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FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY – Race Report

  • CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
  • FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY
  • WEATERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA IN SALINAS, CALIFORNIA
  • POST-RACE REPORT AND QUOTES
  • SEPT. 11, 2022

Power earns second INDYCAR driver championship

Three Team Chevy drivers finish in top four of standings; Team Penske claims 17th title

MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 11, 2022) – Will Power entered the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season with a mindset of “playing the long game.”

“Not necessarily going for the big wins and all that,” said Power, who rang up one win, 12 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes to complement five pole starts in the 17 races.

The solid results ultimately rewarded the veteran driver of the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet with his second NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship after he finished third in the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. He also won the driver title in 2014 with Chevrolet power.

“You’ve accumulated so much experience, you understand how races go and you understand that you can never give up no matter what it seems like, so you just keep digging and it just kept unfolding,” said Power, 41, who a day earlier broke a tie with Mario Andretti with his 68th career pole to set the all-time INDYCAR record.

Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden, who won a field-high five races, finished 16 points off the pace in second. Second-year Team Penske driver Scott McLaughlin placed fourth in the championship. Team Penske extended its INDYCAR record with its 17th team championship.

Other Chevrolet-powered driver champions since the Bowtie brand returned to INDYCAR manufacturer competition in 2012 include Ryan Hunter-Reay (2012), Scott Dixon (2015), Simon Pagenaud (2016) and Newgarden (2017, 2019).

Said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of Performance and Motorsports: “It’s always exciting to watch Will Power behind the wheel of an INDYCAR. Will started on the pole, led the first lap and managed this race with the No. 12 team to clinch the 2022 championship. It’s been so special to work with Will, Ron Ruzewski, David Faustino and the No.12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet team all season long. We’re proud that both of Will’s championships have been powered by Chevrolet’s 2.2-liter V6.”

In the 11 seasons of the Chevrolet 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 I INDYCAR engine, Team Chevy drivers have amassed 106 wins of the 182 races. This season, Chevrolet drivers claimed 13 NTT P1 Award honors and 11 wins in the 17 races, leading to Chevrolet earning its seventh Manufacturer Championship since 2012.

“This has been an incredible INDYCAR season for our Chevrolet teams” said Mark Stielow, Director Motorsports Competition and Engineering. “To get 11 wins, claim the seventh Manufacturer Championship for Chevrolet and Will Power capturing his second INDYCAR Driver Championship, are milestones for this program, and set a mark we will enjoy for a short time and then go back to work to improve next season.

“I am very proud of the strong effort by our Chevrolet engineers, the Propulsion group, Ilmor Engineering, our engine partners and especially our teams. Congratulations to Will on his title. It was hard fought and exciting to watch.”

Power entered the 95-lap race on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn natural-terrain road course with a 21-point lead over Newgarden and Scott Dixon. He led twice for 17 laps and knew his position in the championship standings as the race unfolded.

“I just knew I had to get the most out of those stints and not lose any more positions,” said Power, who was overtaken by Newgarden on fresher tires on Lap 46. “I had to drive the thing today. It was on the edge, very loose. What a relief to get that done.”

Newgarden, driving the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, finished second to Alex Palou after starting 25th in the 26-car field. Felix Rosenqvist finished fourth in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

“I’m proud of the team. This is a big day for everybody,” Newgarden said. “Huge congrats to Will and the entire team. This is an effort by everybody, whether it’s the 2 car or the 12 or the 3. The ultimate goal is to win a championship for Team Penske. We did that, so there’s a ton to be proud of. From a personal side of the 2 car, I’m really thankful to my team.”

Previously, Chevrolet competed in Indy-style racing as a manufacturer of V8 engines from 1986-93 and 2002-05, powering 111 wins, one manufacturer championship in 2002, seven Indianapolis 500 wins and six driver championships.

TEAM CHEVY DRIVER QUOTES:

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 2ND:

HOW DO YOU PROCESS THIS ON A DAY WHERE YOU FOUGHT SO HARD AND DID EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER ALMOST TO GET IT DONE AND STILL FALL SHORT IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP?

“You know, I hate to say it but in a lot of ways this has been a really tough year. So its going to be a welcome offseason. It has been a taxing, taxing season. We have had a lot of highs, but a lot of lows. And just riding the roller coaster this year has brought me to a breaking point a couple of points in the year. But I am ultimately just proud in the team because this is a big day for everybody to win the championship. Huge congrats to Will (Power) and the entire team because this is an effort by everybody. Whether it was the two car, or the 12 or the three, we all take a lot of pride in it. All these crew members, they work on every single car. The ultimate goal is to win a championship for Team Penske. We did that, so there is a ton to be proud of and for a personal stand point I am really proud of the two car team because they stuck with it day after day. Even yesterday, with the heartache there, we fought back and we nearly got there. So I am just proud of the effort and proud to be supported by Hitachi and Team Chevy. We are going to come back stronger next year and we have to be in a better position and I know we can do better than we did this year.”

HOW OPTOMISTIC ARE YOU TO BEING OVER THERE NEXT YEAR INSTEAD OF YOUR TEAMMATE?

“I am very optimistic. I am going to go back and recharge and come back and hit all these people harder. Believe me, I will be ready to go by the time we get to St. Pete, and I will look forward to it.”

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINSHED 3RD AND CHAMPIONSHIP WINNER:

COULD YOU HAVE PLANNED A MORE PERFECT WEEKEND?

“No. It’s so surreal. In the offseason my wife said to me I believe you’re going to beat Mario’s record and you’re going to win the championship. It actually gave me confidence that I could do it. That’s how much confidence I have in her gut feel. I just couldn’t believe that they came true.”

YOU PLAYED THE LONG GAME BY STAYING CALM. WHAT WERE YOU THIKING WHEN YOU SAW JOSEF NEWGARDEN GO PAST YOU?

“I just knew I had to get the most out of those stints and not lose any more positions. I had to drive the thing today. It was on the edge, very loose. What a relief to get that done. I can’t thank Verizon enough. They’ve been with me for close to 12 years now and without them I would never have had this career and obviously Roger Penske and the whole team and Chevrolet.”

HOW MUCH OF YOUR OFFSEASON MENTAL ADJUSTMENT HAS LED TO THIS MOMENT?

“From the beginning it was just playing the long game, not necessarily going for the big wins and all that. As I’ve gotten older, I have a lot more gratitude for my life and what I get to do. Not everyone gets to do this and I’m lucky and I appreciate it a lot.”

HOW MUCH DID YOU RELY ON EXPERIENCE THIS WEEKEND?

“That’s exactly it; you’ve accumulated so much experience, you understand how races go and you understand that you can never give up no matter what it seems like, so you just keep digging and it just kept unfolding. A solid day.”

FELIX ROSENQIST, NO. 7 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, FINISHED 4TH:

We raced it today. We started on the black Firestones. It was a bit hard to fend off the guys on the reds at the beginning. After that long first stint, we kind of got back in the game, and it was really strong on that stint. A really good job by the team to have the guts to stick it out that late, longer than anyone else, and I think from there on we were really good in the race. We were good on fuel; we were good on tires. After that yellow flag, we should have been more aggressive. It maybe lost us the podium, but it was a strong car. A few cars were a bit stronger, like Josef (Newgarden) was phenomenal. A big congrats to Will (Power). Hopefully next year we can give him a run for his money

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 XPEL TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH:

“We were doing our best for the team there and just covering Dixon. Covering our bases just so we wouldn’t get jumped by Ganssi and stuff. Once we got clear of him for the last stop it was just all about passing cars and using our speed. The XPEL car was so good, and the Chevy power was awesome. Great car — fantastic and we just picked them up one at a time and got to fourth in the points on the last lap. Really awesome!

PATO O’WARD, MO.5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, FINISHED 8TH:

I thought we had a great start. It was a great first stint. For some reason, everything went south from there. We have to look into it and really see why. I don’t have the answer for it right now. It was just extremely hard out there. We’ll look toward 2023.”

RINIS VEEKAY, NO, 21 BITCOIN RACING TEAM WITH BITNILE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISH 14TH:

“I am sad the season is over! We had a pretty good last race of the year. We were really fast, but the tire deg was just a bit too much in the last few laps of a stint. I am proud of the BitNile team! We made the right calls, had good pit stops and fought hard. 14th was the best we could do today. I am 12th in the championship, just like last year, but I am proud. We had many ups and many downs, but we learned a lot. For next year, we can definitely get higher in the championship and filter out those little mistakes and have more ups! I am also proud of Chevy for winning the manufacturer championship this year and finishing 1-2 in the driver championship!”

KYLE KIRKWOOD, NO.14 SEXTON PROPERTIES AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST:

“So last race done here in Laguna Seca, not the race that we that we really wanted. We were actually on for a pretty decent finish — it seemed like probably I think p 14 or p 15. And then I drove off going down the pit lane exit and then ultimately, we got a drive through [penalty] so that’s super unfortunate, but we didn’t have the pace to do what Alex Palou and Power did on a similar strategy to me, so that wasn’t absolutely perfect. But overall, it’s been a huge learning curve for me throughout the season. We’ve had a ton of fun. The team’s learned a lot. I’ve learned a lot. So hopefully we can just take everything that we’ve done this season and even this race weekend and transfer it into something for next year even though I won’t be part of the team. The team will be able to do it and I’ll be able to do it as well.”

CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET,FINISHED 24TH:

“We had a really great start and a great first stint. I really enjoyed battling with Marcus Ericsson, Scott Dixon and Felix Rosenqvist. I am not entirely sure what happened after that, we have some research to do because it felt like there was something that was affecting the way the car drove the rest of the race. I just kind of had to hold on to get to the finish. It’s a real shame, these last three races were really tough and it’s hard to end the year this way. There are a lot of great things to look back on though, we had some great moments. Just not the way we wanted to finish it! Super clean year, didn’t hit anything, ever. The BitNile guys did a great job. We’ll be back and be better next year.”

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 16 TURNONGREEN PARETTA AUTOSPORT CHEVROLET, FINISHED 22ND: “The race was not too bad. We did three stops, which I think four might have been a bit better in the long run. I felt we had really good pace and were able to pass people, which was positive. For the whole weekend, we had good pace. For today’s race we had a few things happen in the pits, so if we cleaned a couple little things, and even myself with the few mistakes here and there, we can be really competitive.

We had a new sponsor with TurnOnGreen, and it was cool to have all the sponsors and guests of Paretta Autosport here this weekend. I feel like our team is growing from that point of view so that’s really positive and hope to do more of it.”

DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 25TH:

“Not exactly how we wanted to wrap up the 2022 IndyCar season, a tough day out there for the No. 4 crew. I got spun early after a good start where we made some good positions. But I don’t feel like we really had the pace to hang on to those gains on the reds, we just seemed to really struggle there. So I was driving pretty defensively. And Jimmie got into the back of me, and when I looped around and just lit the tires up trying to get it turned back the right way and just roasted the rear tire. That was like lap three or four. So for the remainder of that red stint, the rears were just gone. And that pretty much put us a lap down right away. And then there was kind of no recovering from that. We were okay on blacks. I thought our pace was acceptable. But just on reds we really were lacking. And yeah, I think a big factor was just cooking the rears on that spin. In just lost track position which took us out of contention for any possible gain. So not how we wanted it to end but just I can thank AJ Foyt crew enough for this year. You know, it was up and down. We definitely had some great highlights and lots of stuff that we would have liked to have gone better and done better. Like from my side and the team side, just a little bit of a lack of consistency. I think overall we’re probably not satisfied with how things ended up this year. But definitely lots to learn and lots of information for everyone to digest and use to improve going forward.”

CALLUM ILOTT, NO. 77 JUNCOS HOLLINGER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 26TH:

TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:

Will Power
THE MODERATOR: Obviously joined by the 2022 NTT INDYCAR Series champion in Will Power, now a two-time champion in INDYCAR with the win. Nine podiums here in 2022, and of course five NTT P1 awards, snapping Mario Andretti’s all-time pole record yesterday.

That seemed like a long time ago compared to what you just did today. Congratulations. Third-place finish.

It’s Will’s ninth podium of the season, 94th of your career. I know it’s been a long day for you. How satisfying, where do you start when you try to describe something like this, what happened today?

WILL POWER: Yeah, what a great weekend all around. I couldn’t really enjoy the pole yesterday because I was so focused on the race.

A lot of stress. A lot of stress this weekend. Not really any other — I was pretty calm all year. Once I got in the car and we started rolling, it was fine. A bit sketchy in the middle of the race. I was digging —

THE MODERATOR: How nerve-racking?

WILL POWER: Deep, just I’ve got to give everything I can. I can’t lose any position here, and the car was — the tires, yeah, it was interesting. Some sets of tires were really good, and some were not quite so good. A bit of a difference there.

But yep, mentally drained. Couldn’t show the sort of emotion that I showed when I won the 500.

But it’s been like a long journey over the year. I think it’s pretty fitting that we just did another solid day, just a sort of long-game day like today. That’s just been the story of our year.

Q. Coming in, you knew if I finish on the podium, we’ve got the championship. Palou goes by you, Josef goes by you, you’re sitting on the bubble right there. Is that where the nerves started to kick in?

WILL POWER: That was the nerves coming in because Josef and I were on the same tires and he pulled a 12-second gap which just blew my mind. Then the next set of tires, suddenly I was actually quicker than him. It was a bit confusing to me because I just figured he was on reds but he wasn’t.

Yeah, car came alive in the last stint and no problem.

Q. I saw a banner afterwards, 42nd championship for Team Penske. You’re a part of that, obviously. You join a list of multiple championship winners from the team, guys like Rick Mears, who won three INDYCAR Series championships, Tom Sneva won a couple, Al Unser won a couple, Gil de Ferran, your teammate Josef Newgarden. That’s an elite racing team.

WILL POWER: It is, yeah, all very elite, and just so fortunate to drive for such a team, being given the chance to do this. A lot of gratitude. A lot of gratitude to the team and the sponsors, Verizon. Very lucky.

Q. We saw you making quite a few changes to your car in warmup. Did they make the car better, or did they make it worse, and that’s why the car’s handling was so tricky?

WILL POWER: The car was actually really good in the last stint. Just went back to last year’s setup with a little bit of a change. Yeah, a bit of — we just went from what we ran in qualifying to what we ran in the race last year, which seemed pretty strong. Yeah, it was tough, man. Those two black stints, I just touched the throttle and the thing was sliding. It was really on top of the road. I took some front wing out, and that second stint, then you just didn’t have front and you didn’t have rear, but as the stint went on, it got a bit better.

But then the last stint, the car came on. We put the front wing back in.

Yeah, it was interesting. I was surprised how much better the tire was in the last stint for me.

Q. Were the team constantly warning you what the gap was back to Grosjean or back to Rosenqvist?

WILL POWER: I was watching on my dash. I got it on my dash so I could tell how fast someone is, and once that sort of stabilized with Grosjean, I thought, okay, I’m looking not bad here.

And the fact that they said that Palou is 20 seconds up the road, I was like, well, if something doesn’t happen to him, you still have to try and maintain our position if it goes yellow or there’s a restart or any of that because it just can mix it all up.

Yeah, it’s just — I have to say, I dug deep all year, fought hard all year, and that was the case today again.

Q. Where is it that you pinpoint during the season that you thought this was going to happen, or was it just today’s race? Was it just a consistency between Team Penske and Team Chevy, as well, throughout the year?

