stops are extremely important. I’ve never worried about my pit crew. Despite being an Indy-only crew most of the time, they work year-round on pit stops in the shop. We always pick up positions on pit stops. If we get are in position to improve on the track, I know that the crew will gain us spots in the pits, too.”

Dalton Kellett (No. 41 K-Line USA / AJ FOYT RACING Chevrolet): “Really excited, really happy that we got that solid run in. Went off the order third, so the track was nice and cool. The car felt great for all four laps. It was good to get lots of practice in the heat yesterday when it was slippery, moving around, but I ended up getting a solid platform for this morning after a couple changes. Looking at the times, maybe we could have been a bit more aggressive on our mechanical balance, but we’ve really had the focus this week for the race, which is what we’re looking ahead for and devoted most of our time to, so I think being conservative in qualifying was always our plan. But very happy to get that run in, and looking forward to practice on Sunday.”

Charlie Kimball (No. 4 Tresiba AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet): “It was a challenging run for the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet, but the A.J. Foyt Racing guys have been good all week. I know the car is good in race trim. We just have to figure out exactly what happened in those four laps. Got pretty busy in Turn 4 on Lap 4, so it’s about a four-lap average here unfortunately – not one or not two. We’ll work on it, figure out what’s going on and be better for tomorrow (practice).”

Josef Newgarden (No. 1 Shell V-Power Nitro Team Penske Chevrolet): “Judging from yesterday, the hotter it got, the more difficult it was for everybody. This early draw here was certainly beneficial for us and others that got it today. I think that was pretty much where are our car was today. We could practice for a touch more, but I think we were pretty close to our limit. It’s just great to be here. I’m just pumped we are running the Indianapolis 500. I can’t say thanks enough to Roger (Penske), everyone at IMS for making this happen. We are going to put on an amazing show next weekend. I think we are going to have a good car to race with for Shell V-Power Nitro and Team Chevy.”

Pato O’Ward (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “I think it was positive toward the end of the day. I think we started the day a little confused based on where we had ran yesterday. We fixed it for the afternoon. We improved a few spots but didn’t have enough for the Fast Nine. Every time you improve a few positions, it is positive. We should look back and be happy with our last run because of the heat. We will start working on the race car now. Excited to see what Arrow McLaren SP and Chevrolet can do next week.”

Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “I wasn’t what we wanted out there at all with the Menards Chevrolet, but this place treats you like she wants to treat you, and you have to respect that. We had a perfect experience last year, but this year it is a little harder, so we have to work for it. It was an eventful qualifying session, for sure. Certainly way too much sliding around, and certainly not fast enough, either. If we start where we are, we have a great race car for the race. What bothers me the most is I wanted a fast time, and at Team Penske, that is what we expect. So, we will just have to work on it and make it better for the race next Sunday.”

Alex Palou (No. 55 Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda): “That was awesome to complete a qualifying run here at Indy. The Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh crew gave me such a great car. It’s so enjoyable to drive every lap. I think we had a really good first three days of practice. We already felt really comfortable yesterday. The speed was there. The car has a lot of speed, so I was really confident and comfortable with the car balance. We just did the job we’ve been doing all these days, and we’re in the Fast Nine. I think that’s really amazing in my first year here for me, for the team, for everybody. It shows how all my crew worked to give me the best car possible. I think we’re able to fight. I don’t know about fighting for the pole because there are a lot of really fast cars out there, but we will study tonight and see if we can go for it. Just starting in the top nine is going to be awesome for my first Indy 500. I’m really looking forward to it. I think it will be a bit easier going into tomorrow, because now I know how it works, what you feel when you’re waiting there with the engine off, and you hear all the cars go by and you don’t really know what’s going on. I think it’s going to be a bit calmer. I know what to do now. It was the first four consecutive laps I did in qualifying mode. We’re ready for tomorrow. I’m super happy, and this gives me a lot of motivation for the Fast Nine qualifying. I think it’s going to be a great day for the team.”

Spencer Pigot (No. 45 Hy-Vee RLL with Citrone/Buhl Autosport Honda): “Overall, it was not a bad day. We had a solid run this morning that maybe could have been a little bit quicker to help us get in the Fast Nine. But at the end of the day, starting 12th with three cars in the top-12 is a really good showing for the whole team. We can definitely race from there. It’s not a bad spot to be. Overall, I’m happy with the Hy-Vee car, and we will get back on track tomorrow to work on our race setup. Thanks to everyone at RLL, and it was a good debut at the Indy 500 for Citrone/Buhl Autosport.”

