Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report – Detroit

DATE: JUNE 4, 2023
#2: Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet



RACE RUNDOWN: After a week of celebrating his victory in the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500, Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet team finished 10th in Sunday’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on the downtown streets of Michigan’s largest city. Newgarden shook off any notion of an Indy 500 winner’s hangover as he placed his Hitachi Chevy in the Firestone Fast Six during Saturday’s qualifying session, starting the race from the fifth position. During the physical opening lap when cars are side-by-side while taking the green flag, Newgarden lost a few spots to fall to seventh in the running order. As the race settled into a rhythm, Newgarden was able to cycle to the lead before his final pit stop of the day on Lap 69. Before pit stops could cycle through, he and the No. 28 of Romain Grosjean made contact in the hairpin to drop Newgarden back to the seventh position. He was unable to hold his position over a caution-filled end to the race, but managed to scored a top-10 finish and remain third in the point standings.

NEWGARDEN’S THOUGHTS: “I’ll be honest I’m ready to get to Nashville, hang out with Kota and Ashley and rest for a couple days. It’s been a long week where I wasn’t able to fully tune into the team. For us to come here – a brand new circuit, make the Firestone Fast Six and have a shot at a top-five finish shows the makeup of this Hitachi Chevy team. It got a little rough out there at times and we were on the receiving end of it, but you’ll have that on a street course. That stuff always comes back on you, like it did later in the race. Aside from all that, to see what kind of event this city just put on is incredible. There will be key learnings that are taken away to make it better for the future, but everyone involved should be thrilled with how the first year came off.”

#3: Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet



RACE RUNDOWN: Scott McLaughlin and the No. 3 Gallagher Chevrolet team qualified second and came home with a seventh-place finish in Sunday’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, the first time the race has been contested on the streets of downtown since 1991. One of the best qualifiers in Team Penske history, McLaughlin placed his Chevrolet on the outside of the front row to start the 100-lap event. After electing to start the race on the Firestone alternate, guayule tires, McLaughlin lost a handful of spots over the opening stint as the softer compound tires wore quickly on the rough street circuit. Once the Gallagher crew applied the primary tires on the team’s first pit stop of the day, McLaughlin rebounded back into the top five before being contacted by the No. 28 of Romain Grosjean as Grosjean was leaving pit road on Lap 67. While the contact ruined a chance for a top-five finish, McLaughlin drove a determined race to the checkered flag to pick up a solid, seventh-place finish.

MCLAUGHLIN’S THOUGHTS: “The incident with Grosjean basically destroyed our day. Getting into turn 1 – pit exit is a little bit awkward, but he just drove straight for the apex. I was already committed, braking as deep as I could, and he just drove straight to the apex. I had nowhere to go. It’s the duty of all of us to get out of that area cleanly and I don’t think he cared where I was and turned across my nose. It is what it is. That Gallagher Chevy was fast. We hammered through those last few restarts. I think we started 12th and came through to seventh. It was definitely a reasonable recovery but overall, pretty gutted with the day.”

#12: Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet



RACE RUNDOWN: In what was a prototypical, strong drive by Will Power, the driver of the No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet nearly pulled off his first victory of the season before settling for a second-place finish in Sunday’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. Power narrowly missed out on the Firestone Fast Six during the Saturday qualifying session, placing his Verizon 5G Chevy in the seventh position to start the race. The reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion and his crew elected to start the race on the Firestone, primary tires, and he put them to good use on the worn street circuits of downtown Detroit as he drove up to the third position by Lap 20. The Australian driving ace cycled to the lead just before his first pit stop of the day for the alternate tires. With coaxing from race strategist Ron Ruzewski, Power was able to maintain the lead on the alternate tires until Lap 56 when he dropped behind the eventual race leader, Alex Palou. Power was able to keep his Chevrolet at the front of the field though a chaotic end to the race, nearly making a dramatic attempt to pass for the lead in the hairpin before contact from another competitor had his left-side tires off the ground. With his second-place finish, Power was able to move to the eighth position in the standings.

POWER’S THOUGHTS: “It was a great day. Had a good strategy there with the alternate tires and tried everything to get (Alex Palou). Unfortunately, I didn’t know (Scott) Dixon was on my inside. I didn’t see the replay. I hope I didn’t do any damage to him and affect his race. Great day for the Verizon Chevy. Would love to get one step up on the podium. Seconds aren’t what you look back on when you lose a championship. You had to be aggressive (today) to keep position and get position. This is IndyCar these days. So tough, so many good drivers. You fight for every inch.”