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CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
STREETS OF LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA
RACE RECAP
SEPT. 26, 2021

Newgarden grabs solid runner-up finish from pole 

  • Finish pulls two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion to second in standings
  • Wins the NTT P1 Award with four poles during the 16-race season

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Sept. 26, 2021) — Josef Newgarden did everything he needed to do in pursuit of a third NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship. He won the NTT P1 Award, led 18 of the 85 laps and had excellent pit stops.

But Newgarden had to settle for runner-up in the season finale on the 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary street circuit and second in the standings for the second consecutive year.

Newgarden recorded four poles during the 16-race season, which garnered him the season-long NTT P1 Award.

“It’s a different outcome for us, I think,” said Newgarden, who recorded two wins this season. “We were in the fight, which is the number one thing you’ve got to do, is just put yourself in position. We were definitely there. We had a shot at winning. We just came up short. It’s very disappointing. I mean, incredibly disappointing. You put everything into a season. You hope to win it, outside of the Indy 500. So, we just have to start over again next year, unfortunately, but we’ve got the crew to do it and we can bounce back pretty quick. So, I think we can have another run next year.”

Pato O’Ward came into the season finale second in points and with a strong opportunity to challenge for the title. The second-year driver of the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet started the weekend 35 points behind eventual champion Alex Palou. But contact with another car in Turn 2 of Lap 1 knocked O’Ward out of contention. He returned to competition and was able to secure third in the standings.

Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, finished 11th and secured the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rookie of the Year title – a first for Team Penske. Making the transition from Australian Supercars to INDYCAR, the New Zealand native was impressive as he negotiated the change. He finished 14th in the standings.

Colton Herta was the race winner and Scott Dixon completed the podium.

UNOFFICIAL TEAM CHEVY DRIVER FINISHING POSITIONS
2nd Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske
5th Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Team Penske
8th Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 ROKiT AJ Foyt Racing
10th Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske
11th Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 PPG Team Penske
13th Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP
15th Max Chilton, No. 59 Carlin
18th Charlie Kimball, No. 11 Tresiba AJ Foyt Racing
19th Dalton Kellett, No. 4 K-Line Insulators AJ Foyt Racing
21st Conor Daly, No. 20 U.S. Air Force
25th Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek
26th Callum Ilott, No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing
27th Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP

The 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season kicks off on Feb. 27 on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Year-By-Year Results since 2012
2021 ­– 6 wins, 8 poles in 16 races

Wins – Pato O’Ward (Texas2, Detroit2); Rinus VeeKay (Indy RC1); Josef Newgarden (Mid-Ohio, St. Louis); Will Power (Indy RC2). Pole – Pato O’Ward (Barber Motorsports Park, Detroit1, Indy RC2); Josef Newgarden (Detroit2, Road America, Mid-Ohio, Long Beach); Will Power (St. Louis).
2020 – 7 wins, 11 poles in 14 races
Wins – Simon Pagenaud (Iowa1); Josef Newgarden (Iowa2, St. Louis2, Indy RC2, St. Petersburg); Will Power (Mid-Ohio1, Indy RC3, St. Petersburg). Poles – Josef Newgarden (Texas, Road America1, Iowa2), Will Power (Indianapolis road course, St. Louis1, Mid-Ohio1, Indy RC3; St. Petersburg), Pato O’Ward (Road America2), Conor Daly (Iowa1), Rinus VeeKay (Indy road course October)
2019 – 9 wins, 9 poles in 17 races
Driver/owner championship (Josef Newgarden/Roger Penske); Indianapolis 500 win (Simon Pagenaud)
2018 – 6 wins, 9 poles in 17 races
Indianapolis 500 win (Will Power)
2017 – 10 wins, 11 poles in 17 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Josef Newgarden/Roger Penske)
2016 – 14 wins, 13 poles in 16 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Simon Pagenaud/Roger Penske)
2015 – 10 wins, 16 poles in 16 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Scott Dixon/Chip Ganassi);
Indianapolis 500 win (Juan Pablo Montoya). First manufacturer to capture all titles since Chevrolet returned to INDYCAR in 2012
2014 – 12 wins, 14 poles in 18 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Will Power/Roger Penske)
2013 – 10 wins, 11 poles in 19 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; Indianapolis 500 win (Tony Kanaan)
2012 – 11 wins, 10 poles in 15 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Ryan Hunter-Reay/Michael Andretti)
Total – 95 wins, 107 earned poles in 165 races

DRIVER QUOTES:
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 2nd
YOU CAME UP SHORT OF A THIRD CHAMPIONSHIP BY FINISHING SECOND IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP AND SECOND IN THE RACE. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT COULD HAVE GONE DIFFERENTLY FOR YOU TO FINISH IN FRONT OF COLTON HERTA (RACE WINNER)?
“No, probably just not the yellow. That didn’t work for us. Colton did a great job. Congrats to him and his entire crew. He took advantage of it. He was on the right tire at the right point of the race. We were still saving fuel, so he just kind of went on that restart with new reds. He had a good strategy. If there were no yellows, I think we would have been okay today to cruise out front. But that’s the way it rolls sometimes. It just doesn’t always go your way. But it was a strong effort by our team. My crew was the fastest in pit lane all year, so there’s a lot to be prideful for with our crew and certainly our team with Hitachi and Team Chevy. I think we fought hard. We just came up a little bit short this year, which was unfortunate. But we fought all year long.”

WHEN YOU COME THAT CLOSE, WHAT’S THE TAKE-AWAY FROM THE SEASON? YOU’RE A CHAMPION. TEAM PENSKE DRIVERS WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS. SECOND IS STILL AWFULLY GOOD. HOW DO YOU ASSESS?
“Yeah, you know a couple of things go different. It’s a different outcome for us, I think. We were in the fight, which is the number one thing you’ve got to do, is just put yourself in position. We were definitely there. We had a shot at winning. We just came up short. It’s very disappointing; I mean, incredibly disappointing. You put everything into a season. You hope to win it, outside of the Indy 500. So, we just have to start over again next year, unfortunately, but we’ve got the crew to do it and we can bounce back pretty quick. So, I think we can have another run next year.”

SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 5TH:
“P5 today in Long Beach. I enjoyed the weekend so much. We had so much pace, the car was beautiful. Obviously the yellow day glow was bright out there. It was awesome and I enjoyed the race. We started on the black Firestone tires, trying to do something different than the others and hopefully gain position in the next exchange going to red tires versus the black. It could have worked but we had a bad pit stop unfortunately so we settled where we were, yellow came out and we were in good shape, finished fifth. I think that was about where we could have been so pretty happy with today. Thank you to Chevy, thank you to Menards, and thank you Team Penske. It was an amazing weekend.”

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 10TH: “Yeah, it’s not the best end of the season to be honest. I had a lot of potential in the last three races, just had really bad luck in some instances but need to improve for next year for sure. We’ve got a great Verizon 5G Chevrolet and a great team. We have a lot of potential so we’ll have a very close look at everything this year and come back swinging next year. I don’t think we showed what we really had this year as a team as a whole. I think we all had a lot more potential so looking for a big year next year.”