WILL POWER: Yeah, we definitely took a big jump on drivability with the engine. That really, really helped this year, put our cars in a different window.

As far as knowing when I had the championship? About two to go, one to go. That’s about how it felt. I’ve been in positions where I’ve had races won and then something has happened.

Yeah, never — started to look good with 10 to go, but yeah, we turned up the last three races on our game in every respect. Getting the pole at Gateway, leading the most laps, but then obviously a wrong strategy call there, otherwise I feel like we would have won that race.

Then Portland on the front row, and then on the podium and then here again. Definitely turned up in the last three ready to go, not leaving anything on the table, not having to claw from the back or anything. Yeah, that was my mindset going into it.

Q. Will, this championship you didn’t put the top of the trophy on your head like you did in 2014. Are you learning how to celebrate championships a little differently now than that first one?

WILL POWER: I’m much older. I’m much older. That was Cindric’s fault. He told me to do that.

Q. But I know that that championship was the release of a lot of torment that you felt inside because you’d never won a championship before. You’d come close. We never really know who would have won the 2011 championship because of the way the season ended. 2012 you weren’t — you lost it, 2013 you were out of it, and then 2014 you were able to seal it. Were there any moments today where there was any reflections of, I can’t let one wheel get turned the wrong way today?

WILL POWER: Hmm, that’s kind of been all year. You’ve done it for long enough, you just iron out all those little stupid mistakes that potentially — that you have made over your career. Everyone does.

That’s what I did, I have done all year. It’s been a really focused, solid year all around. Great crew, finished every lap of every race.

We look back at a couple of these years and some of the mechanical failures, some of the things that have gone wrong, it just shows when you’ve got the whole combination together, we’re going to be there fighting for the championship.

Q. When Newgarden came all the way from the back to the front and then got ahead of you, was there any moment where you wondered, like, how did he do that?

WILL POWER: No, I knew he was going to be there. I knew it. It’s pretty crazy, though, I actually put him a lap down, right? Was that right? He had pit — no, that’s wrong. I pitted and came out in front of him, so I actually got a whole pit stop on him but then that yellow would have closed him up significantly and would have helped him. But after that, I was like, ooh, we’ve got to dig deep here, just keep digging, and that’s what I did.

Q. You didn’t have Beau when you won in ’14 and he got to celebrate with you today. How special was that?

WILL POWER: It’s special every time I see the little guy. Doesn’t matter if it’s a championship or just getting up in the morning. Just, yeah, God, it’s the best.

Q. How do you and Faustino keep things as fresh as you have for all these years? That’s not a common thing.

WILL POWER: Yeah, no, I want to say that we just know each other well. We actually worked better this year together than ever, really. We really did.

I think he’s seen me mature. Think about it, he’s been with me since ’07, so I think he’s probably seen a slow progression of maturity, and this year he’s seen absolutely top level of that because he’s obviously heard me on the radio for years, he’s heard me — he’s been in that engineering office for years.

Yeah, and I think we both have together — we’ve got a lot of respect for each other. It’s just, you cannot beat experience. You cannot beat experience. That’s all I’ll say. Every scenario that can happen to you to make a race go wrong has happened to me and him, and it happens to everyone, and just at this stage of your career, you just know the game so well.

Yeah, and you just play on that experience.

Q. Can you also share some thoughts about your crew chief Trevor, just a big bear of a guy, smile from ear to ear. Today was a big achievement for him in his career, as well.

WILL POWER: Yeah, I’ve had a few different crew chiefs, but I would say that he is the most positive, lighthearted guy I’ve had and very nurturing just with the guys. I think everyone is happy on the crew.

I’ve had crew chiefs that were really tough on the guys. They demand everyone to really do their job properly. But Trev is just — he’s a great guy, a great human, and very good at his job, and he keeps everyone calm, including me. He just says, just do what you do, man; nothing special. I’ve been saying that, too, on the radio. We come in for a stop, nothing special, boys, just do what you know.

My outside rear guy it was his first year and they were the quickest on pit lane, I believe. I think they won the pit stop competition. That’s a first-year guy. He’s a good friend of mine, Adam Jarrett. They’re all good friends of mine, but that’s impressive.

Q. I know Team Penske obviously doesn’t play favorites. That’s been evident in all the discussions that have been had over the last week, especially since Portland. But when you have one win and Newgarden has got five and McLaughlin has got three, does it make you anxious at all? Does it feel awkward that you’re leading the points and you’re the guy who’s going to win the championship, but would you like to have more wins to kind of show — I know there’s no No. 1 driver, but how does that feel?

WILL POWER: Nine podiums, that’s pretty strong. Definitely gave up some wins just for consistency. Definitely could have attacked harder when I was on really good tires.

I know the races — St. Pete was won on the restart. I actually just underdrove like you wouldn’t believe to make sure that I finished that stint in a good position instead of — I could have easily attacked and passed McLaughlin. Instead I actually lost a position on reds.

The other one was Mid-Ohio, restart on reds and just attack here or I can end up — I think I’ll take third. Same with the second race at Iowa. I’ll take second. Make sure the tires last, make sure I finish second. There’s definitely some wins left on the table if you were going for that.

But I’ve said it from the beginning of the year, I said, I’m playing the long game all year. I’ve never done that, and I’m doing it this year. I don’t really care about the wins; I just want to win another championship, and I played that game. Maybe I go out next year and try to win races.

You know, yeah. If you want to win a championship, you’ve got to play a long game.

Q. You said on the NBC interview with Marty that Liz had told you you were going to break Mario’s record and you were going to win the championship.

WILL POWER: She said that. She said, I believe — because there’s probably a time where I was disappointed in something or just saying like — talking about my career or something. She goes, I believe you’re going to beat Mario’s record this year and win another championship. That’s what she said. Legit, she said that. She said that a couple times in the year, and it actually gave me confidence. It actually like — that’s how much faith I have in her gut feel. It kind of made me feel, okay, yeah, she’s said things like this before. Like the 500, she said, I believe you’re going to win one. I think you’re going to win one.

Q. You don’t remember where you were?

WILL POWER: Yeah, I do. We were standing in the kitchen. I remember it exactly.

Q. Just some point during the off-season? Was it in December or January —

WILL POWER: Yeah, it was — she had said it a couple times, but I know it was before the season, and she said it again during the season. Even before this weekend, she said, I know you’re going to do it. She said that. I know you’re going to do it. Man, it’s so much pressure — not pressure, but everything has got to go right. But deep down, I was like, I know how life flows at times, and I kind of thought that this could happen.

But yeah, she said that. Yeah, she has a good gut feel, a good gut feel for things.

Q. You’ve said a couple of times here, you said yesterday, you haven’t really been able to fully show your emotions because you’ve been in locked-in serious mode all week. When do you get to let loose?

WILL POWER: Yeah, I don’t know. Just a great feeling of satisfaction. Yeah, I don’t really drink or anything. I’ll have some green teas tonight and enjoy it. I got in the ocean for 30 minutes. That was cold. I think it’s 50 degrees. I stayed in for 30. My dad is like, don’t get in for more than 15.

Q. Earlier in the race, I believe you exited one of your pit stops behind Kellett and then you had Daly a couple seconds in front of you; you were worried about getting help, getting by them. How worried were you something was going to happen at that point that maybe things were going to go haywire completely?

WILL POWER: My worry was I had a two-second gap on Grosjean and I wanted to make sure I jumped him in the stop. That was my worry. I was like, this second-second gap, I don’t want to get held up. That was really my only worry.

Q. Looking at the whole season, what was the thing that surprised you the most about everything? Was it Scott and what he did or was there something else that happened that surprised you most of all?

WILL POWER: I think based — I actually felt like we didn’t have a bad car last year, it just seemed like bad luck as a team. This year everything just seemed to click. I don’t know whether that surprises me or not.

I would say the most — not even surprising this year. The competition is just insane.

But what’s maybe surprising is the gap we had to the field as a team. We just seemed to execute in every way. Not necessarily faster — well, we were faster in some respects, some races, but just getting it right, pit lane and on track.

Q. Will, I know they showed some clips on the pre-race show on the grid, and at least to us it looked like you were very nervous, very focused. Can you kind of describe what the emotions were like leading up to the start of today’s race?

WILL POWER: Yeah, it was waking up at 3:00 a.m. a couple times over the weekend, and you can always relax yourself back to sleep, but it’s obviously a big day. Everyone has put a ton of effort in, and you don’t want to let it go. Those nerves make you perform at a high level.

I had those nerves going into qualifying. It just pumps you up to another level. That’s what it does for me.

A couple of times in my career I’ve actually gotten in the car too relaxed, and it just doesn’t work. I’ve been around long enough to understand the perfect amount of sort of nervousness you’ve got to have. You’ve got to have it. You’ve got to have it. Your subconscious won’t perform to what you want it to if you don’t. Your subconscious needs to understand the importance of what you’re doing and then you can put yourself at another level.

Q. Talk about the faith that you put in Liz and her gut feelings; they talked in the pre race today about very early in your career, Liz talked you out of taking other jobs and to stick around and wait for an opportunity in INDYCAR.

WILL POWER: Yeah, that was true, too.

Q. So you believed her long before she was your wife or even your girlfriend. What is it that has made you believe in her gut feelings?

WILL POWER: Well, things like that. I mean, legitimately told me to sign the contract for A1 GP, didn’t have anything else, and she told me to get out of that contract because Penske or Ganassi might call you. I was just like, there’s no way, but I did it anyway. I don’t know, I just did it. Then sure enough, she goes, yeah, Helio just got arrested. I’m like, what? What? Derek is down there, he’s talking to Roger — no, it was uncanny. Unbelievable. She actually talked me out of that contract. Yeah, I did end up with Penske. It just blew my mind. How could she know that? She didn’t know, she just felt that.

Q. What else has she felt? What else has she predicted?

WILL POWER: She has good intuition.

Q. You being you and you allowed yourself to get nervous this weekend; was there any point knowing you just needed to finish a certain place? Did you relax at any point during the race?

WILL POWER: I did not relax at any point. I knew I had to keep digging, and yeah, I went hard the whole race.

In that restart, Josef is P5 already, I’m like, ooh. Then he had to go another stop, but yeah, it was high stress the whole race, but remained extremely focused on it. Yeah, extracted the most out of it, and yep, it was very like our whole season. It was a very solid, consistent, no-mistake day.

Q. Do you think you’ve done enough to earn another contract?

WILL POWER: You would hope so. If not, there’s plenty of teams to —

Q. Yeah? Tell us about it.

WILL POWER: McLaren, I signed with them, so…

Q. But then you’ll have to deny it on Twitter like 10 minutes later.

WILL POWER: Yeah, we’ll see. We’ll see what happens. Yeah, you would hope so.

Q. It’s been in the media here a lot recently about Formula 1 things, but INDYCAR can hold its head high when it has a champion like you and you’re consistent across all the disciplines of circuits that you go to. You have to be consistent across the lot, don’t you.

WILL POWER: Yeah, you do. You can’t leave anything on the table. That’s what makes this series so tough and unique is that you’ve got all these disciplines. Even the difference between a road course and a street course is quite significant in our series because the street course is extremely rough and bumpy and tight. There’s not a series like it.

I’m going to say it’s the toughest series in the world because of what you’ve got to master to win it and the competition level. You don’t even have to take my word for it; just do the math on lap times, and you’ll see that we’re the toughest, the most competitive series in the world.

Q. When you look at it today and just using Dixon as the example as someone who qualifies midfield and you’re just further up the road, again, it’s that same thing, the series is so equal, people look at it and go, he’s midfield but it’s thousands of seconds separating you guys in qualifying.

WILL POWER: It is. When we were at Portland, I was like seven tenths covered 20 cars. Seven tenths covering 20 cars. You’re never going to see that in something like Formula 1. Never. It’s the ultimate driver’s series. It’s the ultimate driver’s series.

Q. Will, you mentioned a couple of times through the year the mental approach changing, something that you learnt in the off-season or figured out in the off-season. You said that you might tell us at the end of the season if you won the series. Are you able to share that with us now, what the secret was?

WILL POWER: No, I will only say it when I retire. But yeah, definitely — I’m older, more experienced, just know the game so well, know the correct mental approach to get the most out of myself and know when to go, when not to go, and just all those little details that you can only get by experience.

Yeah, it’s a solid year all around as a group, not just me. I mean, the team have done a great job, the group that I’ve had on my car, the pit stops, the strategies, everything. Total team effort.

Yeah, that’s the only way you’ll win in this series is absolutely a group effort.

Q. How excited do you feel having in mind the strength you showed us on the last round, knowing that you have a lot of pace in qually and race for the next season?

WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, very encouraging for next year. I’ve learnt a lot this year, as well. You never stop learning. Having two really good teammates helps.

Yeah, look forward to some time off, to be honest. I haven’t seen my parents in three years. I want to get back over to Australia and relax and then I’ll start thinking about what happens next year.

Q. What do you think was the most satisfying moment of the whole season, not including this one?

WILL POWER: Yeah, the most satisfying race was definitely Detroit. I wanted to win that one. And winning the championship, extremely satisfying. You think about it this weekend, winning the championship and surpassing Mario Andretti in poles, very satisfying. Very satisfying.

Q. Going along that satisfying thing, we spoke at Nashville after the race, and you said, I can’t wait to fight Scott Dixon for a championship. How much more satisfying is this championship knowing that you fought Scott through the rest of the way he was tied for second in points and now the title is yours?

WILL POWER: Yeah, it was a hard fight to the end. You’re fighting Dixon and Newgarden, like two of the best guys in the series. It’s very satisfying. Very satisfying.

That matters. It’s not fun — it’s fun at the time when you win with ease, but it’s way better when it was a difficult fight to the end, which it was. It adds to the satisfaction.

Q. Did you ever think it was you against everyone else at Penske this year?

WILL POWER: Me against everyone else? Well, the two boys — well, I guess they’re younger and similar in age and enjoying having fun. But no. Look, I find Scott, I find McLaughlin a great guy, easy to get along with, and Josef is, as well. They’re good guys. Fiercely competitive, and I expect Scott to be a legit championship contender next year.

Yeah, I said it a couple weeks ago; I’m going to say this is the strongest combination that Penske has ever had as far as driver, speed, ability. A tough group. Tough, tough trio.

Q. What about winning it with Ron Ruzewski. How big of a combination is that because for the longest time you were paired with Tim Cindric, but to be able to get Ron as the guy that works with you, and how special is it to give him this championship?

WILL POWER: It’s great. It’s great. Ron has been fantastic, very calm on the radio, never, ever loses his cool, puts things in perspective. Him and Dave, they’re just a great group. The whole group, and Dave in particular, man. I just feel — I really wanted to win it for him and Robby Atkinson, two guys that have been with me — Dave has been with me the whole time but Robby since 2010. They deserved another championship. They did. These guys are extremely good at their jobs, and I didn’t want to ruin it for them.

Q. I wanted to ask when you decided to go to this playing the long game thing, were they fully behind you doing that, or were there days when Dave or Robby or Ron were like, s— we could have won that race?

WILL POWER: Look, you’re never disappointed. Looking from a championship perspective, every time you get a podium, that’s not the day you’re looking back on it. You’re looking back on the day you finished 19th like at Road America. They’re the days that lose championships. Top threes don’t. We got a lot of them this year. Anytime I got a top four, I was pretty happy.

