Team Penske IndyCar Series Race Report
Track: Streets of Long Beach
Race: Grand Prix of Long Beach
Date: April 14, 2019
No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 2
Points Position: 1st (+28 pts)
- Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet team continued their upward momentum in the 2019 IndyCar series season after continuing their steak of top-five finishes with a second-place finish at Long Beach – landing him on the podium for the third time this season.
- In this two pit stop race, Newgarden was first called to the pits by race strategist Tim Cindric on lap 29 where he picked up fuel and four worn primary tires – after starting the event on alternate tires. This strategy allowed him to move from his starting position of fourth to the second spot where he would remain for the rest of the event.
- On lap 58, the No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet returned to the pits for a final time to receive worn primaries once again and fuel.
- Newgarden retains the IndyCar Series championship points lead after the first four events ahead of the next closest challenger, Alexander Rossi, by 28 points.
Quote: “Yeah, we didn’t have anything for him [Alexander Rossi] today. We tried our best to make some progress and the guys did a great job. We did have a good strategy, like you said; we leap-frogged Will (Power) and (Scott) Dixon. And then, I was just wondering where everyone was at. I was wondering if Rossi was good on fuel and I was giving it my all. That’s about all I had today. So yeah, a little shy. It’s always tough. It’s good to have second. This is a good day. We’re staying inside the top 3, which is positive. It gets old after a while. You want to win more races. So, it was a great day, but a little short is always disappointing. So, we’ll come back to the next one. Team Chevy did a great job and gave us what we needed. The Hitachi car felt good. Just a little short.”
No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 2
Points Position: 7th (-73 pts)
- Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet team began Sunday’s race at Long Beach, in the third position – his third top-three start of the 2019 NTT Data IndyCar Series season.
- The Australian driver assumed the lead on lap 27 when eventual race winner, Alexander Rossi, and Scott Dixon made their first pit stops of the day.
- Power pitted one lap later and used his strong road-racing skills to keep Dixon behind him as he exited pit road to secure the third position.
- Unfortunately, the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet team’s day went south after Power suffered an over-boost issue on the exit of the hairpin turn at lap 34. He was forced to bail out of his ensuing entry into Turn 1, resulting in him dropping to the eighth position in the running order.
- The race continued under the green flag for the remainder of the event and Power was only able to drive up to the seventh position before the checkered flag.
- The next race on the 2019 IndyCar Series calendar is the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) road course. Power is a three-time winner of the May 11 event that opens up the month of May at IMS.
Quote: “Yeah, I guess it’s my mistake for going down there. I kind of went in the marbles. Probably went to the wrong side to defend from (Scott) Dixon; but yeah, yeah, yeah. That was it, man. It was probably a podium finish there, but threw it away, unfortunately. I was debating whether to make the corner and I thought nah, it’s better to be 7th than in the tires. I was close. I may have made it, but I didn’t want to take the risk. We needed to finish ahead of all the guys that finished ahead of us, but once again, a pretty big hole the first four races of the season. A bit frustrating considering how fast we’ve been at some of these tracks. Even today, we were super good in the race. Just circumstance. I’m sure we’ll be quick in May. I’ve been quick everywhere. Chevy has a great engine there at the 500 so we’re looking to really capitalize and try and turn the season around.”
No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 11th (-79 pts)
- Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet began the IndyCar Series race at Long Beach in the fifth position – his highest starting position yet this season. By driving aggressive and all of the right strategy calls, Pagenaud finished in the top-10 for the third time this season.
- With the team’s strategy to make this just a two pit stop race, race strategist for the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet, Kyle Moyer, called Pagenaud to the pits on lap 28 for primary tires and fuel in hopes of remaining consistent with their position on the track.
- Pagenaud pitted for the second and final time on lap 56 for worn alternate tires allowing him to remain in the sixth position until the conclusion of the race.
- Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet were able to move up one position in 2019 IndyCar Series championship points into the 11th spot. The team is excited to head to the series’ next event, the INDYCAR Grand Prix, where they are former winners.
Quote: “Yeah, it was a solid day. I think that was the best we could have done today. I think we did everything we were supposed to do in our DXC Technology Chevy. Execution was there. We just lacked a little bit of pace overall. So, we’ve got to keep working on it. That’s all you can do. (Alexander) Rossi (race winner) had a great race. I think (Josef) Newgarden did a fantastic job and putting a Penske car up there is great. We’ve just got to keep working. I’m really excited about the Indy Grand Prix coming up. I’m looking forward to the month of May.”