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 PPG TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 11th
WHAT A YEAR FOR YOU. AND YOU ARE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR. CONGRATULATIONS. PLUS, THIS WAS YOUR FIRST LONG BEACH RACE
“Yeah, I’m really proud of everyone on the PPG Chevy. I think the car has been awesome, and I finally got it to my liking the last six or seven races. So, I’m really proud of everyone and I’m really excited for next year. This year was a foundation year; all about building and I feel like I’ve done that. Hopefully I can be a little bit further up next year.”

HOW DO YOU FOCUS ON NEXT YEAR? WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WANT TO DO NEXT YEAR?
“Every year I need to get better. I need to study what Josef (Newgarden) does different and what Will (Power) does different and Simon (Pagenaud) and figure out my flaws and where I’m strong and work out a ranking on what I’ll work on. I’ve just got to continue getting better with that. And then obviously working on bits and pieces with my engineer and that will change during the year. Jonathan Diuguid will be moving on to the IMSA Sportscar program, so I’ll have a new engineer I’ve got to work with and it’s all about building relationships and getting better.”

PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET – IN PADDOCK ON LAP 18 TO REPAIR DAMAGE RECEIVED IN LAP ONE INCIDENT — Finished 28th:
UNFORTUNATELY, THE CHAMPIONSHIP WILL NOT COME THIS YEAR, BUT WHAT A SEASON IT WAS. LET’S GO BACK TO THE START AND THE CONTACT WITH ED JONES. WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THIS RACE?
“Yeah, it’s not the first time he’s hit us. And not the first time he does something stupid all season. So, I just wish he could use his head a little bit more; at least respect the guys that are fighting the championship. I don’t know what else to say. That corner is kind of just respect the guys that’s in in front and then maybe you get a run. I mean, I’m not telling him not to race me but don’t be stupid about it.”

BIG PICTURE NOW. YOUR FIRST INDYCAR WINS, MULTI-WINS, CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT, WHERE IS THIS PROGRAM AT NOW HEADING INTO NEXT SEASON?
“I think we’ve had a great season so far. I’m proud of the team. I’m proud of myself. Obviously, it wasn’t the perfect of seasons, but I think that’s just how it’s going to be. You have to learn from the little mistakes that you might have made and then, I feel like that gets you stronger. I’m looking forward to next year. I think we have a great baseline to start off from and see if we can get some more wins and challenge for a chance for another title.”

NTT INDYCAR SERIES POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE
JOSEF NEWGARDEN
THE MODERATOR: Joining us obviously two of the three off the podium from today, Josef Newgarden comes home second, his sixth podium of the season, seventh straight top 10 this year in 2021.
We’ll begin with Josef. Starting with pole, you hung with it at the top, then what happened?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: It was a pretty good day overall. I think Scott and me were pretty balanced. He was stronger at the beginning of the stint, I was maybe a touch better at the end.
The yellows, inopportune yellow for us. Timed pretty well for Colton. He was fast, made use of it. He was on the right tire at the right time. Once he got the lead, even us closing up with the yellow at the end, he had position on us when we weren’t fuel saving any more. I was basically able to hold position.
Pretty good day overall, but disappointed to not convert the pole to a win. Just coming up short in this race, coming up short in the championship is definitely disappointing. I think for us overall, we got to be proud of our fight, be proud of the effort we put in all year with our partners in Hitachi and Team Chevy. We’ll come back next year.
A lot of great competitors. Congrats to Alex, too. He did an amazing job all year with the championship, so he should be very proud with his group. We’ll congratulate them and come back next year and try to do one better.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Josef, in a nutshell, what do you think about a guy like Alex Palou who at the age of 24 wins the series championship in just his second full season in INDYCAR?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, I think he’s done a good job about maximizing his opportunity, right? Coming up, we all dream of having that type of team around you. Certainly within your second year, that’s a dream opportunity. So he’s certainly got all the resources and people around him to make it happen.
He’s done the job clearly. He’s been solid all year. Been well within the fight. I said earlier in the year I think from the young crop of drivers he looks the most complete. Maybe that’s just because he has a couple more years on a lot of the other younger guys. He’s definitely been very complete all year. Seems to be very Dixon-esque in a lot of ways. Scott has been sort of the measure over the last couple decades of how you be a champion. Alex seems to embody that pretty well.
He could have a very good run over the course of his career. We don’t know. We’ll see. I’m sure he’ll have a lot of time to stick around and see what he can do.
Q. Aside from today’s runner-up finish, what would you say would be the highlight of your season?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I don’t know. Probably the two wins. I guess those are the highlights. Mid-Ohio and Gateway. I would say those two.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Josef. Josef by the way also wins and clinches the season-long NTT P1 Award. A nice boost heading into 2022.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

CHEVROLET NTT INDYCAR SERIES – STREETS OF LONG BEACH-LONG BEACH GRAND PRIX-SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN CAPTURES ROOKIE-OF-THE-YEAR TITLE

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
STREETS OF LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA
SCOTT MCLAUGLIN WINS ROOKIE-OF-THE-YEAR
SEPT. 26, 2021

Chevrolet powers McLaughlin to Rookie of the Year title

Team Penske driver impresses in first NTT INDYCAR SERIES season 

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Sept. 26, 2021) – He’s a long way from New South Wales, Australia, and the familiarity of the cockpit of the Australian Supercar he has driven to 56 race wins and three championships. But Scott McLaughlin has taken to American open-wheel racing and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES with remarkable determination and the ability to maximize his impressive skill set. 

At times it wasn’t easy — it’s a leap from sedan racing, although competition is on both road and street courses — to single-seat, open-cockpit, open-wheel IndyCars. And he is undoubtedly his biggest critic. McLaughlin, who completed his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES season with 11th- place finish in the No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet on the Streets of Long Beach, has won the INDYCAR Rookie of the Year title.  

“I’m really proud of everyone on the PPG Chevy,” said McLaughlin. “I think the car has been awesome, and I finally got it to my liking the last six or seven races. So, I’m really proud of everyone at Team Penske and I’m really excited for next year. This year was a foundation year; all about building and I feel like I’ve done that. Hopefully I can be a little bit further up next year.” 

The native of Hamilton, New Zealand, made the move from competing for Team Penske in Australian Supercars to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. McLaughlin quickly showed adaptability in handling the 1,700-pound race car with Chevrolet’s powerful 2.2-liter V-6, direct-injected, twin-turbocharged engine. 

“Congratulations to Scott McLaughlin on winning the 2021 INDYCAR Rookie of the Year award,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president Motorsports and Performance. “It was impressive how quickly he adapted to racing in the IndyCar Series. Scott combined his incredible skills with an absolute openness to learn every time he drove the No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet in a test, practice or race. We are so proud to have Scott as part of Team Chevy and look forward to continued success in the 2022 season.” 

Starting the season at Barber Motorsports Park, McLaughlin garnered two top-five finishes, including runner-up on the Texas Motor Speedway oval, and five top 10s. Romain Grosjean (one pole and one podium) and Jimmie Johnson were the other first-year drivers. McLaughlin was the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Race with a top-20 qualifying and finishing effort. He made his inaugural appearance in the Firestone Fast Six for the first race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and led first laps at Portland, Oregon. 

