The Chevrolet-powered NTT IndyCar Series teams had a strong opening day to the 2021 season at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama on Sunday. Will Power in the No.12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet came home in second place running winner Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing to the line and speaking following the race a relieved Power said:
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 2ND:
“YOU PUT UP A GOOD FIGHT. YOU HAD A LOT MORE PUSH TO PASS LEFT THAN ALEX PALOU. WHAT MORE, IF ANYTHING, COULD YOU HAVE DONE THERE IN THOSE CLOSING LAPS?
“Yeah, I made one little mistake. Yes, you’re right. With the amount of push to pass I had left, it could have been pretty good. I did have to save some fuel, so I had enough to be able to use push to pass for the last two laps. But it just blew my mind how fast Alex was in that first stint. I had absolutely nothing for him. He just pulled away. So, I figured he was doing a three-stop race because I was getting the best lap time I could for the fuel number. But we got the Verizon 5G car on the podium. We’ve had a pretty bad start to the year the last four years, so it’s awesome to get a really good start to the season.”
SINCE THERE ARE FOUR RACES IN JUST A MATTER OF THREE WEEKS, WHAT DOES THIS DO FOR THE TEAM TO START OFF SO STRONGLY?
“Yeah, it’s great. It’s great. I said to the guys if we do this week in and week out, just solid races with no mistakes, I promise you we will absolutely have a great chance at winning the championship.”
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET – FINISHED 4TH
WHAT’S YOUR TAKEAWAY FROM THE RACE THIS AFTERNOON?
“Track position was everything today. I feel like we executed on what we went for, strategy-wise. Unfortunately, it was the wrong one. But I’ve got to give it to these guys. We were the fastest car on track today. We’ve been the fastest car all weekend in terms of qualifying and pace; and we’re ready for St. Pete. We got good points here. I would have loved to get the win, but we’ve got another shot next weekend and we’re going to be going for it. I just want to thank Arrow Electronics, Arrow McLaren SP, Team Chevy; these guys have been on it. I’m one hundred percent sure that when St. Pete comes in a few days, we’ll be ready to give it our all.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 4 ROKIT AJ RACING CHEVROLET, FINIDHED 5TH
“Really good run today for the No. 14 ROKIT Chevrolet for AJ Foyt Racing. A very solid day, a very solid race. Good strategies and good pit stops. And good pace. Really happy for the whole team. We overcame a dodgy day starting 16th. Put on a good show and put on a show. Passed a lot of cars. I’m really happy for everybody and looking forward to. St. Pete.”
RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 SONAX ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH: “Crazy race here at Barber. G. ot in a lot of trouble on the first lap. Got a flat tire and went all the way to the back. But the team was awesome at strategies. The car was awesome. I felt awesome. We had a great race coming back to P6.
So close to the top-five but awesome recovery. All I could wish for. This is the start of an awesome season – so happy me.”`