But in the past I would have been really pissed off. When your teammates are winning, that was a big change. It’s like, I don’t care. I’m going to weather their storm while they’re having a good run, and just — that in itself was a mental change. It’s like, I’m not getting pissed off with a top four, where before I would have been, just after the race, just seething.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN

THE MODERATOR: We continue to wrap up the 2022 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey, Josef Newgarden, from 25th to second on a four-stop strategy today. It was an incredible show, first runner-up finish of the season, sixth podium of the season, 47th of Josef’s career. Also joined by today’s winner, Alex Palou in the NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, 32nd advantage when it was all said and done at the end of the race, picking up his first win and only win of the season, fourth of his career, sixth podium of the season and 15th of his career.

Q. Josef, you’ve talked about what a struggle this year has been for you personally, and also one of the first things you said on the broadcast. How are you feeling right now?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Ooh. You know, in a lot of ways, proud. I think I’m overwhelmingly proud of our team. We came up short in the 2 car, but at the end of the day, the team excelled tremendously this year. Outside of Indianapolis, I don’t think there’s a team that was in touching distance to Team Penske.

I’m filled with a lot of pride because I think the world of everybody on this team, not just the 2 car, but everyone on the 12, everyone on the 3. We’re all very close.

I’m sad for the 2 car crew, but I’m also elated for the 12 car crew because there’s a lot of really good people there, and really a win for one car is a win for all of us.

Obviously we’re all competitive, and we want to personally be the winners, but when we win as a team, it is big for everybody. I’m filled with a lot of pride.

But I’m also filled with a little bit of a relief. I’m kind of happy to come into this off-season reset, recharge, and then figure out a way to just hit everybody harder next year, and I know we can do that.

The other overwhelming positive in my mind is I know we can do better than this year. I just know we can. When we put it together, I’m just telling you, just watch out, because when we put it together, it’s going to be big.

Q. You sound a lot like “Perfectionist Josef” which you seem to think is a little bit of a problem. How do you balance it?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, I can be, but I’ve been that way my whole life and I’ve figured out how to manage it up to this point.

I think it probably needs a little bit of tuning this off-season, but we know how to do that.

Q. For Josef, looking back at the spin in qualifying, you have this great comeback, but Will finishes 3rd and Palou seemed like he was kind of untouchable. Did that ultimately not matter as much as it might have? You guys did everything you possibly could to maximize what you had and it still might not have been enough?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I think it’s a different day if you start on pole for sure. That gives us a very different picture. We’re going to run a different race and we’re going to run it from no deficit. We started this race last, so we started at a big deficit.

You know, it’s hard to predict. If we didn’t have the deficit, I don’t know if we would have had enough to beat this guy today. I mean, he was stellar, and there’s no doubt about it, so I don’t want to marginalize what he did.

But it’s a different day when you start first. We wouldn’t have had that deficit to make up.

I don’t know how that would have turned out. I don’t know if it would have kind of changed the 12 car’s program. Really we win the pole, we win the day, all I need is for Power to finish fourth, and that seems pretty doable, right.

Ultimately the spin was almost the nail in the coffin this weekend. It just was — we didn’t need that to happen. It was such a silly thing to happen, too. It wasn’t some grandiose problem. There’s one curb you don’t want to touch and I accidentally touched it, and it created a big issue.

Yeah, hard to say how it would have come out if we had put the thing on pole yesterday, but I would have rather have done that and seen what happened than have to come from the back today.

Q. Josef, did you have anything left? You looked like you gave everything you had just to get back up to the front.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, that was everything I had today. I think we were going to be — we were short ultimately to Alex, no doubt. We’re going to have to reassess and figure out how we make ourselves a little bit better to the deficit that we had to Alex in those last couple stints. I’ve got some ideas already, and I think if we were going to run this race again, I already know what we’d try, and if we start up further then that changes the game, too. I’m hopeful for another shot.

As far as what we put together today, that was everything we had, no doubt.

Q. At the start of the race when you were back there, you were passing guys like it was a video game. Did it feel that way, as fast as you were picking them off?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I was just old-school driving. I was going back to junior days. What happens happens. I’m just going as hard as I can.

Q. Josef, what made the corkscrew your preferred place to pass today, and did the team remind you at all that hey, teammate passing here when you’re going after Will in the corkscrew, as well?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I was just so good off 6. I think this whole weekend, just been able to get big runs on people. So it made it kind of an opportune spot to pass.

I think that’s why it was one of the best places to get a pass done was just the strength of our car in that particular corner.

I think it swings around this track. Some people are really good on the mid speeds, some people are extremely good off low speeds. I think you’ve got to play to your strengths, and our car in the mid speed was really phenomenal all weekend, so I think that’s why we were able to capitalize on that area.

Q. Any extra care going after Will in that area, or was it just like anybody else?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, just normal racing like anybody else.

Q. Josef, I wanted to ask, you said it’s been a very taxing year. I wonder if you could be a bit more specific. Is it because when you got what seemed to be knocked back, and where do you feel you could possibly improve? You said you would come back even harder in 2023. I just wondered if you saw anything within yourself that you needed to get better at.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Look, if I can figure out how to predict yellows, that would be a magical find in the off-season. That’s the number one thing I want to figure out is how do you predict these things.

If we had that figured out, this year would be very different.

A lot of times that’s how it goes. It’s INDYCAR racing. They’re hard to predict. Things go your way one moment and they go against you the next, and you just kind of ride the waves. But some years in particular just seem to be bad stretches, and this year was most taxing because of the roller coaster. It was one weekend we’d be winning the race, next weekend it was going sideways for one reason or another. I wouldn’t put any negative or problem on anyone within the team. I don’t think we’re going to go into the off-season and say, hey, we’ve got to change a bunch of stuff. Timing-wise it was just a really tough year timing-wise, so mentally it was a little bit of a drain because the more success you find, the more you demand perfection from each race, so the more taxing it is when it’s not going correct.

But I don’t think it’s anything that we could predict or really alter. I think we just need a little better timing here.

But everyone did their job this season. I’m really proud of everybody. It’s not like we need a lot of changes. I think we called good races. We pitted the car well. It’s reliable, as reliable as you can expect. There’s always one or two things that are going to happen, but I think we have really reliable cars, so I’m not going to be demanding a lot of changes. It’s just need a little bit of momentum to roll our way consistently next year.

Q. Josef, sort of big picture as the veteran, this season had the fifth tightest — five of you made it the tightest championship race since 2003, this crazy silly season going on. All these things have happened, and the product is so good and the competition is so good and Bus Bros is good.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I thought you didn’t like Bus Bros? In the early days you weren’t a fan.

Q. Listen, I’m a creative contributor, Brian will tell you, to Bus Bros for an upcoming idea. Anyway, just what kind of season do you think this was? Penske dominated but yet it was all over the place.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I mean, look, it’s an exciting product. It really is. Of course I want to sit here and sell the sport and say how great it is. It’s the most competitive, compelling product you’re going to find in motorsports, but I think that’s all true.

When you tune in and you really watch and you get engaged, it’s extra exciting. I mean, it’s hella exciting for a motorsports fan.

I just don’t know that you can match it. I really don’t. That’s not to discredit other forms. I’m a racer. I love watching Formula 1, I love watching NASCAR, sports cars. It’s not to try and reduce others to try and build ourselves up, but when I just speak about our product, I really think it’s the most compelling product out there.

If anything we’ve just got to keep continuing to amplify the product because the more people that really get engaged and understand the personalities and understand how INDYCAR racing works and what makes it interesting and fun, the more we educate people and show them, I think the bigger it’s going to get. I truly believe that. We don’t have to have a better product, we just have to keep selling it, figure out ways to do that better and better.

So I think we’re learning. This year has been a big learning year for Penske Entertainment and I think they’re on it and I think they’re committed, and there’s no one better to be backing you than Roger Penske, and I think he’s absolutely committed to the sport. We just need to make sure we don’t flatten out here. Whatever we learned this year, whatever was positive, we just need to double down and keep growing it, because it is the best damned product on the planet. There’s no doubt. I have no doubt about it.

Q. You had an interesting start to your year with a brand new race engineer. You guys won a whole bunch of races together, which isn’t the norm for a brand new driver and engineer combo, especially Eric first time as a race engineer in INDYCAR. Can you talk about the season with him because this doesn’t happen very often.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, it’s been a tremendous year for our group. I think Eric did a really stellar job. I think the strength of our team was that we had no egos. Everybody contributed, and we were all team players. Especially Eric. Eric leaned on everybody as much as he needed to and we leaned on him.

I think that’s what made us strong this year. We didn’t have any aggressive personalities where one person was trying to lead over the other. We were just trying to maximize each other and support each other, and so whether that’s Eric Leichtle or it was Luke Mason or James Schnabel, a lot of people, the core people on the 2 car, or you look at Chad or Travis, everybody was working together as a unit.

I think that makes a big difference when you have as many new people as we had, because the pitfalls when you have as many new people as we did on our team, when you have someone that’s just trying to overly aggressively trying to take the charge, sometimes it can go sideways with inexperience. Because we had so much inexperience on the car, the way we leaned on each other and utilized each other is what made us strong.

I’m very proud of the effort. I think we maximized the performance side of what we were doing. I don’t think there was any deficiencies there whatsoever. Obviously timing wasn’t kind to us for the most part this year, but when it came to excelling within the performance and what we could control, I think we nailed it, so I’m very proud of Eric and the entire team. I think they did a tremendous job.

But yeah, we didn’t change much. We tried a couple of stuff that worked at Portland. We struggled in practice 1, like couldn’t make the reds work. Then practice 2 was fine. Qualifying we had some up and downs all the time, like I think we went through 5, nothing, and always P6, P6.

I don’t know, something clicked this morning. We made some changes, so the car was not as the test. Obviously the test helped a ton. We were able to try some stuff, some ideas that we had that we learned from other part of the teams during the season, and some worked, some didn’t.

Yeah, I was super happy when we tested here.

But these guys still made it work without testing here, which is something we need to get there. Like we showed up in Portland and they were super strong and we said, maybe it’s because they tested here, let’s go to Laguna and show them how to go fast here, but they got the pole, they were super fast.

Yeah, I think we just need to work a bit more and make sure we can close the car.

Q. Josef, do you have something in your head like keeping the rounds to talk about what you have to change this year in order to become champion?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: You know, for sure we just needed to have a more consistent season. There’s no doubt. I think that the peak performance was there all year. We just didn’t have the consistency. That ultimately is what put us in an unfavorable position when we came here.

If we can clean that up, I have no doubt we can challenge for the championship again next year.

Q. Josef, did the race in terms of you guys’ strategy moving up the field, that first chunk of the race when you were able to jump from 25th to fifth and eventually second, did that go about you were hoping it would or how do you feel like this race could have played out differently for you?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Like we were talking earlier, the best scenario would have been to qualify on pole yesterday. If I didn’t have the error, I think it’s a different conversation when you start from the front.

It’s hard to predict. I think Alex had a superior day today. He really did. Even starting on pole, it would have been questionable could we have toppled him today.

But it’s an unknown. You’ve got to start up front to see.

But from where we started, I think it’s about as good as you can expect. I felt like we had one of the best cars in the field all weekend, and when we had the opportunity to race people, we were better than them and we were able to pass them.

So it went about as I expected, but probably a little bit better early on. I felt like we were able to make more progress than I predicted we could in the first stint, so that was probably the most surprising bit of the race.

Q. Ultimately was it just how you had to push and charge to get up through the field, is that why ultimately you ended up having to make that extra stop?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: You know, I think we were kind of committed to that strategy. We had a tire difference and we wanted to play to it. So I think that’s why we made the attempt that we did to still run a four-stop. Still wasn’t enough, and we were better earlier in the race. We were really good for the first half, and then the second half I think we got smoked a bit more by Alex, and we just could not maximize those final two stints. We really need to look at that because I think the strength in the beginning of the race was so good and we lost a bit of it towards the end, and if we didn’t lose as much of it, I think we might have been able to make more use of that fourth stop, but ultimately we were still just shy on pace to Alex, and I think that was the story at the end. We were just shy on pace.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team Chevy Driver Title Fight Notes – Laguna Seca

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES

FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY

WEATERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA IN SALINAS, CALIFORNIA

CHAMPION QUOTES – WILL POWER

SEPT. 11, 2022

Power earns second INDYCAR driver championship

Driver of No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet finishes third in final race of season

Pole-sitter Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet, finished third in the season-ending Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey and earned his second NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver championship. It is the seventh driver championship since 2012 for Chevrolet, which also wrapped up its seventh Manufacturer Championship. Champion quick quotes:

COULD YOU HAVE PLANNED A MORE PERFECT WEEKEND?

“No. It’s so surreal. In the offseason my wife said to me I believe you’re going to beat Mario’s record and you’re going to win the championship. It actually gave me confidence that I could do it. That’s how much confidence I have in her gut feel. I just couldn’t believe that they came true.”

YOU PLAYED THE LONG GAME BY STAYING CALM. WHAT WERE YOU THIKING WHEN YOU SAW JOSEF NEWGARDEN GO PAST YOU?

“I just knew I had to get the most out of those stints and not lose any more positions. I had to drive the thing today. It was on the edge, very loose. What a relief to get that done. I can’t thank Verizon enough. They’ve been with me for close to 12 years now and without them I would never have had this career and obviously Roger Penske and the whole team and Chevrolet.”

HOW MUCH OF YOUR OFFSEASON MENTAL ADJUSTMENT HAS LED TO THIS MOMENT?

“From the beginning it was just playing the long game, not necessarily going for the big wins and all that. As I’ve gotten older, I have a lot more gratitude for my life and what I get to do. Not everyone gets to do this and I’m lucky and I appreciate it a lot.”

HOW MUCH DID YOU RELY ON EXPERIENCE THIS WEEKEND?

“That’s exactly it; you’ve accumulated so much experience, you understand how races go and you understand that you can never give up no matter what it seems like, so you just keep digging and it just kept unfolding. A solid day.”

Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of Performance and Motorsports:

“It’s always exciting to watch Will Power behind the wheel of an INDYCAR. Will started on the pole, led the first lap and managed this race with the No. 12 team to clinch the 2022 championship. It’s been so special to work with Will, Ron Ruzewski, David Faustino and the No.12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet team all season long. We’re proud that both of Will’s championships have been powered by Chevrolet’s 2.2-liter V6.”

TEAM CHEVY POST QUALIFYING DRIVER QUOTES – WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES

GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY

WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA

TEAM CHEVY POST QUALIFYING DRIVR QUOTES

SEPTEMBER 10, 2022

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, POLE WINNER:

CAN YOU TAKE A MOMENT TO THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ACHIEVED TODAY?

“Tremendous milestone. To be up there with an iconic guy like Mario is amazing. When I think about the era that he raced in, how dangerous it was and how much more a risk it was, it just blows my mind that I’m there with Mario. It’s great to have Mario here. Someone I respect tremendously and was a massive fan of growing up. I want to swap a helmet with him, put his in my collection if he would do it.”  

WHAT ALLOWED YOU THIS YEAR TO WIN ALL THE POLES TO GET TO THIS MOMENT? 

“Really focusing in on certain races that we knew we had a good shot at pole.”

NOW THE FOCUS TURNS TOWARD TOMORROW. WHAT IS THE MINDSET?

