CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
STREETS OF LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA
SEPT. 26, 2021
Newgarden grabs solid runner-up finish from pole
- Finish pulls two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion to second in standings
- Wins the NTT P1 Award with four poles during the 16-race season
LONG BEACH, Calif. (Sept. 26, 2021) — Josef Newgarden did everything he needed to do in pursuit of a third NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship. He won the NTT P1 Award, led 18 of the 85 laps and had excellent pit stops.
But Newgarden had to settle for runner-up in the season finale on the 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary street circuit and second in the standings for the second consecutive year.
Newgarden recorded four poles during the 16-race season, which garnered him the season-long NTT P1 Award.
“It’s a different outcome for us, I think,” said Newgarden, who recorded two wins this season. “We were in the fight, which is the number one thing you’ve got to do, is just put yourself in position. We were definitely there. We had a shot at winning. We just came up short. It’s very disappointing. I mean, incredibly disappointing. You put everything into a season. You hope to win it, outside of the Indy 500. So, we just have to start over again next year, unfortunately, but we’ve got the crew to do it and we can bounce back pretty quick. So, I think we can have another run next year.”
Pato O’Ward came into the season finale second in points and with a strong opportunity to challenge for the title. The second-year driver of the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet started the weekend 35 points behind eventual champion Alex Palou. But contact with another car in Turn 2 of Lap 1 knocked O’Ward out of contention. He returned to competition and was able to secure third in the standings.
Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, finished 11th and secured the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rookie of the Year title – a first for Team Penske. Making the transition from Australian Supercars to INDYCAR, the New Zealand native was impressive as he negotiated the change. He finished 14th in the standings.
Colton Herta was the race winner and Scott Dixon completed the podium.
UNOFFICIAL TEAM CHEVY DRIVER FINISHING POSITIONS
2nd Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske
5th Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Team Penske
8th Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 ROKiT AJ Foyt Racing
10th Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske
11th Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 PPG Team Penske
13th Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP
15th Max Chilton, No. 59 Carlin
18th Charlie Kimball, No. 11 Tresiba AJ Foyt Racing
19th Dalton Kellett, No. 4 K-Line Insulators AJ Foyt Racing
21st Conor Daly, No. 20 U.S. Air Force
25th Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek
26th Callum Ilott, No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing
27th Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP
The 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season kicks off on Feb. 27 on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.
Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Year-By-Year Results since 2012
2021 – 6 wins, 8 poles in 16 races
Wins – Pato O’Ward (Texas2, Detroit2); Rinus VeeKay (Indy RC1); Josef Newgarden (Mid-Ohio, St. Louis); Will Power (Indy RC2). Pole – Pato O’Ward (Barber Motorsports Park, Detroit1, Indy RC2); Josef Newgarden (Detroit2, Road America, Mid-Ohio, Long Beach); Will Power (St. Louis).
2020 – 7 wins, 11 poles in 14 races
Wins – Simon Pagenaud (Iowa1); Josef Newgarden (Iowa2, St. Louis2, Indy RC2, St. Petersburg); Will Power (Mid-Ohio1, Indy RC3, St. Petersburg). Poles – Josef Newgarden (Texas, Road America1, Iowa2), Will Power (Indianapolis road course, St. Louis1, Mid-Ohio1, Indy RC3; St. Petersburg), Pato O’Ward (Road America2), Conor Daly (Iowa1), Rinus VeeKay (Indy road course October)
2019 – 9 wins, 9 poles in 17 races
Driver/owner championship (Josef Newgarden/Roger Penske); Indianapolis 500 win (Simon Pagenaud)
2018 – 6 wins, 9 poles in 17 races
Indianapolis 500 win (Will Power)
2017 – 10 wins, 11 poles in 17 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Josef Newgarden/Roger Penske)
2016 – 14 wins, 13 poles in 16 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Simon Pagenaud/Roger Penske)
2015 – 10 wins, 16 poles in 16 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Scott Dixon/Chip Ganassi);
Indianapolis 500 win (Juan Pablo Montoya). First manufacturer to capture all titles since Chevrolet returned to INDYCAR in 2012
2014 – 12 wins, 14 poles in 18 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Will Power/Roger Penske)
2013 – 10 wins, 11 poles in 19 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; Indianapolis 500 win (Tony Kanaan)
2012 – 11 wins, 10 poles in 15 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Ryan Hunter-Reay/Michael Andretti)
Total – 95 wins, 107 earned poles in 165 races
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 2nd
YOU CAME UP SHORT OF A THIRD CHAMPIONSHIP BY FINISHING SECOND IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP AND SECOND IN THE RACE. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT COULD HAVE GONE DIFFERENTLY FOR YOU TO FINISH IN FRONT OF COLTON HERTA (RACE WINNER)?
