Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report
Track: Iowa Speedway
Race: Iowa Corn 300
Date: July 8, 2018
No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Laps Completed: 300/300
Laps Led: 229
Points Position: 2nd (-33 pts)
- After having strong practice and qualifying sessions, Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet looked to have a near perfect weekend in the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway but ultimately settled for a fourth place finish.
- Starting the race in the second position, Josef Newgarden quickly made his way to the lead on lap 25 – taking the top spot from teammate Will Power.
- The No. 1 Hitachi Chevrolet made its way to the pits on lap 80 to simply take fuel and tires and easily maintained position for the next several laps.
- After the No. 26 car made contact with the wall on lap 138, Newgarden visited the pits on lap 142 for a front wing adjustment, tires and fuel.
- The No. 1 Chevy returned to the pits for a front wing adjustment, fuel and tires again on lap 223 while still maintaining the lead.
- By lap 259, James Hinchcliffe passed Josef Newgarden into the second position where he remained until the caution flag waved for debris on lap 294.
- Under caution, the No. 1 Chevrolet pitted for fuel and tires and would restart fourth. However, the white-yellow flag waved to conclude the race. Newgarden completed the race in the fourth position.
- Following the race at Iowa, Newgarden has moved up in point standings and now is second in 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series point standings heading into Toronto where he is the defending race winner.
Quote: “This is IndyCar racing. You have to expect the unexpected. It’s never sorted out and locked up right at the beginning. We had a great No. 1 Hitachi Chevrolet and for the first half of the race, we had the car to beat. And it just fell away from us. Sometimes you can’t predict exactly what you’re going to need at the end of these things. Today, we didn’t have exactly what it was that we needed but we’ll come back and try it again. I think Hinch did a great job. Congrats to him and SPM. They deserved the win. They did a great job at the end there and happy for those guys. I’m just disappointed. We had such a good car and could have capitalized on it in the end but we just seemed to get worse as the race went on. All the guys did a great job. The Hitachi car was fast and Team Chevy did a great job. We’ll just chalk it up to we need to be a little better for next time.”
No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Laps Completed: 300/300
Laps Led: 23
Points Position: 5th (-53 pts)
- Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet started in the front row but came home in the sixth position when the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 concluded at Iowa Speedway.
- On lap 25, Will Power fell to the second position after leading 25 laps to make way for teammate Josef Newgarden.
- On lap 80, Power pitted off of strategy for tires and fuel due to radio issues. When he returned to the track, he fell to the seventh position.
- When the caution flag waved for the No. 26 making contact with the wall, Power found himself in the eighth position.
- Power pitted on lap 146 for fuel and tires.
- The Australian-born driver continued to consistently hold a spot in the top-10 after pitting once again for fuel and tires on lap 223.
- As the caution flag flew for debris on track on lap 294, Power remained the first car a lap down but had moved up to the sixth spot. He remained there until the white-yellow flag waved ending the 300-lap event.
- Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet team now are now fifth in 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series standings as they head to Toronto this weekend.
Quote: “I think we lost a lot of ground in the first stint because there was something going on with the radio. The team called me in for three laps and I just didn’t hear it. Unfortunately, we lost a lot of positions. We lost a lot and went backwards at that point. The rest of it, we were just forward and back all day. The car was just reasonable. I think a top five would be the best we could do so sixth was ok.
No. 22 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Laps Completed: 300/300
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 9th (-132 pts)
- Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet finished eighth in the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway.
- The No. 22 Menards Chevrolet team began their day in the fourth position as the green flag waved.
- After pitting on lap 80 for just fuel and tires, Simon Pagenaud moved up to the third spot where he remained until lap 113.
- When the caution flag waved on lap 138 for the No. 26 car’s on-track incident, Pagenaud found himself in the fifth spot.
- On lap 280, the Frenchman fell to the eight position and was a lap down. He remained in that position until the white-yellow flag waved, ending the 300-lap race.
- Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet team are now ninth in overall Verizon IndyCar Series point standings.
Quote: “I’ll tell you, when you are going that fast around this short oval it’s really hard to understand who is on the lead lap and who is not on the lead lap, who you are fighting for position – so there is a lot of communication with the spotter and with the strategist. I think we had good speed. I got stuck in traffic a lot of time and that was enough to get checked out from (Josef) Newgarden who I think was really fast today and obviously (James) Hinchcliffe, congrats to him. But, yeah, I think we had quite a bit of tire degradation which was tough in traffic, but essentially it was an awesome race. From the cockpit I had so much fun. It was about setting up people trying to understand where they were running, where your car was best with the tire degradation running high, running low, conserving your tires it really was a lot of thinking, a lot of driving and to me that is a lot of fun. That is pure racing.”