INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April, 5, 2018) Verizon IndyCar Series competition resumes out west with the first oval of the 2018 season, the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix at ISM Raceway. The #88 Harding Racing IR18 Chevrolet powered car piloted by Gabby Chaves will race 250 laps on the 1.022-mile oval for 255.5 miles.
This is Harding Racing’s first full-time campaign in the Verizon IndyCar Series. In March, after qualifying 8th, the rookie team finished 14th in their first street course race at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. They will compete on their first short track oval at ISM Raceway this weekend.
“Heading out to Phoenix for our first short oval race, not only of the year but as a team,” said Gabby Chaves. “We had two days of testing there in the pre-season, so we have a good idea of the direction we want to take from where we were. We expect that it will be a pretty tough race in terms of passing. We think everything will come down to qualifying up front, then holding track position as best we can throughout the race and having clean pit stops. I think we’ve done a lot of work in between pre-season testing and getting back to the race weekend now, so hopefully, we can put all that work and effort into a good result out there this weekend.”
“We’re looking forward to the trio of upcoming races,” said team president Brian Barnhart. “We were pleased with our qualifying effort at St. Petersburg. Now we look forward to using what we learned in Phoenix at the open test in Phoenix and putting in another solid performance for the Harding Group.”
Green flag for the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino Phoenix Grand Prix is Saturday, April 7, at 9:40 pm ET with NBCSN coverage starting at 9:00 pm ET. Track activity begins Friday, April 6, at 5:00 pm ET. Video streaming will be available on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and the IndyCar YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/indycar
. NBCSN will broadcast Friday qualifying live at 8:00 pm ET.