“No, probably just not the yellow. That didn’t work for us. Colton did a great job. Congrats to him and his entire crew. He took advantage of it. He was on the right tire at the right point of the race. We were still saving fuel, so he just kind of went on that restart with new reds. He had a good strategy. If there were no yellows, I think we would have been okay today to cruise out front. But that’s the way it rolls sometimes. It just doesn’t always go your way. But it was a strong effort by our team. My crew was the fastest in pit lane all year, so there’s a lot to be prideful for with our crew and certainly our team with Hitachi and Team Chevy. I think we fought hard. We just came up a little bit short this year, which was unfortunate. But we fought all year long.”
WHEN YOU COME THAT CLOSE, WHAT’S THE TAKE-AWAY FROM THE SEASON? YOU’RE A CHAMPION. TEAM PENSKE DRIVERS WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS. SECOND IS STILL AWFULLY GOOD. HOW DO YOU ASSESS?
“Yeah, you know a couple of things go different. It’s a different outcome for us, I think. We were in the fight, which is the number one thing you’ve got to do, is just put yourself in position. We were definitely there. We had a shot at winning. We just came up short. It’s very disappointing; I mean, incredibly disappointing. You put everything into a season. You hope to win it, outside of the Indy 500. So, we just have to start over again next year, unfortunately, but we’ve got the crew to do it and we can bounce back pretty quick. So, I think we can have another run next year.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 5TH:
“P5 today in Long Beach. I enjoyed the weekend so much. We had so much pace, the car was beautiful. Obviously the yellow day glow was bright out there. It was awesome and I enjoyed the race. We started on the black Firestone tires, trying to do something different than the others and hopefully gain position in the next exchange going to red tires versus the black. It could have worked but we had a bad pit stop unfortunately so we settled where we were, yellow came out and we were in good shape, finished fifth. I think that was about where we could have been so pretty happy with today. Thank you to Chevy, thank you to Menards, and thank you Team Penske. It was an amazing weekend.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 10TH: “Yeah, it’s not the best end of the season to be honest. I had a lot of potential in the last three races, just had really bad luck in some instances but need to improve for next year for sure. We’ve got a great Verizon 5G Chevrolet and a great team. We have a lot of potential so we’ll have a very close look at everything this year and come back swinging next year. I don’t think we showed what we really had this year as a team as a whole. I think we all had a lot more potential so looking for a big year next year.”
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 PPG TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 11th
WHAT A YEAR FOR YOU. AND YOU ARE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR. CONGRATULATIONS. PLUS, THIS WAS YOUR FIRST LONG BEACH RACE
“Yeah, I’m really proud of everyone on the PPG Chevy. I think the car has been awesome, and I finally got it to my liking the last six or seven races. So, I’m really proud of everyone and I’m really excited for next year. This year was a foundation year; all about building and I feel like I’ve done that. Hopefully I can be a little bit further up next year.”
HOW DO YOU FOCUS ON NEXT YEAR? WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WANT TO DO NEXT YEAR?