Will Power (No. 12 Verizon 5G Edge Team Penske Chevrolet): “I’m not sure what else we could do out there today. I was wide open the whole time. We will see where we end up and just focus on the race and get back to race mode as a team. We will keep the focus on that for tomorrow’s practice and work on the drivability of our car. This will be the furthest back I’ll probably ever started here, but you can win from anywhere in this race. It will be a long day, but we have a good Verizon 5G Edge Chevrolet. The guys have worked hard, and I appreciate the effort. We will continue to work on the race car and have some fun next weekend.”

Graham Rahal (No. 15 United Rentals Honda): “I must say that I’m proud of our United Rentals team. Yes, we got an early draw. Yes, that was an advantage, but at the same time, we did take advantage of it, and we did make it work. We had a very consistent four-lap run today to start our day off, and we made it to the Fast Nine tomorrow. The good thing is, we get to be in the Fast Nine. The nerve-racking thing is that we’re in the Fast Nine, and we’ve got to do this again. Hopefully, we will have a good day tomorrow, but to have a top-three row start for the Indy 500, we’ll take it. We can race from there. We’ve definitely started a lot worse in recent years, so we’ll take it.”

Felix Rosenqvist (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “I think we really turned things around from yesterday. We had a rough ending to yesterday and had a rough moment in Turn 1, but the engineers really nailed the setup today. I think it was a really good run. There was no big understeer, no big oversteer, and I was pretty balanced over the four laps. I am really happy with that. I think there’s probably a little more in the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda, but for the time of the day I think we had a really good first run.”

Alexander Rossi (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / Auto Nation Honda): “An amazing day for the whole team, the 27 guys and for Honda. Congrats to Marco (Andretti), you can’t really ask for much more than that, I mean obviously we would love to have seen Colton (Herta) and Zach (Veach) in this group, as well, but I think we have six very fast race cars. It’s going to be very interesting to see how tomorrow goes. I’m really happy with the car, really happy with the run. I definitely think we still have some speed in it still, which is encouraging. It’ll just be about if it comes to fruition over four laps.”

Takuma Sato (No. 30 Panasonic/PeopleReady Honda): “The car was extremely fast. I’m very happy for the job that the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team did. We drew a really lucky position for qualifying order. First for Graham (Rahal) and second for myself and Spencer (Pigot) seventh, and we basically made the most of it with a top nine for Graham and I. Unfortunately, Spencer missed only by a small amount, but he was very competitive. All three cars are on a small pack, which was a great job by the team. For myself, I was on the bubble and was a little bit nervous the last two hours. The team did a great job, and I was happy with the result. Tomorrow, if we can maybe jump up one row, it would be a bonus. But if not, I think we have confidence for the race car.”

Zach Veach (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda): “Disappointed after today. We lost speed in the car, which we can’t really explain right now. The balance of the car was absolutely mega for what we were trying to do, so hats off to the Gainbridge guys for putting it underneath. That wasn’t our cause of being a bit slow. So, we just have to regroup and figure out what went wrong. We had a great car, just not the speed today. It is what it is. Starting 17th isn’t terrible, still my best start for the Indy 500 – so I’ll take that. We’ve just got to do a lot of running tomorrow and Carb Day to make sure we have a really good day on August 23rd.”

Rinus VeeKay (No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet): “Pretty good day at the office! I was lucky yesterday with the draw and had a good run this morning. Fourth driver out, and I think the temperature really helped us. We put some really good laps down and stayed super consistent. I was kind of shocked by the 231.7 on the first lap. Very pleased with that. Being the only Chevrolet driver in the Fast Nine is also something to feel good about. Tomorrow is another day. It almost feels like the hardest part is over, the waiting is so hard. Tomorrow we can just go and qualify. For the race, everything is going to be different, but we have a good race car. I’m very confident.”

IndyCar champion Will Power completes ‘Victory Lap’ at ceremony in Indianapolis

Will Power Victory Lap
Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment

INDIANAPOLIS – Will Power went on his “Victory Lap” last week to celebrate his second career championship as the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series champion.

It began with several media interviews in Monterey, California, the day after he won the championship with a third-place finish in the Sept. 11 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.

From there, it was off to Los Angeles for more interviews and personal appearances that included a VIP Tour at the Petersen Automotive Museum, several appearances on SiriusXM and lunch at The Ivy, where the Team Penske IndyCar Series driver was treated to Wagyu Beef.

“It was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had in my life,” Power told NBCSports.com.

