OCT. 2, 2020

Newgarden, Chevrolet win Race 1 of INDYCAR Harvest GP
Reigning series champion slices 32 points off championship deficit

INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 2, 2020) — Josef Newgarden’s victory in Race 1 of the Harvest GP doubleheader could be a bellwether in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Drivers Championship.

The reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion, who started on the outside of the front row in the No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, led 34 of the 85 laps on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and won the caution-free sprint by 14.2940 seconds.

Newgarden entered the 12th race of the season 72 points behind front-runner Scott Dixon and heads into the penultimate race of the season 40 points arrears. NBC will telecast Race 2 of the INDYCAR Harvest GP at 2:30 p.m. ET Oct. 3.

“Awesome day. We had a rocket ship. Team Chevy did an amazing job, and you can’t ask for more as a driver,” said Newgarden, who registered his third win of the season and first on the road course. “It’s still a bit of a hill but we made a little smaller today, which is really good news. We needed three perfect races to finish. This is one of them down. Two to go.”

Chevrolet has won six of the eight races on the IMS road course. 
Series rookie Rinus VeeKay, who provided Chevrolet with its ninth pole of the season and seventh in the eight races on the road course, finished a season-high third in the No. 21 Sonax Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet. The 20-year-old from The Netherlands led 15 laps. Will Power, a three-time winner on the IMS road course, placed sixth in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

Qualifications for the 75-lap (182.925 miles) Race 2 will be conducted in two groups of 12 cars for 12 minutes each at 10:20 a.m. ET Oct. 3.

1           Josef Newgarden, No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet
3           Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Sonax Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
6           Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet
11         Max Chilton, No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet
12         Conor Daly, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
13         Charlie Kimball, No. 4 Tresiba AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet
16         Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet
20         Helio Castroneves, No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
21         Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet
22         Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
23         Sage Karam, No.. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Oil2Soil Chevrolet
24         Dalton Kellett, No. 41 K-Line USA AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet

1           Josef Newgarden, No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet
2           Alexander Rossi, No. 27 NAPA Andretti Autosport Honda
3           Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Sonax Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
4           Colton Herta, No. 88 Gleaners Andretti Autosport Honda
5           Felix Rosenqvist, No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

NBC will telecast Race Two of the INDYCAR Harvest GP at 2:30 
p.m.ET Oct. 3. Live coverage can also be found on Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network affiliates, Sirius 211, XM 205, and on the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. 
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 1 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – RACE WINNER: “I don’t know if I can think about the race… I’m so excited to be up on this platform! I wish I could have been up here in August with The Captain (Roger Penske). He’s done such an amazing job with this facility. To see people back here socially distanced in the stands at least getting to watch the race, I’m sure he’s really happy today and I’m happy to be here today representing him, Team Penske, everyone at IndyCar and IMS. Thanks to everyone who came out in cool conditions.

“We had a rocket ship. I knew we did yesterday in qualifying. I was so surprised with how quick the car was. It was a great fight today. It was all about strategy, close combat and everything you want in an IndyCar race. I was happy I had the quickest car. Team Chevy did an amazing job, having Hitachi on has been good luck for us this year. I’m pumped to be up here. I’ve always wanted to get up here. I want to get up here during the 500 but this is almost just as cool.”

“It was a total gift. I was being patient, to be honest. I felt like we were in the cat bird’s seat and knew what we had speed-wise on him, and it was a matter of getting to that pit cycle. I didn’t want to get into another dogfight. We had one earlier in the race and he had the advantage with red tires at that point. So I was being patient and lo and behold I didn’t have to wait for the pitstop. He just gave me the gift and all I needed.”

“If you would have given us a couple of those races where we caught those bad yellows, we’d really be in this fight. It’s almost a shame what kind of deficit we’ve had in the points, but this team has been unbelievable. They’ve been the quickest in pitlane all year. They’ve done a great job. They deserve to be in this championship fight. It’s still a bit of a hill but we made a little smaller today, which is really good news. But we needed three perfect races to finish. This is one of them down. Two to go.”

“It’s definitely a dream (to score his first podium); I’ve waited about 20 years for this. I am very happy. It was a tough race. I fought hard and I drove as hard as I could. I think I did pretty well with passing and I think I’m always next to Colton (Herta) fighting for position. But it’s fun – the two youngest guys in the series battling it out. Everyone is on top of their game and it’s a real reward to pass those guys.”

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED SIXTH: “Man, that was a tough race. We had some great pace at different points but we just didn’t have enough to fight for the win at the end. Congrats to Josef. That was a big win for the team and big for the championship. I think we learned a lot on the Verizon Chevy that we can apply in tomorrow race and hopefully fight for the win.”

MAX CHILTON, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET – FINISHED 11TH: “It was a long day out there – 85 laps of hard racing. I had a pretty good start, but then we had a situation on the first lap where I had to avoid an accident and take a shortcut which then resulted in a penalty where I had to let a car past. Unfortunately they made me give up the position in a place where more than one car got past. So that hurt us at the start, but after that we really had pretty good pace all day. I’d say I definitely did some of the best and most overtakes I’ve done in a race all year if not in a really long time. We were racy out there and we were able to work our way up from 15th after the unfortunate start to 11th just missing out on a top-10 finish. It’s a little gutting to not get that top 10, but we’ve shown that the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet is quick and luckily we get to do it all again tomorrow.”

SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 DXC TECHNOLOGY TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 16TH: “Congratulations to Josef on the win today. It was a great race out there today. We still have some work to do on the DXC Technology Chevrolet for tomorrow’s race but we will get there. While things didn’t go our way today, it’s a great result for the team and good for the championship. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race and hopefully we can end the weekend with another win for Team Penske.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 7 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET – FINISHED 20TH: “It’s great to be back in a race car in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Arrow McLaren SP and Chevrolet did a phenomenal job by giving me the tools that I needed. Obviously a little off pace, however it was great to understand what we need to do to learn about the car. We will make some adjustments for tomorrow. That’s the good news… we have another day to do it all over again.”

PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET – FINISHED 22ND: “There is not much to say, it’s probably the worst day we’ve had all year. We just have to regroup tomorrow and try to go win the race. There’s nothing that we can do right now, honestly. For the rest of the year, we have to try to win as many races we can. There’s two more to chase. We will be going for it tomorrow.” 

SAGE KARAM, NO. 24 DREYER & REINBOLD RACING OIL2SOIL CHEVROLET – FINISHED 23RD: “Actually, we got a good start and made up a few positions early. Then Charlie (Kimball) hit me off the track around lap four. He came over after the race and apologized. I was surprised by it that early in the race. Then we had a couple of weird issues on a few pit stops that hurt us. Our strategy for the race was pretty good when we pitted early (lap 9). We got off the black Firestones and onto the reds. The Oil2Soil Chevy then ran some pretty solid laps. In the last stint, we put on sticker black tires and the car really ran well. But we were too far back with the early problems. Now, we’ll concentrate on Saturday’s qualifying and the race. The fuel pressure issue on Thursday kept us back from a full practice. That cost us some precious track time. We need all the track time we can get right now as a part time team.”