“We put ourselves in a great position to lead the first lap to get one point and hopefully lead the most laps to get more points. Competitors with better tires but we have track position for right now, so we’ll have a good think about it tonight and see how we attack that one. But it will be a long day. I’ll do my best. “

Mario Andretti, who held the record with 67 poles:

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS MAN?

“Awesome. I know how much I loved qualifying and I can see that he’s the same. It’s just trying to reach and just try to do the lap that you cannot repeat and that’s what puts you on pole.”

DID YOU KNOW THAT THIS MOMENT WOULD EVENTUALLY COME?

“Absolutely. It’s great fort the series, great for the sport. Records are made to be broken. It’s with a good man. Will Power throughout his career has been a really good qualifier. He deserves this. He’s worked for it and he’s the best when it comes to qualifying.”

WHAT IS IT THAT SETS A DRIVER APART IN QUALIFYING?

“How badly do you want it? If I had the specific formula I’d bottle it and sell it. It’s just a matter of really wanting it and just doing that lap that you know you can’t repeat. That’s how records are made.”

CALLUM ILOTT, NO. 77 JUNCOS HOLLINGER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 2ND

 “This shows what we can do with what we have in a certain way. I mean, we started the season with two and a half sets of dampers and one of them is for ovals. We finished with, I think, three and a half, and they’re not much different to the first one. We just bought another version of the first set and adapted them a little bit.

Our terms of development this year have been what we had to start with, and again, just fine-tuning it. Whether it’s me and the driving and the experience, we’ve just been chipping away and trying to do a good job with that, and yeah, it’s been tough, especially with no teammate to kind of have anything to use very well, learn from. To get to this stage and have a result like this, I think they’re all super chuffed, and yeah, amazing job.

At the end of the day even if it’s just one lap at the end, it’s great to do it, finish it like this, and I think gives us so much more motivation in the off-season when they get some time to really digest everything and work on it.

PATO O’WARD, MO.5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 6TH:

“It was a decent day for us. We got into the Firestone Fast Six and then made the wrong tire choice and was just on the wrong tire to do that run, which put us P6, but it’s not a bad position to start tomorrow. It’s a tire degradation race. Track position is important. It will be interesting to see who chooses a three-stopper or four-stopper, and we’ll let it rip from there.”

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 XPEL TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 8TH:

YOU GUYS HAD A QUICK CAR, WHAT HAPPENED OVER THERE IN TURN FOUR SCOTT?

“Yeah, trying a bit hard.  We missed the balance all weekend in the Xpel Chevy and unfortunately we made just a little mistake there. Just trying to find the limits and get confidence in this car. I am really proud of the guys because we were nowhere in practice and they really shook this one down and gave us a great car. They did a great job and I think we have something to play with tomorrow. We have some tires up our sleeve and we are in a decent starting spot.”

HOW MUCH OF YOUR FOCUS TOMORROW WILL BE TRYING TO FINISH SECOND IN THE POINTS AS OPPOSED TO HELPING WILL POWER OR JOSEF NEWGARDEN WIN A TITLE?

“Look, we all drive for Team Penske. When the team wins, we win. We will do what we need to do to get the best result for the team. Whether that is Will (Power) winning the championship or us trying to get 1-2-3 or 1-2. We will do what we need to do. I am very happy with this organization and proud to have signed on and proud to represent all these partners and we just want to do a good job for all them.”

 FELIX ROSENQIST, NO. 7 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET. QUALIFIED 9TH:

“In Round 1, Group 2, we did 71.3 second lap and tried to do the same in Round 2, but we were missing four tenths of that lap, so I’m not really sure what happened. Just kind of lacking grip a little bit, something on tire warmup or something I could have done different, but a top 10 is pretty solid. I would have been happy with a little bit higher starting position here, but I think I have a good opportunity tomorrow.”

 RINIS VEEKAY, NO, 21 BITCOIN RACING TEAM WITH BITNILE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 14TH: We definitely got better from practice to qualifying, but we should have advanced. A car came out in front of me on my second lap, so even though my time should have improved, it didn’t. It’s a bummer, but we definitely moved in the right direction. We should be in good shape for the warm up tomorrow and we’ve got some good things to try for the race.”

CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET. QUALIFIED 15TH: “Our qualifying session was a bit chaotic. To produce one lap and just get about a tenth and a half away from transferring was actually a good step forward for us. Last year we struggled here, I’m proud of the team for working really hard on this BitNile car. We’ll just get after it in the race. It’s going to be really interesting with the tire degradation, we have a set of reds that are saved. We’ll see what happens. We were close, definitely close!”

KYLE KIRKWOOD, NO.14 SEXTON PROPERTIES AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 17TH:

“So, with qualifying finished, we were one of the few to do red red and it paid off for us because we were in the lead in the first half of qualifying. With the red coming out, we almost got super lucky there. Ultimately, we qualified I think P9 in our group. Not exactly where we want to be, but I think we found some pace between practice one, practice two and qualifying. We are constantly progressing, and we will go into the final practice tomorrow morning hopefully with a good race car and the big thing here is making the tires last.  If we can do that, we have a lot of people starting around us that should be up front as well and hopefully we can just move forward from there.”

DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET,QUALIFIED 24TH:

“Our last qualifying of the year and not where we want to be in qualifying P24. We have closed the gap from where we were at the start of the weekend, so I am happy we found some little bit of time on those new tires and we had banked on going red red but I wasn’t really able to find a gap in that first run because we started at the back of pit lane and just at the mercy of that accordion effect.  So then on that second set, it was really tight coming in and its pretty much hand over hand and grabbed the clutch coming in and I didn’t quite get it into pit lane speed.  Then we sat there and changed tires with the car running so when I launched, I accelerated over pit lane speed, and we got docked there. We had to do a drive through and that probably didn’t help us. It just wasn’t enough to transfer there by seven tenths or so. But the real question tomorrow is how well we keep the tires under us for the long run. That is the name of the game here with how abrasive the track surface is.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 25TH:

“I just made a mistake, it’s a real shame. I think we have the fastest car in the field right here, so, yeah, it’s a bummer, it’s a bummer for everybody. It’s not over but it’s not ideal, what just happened here. It is what it is.”

SIMONA DESILVESTRO, NO. 16 THUN SWITZERLAND PARETTA AUTO SPORT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 26TH:

It was a tough day. We got stuck behind people that were gapping and we just didn’t put a (good) lap in which was a bummer. This morning I felt it was going to be a good day and we were going to have been a good qualifying result. Anyways, it is what it is and we’ll go out there tomorrow and do our best.

Team Chevy’s Power sets all-time INDYCAR pole record

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES

FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY

WEATERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA IN SALINAS, CALIFORNIA

TEAM CHEVY NTT P1 AWARD WINNER QUOTES – WILL POWER

SEPT. 10, 2022

Power sets all-time INDYCAR pole record with 68

Points leader breaks tie with Mario Andretti, seeks to wrap up second title in season finale

CAN YOU TAKE A MOMENT TO THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ACHIEVED TODAY?

“Tremendous milestone. To be up there with an iconic guy like Mario is amazing. When I think about the era that he raced in, how dangerous it was and how much more a risk it was, it just blows my mind that I’m there with Mario. It’s great to have Mario here. Someone I respect tremendously and was a massive fan of growing up. I want to swap a helmet with him, put his in my collection if he would do it.”  

WHAT ALLOWED YOU THIS YEAR TO WIN ALL THE POLES TO GET TO THIS MOMENT? 

“Really focusing in on certain races that we knew we had a good shot at pole.”

NOW THE FOCUS TURNS TOWARD TOMORROW. WHAT IS THE MINDSET?

“We put ourselves in a great position to lead the first lap to get one point and hopefully lead the most laps to get more points. Competitors with better tires but we have track position for right now, so we’ll have a good think about it tonight and see how we attack that one. But it will be a long day. I’ll do my best. “

Mario Andretti, who held the record with 67 poles:

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS MAN?

“Awesome. I know how much I loved qualifying and I can see that he’s the same. It’s just trying to reach and just try to do the lap that you cannot repeat and that’s what puts you on pole.”

DID YOU KNOW THAT THIS MOMENT WOULD EVENTUALLY COME?

“Absolutely. It’s great fort the series, great for the sport. Records are made to be broken. It’s with a good man. Will Power throughout his career has been a really good qualifier. He deserves this. He’s worked for it and he’s the best when it comes to qualifying.”

WHAT IS IT THAT SETS A DRIVER APART IN QUALIFYING?

“How badly do you want it? If I had the specific formula I’d bottle it and sell it. It’s just a matter of really wanting it and just doing that lap that you know you can’t repeat. That’s how records are made.”

Chevrolet Captures 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturer Championship

Title is Seventh for the Chevrolet INDYCAR Program

DETROIT (Sept. 10, 2022) – Chevrolet has won the NTT INDYCAR SERIES (NICS) Manufacturer Championship for the seventh time since it returned to the Series in 2012.

The Chevrolet 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 INDYCAR engine has produced 12 poles and ­­­11 wins in 16 events heading into Sunday’s season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

“Preparation, teamwork and great execution were key this season to every pole, every win and now Chevrolet’s seventh Manufacturer Championship,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President Performance and Motorsports for Chevrolet. “Thank you to Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, Arrow McLaren SP, AJ Foyt Racing, Juncos Hollinger Racing, Paretta Autosport, our Chevrolet Competition and Propulsion engineers, and our technical partners for their combined efforts that resulted in delivering Chevrolet’s NTT INDYCAR Series Manufacturer Championship.”

In the 11 seasons of the Chevrolet 2.2-liter V6 INDYCAR engine, Team Chevy drivers have amassed 106 wins of the 181 races to date – an impressive 58.6%. This season, Chevy-powered drivers have won 69% of the races and 75% of the NTT P1 Awards.

The 2022 Manufacturer Championship clearly demonstrates the never-give-up attitude of Chevrolet engineering, its teams, the GM Propulsion Group and its technical partners. Chevrolet proudly fielded 11 full-time entries during the 17-race season. Despite having less than half of the total car count, the Chevy teams and drivers maximized all the available support, engineering tools and simulator time to continue performance growth that translated to tremendous performance.

All of Chevrolet’s full-time teams contributed valuable time and effort toward the seventh NICS Manufacturer Championship. Team Penske, with drivers Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin; Ed Carpenter Racing, with drivers Rinus VeeKay and Conor Daly; Arrow McLaren SP with drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist; AJ Foyt Racing, with drivers Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood; and Juncos Hollinger Racing, with driver Callum Ilott, were instrumental in Team Chevy’s success.

“Winning Chevrolet’s seventh NTT INDYCAR Series Manufacturer Championship has been a true team effort by our Chevrolet engineers, Chevy-powered race teams, Chevrolet Propulsion engineers and technical partners at Ilmor Engineering and Hitachi Automotive Systems,” said Mark Stielow, Director Motorsports Competition Engineering. “The performance delivered by Chevrolet’s 2.2-liter twin turbo, direct-injected V6 engine has proven throughout the season to be the consistent combination of reliability, drivability and power for our teams to win races and this championship.”

Since 2012, in addition to the seven Manufacturer Championships, Chevrolet has won six driver championships with Ryan Hunter-Reay (2012), Power (2014), Scott Dixon (2015), Pagenaud (2016), Newgarden (2017 and 2019). Three Chevrolet drivers are in contention to win the crown in 2022.

Additionally, the Chevrolet 2.2-liter V6 engine powered drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 with Tony Kanaan (2013), Juan Pablo Montoya (2015) Will Power (2018) and Simon Pagenaud (2019).

Previously, Chevrolet competed in Indy-style racing as a manufacturer of V8 engines from 1986-93 and 2002-05, powering 111 wins, one manufacturer championship in 2002, seven Indianapolis 500 wins and six driver championships.

ABOUT CHEVROLET

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, available in nearly 80 countries with nearly 2.7 million cars and trucks sold in 2021. Chevrolet models include electric and fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

CHEVROLET IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES: WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA – TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES

GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY

WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA

TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE

SEPTEMBER 8, 2022

ONE TO GO – THREE TEAM CHEVY DRIVERS TO VIE FOR NTT INDYCAR SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP

Point leader Will Power and teammates Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin are among five drivers mathematically eligible to win the Astor Cup

DETROIT (Sept. 8, 2022) – As the 2022 NTT INDYCAR Series (NICS) season roars to a close at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (WTLS) on Sunday, three Team Chevy drivers are among the five that are mathematically eligible to win the INDYCAR Championship and take home the Astor Cup.

Will Power, No.12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet, heads to the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey season finale as the points leader with 523 points. Power led the standings twice earlier in the season and retook the top spot after Race 13 (Indianapolis road course-July 30). He has one win, four poles and 11 top-five finishes (the latter two are most in INDYCAR this year).

Teammate Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, is tied for second, 20 points down to Power, and holds the tiebreaker with five wins (most in INDYCAR this year). He also has one pole and seven top-five finishes.

Sitting fifth is Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet, fresh off his convincing win at Portland and the announcement of a contract extension. He is 41 points behind Power and has recorded three wins, three poles and eight top-five finishes.

Scott Dixon (Honda) is tied with Newgarden, and Marcus Ericsson (Honda) is fourth in the standings.

A total of 54 points is available Sunday: 50 points for the race win, one point each for pole position and leading one lap, plus two points for leading the most laps in the 95-lap race around the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course.

“To have five drivers vying for the championship, three of which are Chevy-powered, going into the final race of the INDYCAR season is remarkable,” said Rob Buckner, Chevrolet program manager for the NTT INDYCAR Series. “With 11 wins in 16 races, I am extremely proud of the effort put forth by our teams, the Chevrolet engineers and Ilmor, our engine partner. We had our challenges from time to time, but everyone pulled together and moved forward. And here we are … poised for a final run for the title times three.

“We feel well-prepared for Sunday’s race at Laguna Seca to support not only our title-contending teams, but all of our Bowtie teams as they engage in the final 95-lap battle of the season. Good luck to Will, Josef and Scott as they all drive to cap off their season off by winning the Astor Cup.”

TIDBITS:

·      Points leader Power has one previous podium at WTLS (second in 2019).

·      Newgarden was crowned the 2019 NTCS champion at WTLS without winning the race (eighth in 2019).

The Grand Prix of Monterey will commence with practice on Friday, Sept. 9, at 2:30 p.m. local (5:30 p.m. ET). On Saturday, practice will start at 10:15 a.m. local (1:15 p.m. ET); Firestone Fast Six qualifying will start at 2:05 p.m. local (5:05 p.m. ET). The morning warmup on Sunday is at 9 a.m. local (noon ET). All practice and qualifying will be live on Peacock, INDYCAR Radio and XM Channel 160. The 95-lap race will take the green flag at 12:30 p.m. local (3:30 p.m. ET) live on NBC.