From L.A. back to Power’s North Carolina home, near Team Penske’s home base of Mooresville, there was one stop left on Sept. 17 — the Victory Lap Celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, an invitation-only banquet where Power and his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet crew at Team Penske were honored for the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series championship.

They didn’t even have to check into a hotel and spend another night on the road. Power and his team left on a Team Penske plane from the Statesville, N.C., airport at 4 p.m. ET Saturday to fly to Indianapolis. On arrival an hour later, a limo bus took the team to IMS.

Power led the 2022 season with five NTT P1 Awards for pole, earning the NTT P1 Award as the best qualifier of the season for the fifth time in his career. Power also made history with his 68th career pole, breaking the all-time mark held by the legendary Mario Andretti.

Power and Scott Dixon also became just two of only five drivers to complete every lap of every race in IndyCar Series history.

“What a year,” Power said as he was awarded his personal Astor Cup trophy (the second in his collection after the 2014 championship. “What a phenomenal year coming off one of my worst seasons personally. We came back with a vengeance.

“I want to thank Roger and Kathy Penske for everything they have done for me over the years. I wouldn’t be standing here and have the numbers I have without what Roger has done for me. I’m given a car every week that is capable of winning the pole, races, championships, and Indianapolis 500s. I’m so grateful for that.

“Also, to Greg Penske, you are there every week now at every event and I know we will be in good hands moving forward with the Penske Family.”

There are many on Power’s team and at home, that helped support Power throughout his career. None is bigger than Power’s wife, Liz, who told Power before the season that he would win the championship and break Andretti’s record.

“I must thank my wife. I’m so lucky to have a wife with that crystal ball that can tell me what is going to happen,” Power said. “I can’t think you enough, babe. I love you so much and you have been a big support to me my whole career. We’ve been together 17 years, and I’ve been in the series 17 years. She has been such a huge support to me. The mother of our child and she is a fantastic mother.

“She can’t tell the future. She just had faith in me.”

Liz Power’s premonition came true and that allowed Power and his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet team to celebrate Penske’s 17th IndyCar championship and 42nd title in the racing team’s history.

“The 12 crew this year, I’ve never had such a great group of guys,” Power said. “Trevor Lacasse (chief mechanic) is such a calm guy, but he does such a meticulous job on the preparation of the car. He is very, very good at keeping the whole crew happy. It feels as if there is no pressure on us. That’s a huge part in getting the most out of people. It was our first year together with you as a crew chief. What a great year to start our relationship.

“Dave Faustino (Power’s longtime engineer), we’ve worked together for 15 years. He’s almost like a wife to me, a partner … apart from sleeping together. We have a very good working relationship. Sorry Dave, I’m an awkward person and you are not.

“The things we have been through in our years together, it’s crazy that we continually improve and get better. We are standing on the podium after winning the championship and we are talking about the car, the race, and the tires. We weren’t talking about the championship.

“We never stop. The other boys were laughing at us, but I’m already thinking about next year.

“Ron Ruzewski (Team Penske IndyCar Managing Director and strategist) on the radio, always calm. He has actually made me a calm person. I rarely get upset on the radio anymore.”

Power also recognized the fans who helped boost attendance at many venues on the schedule this season as NBC Sports enjoyed its largest IndyCar audience yet.

“This series is growing,” Power said. “With open wheel racing now so popular because of Formula One, it’s really our time to push and put money behind it and go now and take IndyCar to another level because we have the best racing product in the world.

“I have to thank my teammates and (Team Penske president) Tim Cindric. I can’t tell you how hard we push each other. We are ultracompetitive and love each other and push each other hard, so thank you.”

Power won the championship by 16 points over hard-charging teammate Josef Newgarden, who finished second in the standings for the third year in a row.

“Overall, I’m filled with a lot of pride for our team and what we were able to do this year,” Newgarden said in his banquet address. “Any year that you step in the championship, you can easily see the challenges it presents everybody.

“It’s a very difficult challenge for the teams and drivers. To be a part of it, make it through it and for us at Team Penske, to topple it, is a very big deal. We’re all competitive.

“The tough thing about being in a championship fight, especially with teammates is we all want to be the best. That’s how it should be. We are competitive people and want to be the best. But it’s a team sport.

“Will, tremendous season, great, great job. I think the world of everybody on our team. It’s a big group. I’m so happy for all of you on the 12-car crew. There is so much we can take into next year.”

Six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon was unable to attend the banquet because of the Goodwood Festival in England but sent congratulations to Power via a video message.

