Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Recap
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Race: Indianapolis 500
Date: May 29, 2022
No. 2 Shell Fuel Rewards Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 5th (-52 pts)
Race Rundown: Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 Shell Fuel Rewards Chevrolet team showed early promise in the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday afternoon before a pit road mishap took them out of contention just as the race moved into its second half. Starting from the 14th position, Newgarden and team had a plan to methodically move their way through the field to be in contention when it mattered. After struggling to find the aero balance through the first half of the race, the two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion had worked his way into the top 10 before hitting pit road at lap 109. Upon receiving his pit service, the No. 2 Shell Fuel Rewards Chevy stalled while leaving pit road, resulting in heavy loss of track position. Race strategist Tim Cindric altered his strategy to capitalize on fuel mileage to get his driver back to the front after restarting from the 27th position, and Newgarden stayed patient to finish in the 13th position.
Newgarden’s Thoughts: “It was another heartbreaking day around here. I’m not sure what happened in our pit stop that ultimately did our day in. We had a stall, and it looks like somehow I got stuck in second gear instead of first gear. I’m not sure if that’s on me or not and not sure why that happened. We will have to analyze the data. If that’s on me, I feel terrible. We have a great team, and we did a great job all month. I felt like we were fighting for it all day long. I think we could have run in the top five. I am disappointed for our partners Shell and Chevy. We will assess it and come back stronger the next time around.”
No. 3 Pennzoil Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin
Point Standings: 7th (-64 pts)
Race Rundown: Scott McLaughlin and the No. 3 Pennzoil Dallara/Chevrolet had one of the fastest cars during Sunday’s 106th running of the Indianapolis 500, but a gust of wind caused his car to snap loose and slam against the wall with just 50 laps to go, resulting in a 29th place finish. After starting 26th, the second-year driver wasted little time getting up to speed and into the top-20. Turning some of the fastest laps of any car on the track, great pit work and a fast Pennzoil Chevrolet eventually saw the rookie knocking on the door of the top-10. Things took a turn for the worst however, when with just 50 laps to go and coming off of a pit stop, a gust of wind caused the Yellow Submarine to get loose and slam into the wall between turns three and four, ending his day.
McLaughlin’s Thoughts: “Yeah, just a bruised ego and the Pennzoil Chevy is a bit dented and stuff. We were having a rip of a run there and had made our way into the top 10 and just caught a big puff of wind and spun out and boom. I am a little sore, but I got checked out and I am good. But you know, its hard to come out straight away after a shunt like that and that is why this place is so scary, and why we love it. I will be back stronger and better next year.”
No. 12 Verizon 5G Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 4th (-24 pts)
Race Rundown: Will Power started 11th and finished 13th in the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. The driver of the Verizon 5G Chevrolet overcame a loose handling race car and lack of track position early in the race to finish inside the top-15. Power reported early the balance of his Verizon Chevy was not to his liking. The No. 12 crew would make significant front wing adjustments to help dial-in the handling. Following a stall on his second pit stop under caution, Power would charge from a race-low 30th to 13th at the race’s conclusion.
Power’s Thoughts: ““When the car doesn’t work on an oval, it’s the worst day you can have. We slowly got it together, I would say the last two stints when the Verizon 5G Chevy was a lot better and drivable. But by that time, we had lost so much track position, it was just trying to salvage what we could. Stalling on pit lane early in the race didn’t help, but we only lost five laps with that. You know, it never helps, and it’s my bad on that one. Yeah, that is just one of those days that you white knuckle it for a long time because it’s pretty intense when a car is loose on an oval. It’s very tough. Terrific job by the team and all the guys to just hang in there. We were 15th with some of the contenders who were back there, so not as big of a loss as it could have been.”