BY THE NUMBERS: Chevrolet in INDYCAR

· 1: Chevrolet’s position in the INDYCAR Engine Manufacturer standings after 16 races

· 2: Consecutive front-row starts in the Indianapolis 500 for Rinus Veekay of Ed Carpenter Racing

· 4: Consecutive victories by Chevrolet to open the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin won the pole and race at St. Petersburg. Penske teammate Josef Newgarden won at Texas and Long Beach, and Pato O’Ward was victorious at Barber Motorsport Park for Arrow McLaren SP

· 5: Wins by Chevrolet-powered entries in CART/Champ Car World Series at Laguna Seca in the late 1980s-early 1990s. Four came via Team Penske including Paul Tracy’s victory in 1993

· 6: Different Chevrolet drivers to win races dating to the start of 2020. Scott McLaughlin was the most recent at St. Petersburg

· 6: Number of Manufacturer Championships in the NTT INDYCAR Series since 2012

· 6: Number of Team Chevy Driver/Entrant championships since 2012

· 14: Consecutive seasons with at least one win by Will Power, including past 11 with Chevrolet. He won at Belle Isle in 2022

· 26: Wins by Will Power since 2012. All have come with Chevrolet, giving him the most of any driver with same manufacturer

· 42: Pole starts by Will Power since 2012 in a Chevrolet-powered car, most of any driver

· 106: Chevrolet victories in NTT INDYCAR SERIES since 2012

· 116: Earned poles by Chevrolet since 2012

· 181: NTT INDYCAR SERIES races as V6 engine supplier since 2012 return to INDYCAR

Portland International Raceway Post-Race Quotes

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES

GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND

PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY

PORTLAND, OREGON

TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE QUOTES

SEPT. 4, 2022

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 FREIGHTLINER TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER: “I don’t think the car really felt good in that first stint but as the race went on, it got a little bit worse. I just had to really concentrate on where I wanted the strengths of the car to be and work with those and make the best of the weaknesses. The Freightliner Chevy all weekend has been fast. It’s been right there where we needed. This team – the Thirsty Threes – got the job done in the pits, and I’m really proud of them. We did exactly what we needed to do this weekend, which was win and get max points to keep ourselves in the championship fight. Yeah we’re a longshot. I don’t care because we have a shot so I’m looking forward to it.”

COULD YOU IMAGINE YOURSELF HERE TWO YEARS AGO? “Roger (Penske) and Tim (Cindric) gave me the opportunity to come over here and I was thankful for that. It was my next step and my next challenge. I took it all very seriously and knew it was going to be hard. I thought I could one day I could win, but the ultimate is to win a championship and the (Indy) 500. I’m not going to stop until I get one of those or both. It’s a long way to climb but you have to have goals. It’s the same for everyone out there. You have to dream big and try to get it done.”

THE CHAMPIONSHIP IS STILL ALIVE: “I’m a big golf guy and the big media spot is actually at Pebble Beach so I’m really excited for that! I wanted to be in the championship fight so I can go to Pebble. It’s working out and we’re going there! I’m so excited. I think Greg (Penske) told me I could play Pebble so all good as long as I can bring some friends!”

YOU HAD ENOUGH ENERGY TO DO A FRONT SOMERSAULT! “It’s become my thing now. I don’t think I look very good doing it, but it’s a thing. Everyone has their own thing when they win and I have that. It’s a lot of fun! I’m really proud of the Freightline Chevy guys. The car was unreal and I’m really proud of the pitstops. It was a full-team effort. We came here with the belief that we could do this weekend and win like we did and get pole, and we did. I’m really proud of that.”

ON THE RESTART WITH WILL POWER AND SCOTT DIXON BEHIND: “Those are two guys you don’t really breathing down your neck. I’m really proud of the restart. I’ve worked very hard the last couple of years to learn the tire and get it ready for those restarts. Thankfully we held on. It was pretty dicey behind me. I saw in the mirrors that Will almost got taken out. It was pretty wild but that’s why we love INDYCAR racing, right?”

ON THE POINTS HEADING TO LAGUNA SECA: “It ain’t over so let’s press on!”

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED SECOND – ON TIRE CHOICES: “The red was a lot better for us. The black tire just never really came on and we never really had a good balance with it. It was a tough decision because those reds had a lot of laps on them, but I still feel like we would have been quicker over the stint. It was the right move and a good move. It would have been tough on the restart without it, so it was a good call by the guys. We had good strategy all day. If (Christian) Lundgaard hadn’t gotten us at the start, we could have had a shot at Scott. It’s another day where we did everything we could. We had a little get-together with Pato (O’Ward) so luckily that came out alright. I just want to win this championship for the guys who have been with me for more than a decade like my engineer Dave (Faustino) and my data acquisition guy Robbie (Atkinson) and the group. It’s a lot less selfish for me this time around because they deserve it. I feel their pain over the years of losing so many. I’d love to win it for them.”

A TOP-THREE FINISH DOES IT FOR THE CHAMPOINSHIP AND GOING INTO LAGUNA SECA LEADING BY 20 POINTS: “That’s very tough. Ganassi has tested there. We’re in the best position and have the best shot. We’ll do everything we can.”

PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, FINISHED FOURTH: “We had to come out with the win to truly have a decent shot at it (the championship) headed to Laguna. We didn’t have enough for the Penske boys. All weekend they dominated everybody. I tried to make the pass on Will and we had an injured left side of the car for the rest of the race and had to nurse it from there. Graham (Rahal) was coming behind us pretty quick. We had to let (Scott) Dixon by because apparently we blocked him. I expect INDYCAR to make the same call whenever someone does that to me.”

THE FAN SUPPORT AT PORTLAND: “It’s awesome, these people. It’s not just here but a lot of them come to Long Beach and it’s awesome. Everyone from Mexico that lives here in the States come out and bring their full support. It’s awesome to see. This is what it’s all about. I’m glad we gave them a good show today.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED EIGHTH – ON THE LAST TIRE CHOICE: “I think the obvious one was that we didn’t predict the caution. There’s always the risk that a caution comes out in that final stint. I wasn’t thinking about that; we went green the entire race. I thought the primary tires would probably have better durability at the end. That argument holds up a little better with no caution. We just got hosed when we had to restart with all reds (around him). I was blown away at how much better everyone was on them, especially in the caution situations. That just did not play into our favor, unfortunately. It’s a hard day where we really gained nothing after a tough start spot. We’ll regroup and take our Team Chevy car with Hitachi to Laguna and try to be fast.”

GOING INTO THE FINALE 20 POINTS OUT OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP: “At this point, it just kind of is what it is. We’re going to try to win that race and go for broke. It’s been kind of a weird year. Everyone has done such a great job on this 2 car. I’m so proud and happy with everybody. They’ve really put a good effort together. It’s either been winning the race or some weird luck has happened. We didn’t need that yellow. Obviously it helps some people and hurts others. We just seem to be on the odd end of these things and they’re not working out. I don’t know how Laguna is going to play out. We’re going to go and play to win. We’ll see what happens.”

CALLUM ILOTT, NO. 77 JUNCOS HOLLINGER RACING CHEVROLET, FINSHED NINTH: “I’m really happy with that one. I think we maximized everything we could on the strategy we had so ended up P9. Great race with no mistakes. It was a good car and big thanks to the team. All the guys worked hard this weekend to get it a bit better after qualifying. So it was a pretty good race. We’ll move on to Laguna next week. Hopefully we can carry this momentum forward.”

FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 7 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET – FINISHED 10TH: “We started the race really good but had a tough second stint on the primary black Firestones because we couldn’t get the tires to warm up and get going. Ultimately, we were probably on the worst strategy of the race. I think one driver did better on that strategy than us, but everyone just ate us up, track position-wise, on that second stint. We came back and finished P10 – which was decent – but a bit disappointed in that result.”

KYLE KIRKWOOD, NO. 14 SEXTON PROPERTIES AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 13TH: “Made it all 110 laps. We definitely were on the right strategy and probably just missing a little bit of pace. We ultimately finished where we started. The strategy got us forward and the pace kind of brought us back a little bit, so it ended up equal with where we started. I’m super-happy with that because we brought the car home and got some good points there ahead of the people that we need to be ahead of. You can’t be any more satisfied than that, and we’ll go into Laguna next week with heads high and hopefully finish off the season strong!”

RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 BITCOIN RACING WITH BITNILE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 20TH: “First of all, I want to apologize to Jimmie Johnson and his team, as well as my own team, for screwing that up. I thought I was fully past him, but it was bad judgment and I was not. This is definitely a hard pill to swallow because we were having a good race. I was comfortably in P9 and I think maybe a couple more positions were possible. It’s really tough. The only thing I can do now is learn from this and end the season strong at Laguna Seca. Again, I am sorry to everyone that was hurt by my mistake.”

DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 22ND: “A bit of a tough weekend overall for us. Never seemed like we quite found the pace for the K-Line car from the start of the weekend to the race. It felt like we were kind of dealing with a bit of understeer that we couldn’t quite get rid of. During the race we were trying to make some adjustments around the stops and with the tools in the car to deal with that, but it kind of persisted throughout. So we feel like we probably needed another three- or four-tenths to be more in the mix of where we wanted to end up. But it was a good clean race. We came home without any issues and now look forward to wrapping the season up at Laguna Seca next weekend.”

CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 25TH: “If you’ve followed my career a long time, you know I’ve been on fire a few times. This one for some reason was weird. It felt like it was in the cockpit, and it was kind of nerve-wracking for awhile. I felt like my shoulder was burning but I could see the fire was going out so I was like, ‘Let’s just keep on going.’ I was hoping that science and wind would take care of the rest of it. It’s just such a shame. The car was really fast and I had a great start. With everyone from BitNile here, we really want to get them a good result. It’s just such a shame. So many things have been taken away from us that they’re out of our control. That was not fun but hopefully we can just finish strong at the next one.”

YOU COULD HAVE CONTINUED PHYSICALLY BUT IT JUST BURNED UP THE CLUTCH? “Yeah the clutch burned up. And we honestly had no idea how much fuel was in the car, as well. We were going to stop more and be out of contention anyway. But yeah the clutch was burnt up. Usually fire does damage, and apparently that’s what happened. It’s such a shame.”

CHEVROLET IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES: PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY: QUALIFYING RECAP

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES

GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND

PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY

PORTLAND, OREGON

TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING RECAP

SEPTEMBER 3, 2022

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN PUTS CHEVY ON POLE FOR GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND

Third NTT P1 Pole Award of season for driver of No. 3 Freightliner Team Penske Chevrolet

PORTLAND, Ore – Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Freightliner Chevrolet, led a Chevrolet 2,2 V6 powered one-two-three in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Portland. His Team Penske teammates, Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet, and Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet qualified second and third respectively

However, Newgarden will take a six-spot grid penalty just prior to the green flag to the eighth starting position as a result of an engine change to the fifth engine for the season,

Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, qualified sixth to give Chevrolet four drivers in the Firestone Fast Six. Christian Lundgaard and Alex Palou (both Honda) completed the six drivers competing for the pole.

Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, qualified seventh to give Chevy power five of the top-seven in the final qualifying order.

The Championship battle continues Sunday as Power takes the green as the points leader

The Grand Prix of Portland is scheduled to at the green flag at 3:30 pm ET (12:30 pm PT Local) on NBC with coverage on Peacock and INDYCAR Radio.

DRIVER QUOTES:

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 FREIGHTLINER TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, POLE WINNER: “Credit to everyone at Team Penske. We weren’t great here last year but we’ve come back here with three hotrods. We’re all pushing each other – Will (Power), Josef (Newgarden) and myself. To get pole is obviously a great thing. The Freightliner Chevy feels good. The Chevy power is great. I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow.”

RACING FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP VS. HELPING TEAMMATES: “We know the rules. We’re Penske drivers. We know that when we get employed what we need to do. When the team wins, we all win. For me, I’ve just got to focus on what I’m doing. If I can be at the front and take points off others by winning the race, that’s exactly what we want to do. Until I’m mathematically out of it, I want to keep going hard and keep trying to win races. I’m feeling really good in the car. We’re building on to really good things for next year. I’m really proud of this group. These guys and these gals work very hard and I’m very proud of them. It’s a really big testament to them.”

CONFIDENCE COMPARED TO PORTLAND A YEAR AGO: “I’m just a different man, I guess in some ways. This time last year, I was a little bit confused to where I wanted to be in terms of the car setup. We finally clicked toward the end. I’m really proud. This Freightline Chevy feels good. I feel good in the car, and I can’t wait until tomorrow.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED SECOND: “I just messed it up, plain and simple. We had a great lap going. This Hitachi car has been phenomenal this weekend– all our cars at Team Penske have been. It’s a big effort from all the engineering staff and the mechanics. They really put a big emphasis on this weekend and tried to get ahead last week. We did an amazing job with that. I just totally whiffed on Turn Seven on my quick lap there, so I dropped maybe two-tenths. That’s the different but Scott did a great job. He’s been on it all weekend, same as Will. All three of us have been on top of each other, which has been great for this team. We’re in a great spot for tomorrow. I’m really disappointed in myself. I wish I had executed that lap a little better tomorrow.”

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED THIRD: “I grabbed my front rollbar and when I went to bring my hand back up… I pushed it too far, brought my hand back up and shifted up a gear going into (Turn) Four, so I had to go down two gears instead of one. The bar went too far which created a bunch of understeer. I felt like we had a pretty good chance to get pole there. That’s on me. I should have just left it.”

HOW MUCH CONVERSATION WILL THERE BY ABOUT HOW THE RACE WILL START: “This is the worst first corner in the whole series. I don’t know what the answer is to creating a bit more of a spread among the field. I think INDYCAR said they want us to go really wait, but watching the junior categories I don’t know if that’s good. It’s really packing everyone in tight. It’s hard to say. You’re at the mercy of all the guys behind you and just hoping they do the right thing. It’s such an inviting corner. As we’ve seen in the races this weekend, in the first turn of the junior categories there has been a lot of mayhem, even for the pole-sitter. That’s something like luck of the draw almost.”

PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED SIXTH:

FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 7 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED SEVENTH: “I messed up Turn Seven on the last lap, so I think we probably would have gone through otherwise. It was a good recovery from practice. We struggled in practice and were down in P21 so P7 is something we’ll take going into the race. It’s obviously frustrating missing out by a hundredth to the Fast Six. It was my mistake so that’s fine. I’m sure we can win the race from there.”

Use of the red tires: “I think our reds look pretty good so hopefully that will play to our advantage. It’s too early know. We’ll see in warmup how it develops.”

RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 BITCOIN RACING WITH BITNILE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 12TH: “Qualifying third in our group at the beginning was really good. My goal was to get into the Fast 12 with the pace we’ve shown in practice, but you always want more. Definitely we don’t want to be down the charts in the Fast 12. It felt like the whole feeling of the car totally changed from one run to the other so we’ll look into that. The team gave me a great car to comfortably make it to the Fast 12. I think we should have been pretty close to the Fast Six or maybe in there. It’s tough but we’ll give it all tomorrow.”

On the start mid-pack: “Just don’t get hit! That’s the goal. Hopefully I can get a start where I can slot into the inside somewhere. When cars crash or spin or whatever, they always go to the outside. We’ll try to get into the inside and focus on what I can do. I can’t affect what other guys can do. We had a pretty good qualifying today and we have a good clue on what we need tomorrow.”

KYLE KIRKWOOD, NO. 14 SEXTON PROPERTIES AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 13TH: “I think that’s alright. It puts in a position to have more red tires than anyone else. Obviously the reds are the better tires right now for qualifying but I think they will be for the race as well. That’s been notorious for this place. It benefits us in that way. Of course we wanted to get into Fast 12. I think we had been quick enough but I think we’re better in the warmer conditions. Yesterday we were really quick when it was really hot, and tomorrow is supposed to be a lot warmer than today. Obviously it’s very overcast and the track temps are down. We tend to be a little bit better when they’re warmer. I think that’s pretty solid for what we have right now. We’re going into tomorrow with some extra tires and a decent starting spot.

