Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud in the No.22 Menards Chevrolet was the highest placed Chevrolet-powered driver in Sunday’s 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 as the 2019 Indy 500 winner came home in third place just behind Alex Palou and now four time 500 winner Helio Castroneves.
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – Finished 3rd:
“The team did an amazing job in the pits. The car was phenomenal all day. Man, we started up front. We were right there at the end. I just want to congratulate him (Helio Castroneves, race winner). What he’s doing is awesome. And he is old. That gives me another 10 years.
“I think we had the race car to get it done today. Certainly Chevy, amazing job with the engine power, and handling was phenomenal. I was pedal to the metal. I could see Helio was playing a very smart game; obviously he knows how to win this race. I thought I might have had a shot in Turn Four, but he was too fast. But we did a great job today, I think we had the best car out there: one more lap and we may have had a shot at Helio. But what really cost us was that early yellow – we hadn’t pitted so we had to come in for an emergency stop to put fuel in the car and that put is at the back of the field. We only had 156 laps to get to the front, but we did it. The championship points are great, but it’s the one place in the world that you want to win, second and third don’t matter. Congratulations to Helio, obviously he’s writing a huge page in history here, it’s great to have a driver of our generation get into this club. It’s great to see him win at 46, I have 10 more years to reach him! He is such a great friend and was a great teammate, one of the best I’ve had. I have a responsibility to be even better on track now, so my son (Marley) is proud of me.”
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW ,MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET – Finished 4th:
“Man, I’m a little bit bummed. I didn’t have enough for them at the end. I was trying really hard on that last lap. If I was going too keep it flat, it was going to be that lap to try and get a run and try and get them anywhere I could. But I had a huge moment and had to get out of it and Simon got by us. But we should be proud of what we accomplished here. We were in the fight all day. We just weren’t as fast as Helio (Castroneves) and Alex (Palou). Congratulations to Helio on his 4th (Indianapolis 500 win. Alex drove a great race as well. We should be very proud of this, but at Indy winning is the only thing that matters. We can’t be so happy. We have to be bummed because we didn’t win.
“I really think we did a perfect race, I don’t think we could have done anything better. We just needed to be faster in the end. The balance of the car was phenomenal the entire race, the whole month really. Everyone on the team has worked so hard and I would have loved to get this one for them but we didn’t have the speed. When they let me loose, I knew they were going to let the guys in front of me loose, and I didn’t have enough to catch them. I took a risk to try and make a mega run on the leaders and ended up losing the position to Pagenaud, so that was disappointing. We need to work harder and come back stronger next year, because the only thing that matters at Indy is winning. We did a great job, the pit stops were good, the strategy was perfect, so we just need to do this again, just a little bit faster.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 SONAX ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET – Finished 5th
“At the end of the day I’m happy with it. I stalled it on my first pit stop and dug ourselves a huge hole. And then really, just on strategy, tried to make some passes but the team, pit stops, and strategy, they did a great job getting us back in the fight. We were in the lead pack at the end, which is where you want to be. But we struggled for speed. The car handled pretty well, but I just struggled for speed. Just couldn’t quite have enough to keep attacking those guys once we got toward the front. So, given how far we got shuffled back, to get back up to P5 is not bad.”
SAGE KARAM, NO. 24 DRR-AES INDIANA DREYER & REINBOLD RACING CHEVROLET – Finished 7th
“The car was pretty good from the beginning. I knew I just had to stay focused. This race is 500 miles. It’s grueling. For me, it’s more mentally challenging than it is physically. Today was the most physically demanding 500 I’ve ever done. Even though it was cool out, these cars are very difficult to drive in traffic and you’ve really got to wheel them to be quick. And the DRR team did a great job. They were flawless all day on pit road. I just had to keep it on the dance floor. I made some passes out there. I got passed a few times. But I think this is the most patient I ever was behind the wheel of a race car. I just let the race come to me, I think, was the main thing this time. Whereas before, I would go out searching for it. I just let it come to me this time and I’m just so happy. I needed this. The team needed this. We’ve been struggling the last two years. And for this, a one-off team, one car, one race, to come and take it to the big dogs, we’ve just got to qualify better and we’re going to be right in the mix.”
CONOR DALY, NO. 47 U.S. AIR FORCE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET – Finished 13th
“We got a really lucky yellow obviously, at the beginning. It worked out perfectly. And I think we got to run really where this car deserved. It was a great race car. Such a great race car. And then when Graham (Rahal) crashed, I thought we had avoided everything and I was like all right, this is great. And literally out of nowhere, it was like a tire just fell from the sky. And we have that little visor strip with the aero screen. It’s like you can’t necessarily see all the way up in the sky, but you don’t think you really need to see that high. And like right at the last second, it was just like boom. Thankfully it didn’t hit the suspension, right? But our car was ruined from then on. It would have taken too much time to change the wing, so Conor Daly luck strikes again sadly, but it was so fun today, it really was, for a long time.”
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 PENNZOIL YELLOW SUBMARINE TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET—Finished 20th
ROOKIE OF THE RACE
“One mistake, it just eats you. You can’t make mistakes here, it needs to be a perfect day. That’s why experience is so important in this sport. It’s a place that really bits you, especially when you don’t see it coming. I didn’t quite pump my brake pedal up and had a stone cold set of rotors coming into pit lane. I’m thankful that no one was hurt, as I came in there pretty hot. I’m happy to get rookie of the year, that was the main goal, but I would have liked to have finished higher up, in that front group. I feel as though I could have been a factor, so it’s a bit of a bittersweet. But for my first Indy 500, to see Helio get his fourth, is tremendous. It was amazing to hear the crowd as I was getting out of the car! After 2020, how dull it was (without the fans), it was a great 2021.”