McLaughlin will begin his second season in the Team Penske Chevrolet on Feb. 27, 2022, on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

NTT INDYCAR SERIES POST RACE ROOKIE-OF-THE-YEAR PRESS CONFERENCE
THE MODERATOR: What a 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. Wrapping up not only the year, but obviously the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.Congratulations to our 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rookie of the Year. In the end it was a 33-point advantage over Romain Grosjean as Scott McLaughlin got it done.Overall your thoughts about the day and perhaps more importantly winning the Rookie of the Year.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, I think you get one shot to win this. It’s a proud moment regardless to win it. My ultimate goal was potentially top 12, top 10 in the championship. You always strive for more. To win the Rookie of the Year, it will sit with me forever and no one can ever take it away from me.

Today we took a little bit of a punt just with the strategy at the start, staying out. Would have worked out if there wasn’t another quick yellow. Unfortunately there was. We pitted obviously. It put us back to sort of 22, 23. After that it was all just about trying to make the most of what we had. We moved our way forward all the way to 11th.

Overall towards the end of the season, since probably St. Louis, potentially before that, I felt like I’ve had a good stranglehold on the car. I’ve come in leaps and bounds in terms of my confidence with the care. It really sets me up well for 2022.

Qualifying is skill my Achilles’ heel right now, with the different compounds, getting used to that tire-wise. I’m happy. I had a year that’s had its ups and downs, overperformed, under performed, had a podium, close to having some semi-good results at the Indy 500. I’ve really enjoyed it.

Proud of this year because it could have gone one of two ways. It’s been a big challenge for me and my wife to come back across here, order a couch, took four weeks to get a couch, then you sit on bean bags for a while, testing, doing a lot of different things. It’s been a lot of things off and on the track and just really proud to get through it with some success at the end of it.

THE MODERATOR: You can’t test at a place like Long Beach or the street courses. Last year I remember a chilly Indianapolis Motor Speedway, your first opportunity to run in a car. It’s been quite a transition for you this year.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, if I think back to that point, where I was when I was then, to where I am now, confidence levels, how I feel in the car, it’s completely different. This is my first ever open-wheel championship. The only thing I’ve driven is two races in a Formula Ford. This is a different kettle of fish, probably the most competitive series in the world. To compete with these guys, girls, Simona, at the Indy 500 is a privilege.

I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s made me better. I certainly feel like I’m a better racing driver even though I’m finishing the solidly finishing in the back edge of the 12. But I feel better and I’m excited for what’s ahead.

THE MODERATOR: We’ll take questions.

Q.Can you comment on the excitement around the young talent in INDYCAR.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, I think it’s exciting for the category. You look at Alex, who just won the championship. Big congrats to him. A second-year guy just made it all happen and the most of his opportunity at Ganassi. Pato and Rinus. Both won this year. Pato nearly won the championship. It’s exciting. Colton obviously winning today.

INDYCAR is in such a good set right now, it’s getting ready to go. I’m excited for these young guys to come through. I certainly believe that someone like Pato or Colton, they’re good enough for Formula 1. They’re good enough to take it to the very top. I’m not saying this isn’t it, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find them wanting to leave.INDYCAR is so good right now, it’s such a good category. I can’t see it getting any smaller. It’s just going to get bigger and bigger. The fan base as well. I think that’s exciting.

Q.Where did you finish in the championship in the end? 12th?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: I think. I think around there. I really don’t know.

Q.What would you say is a realistic target for next year or are you just thinking in terms of wins or podiums?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: I think top 10 in the championship, for sure, I need to be pushing there, getting results in the top 10. I think we’ve got that merit. I think we took a few risks on strategy the last few races because of where we were in the championship, we had nothing to lose.

Next year, would we have taken that yellow at the start? Probably. Then we probably would have been a lot further up. But it’s exciting where I am and, like, where I feel. I certainly believe in my mind that I can be right there in that top eight, really be contesting for wins and podiums more regularly.

I’ve still got a lot to learn. I think this year, being able to go back to all these tracks that I learnt, I feel, yeah, it’s going to feel amazing.

Q.A massive focus at Penske on the 500. On the other hand there’s nowhere in the world where second place means less, right?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Maybe Bathurst (laughter).

Q.Would you say, given your performance this year at the 500, a victory there is on the cards?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Oh, I’m going next year to Indy with the idea of winning. I’m going to be in a car that can win the race. I know I’m quick there. I know I’m quick on ovals. I feel like I’ve got a handle on it. It’s just a matter of having a good month, building up to it. Dotting my Is, crossing my Ts, not speeding in pit lane. That really hampered me. I think we were on for a top five.

I feel like this whole rookie thing could have been sealed a lot longer if I could have finished where I was going to finish at the Indy 500. I was infatuated with the Bathurst 1000 before I won it. Now I’m infatuated with the Indy 500. With my wife, I’ll watch old Indy 500s on tele, YouTube videos, watch anything at the end of the day. I just will be infatuated with it until I go good there and get a result. Certainly I want to get there next year.

THE MODERATOR: 14th overall in the championship this year.

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Oh, damn it. Must have been close.

THE MODERATOR: Yes.

Q.Is there one memory that stands out from this year?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: I think you have to go back to Texas, following Scottie there. I certainly didn’t think I’d be in that position. I thought we could have been easily top five. To be battling for the win almost, really chasing him till the end, that was a good feeling.

I think also starting my first Indy 500, there’s nothing better. Rolling out and seeing all the fans. Every driver in the intro room was saying, Wait till you see it next year when it’s full. I can’t wait. What I saw, 50% or whatever it was, it’s going to be off the chain. I’m really excited for that.

Q.Out of all these tracks, they were all new this year, is there one that really stood out as a track you felt comfortable at and enjoyed? How has life been in the U.S. by comparison to living down this way?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: To be honest, I really enjoyed Laguna Seca. I felt really comfortable there. Felt like we had a really good car. Out of all the street tracks, I feel like this one’s probably my favorite. Out of the ovals, obviously Indianapolis was probably my favorite obviously just for obvious reasons.

In terms of living in America, it’s just a whole lot bigger. New Zealand, it’s a beautiful place, but the amount of people and things you can do here, I think no disrespect to the Americans, I feel like they take for granted what they have here. It’s such an amazing country. I feel privileged to live here. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to potentially go a Green Card and permanent residency. I also feel privileged to have a passport in New Zealand to go home whenever I want. Miss my home terribly. Miss my mom and dad. They haven’t seen me in the INDYCAR in the flesh yet. It’s been on the box, watching on TV. They’re my biggest fans. I can’t wait for them to be at the Indy 500 next year.

Q.What can you take from this season to go forward into next year to come out with a better result?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Like I’ve said, I need to get qualifying sorted and understand the tire. The hardest thing for me here is I’ve been so used in the super car extracting qualifying, you only had one lap to do it basically. The peak of the tire, you learnt that quite quickly, how to get it to its peak early enough in the lap to do a really good lap time over one lap.Here the laps — your fastest lap sometimes happens on lap two, three, potentially lap four. Trying to get the tire to come on at the very perfect, right time is very difficult and hard to understand or explain.But that will be certainly what I work on in the off-season, trying to understand. But I think I’ve slowly got it. It’s just the guys that have got it sorted, the guys that have been around for many years, even guys like Romain who have been on different compounds for a long time, they’ve got it sorted. I have to work hard to make it to that point.If I can get qualifying sorted, I feel like I’m as good as many people in the race.