“I really want to congratulate Will Power,” Dixon said. “You drove a tremendous season this year. Even with some of the lows that you had, some of the mistakes with qualifying, you bounced back tremendously. I know how tough these championships are and to see you do it in the style that you did it in the last race of the season, massive congratulations.”

Power’s championship formula included one victory, nine podiums and 12 top-five finishes. Teammate Josef Newgarden was second in the championship with five wins but only six podiums.

Cindric saluted Power’s season in accepting the championship team owner award.

“Will, you took it to another level this year,” Cindric said. “You are the complete package. You completed every lap, had nine podiums, finished out of the top 10 just four times, broke Mario Andretti’s record, and you did it all without cussing at the officials on national TV.

“One complaint I do has is while most of us think you might be from another planet, you never told us your wife was a fortune teller.”

Cindric also honored the seasons of Penske drivers Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin, who won three times in his second full season (“You are one of only two full-time IndyCar drivers that has driven for us in the past 23 years that hasn’t won an Indy 500 or an IndyCar championship. Your time is coming.”).

Kyle Moyer was named team manager of the year (his fifth time and Penske’s sixth). Pennzoil presented Lacasse with the chief mechanic of the year for the first time, the sixth time for Team Penske. The No. 12 crew also won the Firestone Pit Performance Award for the most pit stop performance award points in 2022.

Power, Newgarden and McLaughlin delivered nine of Chevrolet’s series-leading 11 victories this season, helping Chevy win the Manufacturer Award for the seventh time since it returned to the series in 2012 and the first time since 2017. Jim Danahy, U.S. vice president, Competition Motorsports Engineering for Chevrolet, accepted the award on behalf of his team.

Christian Lundgaard was honored as the 2022 NTT IndyCar rookie of the year. Lundgaard, from Denmark, scored one podium, two top-five finishes and seven top-10s in the No. 30 Honda fielded by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. He edged David Malukas of Dale Coyne Racing with HMD by 18 points in the standings for first-year series drivers.

Christian Lundgaard (Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment)

“It’s been a tough season and looking at how it panned out, we struggled so much at the beginning of the season and how we were able to turn it around means so much to me and the team,” Lundgaard said. “It’s the one thing that you only get one shot at. I’m happy to have it.

“Being the first Dane at the Indy 500 certainly helps. Competing here for me is quite important and also special. To win this award and to be here in future years means so much to me. I have a chance to compete for wins and championships.

“This team gave me this opportunity at this track one year ago. We came back and got redemption. We got our first podium here. This year was 40 years ago that Bobby Rahal won the same award. It’s pretty special to keep it among the team.”

Sweden’s Linus Lundqvist was honored as Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion after a dominant season for HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing. Lundqvist won a series-high five races in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing entry and clinched the Lights championship with a race to spare, ending with a 92-point advantage over Sting Ray Robb. HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing owners Henry and Daiva Malukas accepted the team championship.

“I’m very proud of that,” Lundqvist said. “It’s cool to see. We are starting to look to the future, and this might not be doing too bad. It’s been great. As most of you can guess with Henry and Daiva Malukas (team owners), it’s been an incredible journey. So much fun that we’ve had. To be on the grid this year was so much of a struggle for us. I didn’t even know I would be doing this until January.

“To be able to pull out the season that we had, I cannot thank this team enough. We will celebrate this for a long time. I’m so happy and proud about that.”

Outgoing IndyCar Director of Medical Affairs Dr. Geoffrey Billows also was honored as he is leaving that role while battling cancer.

“When I think of Dr. Billows, I think of two words,” IndyCar president Jay Frye said. “One is selfless and the other is tough. He’s gone through a lot these last couple of years, and he didn’t want anybody to know. He’s an amazing man, and we are very grateful for what you have done.”

Dr. Geoffrey Billows with IndyCar president Jay Frye (Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment)

Billows was presented with a framed checkered flag signed by all drivers in the series as well as other IndyCar officials and dignitaries.

“I was not expecting this at all,” Billows said. “This means so much for me to be part of this family for the past 30 years. I’ve been presented with opportunities I never thought I would ever have. I can’t tell you how much I love all of you guys and care for all of you guys.

“Thank you so much. I want to also thank my wife, Tammy, who has been a pillar of strength as I continue on this journey with cancer for the past two years as well. You will still see me as a consultant because I love this too much to quit altogether.”

When the evening concluded, Team Penske boarded a bus to the airport for the short return flight to Statesville. They were home by midnight.

Power’s Victory Lap was complete.

“The best thing about this is I get to sleep in my own bed tonight,” Power said.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500