Tag Archive for Phoenix Grand Prix

2017 Phoenix Grand Prix race results

AVONDALE, Arizona – Results Saturday of the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.022-mile Phoenix Raceway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (5) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 250, Running
2. (2) Will Power, Chevrolet, 250, Running
3. (3) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 250, Running
4. (1) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 250, Running
5. (8) Scott Dixon, Honda, 249, Running
6. (6) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 249, Running
7. (21) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 248, Running
8. (14) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 248, Running
9. (4) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 248, Running
10. (19) Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, 247, Running
11. (16) Ed Jones, Honda, 247, Running
12. (11) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 246, Running
13. (12) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 220, Mechanical
14. (20) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 180, Running
15. (15) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 141, Contact
16. (18) Takuma Sato, Honda, 135, Contact
17. (7) Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, 0, Contact
18. (9) Marco Andretti, Honda, 0, Contact
19. (10) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 0, Contact
20. (13) Max Chilton, Honda, 0, Contact
21. (17) Graham Rahal, Honda, 0, Contact

Race Statistics

  • Winner’s average speed: 144.058
  • Time of Race: 1:46:24.9473
  • Margin of victory: 9.1028 seconds
  • Cautions: 2 for 32 laps
  • Lead changes: 4 among 4 drivers

Lap Leaders

  • Castroneves 1-73
  • Newgarden 74-75
  • Pagenaud 76-77
  • Power 78-136
  • Pagenaud 137-250

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings

  1. Pagenaud 159
  2. Dixon 141
  3. Newgarden 133
  4. Bourdais 128
  5. Hinchcliffe 120
  6. Castroneves 118
  7. Power 91
  8. Kanaan 87
  9. Hunter-Reay 82
  10. Jones 81


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Simon Pagenaud Earns First Oval Victory, Takes IndyCar Points Lead

AVONDALE, ArizonaSimon Pagenaud picked one of the Verizon IndyCar Series tracks richest in open-wheel history to earn his first oval victory.

The reigning series champion drove away from the field in the final half of the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix Raceway, winning by 9.1028 seconds over teammate Will Power and assuming the points lead after four races of the 2017 season.

Driving the No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, Pagenaud collected the 10th win of his Indy car career and led a Chevy sweep of the top four positions on the 1.022-mile oval that has hosted 63 Indy car races dating to 1964. It was also win No. 450 for Team Penske in all racing competitions and its 100th on Indy car ovals.

“I can’t explain how excited I am,” Pagenaud said. “Ovals are not my specialty – I grew up in Europe racing go-karts. I learned about ovals when I was 26 years old so I had to learn the skill and the technique that I didn’t know.

“Man, this is incredible. What a win!”

Pagenaud took control midway through the 250-lap race, running longer while other frontrunners had to stop for fuel and tires. Pagenaud pitted on Lap 140 with a one-lap advantage on the field under a caution period caused when Takuma Sato‘s car made contact with the Turn 4 SAFER Barrier. Pagenaud returned to the track in first place and led the final 114 laps.

“The car was phenomenal and thanks to the Menards Chevrolet crew,” Pagenaud said. “The car was so strong at the beginning of the race; we were able to save fuel in traffic. It paid off with that lucky yellow, but we’ve had our fair share of bad luck, too, this year so it doesn’t hurt sometimes to have a little break.”

Team Penske’s four drivers led all 250 laps, the first time a team has paced every lap in a race since Team Penske did the same thing in the first race of Belle Isle doubleheader last year. Power led 59 laps in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet before finishing second.

“It was good night considering where we’ve finished the last few races,” said Power, whose best result this season prior to tonight was 13th. “I’m happy to finish second and get some points.”

Pole sitter Helio Castroneves led 73 laps in the No. 3 REV Group Team Penske Chevy and finished fourth. Josef Newgarden, the winner of last week’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, led two laps in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevy and ran up front most of the night until contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay forced an unscheduled pit stop and Newgarden finished ninth.

JR Hildebrand finished third in the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet – the best result for Hildebrand since his memorable runner-up finish in the 2011 Indianapolis 500 when he crashed while leading on the final lap. Hildebrand was pleased with tonight’s showing after he sat out last week’s race at Barber Motorsports Park while a broken bone in his left hand mended from an April 9 crash in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

“The car was just awesome all day,” Hildebrand said. “Excited to get the result for the team, for sure. The car was bitchin’. I think at the end of the race we had obviously one of the top three, but I think we might have had the best car on the track.”

Pagenaud holds an 18-point advantage in the championship over Scott Dixon, who finished fifth in the race. Newgarden sits third in the standings, 26 points out of first place.

