Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report

Track:                  Road America

Race:                   REV Group Grand Prix – Race 2

Date:                   July 12, 2020

No. 1 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 14th

Finish: 9th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 55/55

Laps Led: 0

Points Position: 5th (-67)

Notes:

  • After running up front on yesterday, Sunday ended up being a challenging day for Josef Newgarden and the No.1  PPG Dallara/Chevrolet. The Tennessee-native qualified in the 14th position and finished ninth to complete Race 2 of the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America.
  • On the first lap of the 55-lap event, Newgarden was able to move up nine spots prior to the caution flag waving when teammate Will Power made contact with both Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
  • As the laps wore on, Newgarden pitted on lap 12 for fuel and tires and, by lap 25, had moved up to a race-high seventh position as the pit cycle played out.
  • He eventually slipped back in in traffic, forcing the team to take a more fuel strategy/early pit stop strategy for the remainder of the race.
  • There were no late cautions to try and make up positions with a closed-up field like during Saturday’s race, and Newgarden would have to settle for ninth-place as the checkered flag waved.
  • Newgarden dropped to fifth in NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship point standings.

Quote: “Just a tough day for our PPG Chevrolet.  Not the kind of day we wanted, especially when you see someone like (Scott) Dixon not have a very stellar day either.  We just didn’t have the speed we were hoping to have.  I thought we made some good changes overnight, but the race didn’t play out in our favor today.  Early on, we knew we were going to be fighting some aero issues being back in the pack, so we switched to more of a fuel strategy/track position race.  It could have played out a few different ways, but it just wasn’t meant to be today. All-in-all, we had some speed in our Chevrolet this weekend and we showed that with the pole and leading a bunch of laps yesterday.  We just couldn’t put everything together.  We will move on and focus our efforts on Iowa now.”

No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 8th

Finish: 11th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 55/55

Laps Led: 4

Points Position: 7th (-81)

Notes:

  • A frustration-marred race for Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet led to an 11th-place finish in Sunday’s REV Group Grand Prix at Road America.
  • As the green flew, Power attempted to move through the field quickly from his eighth-place starting spot. However, his efforts on lap one led to contact with Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter-Reay after traffic crowded the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet. The incidents resulted in Power going to the back of the field to serve a penalty and restarting 19th when the green flag waved again.
  • Just a few laps later, Power had an issue with understeer, leading to him driving off the track and bringing out the caution flag. After receiving considerable front wing damage, Power pitted on lap six for fuel, tires and a front wing change to correct some of the damage.
  • The team’s efforts helped Power advance to the lead on lap 18 after the pit cycle. Power’s lead came to an end as he pitted on lap 23 for fuel and tires.
  • Going off pit sequence for the remainder for the event,  Power tried to make up as many positions as possible, but would finish the race in the 11th position.
  • His finish led to him maintaining seventh in NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship point standings.

Quote: “Man, just a rough race for us today. I guess in the end, things could have been worse and an 11th place finish is a small victory.  I don’t really agree with the penalty from early in the race.  I felt that was just a racing deal. So we had to come in and change the front wing, then I made a mistake and ran off the track and we had to make another stop for another wing change.  Just not the day we needed for the Verizon Chevrolet.  Got a podium yesterday, but just didn’t have it today.”

No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 22nd

Finish: 13th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 55/55

Laps Led: 0

Points Position: 3rd (63)

Notes:

  • It was a frustrating end to the weekend for Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet team, as they finished the finale of the doubleheader race weekend in the 13th position.
  • After a couple of on-track incidents occurred in the opening lap, Pagenaud was able to take advantage and move up to 14th before the field restarted on lap four.
  • After asking for a change to his front wing on lap 10, Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menard team pitted for fuel, tires and an adjustment to improve his ability to turn the car.
  • While continuing to run middle pack, Pagenaud once again pitted for some changes in an effort to gain some momentum and increase his track position. However, by lap 28, he radioed to team strategist Kyle Moyer saying the car improved but there was a shift of balance he wanted to look at again later in the 55-lap event.
  • Despite running laps as quick as the leaders late in the race, Pagenaud was never able to make up his track position and settled for the 13th position.
  • Pagenaud fell to third in NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship point standings heading into next weekend’s doubleheader at Iowa Speedway.

Quote: “I’m ready to get to Iowa and get the Menards Chevrolet back up front.  This was not our best weekend, but I have to give it to my guys, they never gave up and worked really hard all weekend long.  Both days, we tried a lot of different strategies to try and gain back the track position that we needed from qualifying further back in the field. Yesterday, we should have had a top-10 and today we gave it all we had.  Just had to play the cards we were dealt and try and make it up through pit strategy and fuel savings. At times, the car was a handful and at times we were as fast as the leaders. Time to shift our focus to Iowa Speedway.  There are a lot of points we can make up with another doubleheader weekend.”