Chevrolet Racing in Ntt Indycar Series: Alabama Grand Prix
After setting the fastest lap in the first two practice sessions, Rinus VeeKay backed up that effort with the fastest time of the 26-car field to claim the NTT INDYCAR Series P1 award.
The #21 VeeKay Sonax Ed Carpenter Racing team powered by Chevrolet made all the right choices for the first qualifying session (Q1).
The young driver from the Netherlands was transferred to the second qualifying session – equipped with the 12 fastest cars (Fast 12) – and again, with the right decisions of his team, he moved on to the third session of qualifying – The Firestone Fast Six, and waited until the final lap of the session as time ran out to set a winning race of one minute 6.2507 seconds on care for a penalty passage for violation of the pit lane.
This is the second NTT P1 award of VeeKay’s career and the third for Chevrolet in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR Series season.
Chevrolet has taken pole at Barber Motorsports Park nine of 10 races since returning to INDYCAR competition in 2012 with the twin-turbocharged 2.2-liter direct-injected V6 engine.
Last season’s poleman Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, qualified second to give Team Chevy the front row for the start of the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama.
Giving Chevrolet four of the top six starters in tomorrow’s 90-lap race at the 2.3-mile, 17-turn circuit just outside Birmingham, Alabama, are Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Sonsio Team Penske Chevrolet, qualifying fourth and Felix Rosenqvist, No 7 VUSE Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, qualifying for the sixth starting position.
Three-time Barber Motorsport Part winner PPG Penske Chevrolet No. 2 Josef Newgarden qualified seventh to give Bowtie Brand five of the first seven qualifiers.
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 SONAX ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, POLE WINNER:
“Very good qualifications! We put the Chevrolet SONAX on pole position, the Ed Carpenter Racing team did a great job. “We had potential and we knew we were in a good position, but getting him on pole was an achievement. I think the whole team maximized everything. We made the right decisions with the tyres, the setup, everything. Confidence is high, I think from here we can have a great race and fight for the win, definitely.
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2n/a:
“It was a solid day for Arrow McLaren SP. We had a good qualifying and we can do a lot from there. We start second tomorrow and the car felt good and comfortable. We will have to see what the best strategy. to be in the race; I think the weather will have a lot to say about that. We are looking forward to a good race tomorrow.”
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 TEAM SONSIO PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 4E:
FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 7 VUSE ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, SIXTH QUALIFIED:
“Another good qualifying and appearance in the Firestone Fast Six for the #7 Chevrolet Vuse Arrow McLaren SP. We had a good run in qualifying. Obviously you want to be better than sixth when you do the Fast Six, but we will certainly take that position.” after what started out as a tough weekend. We had a pretty good reading on both tires in final practice so we just have to run tomorrow.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 PPG TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED SEVENTH:
CALLUM ISLAND, NO. 77 JUNCOS HOLLINGER RACING, QUALIFIED 11E:
“Good result for us. P11 our first Fast 12. Good result but I think there was a bit more to it. However we got caught off guard with the red flag. P11 Amazing feeling. I think all Juncos Hollinger guys are happy Chevy is happy We have a bit of work to do overnight to see if we can make the car a little faster for the race Nice to have Racing for Children on the car A amazing organization and it’s really great that all the kids have their handprints on the car.
POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G PENSKE CHEVROLET TEAM, QUALIFIED 19E:
KYLE KIRKWOOD, NO. 14 ROKIT AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 21ST:
“We didn’t have the best qualifying, we finished 11th in our group. I don’t know what the problem was. Honestly the [car’s] the balance was pretty good, we just lacked speed towards the end with red tyres. I think our race pace is good. We’ll find out here in the warm-up, but tomorrow it could rain, which could throw a curve ball at everyone and that could potentially help us, so we’ll see what happens.
CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 22n/a:
“We had some pretty fast sections to get to the next group, but we hit a lot of dirt because of another car that went ahead of us. Then there was a red flag, so we couldn’t do any more laps. We had a great car, quite fast, of course, since our team-mate is on pole, which is wonderful. I’m still excited for tomorrow, we know we’re fast, we just had a bit of bad luck today.”
DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 23DR:
“It’s not the qualifying session we were looking for. It was really the whole Foyt team, we seemed to be struggling there. The car felt good but the pace wasn’t there so it is something to watch between the three cars and see what we can come up with for the warm-up. We’ll be testing a few things for tomorrow’s race. It probably looks like a two-stage race, so we’ll be working on issues of fuel consumption and see what we can come up with from a configuration perspective.
TATIANA CALDERON, NO. 11 ROKIT AJ FOYT RACING, QUALIFIED 25E:
“I think we have taken steps forward. I’m more comfortable with the balance of the car. We still need to find a bit more grip, especially with the red tyres, so that’s something to work on for free practice three. [final warmup] to prepare for the race. I think we are taking steps forward and that is the most important thing. We’ll see what he does tomorrow. It should be an interesting race.