Q.What was it that attracted you to INDYCAR?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: The opportunity to race for Team Penske, probably the most world famous team, one of the most world famous teams in the sport of motorsports. To drive for Roger in INDYCAR is pretty special. To then race at tracks like this, race the Indy 500, events that I’ve watched since I was a little kid, that’s certainly special.

It’s just, yeah, an opportunity to try something completely different. I have so many bad habits from my super car days that have hampered me this year, so I think that’s why I’ve gone good on the oval because I’ve never been on an oval before, so I’ve got no bad habits.

The road course stuff, it’s just completely different. I don’t have a roof over my head anymore. I’ve got a windscreen, but it’s different. I have open-wheels. I’m not banging doors any more. I can’t bang doors because if I do that, I’m going to be in a lot of trouble. It’s a lot of hard work trying to understand, trying to portray that to the media and the public. I’ve enjoyed the transition, feel like I’ve done an okay job.

Q.If I’m not mistaken, I believe you are the very first Rookie of the Year winner from Team Penske, probably the only thing they didn’t win in INDYCAR yet. What did you feel about racing for Team Penske in your first season?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: I think it just shows that Roger doesn’t really employ rookies (smiling).I feel privileged to be in that position. But I also feel a bit vulnerable. Look, it’s a proud moment. Like I said, you get one chance to win this Rookie of the Year. I was lucky to win Rookie of the Year at Indy, Rookie of the Year this year in the championship. Any time you’re winning for Roger in any way, shape or form he’s happy. Yeah, hopefully it’s just a little bit of job security (smiling).

Q.You got your best result of the year in second place at Texas on an oval. Was it a surprise to you? What do you feel is your comfort level on these tracks now?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: If we had qualifying and I was able to qualify, I feel like we could have qualified in the top five. I felt really strong on the ovals, like I said. Especially at Texas. I was a bit bummed not to qualify that race. Then we started 15. That’s where it was a surprise because I was just surprised. We made our way through, had really good speed on the in and out laps. I don’t really know what to expect on the in and out laps. One of my first times heading into pit road at speed because it had rained over practice, qualifying and stuff.It was one of those things where I just trusted my instincts, trusted my talent, my feelings. It worked really good. So the minute after that, I was like, Well, if I can maximize that, I can be better and better. I started overdriving. I sort of am back to where I felt at Texas, where I’m letting it all happen, enjoying it.Yeah, that was definitely a pivotal moment for me this year, something I really enjoyed.

Q.After racing in touring cars in Australia and New Zealand for many years, is this what you expected or were there some things that surprised you?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: No, no, there was certainly — I think how hard it’s been to extract the speed on the red and the black tire in qualifying. I found it easier to do it in practice because you have I guess an unlimited amount of laps. If you make a mistake, you can get away with it. In qualifying you simply can’t. The battles are so close, so tight, you can’t afford to make any mistakes.I’m surprised with the competitiveness of the category, I think everyone has. This year it’s been crazy close, you just can’t make mistakes. That’s why we go racing. We take the risks to get faster and faster and I feel good.

Q.Do Supercars have a Rookie of the Year title? I assume you won it in 2013?

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, they do. It’s called the Mike Kable Young Gun Award, unfortunately named after a guy that passed away. I won that, which was pretty special, too. I guess you can say I’ve won in all the categories I competed in, which is nice.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. You’re a rookie no longer.SCOTT McLAUGHLIN: Thank God.FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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CHEVROLET NTT INDYCAR SERIES – STREETS OF LONG BEACH-LONG BEACH GRAND PRIX-JOSEF NEWGARDEN PUTS CHEVY ON POLE AT LONG BEACH

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
STREETS OF LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA
QUALIFYING RECAP-NEWGARDEN PUTS CHEVY ON POLE
SEPT. 25, 2021

JOSEF NEWGARDEN PUTS CHEVY ON POLE AT LONG BEACH
O’WARD AND NEWGARDEN TO BATTLE FOR CHAMPIONSHIP ON SUNDAY

LONG BEACH, CALIF (Sept 25,2021) – Two-time NTT INDYCAR Series champion Josef Newgarden came into the season’s final weekend knowing exactly what he had to do to keep his championship hopes alive sitting third in the standings 45 points down to the leader.

So far the driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet is one-for-one. He progressed to the Firestone Fast Six and turned that into the pole with a lap of 1 minute 08.22411 seconds/103.846 mph.

For the fourth time this season and 15th time in his career, he will lead the field to the green flag and add another NTT P1 Award to his trophy case. With today’s pole, Newgarden stays in contention for the season-long NTT P1 Award.

Team Chevy drivers Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, and Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet joined Newgarden in the final round of knock-out qualifying. They will start Sunday’s race fourth and fifth respectively.

Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, who came to Long Beach second in points, 35 points behind leader Alex Palou will start eighth tomorrow. Palou will roll off 10th.

Rookie-of-the-year contender Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, qualified 13th for the season finale.

Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Romain Grojean made up the remainder of the Firestone Fast Six, and will start second, third and sixth respectively.

NBCSN will telecast the 85-lap/167-mile race on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit in Long Beach, California at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 26. The race will be broadcast live on INDYCAR Radio Network affiliates, Sirius 211, XM 205, Indycar.com, and on the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA.

TEAM CHEVY DRIVER STARTING POSITIONS:
No. 2 Josef Newgarden, Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, Qualified POLE
No. 22 Simon Pagenaud, Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, Qualified 4th
No. 7 Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, Qualified 5th
No. 5 Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, Qualified 8th
No.12 Will Power, Verizon5G Team Penske Chevrolet, Qualified 12th
No. 3 Scott McLaughlin, PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, Qualified 13th
No. 77 Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet, Qualified 18th
No. 20 Conor Daly, U.S. Air Force Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, Qualified 21st
No. 14 Sebastien Bourdais, ROKIT AJ Foyt Chevrolet, Qualified 22nd
No. 59 Max Chilton, Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet, Qualified 23rd
No. 21 Rinus VeeKay, Sonax/AutoGeek Ed Carpenter Chevrolet, Qualified 24th
No. 4 Dalton Kellett, K-Line AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet, Qualified 26th

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CHEVROLET NTT INDYCAR SERIES – GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY: TEAM CHEVY RACE RECAP

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY
WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA
MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA
RACE RECAP
SEPT. 19, 2021

O’WARD AND NEWGARDEN KEEP CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES ALIVE LEAVING LAGUNA SECA

MONTEREY, CALIF (SEPT. 19, 2021) – Pato O’Ward may have the enthusiasm indicative of his youth, but his race craft and maturity in the car go way beyond his years. Although his No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet didn’t cross the finish line first, he and his team fought the entire 95-lap Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course that features a 300-foot elevation change and the famous “Corkscrew” in Turns 8 and 8A to bring home a fifth-place finish and head to the season finale only 35 points behind the points leader.

Team Chevy’s second championship contender, two-time NTT INDYCAR S ERIES champion Josef Newgarden finished seventh in his familiar No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, and is still mathematically in the fight for the title heading to the famed Streets of Long Beach.

With a 12th place finish, Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, has a 20-point lead in the battle for the INDYCAR Rookie-of-the-Year title to Long Beach.

Colton Herta was the race winner from the pole. Alex Palou and Romain Grojean
completed the podium.

