Track: Road America
Race: REV Group Grand Prix – Race 1
Date: July 11, 2020
No. 1 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 1st– (10th-career pole, 2nd of 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season)
Laps Completed: 55/55
Laps Led: 25
Points Position: 4th (-71)
- Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet began the NTT INDYCAR SERIES REV Group Grand Prix – Race 1 at Road America on the pole and led laps early, but problems on pit road and an extra pit stop near the end of the race forced the team to a 14th-place finish on Saturday.
- Despite jumping out to an early lead, Newgarden discussed tire degradation with team strategist Tim Cindric and decided to pit on lap 14 for fuel, tires and a front wing adjustment.
- Continuing to find himself with a nearly 10-second lead on the field, Newgarden pitted again on lap 27 but stalled the car while exiting. A delay while trying to restart cost the PPG Chevrolet quite a bit of track position, falling back to 13th.
- Despite the lost track position, Newgarden was able to race his way back to the top-10 and then needed to survive a number of late-race restarts. However, during one of those restarts, he locked up the front tires diving into turn one, causing a flat spotted tire. With 12 laps to go, Newgarden was forced to make an unscheduled stop and lost more track position.
- He made up a couple of positions at the end, but could manage no more than a 14th-place finish at the end.
Quote: “That was a tough one. We had such a strong PPG Chevy and the guys did such a great job putting together such a fast car. We started on the pole and at the beginning of the race, we were just trying to hold track position. I think at one point, we had about a eight second lead. Unfortunately, we had a problem in the pits and stalled the car. It took us a while to get it restarted and that lost all the gap we had built and from there and we were fighting from behind. We had gotten back into the top 10 and I just locked up the tires going into turn one on one of those late restarts. So our day went from a great to pretty bad pretty quickly. But hey, that’s racing – we just didn’t take advantage of our opportunities today. I’m thankful we have another shot tomorrow, since I really love racing at this place. We’re going to take a look at a few things tonight to make sure we have a solid plan going into tomorrow’s qualifying session with the PPG Chevrolet. I’m confident our guys will put together another fast car tomorrow.”
No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Laps Completed: 55/55
Laps Led: 10
Points Position: 7th (-83)
- It was an up-and-down day for Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet team in Race 1 of the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America, which resulted in a season-best second-place finish.
- After starting fifth, Power struggled with grip and handling early in the race and fell all the way back to 10th. Gearing issues kept the Verizon Chevrolet from achieving maximum power on the 14-turn Wisconsin road course. The team’s first pit stop occurred on lap 15 for just fuel and tires. A strong run, coupled with some issues for other drivers, allowed them to move from 10th to third during the pit cycle.
- Power returned to the pits again on lap 27 for fuel and tires. Once again, a strong pit cycle saw Power and the Verizon Chevrolet take over the top spot.
- Unfortunately, a late-race caution before the field’s final pit stops brought all the lead-lap cars into pit road at the same time. Coming in from the lead, a slow stop allowed eventual race winner Scott Dixon to get out ahead of Power and relegated the Verizon Chevrolet back to second.
- Over several late-race restarts, Power wasn’t able to make a charge on Dixon and had to settle for the runner-up position. Power heads into Race 2 of the doubleheader weekend seventh in NTT INDYCAR SERIES points – up eight spots over the previous race.
Quote: “Unfortunately we had to pit under yellow and that lost us the lead in the pits. We just had a slow pit stop. And then we had the wrong gears in the car, so it kind of hurt those restarts. Other than that, it was a good day. We moved up and got up to second. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’ll sit there as a team and will figure out how to execute a bit better. Especially frustrating when we just let wins like that go. I think we had a good Verizon Chevrolet and I don’t think Dixon would have gotten by us if we came out of the pit ahead of him. It wasn’t the end of the day but we still could have won. We’ll try again tomorrow.”
No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Laps Completed: 55/55
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 2nd (-62)
- Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet had a character building day at Road America in the first race of the REV Group Grand Prix, finishing in the 12th position.
- The day got off to a rough start for the No. 22 team when Pagenaud qualified 17th. However, early speed and other drivers’ mistakes for the Frenchman up to 13th early. However, Pagenaud radioed to his team that he was losing grip with the front tires and they needed to attempt to correct it with a major front wing adjustment on lap 14.
- Pagenaud returned to the pits for fuel and tires on lap 27, as he worked to move through the field and gain track position. He eventually found himself inside the top-10.
- Running in the latter half of the top-10 for much of the second-half of the event, Pagenaud jockeyed for positions during several late-race restarts. With less than 10 to go, contact between he and Pato O’Ward forced the Menards Chevrolet off-track and back to the 12th position, where he would ultimately finish.
- Pagenaud will race again with the series tomorrow for the second race of the doubleheader weekend and he continues to sit in the second position in NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship point standings.
Quote: “It was a really disappointing day. The Menards Chevy had a few struggles in qualifying, but we were able to get ourselves in a decent spot a few times during the race with some speed on the track and taking advantage of some of the other drivers’ problems. I think we were going to have a top-10 finish and limit the points we might have lost, then we got pushed off the track late in the race. That costs us some spots and points, which is frustrating with Dixon winning again. But it’s alright – we learned a lot today and we’re still second in points, so that’s great. There is still a lot of season left to go and we’ve got another shot at this tomorrow. I have full confidence we will have the Menards Chevrolet ready to go tomorrow.”