Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report
Track: Texas Motor Speedway
Race: DXC Technology 600
Date: June 9, 2018
No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 1st (4th-career Verizon IndyCar Series pole)
Laps Completed: 244/248
Laps Led: 59
Points Position: 5th (-68 pts)
- Josef Newgarden, the defending Verizon IndyCar Series Champion, earned his fourth-career INDYCAR pole on Friday and started from the top spot for Saturday night’s 248-lap DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.
- At the drop of the green flag, Newgarden jumped out to the lead and held the top spot over teammates Simon Pagenaud and Will Power for the first 59 laps, before the first round of pit stops shuffled the field.
- Despite a great stop from the No. 1 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet team, Newgarden lost the lead during the pit sequence, but ran second to Pagenaud once pit stops equaled out.
- Due to the high speeds and aggressive setup, Newgarden began to fall victim to excessive tire blistering on the right front and had to pit early on lap 96. The early stop dropped him a couple of laps down in the 16th position.
- Despite the “off sequence stop,” Newgarden was able to continue to run fast laps and shuffled his way back into the top three by lap 132. However, another green flag stop on lap 143 resulted in Newgarden once again falling several laps down to the leaders.
- Tire degradation would be an issue for the No. 1 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet team for most of the night. On top of that, the team had to overcome a drive-through penalty for jumping the restart on lap 225 after finally getting back on the lead lap.
- Despite the issues, Newgarden was able to continue to run competitive speeds, eventually crossing the line in the 13th position at race’s end. With the finish, he remained fifth in the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship point standings. He currently sits 68 points behind leader Scott Dixon.
Quote: “You know, pretty much anything bad that could have happen happened tonight for the No. 1 Verizon team. Everyone worked real hard and the guys gave me a great car. Everyone did everything they could tonight. It was a great effort from my team. Pretty much, anything that could have went wrong went wrong tonight. That is all there is to it. We will move on to Road America.”
No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Laps Completed: 204/248
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 3rd (-6 pts)
- After starting their day from the third position, Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet had an unfortunate on-track incident that led to an 18th-place finish.
- Power began his evening race with a relatively strong start maintaining position leading up to his lap 64 pit stop for fuel, tires and a front wing adjustment.
- The Australian-born driver continued to maintain a top-five position as he pitted on lap 120 for fuel and tires.
- He continued his consistency in the top-five and pitted on lap 182 for fuel, tires and a front wing adjustment.
- While Power led a strong race he unfortunately made contact with Zachary Claman De Melo on lap 205 leading to the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet retiring from the race.
- Due to the incident and being unable to complete the race, Power fell to third in the Verizon IndyCar Series points. The team will look to regain those valuable championship points in their next race at Road America.
Quote: “The guys in front of me were saving a lot of fuel and completely lifting to try and make it and someone went around on the outside. Unfortunately, the timing stand was talking to me at that exact moment and I couldn’t hear my spotter call outside and there was someone outside at that point. It’s just a bad situation, but something that happens at a track like this. It was not the guy on the outside’s fault. I didn’t know he was out there at that point. We were lifting so much trying to save fuel and he got outside me. It was just a bad deal, but we will move on to Road America.”
No. 22 DXC Technology Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Laps Completed: 248/248
Laps Led: 26
Points Position: 8th (-128 pts)
- Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 DXC Technology Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet had a strong race performance at the Verizon IndyCar Series DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway which led to a second-place finish.
- The French-born driver began the Saturday night race from the second position.
- After the green flag waved, Pagenaud began the race maintaining position leading up to his first pit stop on lap 64 in which he picked up tires and fuel.
- He continued to maintain positions in the top-five for much of the 248-lap event.
- By lap 177 when he visited the pits for the third time, he took tires, fuel and a front wing adjustment.
- As the laps of the race winded down, Pagenaud returned to the pits on lap 209 following teammate Will Power’s on-track incident. On this stop, Pagenaud took tires and fuel.
- The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion completed the race in the second position, allowing him to take the eighth spot in series points leading into an off-weekend prior to the race at Road America.
Quote: “They gave me some grey hair at the end. It was awesome. It was a great showing for DXC Technology, obviously, and I had a blast. It was very difficult racing, and Rossi kept me on my toes at the end and I had to try everything to break the draft. He was getting monster runs out of Turn 3 and 4 but we had good handling and we were able to hold him off. I was trying to break the draft on the exit of Turn 2 and it worked out for the last 10 laps. I’m super proud of my guys in the pits. They did a great job today. And the whole No. 22 team was on it this weekend. So, it’s nice to get a good second place. We want to win, obviously, but it was a good showing.”