UNOFFICIAL TEAM CHEVY DRIVER FINISHING POSITIONS:
5th Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP
7th Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske
8th Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Team Penske
12th Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 PPG Team Penske
14th Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 ROKIT AJ Foyt
16th Conor Daly, No. 20 U.S. Air Force Ed Carpenter Racing
18th Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Sonax/AutoGeek Ed Carpenter Racing
22nd Callum Ilott, No. 77 Juncos Hollinger
23rd Dalton Kellett, No. 4 K-Line AJ Foyt Racing
26th Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske

The final race of the season will be September 26th on the Streets of Long Beach.

DRIVER QUOTES:


PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, FINISHED 5TH:
WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES AND PROBLEMS THAT DIDN’T GO THE WAY YOU WOULD HAVE LIKED?
“All weekend we didn’t have it. We didn’t have it all weekend and I truly feel like we absolutely used every single ounce of energy and pace that this car had. We pulled off a mere miracle in qualifying in starting in the first three rows. And then in the race, honestly, that was as much as I had. I fought for life for those last few positions, which the red was the desired tire today. We only had one set of the new reds, so we had to do more of a black race than that. I’m disappointed but I’m happy. I’m happy that we honestly really maximized what we had. But am obviously disappointed that the guy we’re trying to catch outscored us again here. All we can do at Long Beach is win and then let everything else fall.”

YOU CAN CONTROL EVERYBODY ELSE, BUT IF YOU DO YOUR JOB THERE IS A CHANCE
“Yeah, I’ve got faith in myself. I’m pretty handy around a street course. Let’s see what we can pull off next week.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 7TH:
IT SOUNDED LIKE YOU WEREN’T HAVING MUCH FUN ON THE BLACKS OR THE REDS, WHAT WAS THIS DAY LIKE FOR YOU?
“It was just hard to do much more than we did starting 17th. We can’t start back there. We know that. It was just a punch to the gut yesterday with the way that went, two weekends in a row. It’s still a little bit hard to digest. I’m not sure what has caused that. But I’m proud of my team. They’ve been doing a stellar job. We’ve had excellent prep coming into the weekends. I’ve felt more confident than ever, showing up, and I’ve certainly gotten everything from my team. But I think we had a fast day. I really do. On a four-stop strategy, I think we executed pretty well. It’s just not going to make up much more ground than we did without some yellow help. And we, unfortunately, needed that on a day like today. So, yeah. We just need to start up higher. We know that. But Team Chevy and Hitachi did a good job for us. I think we got what we could out of it. Now we’ll go to Long Beach and at least try to get second in this championship.”

SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 8TH:
ON HIS RACE:
P8 today. It was a great face and fun. I enjoyed it. There was a lot of tire degradation in today’s race. It’s was all about managing. We had one pit stop in the beginning of the race that cost us 5th place overall. But it was a good fight. I’m happy I could help Josef a little bit in the championship. Excited to go to Long Beach, my favorite track, for the last race of the year. Thanks to Menards and Chevy. It was a great day.”

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 PPG TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED12TH:
ON HIS RACE :
“We should have been seventh or eighth, but I slid through my pit box which was the only mistake I made. But that did cost us three or four spots. It is what it is. But we have good speed and I passed over 20 cars. It was a lot of fun. The momentum that we have now in terms of where I am with the car and all that sort of stuff, so I feel like we are making great progress! I feel good. I think we are in a good place with the car. Now I have one more race at Long Beach to try and put a good result up on the board for the team going into the off season.”

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, available in 79 countries with more than 3.2 million cars and trucks sold in 2020. 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.

FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY -CHEVROLET RACING QUALIFYING REPORT

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY
WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA
MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA
QUALIFYING RECAP
SEPT. 18, 2021

POWER AND O’WARD LEAD CHEVY TO FIRESTONE FAST SIX

MONTEREY, CALIF (SEPT. 8, 2021) – Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G T
Team Penske Chevrolet, and Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet led Team Chevy into the highly competitive Firestone Fast Six.

Power, the 2014 NTT INDYCAR Series champion and winner of the 2018 winner of the Indianapolis 500, will roll off third in tomorrow’s 95-lap Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course that features a 300-foot elevation change and the famous “Corkscrew” in Turns 8 and 8A.

Title contender Pato O’Ward spun in the Corkscrew on his flyer lap in the final stages of the Firestone Fast Six. As a result he will start sixth on Sunday.

Two-time Series’ champion Josef Newgarden arrived at Laguna Seca a close third in the championship standings, but was unable to transfer out of round one of qualifying and has to settle for starting 17th in the 27-car field.

Colton Herta won the pole. Alexander Rossi, Alex Palou and Oliver Askew complete the Firestone Fast Six field.

NBC will telecast the 90-lap Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 19. The race will also be broadcast live on INDYCAR Radio Network affiliates, Sirius 211, XM 205, Indycar.com, and on the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA.

TEAM CHEVY DRIVER STARTING POSITIONS:
No.12 Will Power, Verizon5G Team Penske Chevrolet, Qualified 3rd
No. 5 Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, Qualified 6th
No. 22 Simon Pagenaud, Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, Qualified 9th
No. 59 Max Chilton, Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet, Qualified10th
No. 7 Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, Qualified 15th
No. 3 Scott McLaughlin, PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, Qualified 16th
No. 2 Josef Newgarden, Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, Qualified 17th
No. 20 Conor Daly, U.S. Air Force Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, Qualified 18th
No. 14 Sebastien Bourdais, ROKIT AJ Foyt Chevrolet, Qualified 21st
No. 21 Rinus VeeKay, Sonax/AutoGeek Ed Carpenter Chevrolet, Qualified 24th
No. 77 Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet, Qualified 26th
No. 4 Dalton Kellett, K-Line AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet, Qualified 27th

DRIVER QUOTES:

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – Qualified 3rd

WAS THERE ANYTHING LEFT IN THAT VERIZON 5G MACHINE IN THE FAST SIX SESSION?

“Yeah, there was a little bit left there in the last corner. But everywhere else, it was as good as it got there. It was a good lap.” 

YOU WERE ON THE PODIUM HERE TWO YEARS AGO. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE OUTLOOK FOR THE RACE TOMORROW AFTERNOON?

“Hopefully a challenge for a win.” 

PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET – Qualified 6th

WE SAW YOU SPIN OUT THERE. IT’S BEEN AN ADVENTUROUS DAY OVERALL. CONSIDERING ALL THAT, HOW PLEASED ARE YOU TO BE A PART OF THE FIRESTONE FAST SIX?

“This was our maximization. The best we did in practice was 20th just because we were all over the place. We didn’t really have the balance correctly and I’m happy with sixth. Fifth obviously, would have been better, but I was pushing just to try to get every ounce out of the car. We made it to the Fast Six, which seemed kind of like a long haul for us going into qualifying, but we accomplished it. So, I’m happy with the changes that we made. Now we need to make the race car go faster and see what we can do in the race” 

LOOKS LIKE YOU WILL LINE-UP BEHIND THE GUY YOU ARE CHASING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP IN ALEX PALOU. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT AT THE START OF THIS RACE TOMORROW?

“I’m a bit in the Ganassi group because I think Marcus (Ericsson) and Scott (Dixon) are in the row behind me. I guess we’ll have to see tomorrow.” 

