Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

Track:   Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Race:    INDYCAR Grand Prix
Date:    May 12, 2018

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 6th
Finish: 11th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 1
Points Position: 1st (178 pts)

Notes:

  • Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet battled adversity much of the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course leading to an 11th-place finish.
  • Newgarden began the race with a strong start allowing him to spend the majority of the first half of the race in the top-5 while leading one lap.
  • However, after trying to avoid a collision with Sebastien Bourdais on lap 55, the Tennessean locked up the brakes in a turn leading to a spin.
  • When the field restarted on lap 61, Newgarden found himself in the 19th-position.
  • He battled his way through the field and ultimately claimed an 11th-place finish.

 

Quote:  “We had a podium car for sure. It’s tough to throw it away. I think I got too greedy.  I had two or three runs on Bourdais. I just got frustrated and too greedy. I thought he was going to give me a little more room.  He gave me some, but it wasn’t enough.  It is my fault, I think I ruined a podium finish for the No. 1 Verizon Chevy team. But, we recovered what we could.  The Chevy power helped.

“The 200th win for Roger and Team Penske is a very big deal.  I am happy for Will and his team.  Now we go on to preparation for the 500.”

 

No. 3 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves

Start: 10th
Finish: 6th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 0

Notes:

  • Helio Castroneves returned to the Verizon IndyCar Series (VICS) for the first time in 2018 in Saturday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • After starting the race from the 10th position, Castroneves made a gradual move through the field as the race progressed.
  • The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner called for no adjustments during any of the three pit stops on the day as the handling on the Verizon Chevy was where he needed it.
  • A hallmark on the day were the solid pit stops performed by the No. 3 crew, one made up of former INDYCAR members and current IMSA members from Team Penske.
  • Castroneves’ sixth-place finish gives him nine-consecutive top-10 VICS finishes dating back to the 2017 season.

 

Quote: “It’s just like I never left, you know? It was great strategy from the team. We started with the blacks and took a gamble. It wasn’t worth it to try to fight because I kind of knew it would have come back. And it did. The team did a phenomenal job staying cool. All my guys did phenomenal pit stops. This is a group that we’re going to have for the 500. So, imagine when you have the guys just showing up and doing the job is incredible. I feel sorry about Simon (Pagenaud). Sato hit me on the back. I lost control on that part of hitting the No. 22 of Simon, but he made a phenomenal comeback.  Again, it’s great to be back in Indianapolis and I’m ready to get going.”

 

No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 1st
Finish: 1st
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 56
Points Position: 7th (-43 pts)

Notes:

  • Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet began the INDYCAR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course from the pole position to begin the Saturday afternoon race.
  • On lap 24, teammate Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet took over the lead taking it from Power for the first time during the race.
  • By lap 41, the Australian-born driver regained his footing and took back the top spot.
  • Power continued to lead the field on-and-off for the remainder of the event. After a caution allowed for a pit cycle, Power once again found himself in the lead at the restart on lap 61. The remainder of the event ran under green flag conditions allowing Power to maintain position and win the race.
  • This marks Power’s 33rd career win and his record-third win of the INDYCAR Grand Prix (2015, 2017 and 2018).
  • Power’s win at the Indianapolis road course marks the 200th INDYCAR win in the history of Team Penske.

 

Quote:

“Yeah, it was an amazing race actually. Obviously, Wickens (Robert) came out on reds and I was on blacks and man, I’ve never driven so hard to watch a gap grow. But, obviously when I went to the reds, then I had to try to pass him back. And then, he had to save a lot of fuel at the end and go fast; because I knew how good (Scott) Dixon is at saving fuel and going fast. But the Chevy had great fuel mileage, and I’ve never driven so hard for an entire race. Like I was 100 percent the whole time. I’m exhausted.”

 

No. 22 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Start: 7th
Finish: 8th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 12th (-90 pts)

Notes:

  • Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet team began the 85-lap INDYCAR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from the seventh starting position.
  • Unfortunately, bad luck that has plagued the start of his season struck Pagenaud on the opening lap of the race when he was involved in a multi-car incident as the crowd of cars entered Turn 1.
  • After pitting to change to black, primary Firestone tires, Pagenaud restarted the race from the 22nd position.
  • A second pit stop at lap 16 to switch back to the red, alternate Firestone tires began Pagenaud’s move through the field. He radioed to strategist Kyle Moyer that the Menards Chevy was driving beautifully, especially in clean traffic.
  • On his drive toward the front Pagenaud routinely turned laps faster than that of the race leader.
  • The brilliant drive would run out of laps before Pagenaud could make a run at the top five, but he was able to bounce back for a solid eighth-place finish.

 

Quote:  “What a day. I can’t believe my luck so far this season.  Maybe that is good for Indy 500. I keep saying it.  It’s coming up now. Hopefully I get all the luck in the world for the 500.  It was an awesome car today, fantastic. I think we could have challenged for the win.  It is what it is.  We recovered from the first lap incident.  They opened the pit and we pitted, then they threw the green flag that next lap so we couldn’t get back to the pack.  The car was very good and the Chevy power was awesome. We managed to finish the race with good fuel consumption and was able to pass Graham Rahal just before start finish because of fuel consumption. Awesome heading to 500. Congratulations to Will – he made it three here now!  So I have to catch him next year. Also it is the 200th win for Team Penske in IndyCar. It is phenomenal.  What a team. It is an honor to be part of it!”