“It’s not a bad starting spot. It’s in the mix of some things especially going into Turn One like we’ve seen in the past. Hopefully we keep our nose clean and we can come out on top in this No. 14 machine because we’ve been pretty solid this weekend.”

CALLUM ILOTT, NO. 77 JUNCOS HOLLINGER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 14TH: “It’s just that tight. I didn’t optimize the first lap. I struggled in Turn Two, which is a corner I’ve been struggling in the whole weekend and didn’t get the exit. I tried to get it on the next lap and it was better, but I couldn’t get the tire to hold for the rest of the lap. It’s super-tight. That’s just the way it is. It’s a shame to be knocked out but we have good pace compared to some. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”

On the start: “I won’t do what I did last year, which was use Romain (Grosjean) as my braking point! That didn’t work so well last year. But when you’re in the middle, it’s going to be a crash-fest. Hopefully I can come out of there OK.”

CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 20TH: “We just didn’t have enough today. It’s tough with these group sometimes, with the separation and differences between them. Overall, I don’t think our run was bad, it’s just super close here. It’s great to be in such a competitive series. When you are next to two guys that are literally fighting for the championship and you’re right with them, not transferring, it’s crazy! Today we weren’t on the right end of it so we will work on it for tomorrow.”

DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 25TH: “We definitely tightened the gap up from where we were in practice this morning to the field. So we found some good time in qualifying but it wasn’t enough. We’ll have our work cut out for us in the race. We’ve been making steady improvements through the weekend so we need to carry that into the warmup and into the race.

Josef Newgarden
Scott McLaughlin
Will Power
Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcome to Portland International Raceway, wrapping up qualifying. It’s 1-2-3 in qualifying for Team Penske with Scott McLaughlin leading the way.

We’re now joined by five-time winner this season, just a couple points out of the championship, Josef Newgarden qualifying second. He’ll start seventh.

How close were you at the end of the day?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Super close. I just didn’t execute my last lap very well. Had two big mistakes. So definitely caught us out. Didn’t give ourselves a good opportunity to get the pole there.

It was a good, strong run for everyone at Team Penske. I think we’re all pretty satisfied with that. Three cars in the top three. We’ve been that way all weekend for the most part.

It’s a testament to our team. They’ve done a great job. We were here last week. They work hard, all the engineers and mechanics. Very gratifying for everybody to have this speed on our cars.

THE MODERATOR: The testing you did here a week ago, it seems to be paying off big-time for this team.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, I would say so. It’s paid dividends up to this point. Tomorrow is what matters, so we’ll see how beneficial it really was at the end of the weekend. So far we’re pleased with what we got out of it.

THE MODERATOR: General thoughts about starting further back than what you expected to, maybe what you can expect going into turn one tomorrow.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I don’t know what to tell you honestly. It’s different every year. Hopefully it’s nothing too bad. It can be chaotic here and we’ll just have to wait and see.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How important is it for you to be starting where you are, given the likes of Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson are out of position for the race?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, it’s so hard to say. I don’t know. I mean, more times than not this year is been good to start in the back. I think it’s impossible to say if it’s good or not, being where we’re at, until we get to the end of tomorrow.

I feel like our cars are fast which is a key ingredient to putting together a good race. That brings a lot of confidence.

Q. How different was the track with it being cloudy and cool? Do you think you still have a good car for tomorrow with it being warmer?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, I think we actually had more of an advantage yesterday when it was hot, oddly enough. We felt like we were going to be good when it cooled off. Seems like it brought everyone more close together.

Definitely very different balances. Judging off yesterday and today, that’s promising for us.

Q. Starting back in eighth instead of where you qualified today, is there anything you can do, do you prepare for this race differently starting where you are instead of the second row?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I don’t think so. Not yet. Not off the top of my head. We’re going to run a similar race to what we’d do if we were up front in the first row.

Yeah, not off the top of my head. These races change very quickly dependent upon what happens. Until we see what happens, it’s going to be hard to really strategize around the unknown.

You just got to be flexible.

Q. Starting on the outside versus the inside, I’ve heard guys saying the inside is a better place to be. Do you feel there’s anything to that?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, again, it’s hard to know. I would think it would be better to be on the inside, but depending on where you are where the crash is happening, it could be good or bad, inside or out.

I’m not sure. I’m just hoping we get a clean run through turn one, regardless, though.

Q. I think Will said that he feels like turn one is the toughest in the series. Do you feel like that’s correct?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: It’s definitely the most unpredictable, I can tell you that. When it goes according to plan, it’s fine. More times than not, that doesn’t happen.

Yeah, it’s for sure the most unpredictable.

Q. Your thoughts on the fact even though it would be a long struggle for him to fight for the championship, how possible is it for a guy 54 points out to get in the mix of it over two races?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I think it’s wide open, if you’re asking me. That’s my opinion. I’ve seen this thing change completely one race to the next. I wouldn’t rule anything out at this point.

I think Scott’s well within the championship fight, looking at his points situation. I think he’s a championship contender through and through. He has been all year.

I wouldn’t rule anything out. I think we all have to be on our game. At the end of the day we feel really good about being together and having fast cars. I think the team has done an amazing job to give us these great cars to fight with. Should give us an opportunity as a team to push forward tomorrow.

Q. Can all three of you sweep the top three positions in the championship?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Anything is possible. Absolutely. I mean, of course it’s possible. Of course. There’s no doubt.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Anything is possible, Bruce.

WILL POWER: It can happen.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: We’re good, man.

Q. Would you say one of the keys to your resurgence as a team this year has been qualifying?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: No, not just qualifying. I think it’s been a team effort through and through.

When you look at the individuals within the team, I’m talking everybody, whether it’s the 3, the 12, the 2, across the board, the engineers, the mechanics, there’s just a deep amount of talent. I think it’s only been strengthened. When you look at the talent across the board, the way we’re interacting, it’s only been strengthened this year. It’s raised the whole program.

I think that’s why you see Team Penske as a whole being very lifted this year because it’s good across the board. That’s due to all the hard work from everybody.

Q. Josef and Will, how scary is turn one going to be considering where you are in the points?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I don’t know. It could be (indiscernible) or scary. We’ll see.

Q. Will, you watch the USF2000 races. Add any extra fear?

WILL POWER: Those guys are starting real late. I don’t think that’s a key. (Indiscernible) was taken out twice, two races in a row, lost the championship. If they don’t want to crash, out of 12.

Q. (No microphone.)

WILL POWER: Yeah, yeah, I mean, just means that people got green through 12, lift, spread things out, most of the field.

Yeah, such a bad corner. Such an inviting, wide corner. Not ideal for the second-to-last race of the season.

THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Scott McLaughlin, a three-time pole winner this year. As well, we are joined by Will Power, who bumps up to the front row with a sixth front row start here in 2022.

Scott, your thoughts about pole number three this season.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, really happy day. I knew coming in we had pretty strong race cars for Team Penske. It was just really going to be if we all do a good job getting to the Fast Six, then we’re battling each other. That’s sort of what happened.

I set our session up because we did one lap less on our red tire in Q1 which really helped. I did a pretty solid lap on my first flyer. Having that little fresher tire helped.

I think my car got a little bit worse as the quallie went on. We managed to cue it up for turn three and managed to do a good enough lap for pole.

Freightliner’s home race here in Portland. I went and saw them during the week. That was cool. Everyone is pumped. A lot of people here.

THE MODERATOR: There’s a race within the race with you and Will Power. You now have the lead.

WILL POWER: I didn’t even know that.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: I didn’t tell you (laughter).

WILL POWER: I didn’t even know that was a thing.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: That’s cool. Anytime you beat Will in qualifying, it’s a good thing.

THE MODERATOR: More questions.

Q. Will, when Scott came over here, there was such expectations for him after what he did in Australia. This year he’s living up to those. To add a driver the caliber of him to the lineup you’ve had to face throughout your career, how much does that make your job even more difficult?

WILL POWER: Yeah, always at Penske, you have tough teammates. I have to say, this is probably the best group of drivers that have been there, the toughest, which we really push each other along.

Yeah, it’s a strong combination. As you can see in the championship, really the whole season, yeah, it shows what having drivers push each other does.

Q. Scott, when you were racking up wins and titles in Australia Supercars, what was your recollection and thought of Will Power, what a legend he is here in INDYCAR? What it’s like now to have him as your teammate in a championship battle?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Will is the only one on the team which actually understands me, which is a fantastic thing. Our relationship is quite good because of that (smiling).

When I was growing up watching Will, in the Team Australia Champ Car, street surface, he was a second quicker than anyone around Surfers Paradise. Some of the laps, what he’s done across the sport of INDYCAR, it’s crazy. That’s why he’s the all-time polesitter, leading the championship.

Yeah, like Will said, I think we’ve got a really good group at Penske in terms of pushing each other. Not only that, we get along. There’s a trust level. We trust each other’s feedback. We ask each other, What do you think of this, did you get a good lap. We’re continually pushing each other. I think that’s what a team needs.

I think we’ve got a really good balance, competitive, but respectful balance there. Yeah, I think that’s what’s really helping. Plus all three cars, the crew and everyone is working together really nice. Just a good vibe right now.

It does help when you’re fast, yes. But I think as a group, we are just really bonding. I can’t see it slowing down. We’re going to just keep working. There’s a lot of motivation there to continue to do that.

Q. Will, Scott Dixon starts 16th and Marcus Ericsson is 18th. Does that ease your mind at all or is it still…

WILL POWER: It’s a very tight championship. If you watched INDYCAR, which you have a lot, you can never feel just safe that you’ve qualified well because it can just switch. As you saw last year, Palou and Dixon were pretty much at the back, and they came to finish first-second or first-third.

It all depends if there’s a yellow at the start. If there is no yellow at the start, which would be a miracle, if they start where they’re talking about, if there’s not a yellow, it doesn’t push it towards that two-stop strategy. You don’t get guys at the back topping off, making it a difficult race.

If it goes green, it becomes more of a straightforward race, a track position race. Makes it harder for those guys back there.

We’re hoping it stays green. That’s best for us.

Q. Have y’all given input about what should happen with the start?

WILL POWER: We gave them input at the Christmas meetings. We suggested that they start on the back straight. I’m not sure where the starting extremely late came from.

I could understand you don’t get the tow effects, getting up to speed to get a tow effect. If you had half the field in turn 12 when you went green, that’s half the cars that are spreading out. Might be better to go really early.

THE MODERATOR: I think we might hear something by the end of the day. Stand by on that.

Q. Off topic slightly. Last night I noticed there’s an Aussie Rules Football game on.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Which one? Was it the final?

Q. Maybe.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: My team lost this morning so I’m not too happy about that. We were leading points but we lost it.

This has pumped me back up a little bit.

WILL POWER: I never met someone who watches so much sport. He watches soccer. You watch rugby?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: American football.

Q. Did either one of you play that growing up?

WILL POWER: I played Rugby League. I never played AFL. I don’t even know the rules of AFL. It’s a much better game, rugby.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: I played Rugby Union when I was younger. I was getting bashed up. I needed to focus on my racing career, so I gave that up.

Q. How beneficial was the test that you had at Portland?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: I think just being able to rock up here with a philosophy that you believe in, then just massaging it throughout the weekend has been vital.

We weren’t stellar here last year as a team. We called this test early in the year that we were going to come here. So, yeah, hopefully we get to Laguna and our cars aren’t too bad, we made the right choice coming here, focusing on that.

Yeah, it’s been vital in terms of being able to get a nice base, then like I said massaging it and getting better as a driver, pushing the limits.

I think going 1-2-3 in qualifying was a good test of that.

Q. Will, when things were a bit tougher for Penske, the captain’s moral of hard work equals rewards. The hard work is now starting to pay off for Team Penske, isn’t it?

WILL POWER: Yeah. Honestly, like, nothing much has changed on the road and street course side of things. The thing that we worked on hardest was the Indy 500.

Honestly, last year we just had a lot of kind of weird, unfortunate circumstances that resulted in the team not getting many wins. This year just seems like we’re executing on all fronts, in the pits, on strategy, obviously car setups.

Really we haven’t found something magical. It’s just doing solid work. Probably having Scott in his second year helps as well, another guy giving feedback, good data with his driving. As a group, as a whole, we’re stronger on all aspects, but nothing magical was found. We didn’t really go into last season saying we were off the pace. We just had kind of a bad year.

Q. Will, you said you felt like turn one here was either the toughest or most unpredictable that you run in the series. What is it about this turn that’s made it so tough to get through green without major incidents?

WILL POWER: Yeah, it’s a super wide straight that leads into a first-gear corner. It’s similar to Indianapolis. Honestly, at Indianapolis road course the same thing happens. But, yeah, this one in particular.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: I think it’s just grass at Indy.

WILL POWER: Yeah, there’s a bit of grass to go off.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: There’s no grass here.

WILL POWER: You have cement.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Invite the people to just bomb their way through. Now that the chicane is harder to get through. I saw VeeKay in front of me going in, came out behind me. There’s no advantage now.

WILL POWER: Yeah. Someone is going to get a good run, I’ve got a good run. There’s always room on the inside. They’re used to braking on the very outside of the track. It’s super wide. Obviously your 90 degrees is going to be much sharper. You’re going to have to brake much earlier than you have been. I think that’s most of the issue.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: We banged on about it for two weeks. Oh, I found grip. Go down to the inside. You might do something. I might do something like that.

WILL POWER: You don’t know, yeah. You can’t tell other people, Just be careful. It could be yourself (laughter).

Q. Scott, I know it seems like from seeing a couple tweets from you, interviews, you’ve taken some motivation people feeling like you’re counted out of this, even though you’re still alive. Is that kind of an actual thing that you feel like is driving you right now or something you’ve been acknowledging but not taking it to heart?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: It’s exactly that. Basically for me and my Twitter, I just take the piss out of everything.

Mathematically I’m still in it. When you say there’s only five contenders, it’s wrong. The best part about it right now that we’ve got for INDYCAR, what we should be celebrating, is how close it is between Josef, Will.

I don’t count myself out of it, no. I think anything can happen. If I win tomorrow, who knows what happens. We’ll find out. It’s going to be fun.

Q. What kind of gap do you have to chisel down for mom and dad to make it out to Laguna next weekend?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, I don’t know. They said they might make it out. I don’t think they will. I think dad is hanging out at home. I think he’s just going to watch at home on TV. He sees more there anywhere.

Q. Scott, you have your own dynamic with Josef as one of the Bus Bros. You’re dynamic with Will is different. He’s the senior driver, elder statesman. What is your relationship like? He’s won a championship before, so has Josef. His longevity, it’s very impressive. Do you kind of look up to him a little bit as the team leader?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, I think, absolutely. He’s definitely the oldest one.

But, no, he’s a very nice fella. We have plenty of laughs. Like I said before, we all get along. In the bus, hang out. We always park next to each other. Me and Josef do this Bus Bros thing. It wasn’t like we were trying to separate ourselves.

Yeah, look, it’s one of those deals where I think I’ve got great teammates to lean off. I couldn’t have asked for two better blokes to help me get better through the off-season.

There were times I rang Will after a race, I said, I don’t know what I’m doing.

He’s like, No, come in, every rookie season is hard, things change, things will go up and down but it will click.

That’s a testament to the bloke he is, the bloke Josef is. There’s no hiding. We’re competitive. We probably do hide a couple things from each other, but at the same time it’s just that competitiveness. There’s respect. I think we all have that for each other.