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 17TH:

“Obviously, not the result we were looking for. We showed good pace yesterday and were on the right path this morning but we just missed in qualifying. Unfortunate as we’ve made things more difficult for ourselves. Regardless, we’re focused on doing everything we can to move forward and we’ll be ready to get to work tomorrow.” 

SÉBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 14 ROKIT CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 21ST: 

“It started off pretty good yesterday. I thought the car was seemingly in the window, just needed a bit of grip and a bit less understeer. It seemed like there was potential from the work we did at the (simulator) deal. At least it correlated pretty well, the feel behind the wheel was very similar. Then we went back out this morning and picked up a massive amount of understeer which was really strange. Put the reds on and it didn’t really fix anything, so made very little changes for this afternoon because for us the car has gone fairly oversteer between cold and higher track temps and sure enough we got loose on entry and really never recovered the front grip that we had in the center of the corners so it became a very difficult car to drive. Unfortunately it’s nowhere near good enough, so yeah, very disappointed.”

DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE INSULATORS CHEVROLET. QUALIFIED 27TH: 

“Not an easy session for us overall. It was obviously a scramble to recover from that hit in practice and the guys did a good job getting the car fixed up. Luckily it wasn’t too much damage and they were able to turn that car around quickly, so that was a good job by them. We tried to gamble and do reds-reds (tires) because we felt like without having the experience on reds from practice that would be a good move just to get some more time and see how those tires behave. The overall grip felt like it never came in and it was just kind of sliding around the whole time on the first set and then the second set, the same thing. Kind of loose in, quite a bit of understeer mid-off and kind of backed it off a bit to just put a lap together, but it just never really felt like the temps came up. Towards the end of the stint after the checkered going through (turn) 10, it felt like we were finally getting some load in the wheel, so maybe we could have gone a lap shorter on the first stint to do four on the second run probably would have been a better idea, but hindsight is 20/20. So we obviously have some work to do in the race but we’ve shown that we could have good race pace. Qualifying is still our crux, but we’ll have to make something happen in the race tomorrow.”

CHEVROLET NTT INDYCAR SERIES – GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY: TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF MONTEREY
WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA
MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA
SEPT. 17-19

RACE 15 OF 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES SEASON

Team Chevy heads to penultimate race in thick of title chase

Every point at Laguna Seca counts for Pato O’Ward, Josef Newgarden

DETROIT (Sept. 15, 2021) – The focus will be on three drivers, including two powered by Chevrolet’s V-6 engine, as the tight NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship chase heads into its penultimate event this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Pato O’Ward, driver of the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, is 25 points out of first place following the crash-marred event Sept. 12 at Portland, Oregon, while two-time Series champion Josef Newgarden, competing in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, trails front-runner Alex Palou by 34 points.

A maximum 54 points are available in the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on Sept. 19 and the finale Sept. 26 on the temporary street circuit in Long Beach, California. Basically, the title is up for grabs.

Two 45-minute practice sessions, qualifications and a 30-minute race day warm-up precede the 90-lap contest on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course that features a 300-foot elevation change and the famous “Corkscrew” in Turns 8 and 8A.

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES returned to the venue in 2019 after a 14-year absence. The event was not contested in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

O’Ward, 21, a two-time winner and three-time pole sitter this season, will make his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES start at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. He recorded one victory in five Indy Pro 2000 races in 2015-16 at the track.

“We are up against some great competitors for the championship, but we will come back the next two races and fight down to the last lap in Long Beach,” he said. “No pressure.”

Newgarden is the most seasoned of the title contenders, winning the championship in 2017 and ’19 and finishing a close second in the truncated 2020 season. He’s seeking to become the 13th three-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion.

“Going into Laguna Seca 34 points out of the lead is definitely doable. We are in the fight for the championship and that’s all we can ask,” said Newgarden, who qualified fourth and finished eighth in the 2019 race at Laguna Seca. “We have to hit on all cylinders these next two weeks and I’m confident in this team to be at a championship level.”

Scott McLaughlin’s ninth-place finish at Portland – his second consecutive top 10 and fifth of the season — gave the driver of the No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet the inside track to the INDYCAR Rookie of the Year award.

Callum Ilott, who made his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut at Portland in the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet, will remain behind the wheel for the final two races. Ilott, 22, of the United Kingdom, was the 2020 Formula 2 championship runner-up and is a Ferrari Formula One test driver.

“We have all been working hard together over the past few weeks to build our program, so it feels great to carry this relationship as a team for the rest of the season,” team co-owner Ricardo Juncos said.

NBC will telecast the 90-lap Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 19. Practice sessions and qualifications will stream on Peacock Premium. The race, qualifications and practice will also be broadcast live on INDYCAR Radio Network affiliates, Sirius 211, XM 205, Indycar.com, and on the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA.

Team Chevy will be represented by:
A.J. Foyt Enterprises
Dalton Kellett, No. 4 K-Line Insulators AJ Foyt Racing
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 ROKiT AJ Foyt Racing
Arrow McLaren SP
Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP
Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP
Carlin
Max Chilton, No. 59 Carlin
Ed Carpenter Racing
Conor Daly, No. 20 U.S. Air Force
Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek
Juncos Hollinger Racing
Callum Ilott, No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing
Team Penske
Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske
Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 PPG Team Penske
Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske
Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Team Penske

Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Year-By-Year Results since 2012
2021 ­– 6 wins, 7 poles in 14 races
Wins – Pato O’Ward (Texas2, Detroit2); Rinus VeeKay (Indy RC1); Josef Newgarden (Mid-Ohio, St. Louis); Will Power (Indy RC2). Pole – Pato O’Ward (Barber Motorsports Park, Detroit1, Indy RC2); Josef Newgarden (Detroit2, Road America, Mid-Ohio); Will Power (St. Louis).
2020 – 7 wins, 11 poles in 14 races
Wins – Simon Pagenaud (Iowa1); Josef Newgarden (Iowa2, St. Louis2, Indy RC2, St. Petersburg); Will Power (Mid-Ohio1, Indy RC3, St. Petersburg). Poles – Josef Newgarden (Texas, Road America1, Iowa2), Will Power (Indianapolis road course, St. Louis1, Mid-Ohio1, Indy RC3; St. Petersburg), Pato O’Ward (Road America2), Conor Daly (Iowa1), Rinus VeeKay (Indy road course October)
2019 – 9 wins, 9 poles in 17 races
Driver/owner championship (Josef Newgarden/Roger Penske); Indianapolis 500 win (Simon Pagenaud)
2018 – 6 wins, 9 poles in 17 races
Indianapolis 500 win (Will Power)
2017 – 10 wins, 11 poles in 17 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Josef Newgarden/Roger Penske)
2016 – 14 wins, 13 poles in 16 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Simon Pagenaud/Roger Penske)
2015 – 10 wins, 16 poles in 16 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Scott Dixon/Chip Ganassi);
Indianapolis 500 win (Juan Pablo Montoya). First manufacturer to capture all titles since Chevrolet returned to INDYCAR in 2012
2014 – 12 wins, 14 poles in 18 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Will Power/Roger Penske)
2013 – 10 wins, 11 poles in 19 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; Indianapolis 500 win (Tony Kanaan)
2012 – 11 wins, 10 poles in 15 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Ryan Hunter-Reay/Michael Andretti)
Total – 95 wins, 106 earned poles in 163 races

CHEVROLET NTT INDYCAR SERIES – GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND: TEAM CHEVY RACE RECAP

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND
PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
PORTLAND, OREGON
TEAM CHEVY RACE RECAP
SEPTEMBER. 12, 2021

JOSEF NEWGARDEN TOPS CHEVY CONTINGENT AT PORTLAND

PORTLAND (September 12,2021) – Two-time NTT INDYCAR Series champion Josef Newgarden battled from his 18th place starting position to finish fifth in today’s Grand Prix of Portland on the 12-turn, 1.964-mile Portland International Raceway that opened in 1961. 

