Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Recap
Track: World Wide Technology Raceway
Race: Bommarito Automotive Group 500
Date: August 20, 2022
No. 2 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Finish: 1st – 25th career NTT INDYCAR SERIES win
Laps Led: 78
Point Standings: 2nd (-3 pts)
Race Rundown: Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 PPG Chevrolet team continued their dominance at World Wide Technology Raceway with their fourth win in the last six NTT INDYCAR SERIES races at the St. Louis-area oval in Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500. This was Newgarden’s 25th career series victory, tying him with Gordon Johncock for 16th place on the all-time list. Newgarden started the 260-lap event from the fourth position, and he kept his PPG Chevy in the top five throughout the first half of the race. The turning point came courtesy of a Lap 146 caution flag that shuffled the field that, up until then, had been paying heavy attention to the fuel gauge in an attempt to make it to the end with only three trips to pit lane. Race strategist Tim Cindric called his driver in for four fresh Firestone tires and fuel, and Newgarden returned to the track in the seventh position. With new tires and his fuel strategy loosened, Newgarden powered his way to the lead in just a handful of laps before teammate Scott McLaughlin slipped past on the following pit cycle just before a rain shower halted the action for just over two hours at Lap 223. When the racing resumed, Newgarden quickly jumped around McLaughlin to retake the lead and raced to the checkered flag.
Newgarden’s Thoughts: “All I can say is that this 2 car crew has been very patient with me. I’ve lost my cool probably a couple of time in closed doors just out of frustration for us. I feel like we’ve had small miscues timing-wise. That’s not really anybody’s fault. Sometimes you’re wrong time, wrong place. I feel like it’s been happening a lot this year. It kind of happened again tonight. I felt like we were in position and it was time to close. There was a barrier that got in front of us again, but fortunately we were able to get back out. I was so happy we could finish this race. Scott McLaughlin, he wanted to win too and I love that about us. We have a good relationship obviously. Each of us want to win but we he drove me super-fair there at the end, and we had a good fight. I can’t thank PPG and Team Chevy enough. Team Chevy absolutely crushed it with fuel mileage, reliability, power… everything you want from an engine. It’s a big night for everyone at Team Penske.”
No. 3 Odyssey Battery Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin
Laps Led: 12
Point Standings: 6th (-54 pts)
Race Rundown: Scott McLaughlin piloted the No. 3 Odyssey Battery Chevrolet to a 3rd-place finish on Saturday evening in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway. He started the weekend strong, picking up his third top-five start on an oval this season by qualifying fourth on Friday afternoon. McLaughlin cracked the top three in the early going, and following a quick pit stop moved up to second after the first cycle of green flag pit stops. Following another cycle of green flag pit stops with the field using various fuel strategies, McLaughlin found himself in fourth position until the first yellow of the race. Pitting on Lap 149, McLaughlin fell to sixth using a strategy that anticipated rain that was threatening the area. McLaughlin made quick work of the field on the ensuing restart and throttled to fourth in the opening laps of the stint. A fantastic pit exchange during a Lap 206 pit stop under the green flag pushed McLaughlin to the lead before a two-hour rain delayed paused the race with 37 laps remaining. He fell into the clutches of teammate Josef Newgarden on the first lap back under the green flag and finished on the podium after a late race dropped him to third.
McLaughlin’s Thoughts: “That’s oval racing, and we love it. I want more of it. David’s (Malukas, runner-up) move on the last lap… credit to him. He’s a phenomenal young kid and I hope he goes far. The way he’s been coming up through the ranks and getting into the Fast Sixes, he’s been great all year. Full credit to him. The main aim for the team was a team win today. The Odyssey Battery Chevy was good. We all did our parts.”
No. 12 Verizon 5G Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Start: 1st – 67th career NTT INDYCAR SERIES P1 Award, tied for the most all time
Laps Led: 126 – race high
Point Standings: 1st
Race Rundown: Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet team dominated the first half of Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway before finishing in the sixth position. History was made on Friday afternoon as Power became the second driver in NTT INDYCAR SERIES history with 67 pole positions, tying Mario Andretti for the all-time lead. Power led the field for most of the first 130 laps, relinquishing it only during pit cycles. With most of the field on varying pit strategies – trying to make it to the checkered flag with only three trips to pit lane, along with the threat of rain – Power and race strategist Ron Ruzewski elected to continue with the strategy that bought them down pit lane less. He would drop to the back of the top five as those teams that elected to pit for tires were able to make their way past. A two-hour rain delay gave Power and the Verizon 5G Chevy team an opportunity to plan on making their way back to the front when racing resumed with 37 laps to go. Unfortunately, a battle with lapped traffic over the final laps caused him to drop to sixth at the checkered flag. Power maintains the lead in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship standings with only two races remaining at Portland International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Power’s Thoughts: “Once again, it was a good day with P6 in the Verizon 5G Chevy. Obviously, we wanted more. We made a mistake and didn’t take that yellow. That’s INDYCAR. It’s never straight-forward. You expect that in the championship. It might come back to us in the next two in a different way. That’s how it is. We’ve got some good tracks coming up. Like I predicted, it will be a tough battle all the way to the end. I’ve been around a long time and know how these things go. The best thing about today is that we finished in the top-six, so that’s still pretty good.”