Q. (No microphone.)

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: No. I think my dog is his favorite.

WILL POWER: Yeah, the dog (smiling).

Q. I noticed the two of you do speak a different language. Do you get caught on that?

WILL POWER: What is that?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: He says we speak a different language when we’re together.

WILL POWER: I guess we talk a bit Aussie when we’re together.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: He laughs.

WILL POWER: I’ve been over here so long, it’s refreshing to hear Australian things.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Heaps.

WILL POWER: I’ve got heaps of grip, man (laughter).

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: We’re having fun. Having a laugh. Sweet.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks.

Team Chevy Keys on Portland in INDYCAR Title Chase

Four Chevrolet drivers remain in contention for 2022 Driver Championship

DETROIT (Aug. 31, 2022) – One of the tightest championship fights in recent NTT INDYCAR SERIES history is coming down to the wire with this weekend’s Grand Prix of Portland set to play a huge role in the final standings.

Four Team Chevy drivers are part of the top-seven that remain alive for this year’s INDYCAR Championship heading into Portland, and all are within 58 points. 

A maximum of 54 points are available at each of the final two races – Portland and the finale next weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca: 50 points for a race win, one point each for pole position and leading one lap, plus two points for leading the most laps in the race. 

Chevrolet-powered drivers in contention heading into Portland are:

· First: Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet, Team Penske – 482 points – one win, four poles, 10 top-fives (the latter two are most in INDYCAR this year); he won the 2019 Portland round and was the pole-winner in 2019

· Second: Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet, Team Penske – 479 points – five wins (most in INDYCAR this year), one pole, seven top-fives

· Sixth: Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Freightliner Chevrolet, Team Penske – 428 points – two wins, two poles, seven top-fives

· Seventh: Pato O’Ward, No. 5 McLaren Chevrolet, Arrow McLaren SP – 424 points – two wins, one pole, seven top-fives

#12: Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
#2: Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet
Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet
Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet 

In the race for the Engine Manufacturer Championship, Chevrolet leads on the strength of 10 victories and 11 pole positions in 15 races. 

The 12-turn, 1.964-mile Portland International Raceway presents a number of challenges and can catch out any of the championship contenders at numerous spots. Most notable is the tight frontstretch chicane, which has played havoc with many INDYCAR entries since the series returned to the circuit in 2018 after a 10-year absence.

With little elevation, the challenge of PIR continues with a number of slow- and medium-speed corners throughout the lap.

“This is one of the most competitive championship races we’ve seen in INDYCAR in quite some time,” said Rob Buckner, Chevrolet Program Manager for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. “Portland takes on more importance for that reason. Getting through the first chicane at the start can make all the difference not just for the race, but for the championship as well. Our teams collected significant test mileage last week, which gives us valuable data to get ready for a challenging weekend. It’s been a strong season but there’s no letting up for the last two races of the season.”

Chevrolet and the NTT INDYCAR Series head west for the Grand Prix of Portland, which starts at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 4. The race will air live starting at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, the Peacock streaming service, IndyCar Radio Network affiliates and SiriusXM IndyCar Nation (Channel 160). Live timing and scoring will be available at racecontrol.indycar.com.

BY THE NUMBERS: Chevrolet in INDYCAR

  • · 1: Chevrolet’s position in the INDYCAR Engine Manufacturer standings after 15 races
  • · 2: Consecutive front-row starts in the Indianapolis 500 for Rinus Veekay of Ed Carpenter Racing
  • · 3: Races for INDYCAR at Portland after a 10-year absence from 2008-2017
  • · 4: Consecutive victories by Chevrolet to open the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin won the pole and race at St. Petersburg. Penske teammate Josef Newgarden won at Texas and Long Beach, and Pato O’Ward was victorious at Barber Motorsport Park for Arrow McLaren SP
  • · 6: Different Chevrolet drivers to win races dating to the start of 2020. Scott McLaughlin was the most recent at St. Petersburg
  • · 6: Number of Manufacturer Championships in the NTT INDYCAR Series since 2012
  • · 6: Number of Team Chevy Driver/Entrant championships since 2012
  • · 14: Consecutive seasons with at least one win by Will Power, including past 11 with Chevrolet. He won at Belle Isle in 2022
  • · 26: Wins by Will Power since 2012. All have come with Chevrolet, giving him the most of any driver with same manufacturer
  • · 42: Pole starts by Will Power since 2012 in a Chevrolet-powered car, most of any driver
  • · 105: Chevrolet victories in NTT INDYCAR SERIES since 2012
  • · 115: Earned poles by Chevrolet since 2012
  • · 180: NTT INDYCAR SERIES races as V6 engine supplier since 2012 return to INDYCAR

CHEVROLET IN THE NTT INDYCAR SERIES: WWTR Race Report

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES

BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500

WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY RACEWAY

MADISON, ILLINOIS

TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE REPORT AND QUOTES

AUGUST 20, 2022

MADISON, Ill. (August 20, 2022) – Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden won again at World Wide Technology Raceway on Saturday as he drove his Chevrolet-powered No. 2 PPG entry to victory in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 for his fifth win of this season’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

Team Chevy won at WWTR for the fifth time since 2017 – four of those coming in tandem with Newgarden. He won Saturday night with a pass on teammate Scott McLaughlin on a restart 36 laps from the end and following a nearly two-hour, 10-minute delay for weather.

Team Chevy drivers took three of the first four spots in the race as the Bowtie Brand won for the 10th time in 2022.

“Congratulations to Josef and everyone on the No. 2 PPG Chevrolet and Team Penske for another win at World Wide Technology Raceway,” said Rob Buckner, Chevrolet Program Manager for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. “The race went in a lot of different directions with strategies, the weather delay, and how close it was at the end. We’re proud of the performance, reliability and efficiency of the Chevrolet 2.2-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine that has now won 10 times this season on a variety of tracks. We’re hoping for similar strong finishes to close out the season on the West Coast.”

Newgarden is a now a four-time winner at the track. More importantly, he moved to second place and within four points of Penske teammate Will Power, who finished sixth Saturday, in the INDYCAR Drivers Championship.

McLaughlin placed third in Penske’s No. 3 Odyssey Battery Chevrolet, one spot ahead of Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevy.

Chevrolet’s leading quartet combined to lead 228 of the 260 laps. Power led the most of any driver – 128 after starting from pole position.

Team Chevy and the rest of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES next head to Portland International Raceway for the Grand Prix of Portland on Sunday, Sept. 4.

TEAM CHEVY QUOTES

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 PPG TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – RACE WINNER

RANGE OF EMOTIONS AND WINNING AGAIN AT WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY RACEWAY? “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.”

HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO GET BY ON THE RESTART? “We just had to have a good start. I knew Scott was going to be good at the end there, and he had a good restart. I just tried to work the high lane. The high lane worked earlier for me and I tried to do it again at the finish there. We just had enough to get by him. He was no slouch this weekend. He was very, very good. Scott has done an amazing job. He could have easily won this race himself, so you have to give him credit. But I’m glad we were able to come back out on top. We’re going to have a lot more races together, that guy and I.”

THAT WAS NOT EASY. “It was tough at the end. I felt like it was getting ripped away again. We hung in there and had a good restart. Scott (McLaughlin) wasn’t easy to beat tonight. He was super-fast so you have to give it him. But I felt like we were in position with the final stop. This PPG car was on rails tonight for sure. We just needed to get into position, and we did that. Team Chevy, I can’t forget them… it was a big fuel mileage race in the first half of this thing, and I feel that Team Chevy absolutely crushed it as far as reliability, fuel mileage and the whole deal. They are a big part of why we were able to win.”

AFTER 25 INDYCAR WINS, DOES WINNING STILL HIT YOU THE SAME? “It’s pretty cool. It’s almost gotten harder. For sure, the competition has gotten more difficult. But internally and mentally, it’s gotten harder for me because I’ve come into this without ever believing I’d had have a career in motorsports. To have a career with a top-line team in a top-line series like INDYCAR with Team Penske… the more success you find, the more you want it. The more disappointing it is when it slips away. There is a mental shift that has to happen there. I’ve been so lucky to be here. I love working hard, love working with the people I do, and I want to do it for as long as I can.”

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 ODYSSEY BATTERY TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED THIRD:“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.”

DID YOU EXPECT HIM TO MAKE THAT MOVE? DID YOU FEEL YOU WERE SAFE? “He was coming, and I was a little loose. I got a bad run off turns Three and Four. I took the inside line and he went on the outside. The grip was still there and it was a hell of a move. He’s a good kid. Good points for us today. The Odyssey Battery Chevy felt awesome. I glad we put on a good show for the fans today. A lot of people stayed out tonight, so that’s fantastic.”

WHERE ARE YOU IN YEAR NUMBER TWO LOOKING AHEAD TO WHERE YOU’RE HEADED IN YEAR NUMBER THREE? “I’m feeling good. I’m loving INDYCAR. I’m really proud of everything. Last year was hard. There were times last year where I wondered what I’m doing here – running around at the back hanging out. I’m just really proud to do it for the team. The pit stops have been unreal. I’m working with some really good people, I have great teammates and the people in America have been really nice to me. I’m excited for what the future holds.”

MORE ON THE FINISH. “Credit to David. He did a great job. His tires were really good. I just lacked a little bit balance there in that last stint. It started oversteering and getting loose. It’s very hard to commit to that. But good points for us and another podium. So all good.”

ONCE JOSEF WENT BY, WAS IT SETTLING IN FOR SECOND OR DID YOU THINK YOU HAD SOMETHING FOR HIM? “The main aim for the team was a team win today. The Odyssey Battery Chevy was good. We all did our parts.”

PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW McLAREN SP CHEVROLET – FINISHED FOURTH:

“We had a good race up until the red flag. That bunched us all up. Will (Power) and I were on quite older tires than the guys we were fighting against. It seemed to be a very significant difference this year. It usually is not as big of a difference with tire deg from the past couple of years, but this year was different. We didn’t have enough. I was hanging on there in the end and having a lot of moments. I’m glad we brought it home and didn’t end up in the wall.”

DID THE TRACK CHANGE THAT MUCH AFTER THE RAIN? “Yeah. A lot of rubber went away so that obviously over-tipped the car. Our car was working really, really well in the conditions that we had in 85 percent of the race. At the end, we were extremely loose and it was extremely tough to handle.”

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED SIXTH: “Once again, it was a good day with P6. 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.”

WHAT HAPPENED ON THE RESTART? “(Simon) Pagenaud’s guys, I don’t know what they were doing, but they sent him out in that battle a lap down. He came out and was just in the way. He was on the line I was, and I lost the (clean) air and lost a couple of positions. I don’t know what they were doing there, but that’s how I lost those. Otherwise we were going to be looking pretty good.”

FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 7 ARROW McLAREN SP CHEVROLET – FINISHED 16TH: ”That was a tough evening. Actually, it started really good, up to P13 on the first lap from P26 so it was pretty mega at the start of the race. Then, I couldn’t really do much more. I just kind of sat there and couldn’t really pass. After the red flag, we went in to put on new tires – which lost us a couple of spots – but we hoped to get them back which we did. Then I got trapped on the inside in Turn Two, and I just got swallowed by like literally every car back to P16. We have to risk it in that position. It was not our weekend; it was a tough one. We’ll recharge for Portland.”

KYLE KIRKWOOD, NO. 14 BOMMARITO AUTO GROUP AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 17TH: “We gained some positions and overall had an OK race. We would have liked to have been further up on the field, of course. We made a couple of calls that probably didn’t play in our favor and ultimately we gained positions. We could have had the pace especially in the middle of the race when it was light out to do something a lot better with our car. Once it got dark, those were conditions we had never driven in before. We were more off the pace than we had been the entire day. That was unfortunate that we couldn’t capitalize on having new tires, maybe passing some cars and getting ahead of some people that we needed to. Nonetheless we’ll go into Portland with a clean car and a clean mindset.”

DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 18TH: “We started 24th and finished 18th, so I’m happy we were able to make up some spots in the race. That’s always the goal when you don’t have a good qualifying session. The situation was looking really good for us before the rain came. We wouldn’t have had to pit before the end, there were probably four or five cars that we might have jumped if it had gone green to the finish. So Mother Nature doesn’t always play in your favor, but we got the race back under way for the fans under the lights, which is what matters. I’m happy we moved up but we would have liked to have been a little further up the grid when all was said and done.”

CALLUM ILOTT, NO. 77 JUNCOS HOLLINGER RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 21ST: “We had a lot of pace. I think we overtook maybe 30 people throughout the race, so that was really strong. I made a small mistake on the pit stop… locked up and hit the tire and my outside front mechanic. I’m sorry to him but he’s OK. I’m sorry to the team because that cost us with the penalty and then from there we were hanging in. It was annoying because we found quite a bit of pace compared to yesterday, and I was quite confident and making moves on the outside. That’s the way it goes. We’ll take it and move on to Portland and Laguna.”

ED CARPENTER, NO. 33 ALZAMEND NEURO CHEVROLET – FINISHED 22ND: “Tonight was a really disappointing way to end my season. I really appreciate the support from Todd Ault for the No. 33 this year and I was proud to represent Alzamend Neuro and carry their colors. I’ll be back to try again next year.”

CONOR DALY, NO. 20 BITNILE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 23RD: “To look at the positives tonight, I think we had a great racecar. I felt well capable of racing into the top-10. I had a great start. I made a bit of a mistake myself trying to pass Simon (Pagenaud) on the high line in Turns 3-4 and lost some time. We had an issue tonight that was out of our control and that was really tough. I love racing here so much, I thought we had a great chance at a great result for the team today. It is definitely a tough one to take.”

RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 BITCOIN RACING WITH BITNILE ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 26TH: “The whole dash froze electronically. I couldn’t see the shifts and couldn’t hear the tones, so I was doing it on feeling. I couldn’t see the adjustments on the weight jacker, and the pit limiter didn’t work. I came into pitlane and had no clue how fast I was going. We tried to do a power cycle but the car wouldn’t go into neutral either. We’re trying some stuff to hopefully finish the race, get some laps in and hopefully get a few points. This is a bummer. With electronics, nobody can do anything about it. The reliability of this team has been amazing but there’s nothing they can do about it.”

On the start: “I heard the green and I wanted to pass guys in front of me because I had a bit of a run. I had to get out there and got a big wheel spin. I touched the wall but there wasn’t anything damaged. I tried to get a few positions there and had to get out of it. I guess it didn’t matter in the end.”

NTT INDYCAR SERIES News Conference

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Josef Newgarden

Scott McLaughlin

Press Conference Transcript

THE MODERATOR: Joined now by the four-time champion here at World Wide Technology Raceway, Josef Newgarden. First time in your career five wins in a season. 25th career win, which ties you with Gordon Johncock. More to come. Your thoughts on a big night tonight.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: It was a great night. Very big night. You got to win these races when you’re in position to do it. I wanted to close that one out really badly, really badly.

I was elated. Elated that we were able to get back going and I had the opportunity on the restart. I’m thankful to my teammate. I thought Scott drove me with a tremendous amount of respect. He raced me hard, he wasn’t giving me anything, but just gave me a lot of respect like you would expect from a teammate. I think he goes above and beyond sometimes.

Big night for us, PPG, Team Chevy. Can’t talk enough about Team Chevy. Had the engine to beat tonight, no doubt. We had great fuel mileage, reliability, power, all the things we always want. A big night for everybody on Team Penske. Very good for us in the championship fight.