The top-five finish keeps Newgarden in championship contention leaving Oregon third in the standings, 34 points out of the lead with two races remaining in the season. 

Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, finished a disappointing 14th when ill-timed yellow flags jumbled strategies for everyone. O’Ward is in the thick of the championship hunt leaving Portland second in points, 25 behind race winner and points leader Alex Palou. 

A multi-car crash in turn one, lap one jumbled the running order significantly that NTT INDYCAR officials had to carefully sort out prior to the restart. Fourth-place starter Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet driver Felix Rosenqvist was relegated to the back of the field with the other three starters from the front two rows of the field. With great strategy, Rosenqvist battled back to finish sixth. 

Rookie-of-the-year contender Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, finished ninth to give Chevrolet three of the top-nine finishers. 

Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon completed the podium. 

Team Chevy drivers finished as follows:
5th – Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske
6th – Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Arrow Mclaren Sp
9th – Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 PPG Team Penske
14th – Pato O’ward, No. 5 Arrow Mclaren Sp
16th – Conor Daly, No. 20 U.S. Air Force
17th – Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek
18th – Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 ROKiT AJ Foyt Racing
19th – Max Chilton, No. 59 Carlin
21st – Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Team Penske
25th – Callum Ilott, No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing
26th – Dalton Kellett, No. 4 K-Line Insulators AJ Foyt Racing

Team Chevy drivers in top—10 point standings:
2nd Pato O’Ward
3rd Josef Newgarden
8th Will Power
9th Simon Pagenaud

Next Sunday, September 19, 2021, the Chevrolet NTT INDYCAR teams and drivers head to the scenic Weathertech Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey California. 

DRIVER QUOTES: 

FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 7 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH“Portland weekend is over and was eventful as always; especially in Turn 1, where we knew it was going to be crazy. We got unlucky at the start of the race when we avoided the collision that was about to happen in Turn 1. I didn’t really have a choice but to go straight. The way the rules are written, you get penalized if you go straight compared to the guys who stayed on the track. I couldn’t have really done anything so it was out of my hands, which is a shame. We were in third and came out 18th after the reorder. The No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP team did a great job. We didn’t let that get us down, kept pushing, had really good pit stops, pit sequences, and the in and out laps were nailed every time. We kept getting ahead of cars each pit sequence and ended up with a sixth-place finish. I think we had a different kind of pace this weekend and it’s coming together more and more every weekend. Let’s ride out this wave and get some podiums the next two weeks.” 

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO.3 PPG TEAM PENSKE  CHEVROLET, FINISHED 9TH: “Pretty good day for us in the PPG Chevy. I led my first INDYCAR races so that was pretty cool. I thought we might get in the top-three, but unfortunately a mid-race yellow put us behind the two-stoppers. Our strategy was pretty aggressive, potentially put us in the top-six or so, but made a couple of little errors that cost us on the out-lap. Getting better and better. Leading our first laps just shows our promise. Good points. We will keep pressing on to Laguna and Long Beach in the next couple of weeks.”

PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET FINISHED  14TH“Today was obviously very tough. It just wasn’t our day. We got unlucky with some of the yellows and this race favored the alternate strategy, which you can see when you look at the results. It just goes to show how exciting of a sport INDYCAR is at every race. We gave it everything we had all weekend. The No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP crew was solid on every stop. We are up against some great competitors for the championship but we will come back the next two races and fight down to the last lap in Long Beach.” 

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (NO. 14 ROKIT CHEVROLET): “Obviously a bit of a sore day here for us at Portland International Raceway. Man, it looked like it was going to be a great day and after avoiding the chaos at the start and getting the lucky break with the reordering and getting fifth out of that, it seemed like we were going to do really good. Unfortunately, we were on the three-stopper with Pato and Ericsson and those guys and the yellows fell at exactly the wrong time for the three-stoppers like us and at the perfect time for the guys that suffered at the beginning of the race on the two-stopper and we could never recover from that. On top of that, we got tangled with Oliver Askew – more of my fault than his fault – and we were fighting with Veekay and he ended up just not quite giving me enough room to be able to make the lap. I was on the curb and just tapped the brakes when I saw him turn and just caught his left rear tire trying to get out of it. Just a shame we’re not getting much out of this weekend when we clearly had some pace, had a pretty decent qualifying and just a shame that we couldn’t transform the essay and we couldn’t get some good points again.”

DALTON Kellett, No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA AJ FOYT RACING, ChevroleT, FINISHED 26TH: “I’m so gutted for the No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevy team. We were having a great race going and got a little lucky off the start with that melee and the way that the order was reshuffled. Gained some good positions and was able to hold on and be competitive. The pace felt strong compared to where we were in qualifying, so really happy with that. It’s just a shame how this race ended early for us. Looks like we had an electrical issue. We haven’t diagnosed that yet, still waiting for the car to come back. We’ll figure out what it was and make sure it doesn’t happen again. This has been a tough weekend with it kind of being up and down for qualifying, things like that. The race performance, was happy with that. That’s a positive we have to take out of this weekend and just diagnose the mechanical issue and go from there. ”

GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND QUALIFYING

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND
PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
PORTLAND, OREGON
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING RECAP
SEPTEMBER. 11, 2021

FELIX ROSENQVIST LEADS TEAM CHEVY IN QUALIFYING FOR PORTLAND GRAND PRIX

PORTLAND – (September 11, 2021) Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, led Team Chevy in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Portland. After advancing to the Firestone Fast Six, Rosenqvist captured the fourth starting position for tomorrow’s 110-lap/216-mile Grand Prix of Portland on the 12-turn, 1.964-mile Portland International Raceway that opened in 1961.

Chevrolet-powered championship contenders Pato O’Ward, No.5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, and Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, will start 7th and 18th respectively. O’Ward and team weren’t happy with performance on red tires, and Newgarden and team were lacking pace of this morning’s practice.
The remainder of the Team Chevy drivers qualified as follows:

  • 11th – Max Chilton, No. 59 Gallagher Carlin
  • 12th – Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 ROKIT AJ Foyt Racing
  • 14th – Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske
  • 15th – Scott McLaughlin, No.3 PPG Team Penske
  • 16th – Conor Daly, No. 20 U.S Air Force Ed Carpenter Racing
  • 19th – Callum Ilott, No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing
  • 22nd – Rinus Veekay, No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek Ed Carpenter Racing
  • 26th – Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Team Penske
  • 27th – Dalton Kellett. No. 4 K-Line Insulators AJ Foyt Racing

Alex Palou won the pole. Alexander Rossi Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal and Colton Herta completed the Firestone Fast Six.

VeeKay will have a six grid position penalty for an unapproved engine change as a result of damage his engine received in an accident at Gateway.

