Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden in the No.2 Hitachi Chevrolet will start Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg from third place just ahead of his teammate Simon Pagenaud in the No.22 Australia Gold Chevrolet who starts the race from fourth.

DRIVER QUOTES:
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 3RD
“We had a good day on Saturday here in St. Pete. I feel really good about our car. I just got through qualifying. It’s pretty hot and definitely very humid outside, so it’s going to be a hard race to get through. But I felt really good in all sessions except for that Fast Six. In the Fast Six, I felt like it difficult to bring the tires up when they were used. I think that’s how we got beat. So, we’re starting third for the race tomorrow. It’s a good enough spot to win from, no doubt. I think we have a good race car across multiple stints that we can make something happen from that spot. I’m feeling really good and have good momentum and just need to keep carrying it all the way through until tomorrow night, and hopefully we’ve got a win underneath us.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS/AUSTRALIAN GOLD TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 4TH: “We were P4 today at St. Pete with the Australian Gold Chevy car. It was fun qualifying. We found a lot of speed. We found a really great balance on the car all weekend. I’m very happy. I think we kept progressing every session and at the end there, it was great to be in the Fast Six and put out as much we could out of the race car. So, I’m satisfied with P4. Josef (Newgarden) is starting third so it’s going to be interesting at the start with him. And then obviously we’ve got to go to the front together. So, I’m very excited. I’m glad we brought the sunscreen. It seems to work.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 14 ROKIT AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 5TH:
“Really good afternoon here at the Grand Prix of St. Pete in the No. 14 ROKIT AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet. Really happy we made it the Firestone Fast Six and will start fifth tomorrow. Definitely a big turn around from practice one and two. Hats off to the boys for figuring it out and giving me a really fast ride. Can hardly wait until the race tomorrow!”
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, QUALIFIEED 6TH:
“We just got done with qualifying here in St. Petersburg. We are sixth, starting on the outside of the third row. We had a quick car in qualifying but we just didn’t make quite the right call on either using reds or new blacks. The track was very different to what we felt in Practice 2, but we have a quick race car. We are going to be thinking about it tonight, and we are going to go get it tomorrow.”
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 DEX IMAGING TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 14TH
“Overall, it was a pretty disappointing day for me, I guess; coming back to St. Pete, a track that I know, after last year, you sort of want to try again for that Q2 bracket. Unfortunately, the car was feeling really good in practice and qualifying in the first segment there, especially on black tires. But we put the red tires on and I just didn’t get that little extra bit you need to really get into that t Top Six to advance to Group 2. It’s going to come with time. I’m feeling really comfortable and strong on the black tires and I think we were the fastest in that group there in one stage where everyone had the same tire. The red tires; just not enough laps right now. I haven’t got a great feel for it and confidence to really find the grip at times when you can only do it once or twice in a run. So, I’m a little bit disappointed. But, at the end of the day we start XX for a pretty long race tomorrow and hopefully we can make our way through with the pace that we have on the right compounds.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 20TH
“It was definitely not the qualifying session we were looking for. We just didn’t get the set-up quite right and the series is so tough now, if you’re not right on point, you’re certainly going to pay for it and then start back somewhere like 20th. So, it looks like a two-stop strategy. We are hoping there are some yellows, which will open the windows up and give us a chance to potentially jump some people. So, the aim for tomorrow will be a Top 10. We’ll try to get some points and get in that Top 10 and that would be good for us.”
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