Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report – Long Beach

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report


Track: Long Beach, Calif. (1.97, 11-turn temporary street circuit)

Race:  Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (80 laps)

Date:   April 19, 2015


No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start:  18

Finish: 20

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  79/80

Laps Led:  0

Points Position (behind leader):  Sixth (-39)

Recap: Will Power started the race from the 18thposition – a result of being caught out by an untimely caution flag in qualifying on Saturday. With a fast car, Power felt he could make up ground early but, unfortunately, the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion ran into issues during the race as well. He stalled the No. 1 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet on his first pit stop when another competitor lost power in front of him and a dropped wheel nut on Power’s second stop led to him falling two laps down to the race leaders. The Verizon team did all it could on pit strategy, but the Power could not catch a caution flag when it was needed. Sunday’s result was his worst since finishing 24th at Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2013. However, Power is a two-time winner at Barber Motorsports Park, site of next week’s Grand Prix of Alabama, where he will look to get back on track.

Quote: “I feel bad for the Verizon Chevy Team. They worked so hard and me finishing P20 was a result of a bad day in qualifying. I didn’t get it done and it was a snowball effect from there. Today I made mistakes and I stalled the car on pit road during the first pit stop. Was hoping for a top-10 finish but it didn’t happen. It makes me more motivated to make up for it the next couple of races.”


No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya

Start:  2

Finish: 3

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  80/80

Laps Led:  0

Points Position:  First


Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya started the Grand Prix of Long Beach from the second position before dropping to the third spot early in the event. He and teammate, Simon Pagenaud, entertained the fans with a thrilling battle several times during the event, including the final 10 laps as the two raced hard for third place. Montoya held on to the spot for the 20th podium of his Verizon IndyCar Series career. Montoya, who finished fourth at Long Beach last year, posted his first-ever IndyCar win at Long Beach in 1999. The finish allowed him to maintain his lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings as he is now just three points ahead of teammate Helio Castroneves.


Quote: “Our Verizon Chevy was strong all day. We hung in there the entire race and everyone did a good job. I had a really good run on Helio at the start. He made a move on me and I had to check up, which lost me one spot to (Sunday’s race winner Scott) Dixon. We ran strong all day and ended with another podium, which is great for the points battle. Two podiums in three races is a bit different start than we had last year and that is something I’m very proud of.”


No. 3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves

Start:  1

Finish: 2

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  80/80

Laps Led:  31

Points Position (behind leader):  Second (-3)


Recap: Helio Castroneves led the first 29 laps of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach before being passed by Scott Dixon, who went on to win, during the first round of pit stops. Castroneves had to hold in his pit stall after his service was complete to avoid any contact with the No. 10 car of Tony Kanaan that was entering the pit stall ahead of Castroneves. As he raced hard for his second consecutive runner-up result, Castroneves earned the 121st top-five finish of his career. On Saturday,Castroneves established a new track record with a lap of 1:06.6294 to win the Verizon P1 Pole Award for the race. It was the 42nd pole position of Castroneves’ 18-year career. The finish moved Castroneves to second in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings, just three points behind the leader, Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya.


Quote: “The Automobile Club of Southern California Chevy was on rails. It was a really competitive day between our Team Penske teammates. Certainly Scott (Dixon) did a great job on the in lap and the out lap on the first pit stop. My guys did a helluva job too. It was just a chess game out there today. The track changed so much over the course of the race. We had to constantly try to stay ahead of that, from adjustments to driving style. I can’t give my team enough credit for the job they did all weekend. We had a great car and just came up a bit short.”


No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start:  5

Finish: 4

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  80/80

Laps Led:  0

Points Position (behind leader):  Seventh (-46)


Recap: After starting fifth on Sunday, Simon Pagenaud quickly made his way into the fourth position during the early portion of the Grand Prix of Long Beach, then pressured his teammate Juan Pablo Montoya for third place over the final 10 laps. The fourth-place result was his best of the season, his first with Team Penske. Pagenaud previously finished fifth at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and 20th after contact took him out of contention late last weekend at the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park. Pagenaud’s finish made it three Team Penske cars inside the top four on Sunday. Pagenaud is now ranked seventh in the championship standings, 46 points behind the leader, teammate Juan Pablo Montoya.


Quote: “It was a good race out there today, a lot of fun. The Penske Truck Rental Chevy was really fast today. I just wish I could’ve made my way past Helio there. That would have changed the whole complexion of the race. It was a good fight. I have to take my hat off to my engineers. They gambled a bit on this setup and the car was mega fast today. Next time we just need to start a bit closer to the front and it may be a different story.”