Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Recap
Track: Streets of Long Beach
Race: Grand Prix of Long Beach
Date: April 10, 2022
No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Finish: 1st – 22nd career INDYCAR SERIES victory
Laps Led: 32
Point Standings: 1st (+8pts)
Race Rundown: Josef Newgarden scored his second consecutive NTT INDYCAR Series victory Sunday at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, his first in the prestigious event. It marked the first time since 2012 that Team Penske has won the season’s first three INDYCAR SERIES races. Newgarden and the No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet started second and kept pace with early leader Colton Herta, eventually jumping him in the running order on the first round of pit stops. The battle would remain spirited over the 85-lap race, as Newgarden held off late charges from Alex Palou and Romain Grosjean to score the win. With the result Newgarden takes over the points lead by over teammate Scott McLaughlin.
Newgarden’s Thoughts: “This is definitely up there on the list (of greatest career wins). This was a fight today. This is not an easy race to win. I don’t know what it looked like from the outside, but I was working my butt off with Grosjean there at the end on the used reds. I was hoping he would fade a little bit, holding him off on that restart was super difficult. This Hitachi car was on it. I knew coming in to the race we had a great strategy and with Team Chevy we were going to be alright. With pit stops helping me get around Alex (Palou), I’m so proud of Team Penske. I have been to win a race here for 11 years so I’m so happy to finally get it done.”
No. 3 Snap-on Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 2nd (-8 pts)
Race Rundown: After a strong start to the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES, with a win and a runner-up finish in the first two races, Scott McLaughlin and the No. 3 Snap-on Chevrolet team encountered their first bout of misfortune in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Long Beach. After a frustrating qualifying session on Saturday afternoon that resulted in a ninth-place qualifying effort, McLaughlin dodged a bullet before the race began. During the morning warmup session, an electrical issue reared its head, resulting in the No. 3 team changing the power plant in the Chevrolet in just two hours. After settling into the top 10 during the race, McLaughlin spun his Snap-on Chevrolet in Turn 11 on lap 34 to drop the Kiwi driver back to 21st in the running order. Strong lap times pushed McLaughlin up through the field, to finish 14th in the final running order.
McLaughlin’s Thoughts: “We had good pace with the Snap-on Chevy, but I made a mistake on the second exchange. It was bad judgement. I clipped the inside wall which spun me out. Once you lose track position like that, you’re pretty done. We managed to claw our way back to 14th and passed the most cars. We just didn’t have track position. I felt like it was a pretty good weekend overall pace-wise. We were right there but didn’t put it together. I’ll keep my head up and keep working and we’ll be OK. Team Penkse still won, which is the main thing. We’re in a good spot. Until that mistake, we made a good start, were in a good spot and in front of Grosjean who ultimately finished second. It’s disappointing, but we’ll keep building. We’re still second in the championship, which isn’t a bad thing.”
No. 12 Verizon 5G Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Laps Led: 2
Point Standings: 4th (-16 pts)
Race Rundown: Amid Team Penske’s strong start to the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season is Will Power’s streak of top-five finishes, one that he ran to three in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Long Beach. It marks the first time since Power’s 2014 INDYCAR SERIES title campaign that the Australian native has notched three-consecutive top-five finishes to start the year. Power quickly made his way into the top five, eventually closing in on the top three in the running order while holding down the fourth position. In the end, Power didn’t have enough to challenge teammate and eventual race winner, Josef Newgarden, crossing the finish line in the fourth position, marking his seventh top-five finish on the streets of Long Beach.
Power’s Thoughts: “It’s a very good day for me with a top-five after starting P7. We said in our strategy meeting that if we could finish in the top-five it’s a great day. Obviously, a win would have been awesome but we keep making those points… top-fives week in a week out. That’s what wins championships. We’ll keep doing that and hopefully find ourselves in victory lane with the Verizon 5G Chevy very soon.”