It takes a lot to win any professional race, let alone the Indianapolis 500, but as long-time IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan found out just last weekend, even if it takes a lifetime, winning that coveted race is worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears. But beyond the amazing driving abilities we saw showcased in last weekends’ race, there is another factor that many of the top finishers at the Indy 500 all shared. Seven out of the ten of them were all running Chevy engines. Now if that’s not a testament to Chevy being a fully dedicated race brand, we don’t know what is.
If you watched the 97th running of the Indy 500 last weekend, you are well aware of the emotional finish to the race. Long-time driver Tony Kanaan, making his 201st consecutive IndyCar start, ended up taking the checkered flag after a tight race and near detrimental yellow flag at the end of the race put him in second place going into the last lap.
Kanaan, who had told his young son prior to the race that he could retire after adding the coveted Indy 500 win to his accomplishments, has yet to make any statement on his continuation in or retirement from the program next year.
Powering Kanaan and his Number 11 Hydroxycut KV Racing Technology/ SH Racing car to his victory at Indy on May 26th was a regulated Chevy engine. As IndyCar regulations specify, no engine used in the series can exceed 2.2 liters or six cylinders, with all cylinders required to have equal capacity. This means that instead of the monstrous V8s that used to be allowed, now the biggest engine you can run in Indy, be it a Honda or a Chevy, is a turbocharged V6.
According to Chevrolet, IndyCar V6 engines utilize twin turbochargers to give their engines more grunt when cubic inches can’t be added. The direct fuel injection used in these engines also helps fuel Chevy-backed racers to the finish line every race.
The proof is in the number of Chevy-backed finishers at the Indy 500 last weekend. Not only was Kanaan’s car powered by a Chevy engine, so too were Carlos Munoz’s No. 26 Unistraw car, Ryan Hunter-Raey’s No. 1 DHL car, and Marco Andretti’s No. 25 RC Cola car, making up the top four finishers. Following in sixth was Helio Castroneves and his No. 3 Shell V-Power/ Penske Ultra Team Penske Chevrolet, in seventh, AJ Allmendinger and his No. 2 IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet, and in tenth, Ed Carpenter and his No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet.
Going into Sunday’s race, Chevy-backed drivers secured the entire top ten qualifying positions, with 13 of the top 15 qualifiers running Chevy engines. Chevrolet also boasts that every Chevy-powered team that took a qualifying run made the 33-car Indy 500 field. Chevy was also proud to pace the Indy 500 with the brand new Stingray and provide the official event cars with a fleet 2013 Hot Wheels Edition Camaro convertibles.
Chevrolet has dominated four of this year’s five IndyCar races. As the series moves on to the Detroit Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix starting May 31st and running through June 2nd, Chevrolet will continue their push to another manufacturers victory.