Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Recap
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
Race: GMR Grand Prix
Date: May 14, 2022
No. 2 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 4th (-30 pts)
Race Rundown: Josef Newgarden started third and finished 25th in Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. The driver of the PPG Chevrolet had an eventful day early as he had contact with teammate Will Power on the first lap of competition. Unfortunately, the two-time Series champion’s race wouldn’t get any better as he would be spun again – this time by the No. 27 Honda – on lap 17. The PPG crew would make repairs in garage area and Newgarden would solider home gaining two spots at the race’s end. He now sits third in the standings, 15 points behind leader Power.
Newgarden’s Thoughts: “Tough day on the No. 2. Got cleared out on the first lap and felt like we were fighting an issue pretty much the whole race. It was a very up and down day. The race went from rain to slick to back to rains. It was a long day and ended up getting in a scuffle with a couple more cars and got turned around which just made the day even longer. Really proud of our team and PPG for our they do for us.”
No. 3 Snap-on Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin
Laps Led: 5
Point Standings: 3rd (-18 pts)
Race Rundown: Scott McLaughlin started 11th and finished 18th in the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course on Saturday afternoon. The driver of the Snap-on Chevrolet would make an early stop for dry Firestone tires after the race was deemed a wet start. He would ride in the eighth position for the majority of the first half of the race. After avoiding chaos in turn 1 on a restart, McLaughlin would move up to second place by halfway. A lap 59 pit cycle would see strong service for the Snap-on crew getting McLaughlin off pit road first. Unfortunately, the strategy of staying on the Firestone alternate “red” tires would not work out as McLaughlin spun under yellow. The St. Petersburg winner came to pit road for wet tires bringing the car home 18th. McLaughlin now sits second in the series standings, 16 markers behind teammate Will Power.
McLaughlin’s Thoughts: “We were just on slick tires at the wrong time. Pretty gutted for everyone on the Snap-on car, we came from 11th, showed some pace and led some laps. I felt like we were in position, but its Indianapolis, it’s the month of May and have to expect everything. We’ll keep working as a team and we’ll press on.”
No. 12 Verizon 5G Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 1st (+14 pts)
Race Rundown: After starting from the pole position for Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, Will Power hoped for an uneventful 85-lap event to score his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES win of the year. What unfolded was anything but uneventful as intermittent rain showers played havoc with race strategies. In the end, Power and the No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevy team persevered for a third-place finish, the fifth-consecutive, top-four finish to start the season for Power as he now takes over the series points lead heading into the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500. The race began under wet conditions, with Power shuffling throughout the top five during the first lap of racing before settling into the fourth position. After quickly switching to the Firestone alternate “red” tires, an understeer condition forced Power back a few positions to the back of the top 10. Race strategist Ron Ruzewski called his driver down pit road for wet tires on lap 61, after which Power was able to battle through the mist for another podium finish on the Indianapolis road course.
Power’s Thoughts: “Cars were dropping like flies! It was such a hard choice on whether to get the slicks, which could have been the best strategy out there – or go for the wets. It’s so crazy, this place. When you look around, it can be completely raining on the frontstretch and you go around to the back and it’s completely dry. It was really anyone’s guess at what was going to happen. We got to the point where it was too wet, we were going to get caught out and we needed to take wets. I’ve had races here where we’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for it to rain, and it just doesn’t rain. The cell just stops there. There must be some kind of vortex in the Speedway here that just doesn’t allow weather!”