THE MODERATOR: Seemed like your car came alive after the red flag.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I was pleasantly surprised and very, very satisfied with my car tonight. I thought it was hooked up tremendously once we got about midway through the race. It was a bit processional in the first half. Literally every car just went to fuel save. Everyone wanted to try to make the three-stop work. I was surprised at how many people committed. Seemed like the whole field flipped to it. Wasn’t a lot happening then.

As soon as that caution 150, 155, something like that, when it provided that opportunity to pit again, it changed things up, put people on different strategies. That made it really exciting.

I thought that our car was able to maximize that strategy opportunity. So I’m real thankful to my team for picking that out. You can’t win this race without nailing calls like that, being good in the pits. There was a moment I thought it was slipping away from us, too. Ultimately they made the right calls and did it right and we were able to close it out.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Josef Newgarden.

Q. What was the conversation with you and McLaughlin during the red flag? Before the red flag, kind of got spread out, wasn’t a lot of passing. How do you stay patient throughout that?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, I mean, first with Scott, it’s a little bittersweet because we have a great friendship. He’s a tremendous competitor. I rank Scott as one of the most elite drivers in the world, not just here but in the world. He’s top class. Very difficult to beat.

We get along really great. He’s a tremendous teammate, hard worker. It’s not the easiest friendship to have because we’re competing.

At the end of the day he wanted to win the race and I wanted to win the race. I was frustrated that we slipped behind him on the pit cycle. I felt like we had the position on him, and that frustrated me.

I think ultimately we have a tremendous working relationship. Nights like this are good. At the end of the day if we’re battling together, things are going well. We want to see that pretty often. I think we will see that often. Scott is not going to go anywhere. He’s only going to get better. I hope we have more battles. They will be tough because I respect him a lot, consider him a friend, but he’s also a competitor.

We just talked about Bus Bros, how he was pissed, how we were going to race each other hard. Normal stuff.

Q. (No microphone.)

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I just wish we could get a second lane going. Man, this race would be awesome, like gnarly, if you could get a second lane. It would be really, really cool.

I think we made some progress this weekend. I really do. The extra session was positive. I they we worked that lane in a bit more. We used it. I used it. I never thought I’d get up there. It definitely was usable. I think we made progress.

We need to continue to examine this track and how we can make it even better for racing. I don’t think it was a dud by any means, got exciting in the middle. But what can we do in the future to make it better? I think we got some ideas.

Q. (No microphone.)

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: These decisions aren’t up to me, but I would always race in the lights here. It looks cool, feels cool. I think the grip is better. We could look at our downforce package for this track specifically and see how we could improve it. I think if we changed it a bit we could make it a lot better. There’s a lot to digest and a lot of good things to come out of here.

Q. I don’t know how much of a student of racing you are, but 25 victories already, Gordon Johncock was a real stud as a race driver. To tie a guy as legendary as that, how cool is that?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I mean, I forget about my job sometimes. I get so focused on the day-to-day, just the process of I want to be the best in any facet, whether it’s the way I examine data, the way I work with the team, my fitness regimen. I get lost in that perfection. I forget how cool this has been.

I’ve been doing this for over 11 years now. I never as a kid thought I’d be doing this. I didn’t. I really didn’t. I loved racing carts. I met a lot of friends in motorsports. Now to reflect at times, to see the opportunity I’ve had, it’s been a real privilege and pleasure.

I get to work with the best, I really do. I believe that. Team Penske is absolutely the pinnacle. We’ve got a lot of people there. I’ve worked with a lot of them different years, different people. They’re all tremendous.

Yeah, to be here 11 years on still has been a real honor for me.

Q. You got your first victory seven years ago. Now you’re at 25. Whip off a few more five-win seasons, do you think you could get to 50? That would be a huge number for a career mark.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Hey, I’m not stopping. Let’s see what happens. We need to get more 10 wins a year, that’s where my mind is at (smiling).

This year, honestly, just this year, I think we had the potential for maybe seven. Then you got two more to go. So we’re getting better for sure. I think if we can figure out how we can rip off a season with 10 or 12 wins, that would be impressive.

That’s where my mind is at. I don’t know if that’s possible. It’s getting more difficult to do that. People in here may think I’m joking by saying that, but I really am thinking that way.

It’s more than just the wins, it is the consistency. How often can you be on the podium? That’s become more and more important these days, top fives, podiums, being there every single weekend, not having any hiccups. Blending that with great races where you’re winning is ultimately the package you have to have. If we can just keep accelerating the wins, I think that’s good for all of us.

Q. I’ll agree with you underneath the nights here is really cool. When you say you don’t get to make that decision, how often do they take the drivers’ input on situations like this or other things to make a track better?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I don’t say that lightly, that it’s not in my decision power. The series, the ownership, the promoters, they absolutely weight, everybody weights our decision plenty. I think we get to lot of say in what happens. Our opinion absolutely matters. I don’t feel like we are unheard. There’s a lot more going on that factors into when we run a race.

I love night races. To me they’re just better. It’s fun. It’s fun to race these cars at night. They’re exciting, they look good, they feel good. The atmosphere is there. My vote would be to be at night.

But there’s a lot more that goes into it than just saying, Hey, we’re going to run at night. Maybe we can work more in. I would be all for that if you had my vote.

Q. How do you go about explaining so much success at one place in such a short period of time? When you first got here, was there something about the track that you found to your liking or style?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I think it starts with having the best cars. You can’t do this unless you have a dominant car. I’ve had that. Team Penske has more than delivered the best cars for me. It’s more than just, Hey, do you like the track? Why do you have success here?

Look at the team I have. I have all the resources possible. I have the best of the best on pit lane, the best strategist, most of the time the fastest car in the field. It’s a pretty good recipe for putting wins together. We’ve been fortunate to do that at multiple tracks, we can say that about multiple areas.

I do love this style of racing. If we could get more short ovals, my hand goes up every time we ask.

Q. How much were you planning the move between the rain delay?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: That wasn’t really planned. I was just going. I don’t know where I’m going, I’m just going. He’s going to go as hard as he can to the corner, I’m going to go harder. It may work out, it may not. That’s sometimes my mentality. It seemed to work tonight.

But it wasn’t super premeditated, the actual maneuver. It can good so many ways. If I get a big run on Scott, go inside of him, that’s one thing. If I go outside of him, that’s another thing. I didn’t have a big run on him.

I’m just reacting. I’m going to bullet this first lap quicker than him and I was ready to do that. Fortunately we were prepped and ready and it worked out.

Q. Your relationship with Tim, it feels like it couldn’t get any better, then here comes another one. How much has that evolved over the years?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: He’s absolutely no slouch. I would consider him one of the best if not the best strategists on pit lane. Sometimes he doesn’t look like the best strategist because things that we can’t predict happen. I don’t put that on him. I don’t put it on the team. It’s INDYCAR racing. There’s sometimes unknowns. The yellows are so difficult to predict these days.

I think he’s a tremendous competitor, very good. He’s obviously been a student of this sport for many years. If you know Tim, he’s very passionate about INDYCAR. He wants to win more than anybody on the team. He doesn’t always show that, but it’s in there and it’s very alive.

I feel confident that I got the boss on the stand with me and we’ve had a tremendous relationship. There’s been no cracks in it up to this point. I don’t know that we’re getting better. I feel like we’ve been good for five-plus years. Definitely have no issues in that department.

Q. Cindric is a real kneeslapper.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Doesn’t like to show a lot of emotion, that man.

Q. You and Will are now three points apart. I assume Roger’s rules are similar to his NASCAR rules: you can race each other, just not wreck each other. How does it work out the next two weeks?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Hard to say. I think we’re just going to race like we always do. It’s kind of as simple as that. We race all year, we race hard. It’s not going to be the first time Will and I have raced together. We’ve had many, many races that have been in lockstep, 1-2, pit strategy, the whole thing. We’ll just fight it out as normal.

Clearly we don’t want to do something that jeopardizes the whole group because it is bigger than us. At the end of the day we’ve got three cars in the fight still. There’s nothing that matters more than putting a Team Penske car in Victory Lane.

As much as I want that to be, believe me I do, I will work to be that person, we also have to just make sure we remember that it’s about all of us and it’s about all the effort we put in. We have to make sure one car secures the championship.

It’s just a balance. We’re just going to race like we always do. Hopefully it doesn’t turn ugly at some point.

Q. What did you think when you saw Malukas coming?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I thought wow, that kid is hungry probably. Probably send it around the outside if he had an opportunity.

Q. And he did on McLaughlin.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I bet he did. I didn’t quite see that, but I assumed it was what happened.

I was real happy it was the last lap (smiling).

Q. Do you think he would have had anything for you with one more lap?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Hard to say. I think he would have had a shot. There is no doubt. He was a little better on tires it sounds like. I think McLaughlin went loose. I was not. I was sort of managing the gap. I was actually trying to help Scott. I didn’t want to stay too far away to bunch Scott up to David, so I was trying to push the pace a bit. But I still had some on hand.

I think if David mounted like a real effort on me, I would have had more to push on him. But I don’t know. 10 more laps, maybe he gets me. It’s impossible to say. I think time worked out for us.

Q. This is a hypothetical. If he does get to you, you’re in this championship battle, are you at all nervous with a rookie, what’s he going to do to get his first win?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yes, sometimes. Yeah, for sure, when you see rookies, I think you definitely are a bit more cautious or reserved or at least you’re second-guessing what you think you should be doing.

I would give Malukas a lot of respect. He’s probably been one of the cleanest rookies I’ve ever seen. He’s been almost too respectful. They talk about that on the broadcast. It’s funny to watch back. Malukas, he puts his elbows out, Townsend keeps saying that. Poor David. He’s been doing a great job.

It is true that if you’re too respectful you can get run over in this series. I said that in Nashville. I didn’t say it in joking fashion. That’s how people race these days. You have to put your elbows out, you got to fight people now. If you don’t, they’re going to fight you back and you’re going to end up passed or in the wall.

He’s just been like the most respectful driver I’ve seen out of a rookie in a long time. I think he’s starting to, How much can I push on people? He probably would have done that tonight. But I would have felt comfortable racing with him. I think he’s the best rookie I’ve seen in a long time to be racing respectfully.

Q. What changed from last year to this year with yellows? How much more does that impress you it was just the one yellow for the one bit of contact?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: For sure the track improved. Like I said earlier, I think the second lane session was helpful. There was not as much marbles. Normally what you would see from the wrecks in the previous years if you touched the second lane, touched it with your outside tire, let alone getting a whole car out there, you’re skating off and getting sent into the wall. That didn’t happen tonight.

You could get up there and you could make a mistake, end up in the second lane, recover the car. A lot of what you saw I think was better track conditions. For whatever reason, I think some of it is that second session that we ran, the second lane was more forgiving tonight. People didn’t get bit as often.

Q. The rain earlier today, wash off all the rubber from yesterday’s sessions?

JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Not much. Maybe a little bit. It’s funny, when the whole track is clean, the second lane is actually better in some respects because it’s not as polished. You haven’t had people run up there a lot so the aggregate is a bit more rough. When you have a rough surface, it can sometimes be conducive to grip. When you polish a surface, it can be less conducive to grip.

Yeah, the rain wasn’t a big deal I guess is what I would say.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Scott McLaughlin, third place finisher, is joining us, sixth podium of the season, seventh podium of his career. Four of those seven coming on ovals.

Congratulations, Scott. Disappointed or what? What are the emotions?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: I think our car was very good in the afternoon, late evening when the sun was still out. After the sun went away, lost my balance in that last stint. Didn’t have what Josef and David had. David (Malukas, Honda) was strong, coming at us really hard. Obviously me and Josef pulled away. I sort of knew I didn’t have much.

Midway through the stint, started loose. Hard to get runs similar what I had in the daylight. Yeah, that second-to-last lap, I got a little bit loose off of three and four. Dave got a good run. I could see what he was doing. I couldn’t get out wide because of the confidence I had in the rear of the car.

But he did a phenomenal job. He’s been doing an amazing job all year. First podium in INDYCAR is pretty hard to come by, especially on a short oval.

THE MODERATOR: You expected him to come around the outside?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Yeah. I mean, I did what I thought. I went the high line against Josef, that didn’t work. I went low line against Dave thinking, He’s a rookie, he might not, he might not. Then he did. Oh, well, I was wrong. Went around the outside.

It was a solid move. Credit to you. It was awesome. That’s what oval racing is all about. I left him enough room, he left me enough room, we got through there two-by-two. It was a stellar pass. What we’re doing with building the lanes, making them really nice for oval racing is really cool.

I’m absolutely disappointed. I felt like we were really solid there today in the daylight. Yeah, sort of lost it there at the end.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Scott, two more races left, how much are you thinking points right now?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Look, a win would have been really nice tonight. Ultimately top five would be fantastic right now. But we’re still in the fight, which is the main thing. Two races to go, who knows what will happen.

Yeah, still feeling like we’re just going to attack these next two races with nothing to lose, have a bit of fun.

Q. Scott, you had a nice jump on the restart. Were you surprised Josef got you so quickly?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: No. I think the slipstream effect here, when you can get a run, it works pretty good. Not surprised. I did all I could to try and break away as much as I could. I went into one pretty hard. I think if we had got through the turn three, maybe I could have held him off. He was quick.

Like I said, I think my car, it just wasn’t quick enough once the sun went down. That’s part of it. Unfortunately I think if we just keep going green, it would have been different things if it hadn’t have rained.

Q. How does that happen that all of a sudden his car looks like a rocket ship and you look like you’re standing still?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know.

Q. They giving him something special?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: No, no. I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know.

No, look, the main thing was that Penske won. For our team and Roger, it was a big deal. He just wanted us to get home. That was a big sort of talking point for us before the restart as well.

Look, like I said, I’m disappointed with third, which is a great thing. I’m feeling like we’re really building for the end of the year but also start of next year.

THE MODERATOR: A year ago you would have taken third in a heartbeat.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Yeah. Starting to learn who I am now (smiling).

Q. Scottie, I heard something you said recently, that you feel more at home now, at home in the U.S. and the INDYCAR SERIES itself. A place you feel you belong. 18 months ago the oval racing was very limited for you. Now looking at the performance this year, looks like you’ve been on ovals for years. You seem to be enjoying the ovals as much as the road courses.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, I think oval racing for me, it’s just special to be able to race in INDYCAR on an oval. It’s part of the DNA of INDYCAR racing. Certainly hope there’s more ovals in the future. I think many others would agree with me.

I’ve just had good teammates, got a good team, good cars, for me to be able to extract the speed and be really comfortable with it and learn quickly. I’m very thankful for that.

Yeah, I think off-track life is a lot easier. I feel a lot more at home in the INDYCAR SERIES. Know a lot more faces. It doesn’t feel as unknown, even in the media, sponsorship land, even the Penske organization. It was a lot to take on last year. I’m very happy with where we’re at right now.

Q. Because of the size of the delay, something you haven’t come across, does that play into the mind?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: It’s not that hard. Kind of like a practice in some ways. You have a couple of hours off, then you get ready to get back into it again. It’s just a bit more high intensity once everything gets going.

Like I said before, I don’t think my car was as good once the lights came on. We were really hooked up with the sun. It got a little loose, a lot more looser than it did in the daylight. That’s what it’s all about. Unfortunately we can’t run in the rain. It’s just how it is.

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