“Every year I need to get better. I need to study what Josef (Newgarden) does different and what Will (Power) does different and Simon (Pagenaud) and figure out my flaws and where I’m strong and work out a ranking on what I’ll work on. I’ve just got to continue getting better with that. And then obviously working on bits and pieces with my engineer and that will change during the year. Jonathan Diuguid will be moving on to the IMSA Sportscar program, so I’ll have a new engineer I’ve got to work with and it’s all about building relationships and getting better.”
PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET – IN PADDOCK ON LAP 18 TO REPAIR DAMAGE RECEIVED IN LAP ONE INCIDENT — Finished 28th:
UNFORTUNATELY, THE CHAMPIONSHIP WILL NOT COME THIS YEAR, BUT WHAT A SEASON IT WAS. LET’S GO BACK TO THE START AND THE CONTACT WITH ED JONES. WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THIS RACE?
“Yeah, it’s not the first time he’s hit us. And not the first time he does something stupid all season. So, I just wish he could use his head a little bit more; at least respect the guys that are fighting the championship. I don’t know what else to say. That corner is kind of just respect the guys that’s in in front and then maybe you get a run. I mean, I’m not telling him not to race me but don’t be stupid about it.”
BIG PICTURE NOW. YOUR FIRST INDYCAR WINS, MULTI-WINS, CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT, WHERE IS THIS PROGRAM AT NOW HEADING INTO NEXT SEASON?
“I think we’ve had a great season so far. I’m proud of the team. I’m proud of myself. Obviously, it wasn’t the perfect of seasons, but I think that’s just how it’s going to be. You have to learn from the little mistakes that you might have made and then, I feel like that gets you stronger. I’m looking forward to next year. I think we have a great baseline to start off from and see if we can get some more wins and challenge for a chance for another title.”
NTT INDYCAR SERIES POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE
THE MODERATOR: Joining us obviously two of the three off the podium from today, Josef Newgarden comes home second, his sixth podium of the season, seventh straight top 10 this year in 2021.
We’ll begin with Josef. Starting with pole, you hung with it at the top, then what happened?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: It was a pretty good day overall. I think Scott and me were pretty balanced. He was stronger at the beginning of the stint, I was maybe a touch better at the end.
The yellows, inopportune yellow for us. Timed pretty well for Colton. He was fast, made use of it. He was on the right tire at the right time. Once he got the lead, even us closing up with the yellow at the end, he had position on us when we weren’t fuel saving any more. I was basically able to hold position.
Pretty good day overall, but disappointed to not convert the pole to a win. Just coming up short in this race, coming up short in the championship is definitely disappointing. I think for us overall, we got to be proud of our fight, be proud of the effort we put in all year with our partners in Hitachi and Team Chevy. We’ll come back next year.
A lot of great competitors. Congrats to Alex, too. He did an amazing job all year with the championship, so he should be very proud with his group. We’ll congratulate them and come back next year and try to do one better.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Josef, in a nutshell, what do you think about a guy like Alex Palou who at the age of 24 wins the series championship in just his second full season in INDYCAR?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, I think he’s done a good job about maximizing his opportunity, right? Coming up, we all dream of having that type of team around you. Certainly within your second year, that’s a dream opportunity. So he’s certainly got all the resources and people around him to make it happen.
He’s done the job clearly. He’s been solid all year. Been well within the fight. I said earlier in the year I think from the young crop of drivers he looks the most complete. Maybe that’s just because he has a couple more years on a lot of the other younger guys. He’s definitely been very complete all year. Seems to be very Dixon-esque in a lot of ways. Scott has been sort of the measure over the last couple decades of how you be a champion. Alex seems to embody that pretty well.
He could have a very good run over the course of his career. We don’t know. We’ll see. I’m sure he’ll have a lot of time to stick around and see what he can do.
Q. Aside from today’s runner-up finish, what would you say would be the highlight of your season?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I don’t know. Probably the two wins. I guess those are the highlights. Mid-Ohio and Gateway. I would say those two.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Josef. Josef by the way also wins and clinches the season-long NTT P1 Award. A nice boost heading into 2022.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports