Team Penske had a great qualifying for Heat 1 today at The Thermal Club in California with Scott McLaughlin in the No.3 XPEL Chevrolet starting second while championship leader Josef Newgarden in the No.2 Hitachi Chevrolet starting fifth.

Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Business Chevrolet starts the race from sixth.

The top six in Heat 1 and the Top 6 in Heat Two go through to the All Star race this afternoon.

Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Chevrolet at Team Penske:

“I feel solid in race running. It’s a tricky surface. There’s definitely going to be drop off and tire wear, but I think we’re looking after the tires super well so I’m excited for race running. Got to stay out of trouble to start, and then I think our longevity should prove to be pretty competitive. Proud of the Hitachi Chevrolet crew. It’s been fun testing here and getting through a list of items and seeing if we can win some money tomorrow.”

A pretty strong start to the season with Chevrolet, a pretty strong package…

“Chevy’s done a great job. They continue to bring us great performance on the weekend. Excited to get through tomorrow, but also really excited to get back to Long Beach as well and keep proving our worth.”

Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Chevrolet at Team Penske:

“I’m hell bent. To have a qualifying session which was just bang, bang, bang in a shootout lap, one lap, is pretty awesome and that’s effectively what that was. To do a good job there was good. Congrats to Felix (Rosenqvist). I feel like I could have had him. I just marked up that last corner, but that’s… You’ve got to do the lap, it’s pressure, and that’s cool.”

You’ve got to get it right on the push-to-pass lap…

“Exactly. I think that’d be really cool, but I think our XPEL Chevy was great. Obviously, Chevy has been giving us great power this year and fuel mileage so really stoked for everyone there, and hopefully we can keep this XPEL Chevy up front.”

So what do you expect for the heat race tomorrow? How do you approach that?

“We’ll do what we can. Every race, we go out and try to win it. It’s a learning process too. We’ll figure out what the car does even more so over ten laps, but yeah, I’ll be doing my best to at least get ahead of Felix (Rosenqvist). It’s going to be interesting where we’ll shake up at the end of ten laps.”

Will Power, No. 12 Chevrolet at Team Penske:

“Because you have push-to-pass, it’s just one lap and big (degradation). It’s very difficult to wait two hours, then have a different condition and just go. It’s tough.”

Did you know what the track was going to be like?

“I did. I tried a couple of different things and made mistakes. I mean, honestly, the quickest time was a quick time. It was hard to put all of that together. For (Felix) Rosenqvist to be P1 is solid.”

How do you think the heat races will play out?

“It just depends on what you want to do. I don’t feel like doing much damage for P6 or something. It’s such a short race, anything can happen.”

With all of the test sessions, do you feel as a group it was worth it? You were able to try a bunch of different stuff.

“I think the whole qualifying and racing made you not try stuff. You were doing these qualifying sims because you knew the only way you’ll do well in these things is qualifying up front.”


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