Sebastien Bourdais of Dale Coyne Racing, who led the points entering the night, was caught in a five-car incident on the opening lap when Mikhail Aleshin spun and collected the cars of Bourdais, Marco Andretti, Max Chilton and Graham Rahal in Turn 2. No drivers were injured. Bourdais finished 19th and dropped to fourth in the standings.


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Helio Castroneves Earns Second IndyCar Pole of the Season at Phoenix

Helio Castroneves shattered the lap record he set a year ago on the 1.022-mile oval in qualifying for the 2017 Phoenix Grand Prix. It earned the 41-year-old Castroneves his second pole position in four races this season and the 49th of his 20-year Indy car career Рtying the Team Penske driver with another legend, Bobby Unser, for third on the all-time list.

Driving the No. 3 REV Group Team Penske Chevrolet in windy conditions under the lights, Castroneves averaged 194.905 mph (37.7538 seconds) for his two laps, including a record-setting circuit of 18.8701 seconds (194.975 mph). Castroneves will lead the 21-car field to the green flag in Saturday’s 250-lap race.

“People don’t realize that qualifying is extremely difficult,” Castroneves said. “I took it to the limit – I had one eye closed and one eye open. Experience is a big part of this and today was really, really good.

“The conditions were really difficult today in practice; the gusting winds were horrendous. We worked mostly on the race setup (in practice). My engineer (Jonathan Diuguid) did a phenomenal job and obviously, everybody at Team Penske. The REV Group car was really fast. Qualifying is one thing, the race is another, but I’m really confident going into tomorrow.”

Castroneves led a Chevrolet sweep of the first five qualifying positions. Teammate Will Power, winner of the two Verizon P1 Awards that Castroneves hasn’t collected this season, qualified second with a two-lap average speed of 194.017 mph (37.9266 seconds) in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

“It’s kind of tough going early (in the qualifying order), so I was very apprehensive to go wide open on that first lap,” Power said. “Helio actually ran a little less downforce that me – so he trimmed more – so he was really fast.

“We’ll see what we can do (in the race). Castroneves can be second and I’ll be first. That’d be nice.”

JR Hildebrand broke the Team Penske stranglehold by qualifying third in the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet (193.912 mph). The career-best effort came a week after Hildebrand sat out the race at Barber Motorsports Park while a broken bone in his hand sustained three weeks ago at Long Beach healed enough for him to be medically cleared to drive.

“The car’s been good from the (February open) test to rolling out here in practice and I had a good, strong run there,” said Hildebrand, whose best previous qualifying effort was fourth at Iowa Speedway in his rookie season of 2011. “It’s so difficult to pick your downforce level in these kinds of varied conditions. We saw Helio and those guys roll out with a little less (downforce) than where we were at. But looking towards the race, I think our cars are really good in race trim.”

Team Penske drivers Josef Newgarden, the winner last week at Barber, and reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud locked down the fourth and fifth positions in qualifying. Tony Kanaan of Chip Ganassi Racing, a two-time winner at Phoenix (2003, ’04), was the top Honda qualifier, sixth overall in the No. 10 NTT Data Honda. Scott Dixon, the race winner a year ago when the Verizon IndyCar Series returned to Phoenix following an 11-year absence, qualified eighth in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Sebastien Bourdais, the championship points leader following the first three races, qualified 10th in the Dale Coyne Racing No. 18 Sonny’s BBQ Honda.


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2017 IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix Qualifying Results

Qualifying Friday for the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.022-mile Phoenix Raceway, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine and speed:

1. (3) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 194.905
2. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 194.017
3. (21) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 193.912
4. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 193.676
5. (1) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 193.414
6. (10) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 192.539
7. (7) Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, 192.327
8. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 192.050
9. (27) Marco Andretti, Honda, 191.387
10. (18) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 191.349
11. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 191.194
12. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 190.799
13. (8) Max Chilton, Honda, 190.768
14. (83) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 190.565
15. (98) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 190.405
16. (19) Ed Jones, Honda, 190.029
17. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 189.786
18. (26) Takuma Sato, Honda, 189.779
19. (14) Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, 189.301
20. (4) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 188.536
21. (20) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 186.360


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USAC Silver Crown Series joins Phoenix Grand Prix race weekend

The roots of open-wheel racing will return to Phoenix Raceway as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series race weekend in April, with the announcement today by track officials that the USAC Silver Crown Series will race on April 28-29 as a prelude to the Phoenix Grand Prix.

The Phoenix Copper Cup will mark the first time that Silver Crown cars will race on the 1-mile oval since 2009. In addition, the USAC .25 Midgets will compete on a temporary oval in the track’s fan midway on race weekend.

“We’re thrilled to add the USAC Silver Crown series to our Verizon IndyCar Series weekend,” said Bryan Sperber, Phoenix Raceway president. “The series has a tremendous history here and has produced some incredible races. I’m certain this race will be a popular addition to the Phoenix Grand Prix schedule.”


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