Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden took his first pole position since the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach last season at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix with a time of 01:15.2153s and speaking following the session he said:
YOU SAID IT WAS LOOSE, HOW ON THE EDGE WAS IT?
“It was loose and I was about hitting the wall every lap. Not every lap, but every corner I should say. I think we needed two laps to get temperature and this set was a little better than the first set that I ran. Just struggling to build temp, but it was so loose and I was like, ‘I just got to stay in it’. I knew the track was grippier and that was a good pole. Sometimes the car is just so good that its just hooked up. I was loose today and we put it together. I am really proud of the team and thank you to Team Chevy and Hitachi. In their backyard with Team Penske here. It’s a good spot to start tomorrow, but I have been here before. We did this last year and fell short so we have to be really focused on the race and how we are going to get to the end and finish it off.”
WHERE DO YOU NEED TO BE TO FINISH IT OFF THE RIGHT WAY THIS YEAR?
“Its going to be really difficult. I think this field is so deep nowadays and everyone is good. You just have to be on it all the way from start to finish and understanding the strategy and not having a misstep. Hope we can get it right tomorrow but I have got always the best of the best behind me with Team Penske.”
YOU MAKE IT LOOK SO EASY.
“It was by no means easy. I was almost on the wall in three or four spots just trying to hang on. But this crew is incredible. I love driving for Team Penske and to have Hitachi and Team Chevy right in their back year. It’s good to get a pole, but the win is what we really need, so we are focused on that.”
HOW ARE TIRES GOING TO PLAY OUT TOMORROW?
“I think its going to be a similar case to last year where we learned it was difficult to understand whether you should take your medicine early or late. Seems like the red tires are more fragile. So it makes it interesting. Do you want durability or do you want a little speed to start the race? I think we will get that equation in a better spot than last year. We got pipped at the very end of the race, but we can do the job.”
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WIN HERE AT THE HOME OF CHEVROET AND A RACE THAT MEANS SO MUCH TO PENSKE?
“We’ve done it before. I definitely believe we can do it again.”