RACING
Published on 03/07/2019

Team Chevy Set for Strong 2019 IndyCar Season

WORDS:

DAN HODGDON

PHOTOS:

CHEVROLET

It’s hard to top a year that included an Indianapolis 500 win and six total victories, but that is exactly what Team Chevy hopes to do when the newly rebranded NTT IndyCar Series gets underway for its 2019 edition this weekend.

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Published on 03/07/2019
racing
WORDS:

DAN HODGDON

PHOTOS:

CHEVROLET

Team Chevy Set for Strong 2019 IndyCar Season

It’s hard to top a year that included an Indianapolis 500 win and six total victories, but that is exactly what Team Chevy hopes to do when the newly rebranded NTT IndyCar Series gets underway for its 2019 edition this weekend.

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Ten machines powered by the direct-injected, 2.2L twin-turbo V6 Chevrolet engine are entered in the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, with eight expected to compete in IndyCar full-time this year.

But before looking ahead, let’s look back.

The highlight of 2018 for Team Chevy came on Memorial Day Weekend, as the powerful Chevy V6 engine propelled 2014 series champion Will Power to his first Indy 500 win. The victory in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” was a historic accomplishment for the Australian driver with a sparkling resume. Power turned in a very solid season, as he also scored wins at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course and Gateway Motorsports Park during the 2018 campaign.

Power’s Team Penske stablemate Josef Newgarden picked up the other three wins for the Bowtie last season. The 2017 series champion took victories at ISM Raceway, Barber Motorsports Park and Road America.

Power was the top finishing Chevrolet driver in the final points tally with a third-place result, while Newgarden finished fifth, and 2016 series champ and Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud came home sixth.

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Now, each Penske team and driver returns with their sights set on an Indy 500 win and a reclamation of the series title for Chevrolet.

Meanwhile, the legendary A.J. Foyt will once again field a two-car, Chevrolet-powered IndyCar team, with Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist behind the wheel. Kanaan won the 2013 edition of the Indy 500 as well as the 2004 series championship.

In addition, Ed Carpenter Racing will field two Chevrolet vehicles. Spencer Pigot will pilot one for the entire campaign, while in the other car, team owner Carpenter will contest the oval races and Ed Jones will navigate the road and street courses.

Finally, Max Chilton will be the full-time driver for the Chevrolet team of Carlin Racing.

Other Team Chevy competitors expected to make spot starts are Charlie Kimball in a second Carlin Racing car, with Ben Hanley driving a Chevrolet for DragonSpeed.

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The biggest news of the offseason, however, came with the announcement of a sole event, when it was revealed that famed driver Fernando Alonso will be in a Chevrolet-powered McLaren for the 103rd edition of the Indy 500. Alonso is a two-time Formula 1 world champion and Grand Prix of Monaco winner, who has also scored wins in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans and Rolex 24 at Daytona. This May he’ll be looking to complete the final leg of the Triple Crown of Motorsport (Monaco, Le Mans and Indy).

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As is tradition, a number of other Chevy competitors will likely make single starts at the Brickyard.

Chevrolet returned to IndyCar seven seasons ago, and since that date, the Chevy 2.2-liter V6 engine has won 73 times in 118 races. The brand has won the IndyCar Manufacturer Championship six times and the series’ driver and owner championships five times.

The 2019 IndyCar season kicks off on March 10 with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (paced by a Corvette Grand Sport) and runs through the season-ending Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca on September 22. The series will compete on road or street courses 11 times and ovals on six occasions. The Indy 500 is slated for May 26.

Also of special interest to Bowtie fans will be the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, taking place on June 1-2. The race will see the cars screaming around The Raceway at Belle Isle Park with the Detroit skyline serving as a backdrop. Adding to the coolness factor, the GM Renaissance Center is prominently featured. A variety of special programs and events incorporating Chevrolet and Chevrolet Performance vehicles and parts will also be part of the festivities.

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For IndyCar coverage throughout 2019, keep watching The BLOCK and @theblockdotcom on Instagram.

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