NBC will telecast the 110-lap Grand Prix of Portland at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 12. Sept. 11, will stream on Peacock Premium. The racewill also be broadcast live on INDYCAR Radio Network affiliates, Sirius 211, XM 205, Indycar.com, and on the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA.

Driver quotes:

FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 7 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 4TH:

“It’s been a good day. The car felt good all day. Every session it felt like it was solid top-five which is where you want to be. We didn’t have quite the car to win the pole in the Firestone Fast Six. When you make the Fast Six, you always want to go for pole. But overall it is satisfying to have good qualifying. To be up there to help Pato’s situation in the championship to race hard against those other guys. So happy with where we are so far!”

PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 7TH: ON HIS QUALIFYING: 

“Honestly, its not too bad. Our pace on reds was horrendous. We made significant steps forward in Q2. But it wasn’t enough to have us go to the Firestone Fast Six. We can do a lot from here honestly. We are starting inside of row four. We need to make it clean through turn one, and then run our race with the strategy. We will work on the race car in warm-up. It is what it is I guess. We need to pass the other contenders contenders in front of us.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 HITACHI TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – QUALIFIED 18TH:ON HIS QUALIFYING EFFORT

“We just didn’t have any pace. It wasn’t a bad lap, it just wasn’t fast. So, I don’t know. I’m not sure. We’ve got a lot of fights, so we’ll fight back. I was really happy this morning, so I’m not quite sure why we didn’t have the speed there, we just didn’t. We’ll just have to figure it out. We’ll get together as a team and try and make the most of it and we’ll battle tomorrow, for sure.” 

YOU HAD TO BACK OFF TO FIND ANOTHER GAP AFTER YOUR FIRST FAST LAP ON THE REDS. DID THAT IMPACT ANYTHING?

It wasn’t ideal, but I don’t think that’s the reason. I think I was within a tenth or a tenth and a half of what I could do. So, we just didn’t have speed for some reason. It’s definitely odd.”


About Chevrolet

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, available in 79 countries with more than 3.2 million cars and trucks sold in 2020. 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 NTT INDYCAR SERIES – GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND: TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND
PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
PORTLAND, OREGON
TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE
SEPT. 11-12

RACE 14 OF 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES SEASON

Chevrolet seeks to maximize opportunities on West Coast swing

Points leader O’Ward, two-time champion Newgarden in thick of title race

DETROIT (Sept. 8, 2021) – Chevrolet teams, drivers and trackside engineers are primed for the September Swing.

Three consecutive weekends of intense racing that will lead to the crowning of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion starts with the 110-lap/216-mile Grand Prix of Portland on Sunday, Sept. 12, on the 12-turn, 1.964-mile Portland International Raceway that opened in 1961.

“It will be an interesting three races, as tight as the championship is. It always is this way,” said Will Power, driver of the No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet who won the last race at Portland in 2019. “I’ve never seen someone wrap it up in all my 15 years in INDYCAR, no one’s wrapped it up the race before the last race. It never happened. Looks like the same here.”

A maximum 54 points are available in each of the races on the Portland and Laguna Seca road courses and Long Beach temporary street circuit. None of the three venues hosted the Series in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five drivers powered by the 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 Chevrolet engine are in title contention and two are in the thick of the chase. Pato O’Ward, who won both races in 2018 at Portland on the way to the Indy Lights championship, is the points leader and Josef Newgarden is 22 points arrears.

“You try not to think about it too much because there’s so much racing (left),” said O’Ward, driver of the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. “Whenever it’s so competitive like this series is in INDYCAR, just a lot can shift in one race. We’re just going to push until the checkered flag waves in Long Beach and see where we stand.”

O’Ward has been standing tall in his second full-time season with two wins, six other top-five finishes and three NTT P1 Awards in 13 races. He was runner-up to Newgarden in the most recent race on the World Wide Technology Raceway oval.

“Now the championship is more into the mindset of just really be aware of who we’re racing and when,” he said.

Newgarden, driver of the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, has matched O’Ward with two wins and three pole starts. He advanced eight positions to place fifth in the 2019 event at Portland. Felix Rosenqvist, teammate to O’Ward this season, was runner-up.

External and internal pressures associated with maximizing points in the stretch run are familiar to Newgarden, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion in 2017 and ’19 and runner-up in 2020.

“When you go into a weekend, I think you’re just trying to maximize whatever your result is,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep doing what we’ve been doing. “We certainly have to be strong. We’re not in some cushiony position where we can just sit back and (let) anything happen to us. Hopefully we have a good, solid end here. If we do, that could add up to a championship.

“Chevy has been doing a great job for us. Real proud to represent them as always.”

Joining the Chevrolet lineup this weekend will be Callum Ilott, who will make his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut in the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet. Ilott, 22, of the United Kingdom, was the 2020 Formula 2 championship runner-up and current Ferrari Formula One test driver.

NBC will telecast the 110-lap Grand Prix of Portland at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 12. Two practice sessions and qualifications Saturday, Sept. 11, will stream on Peacock Premium. The race, qualifications and practice will also be broadcast live on INDYCAR Radio Network affiliates, Sirius 211, XM 205, Indycar.com, and on the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA.

Team Chevy will be represented by:
A.J. Foyt Enterprises
Dalton Kellett, No. 4 K-Line Insulators AJ Foyt Racing
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 14 ROKiT AJ Foyt Racing

Arrow McLaren SP
Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP
Felix Rosenqvist, No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP

Carlin
Max Chilton, No. 59 Carlin

Ed Carpenter Racing
Conor Daly, No. 20 U.S. Air Force
Rinus VeeKay, No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek

Juncos Hollinger Racing
Callum Ilott, No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing

Team Penske
Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske
Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 PPG Team Penske
Will Power, No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske
Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Team Penske

Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Year-By-Year Results since 2012
2021 ­– 6 wins, 7 poles in 13 races
Wins – Pato O’Ward (Texas2, Detroit2); Rinus VeeKay (Indy RC1); Josef Newgarden (Mid-Ohio, St. Louis); Will Power (Indy RC2). Pole – Pato O’Ward (Barber Motorsports Park, Detroit1, Indy RC2); Josef Newgarden (Detroit2, Road America, Mid-Ohio); Will Power (St. Louis).
2020 – 7 wins, 11 poles in 14 races
Wins – Simon Pagenaud (Iowa1); Josef Newgarden (Iowa2, St. Louis2, Indy RC2, St. Petersburg); Will Power (Mid-Ohio1, Indy RC3, St. Petersburg). Poles – Josef Newgarden (Texas, Road America1, Iowa2), Will Power (Indianapolis road course, St. Louis1, Mid-Ohio1, Indy RC3; St. Petersburg), Pato O’Ward (Road America2), Conor Daly (Iowa1), Rinus VeeKay (Indy road course October)
2019 – 9 wins, 9 poles in 17 races
Driver/owner championship (Josef Newgarden/Roger Penske); Indianapolis 500 win (Simon Pagenaud)
2018 – 6 wins, 9 poles in 17 races
Indianapolis 500 win (Will Power)
2017 – 10 wins, 11 poles in 17 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Josef Newgarden/Roger Penske)
2016 – 14 wins, 13 poles in 16 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Simon Pagenaud/Roger Penske)
2015 – 10 wins, 16 poles in 16 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Scott Dixon/Chip Ganassi);
Indianapolis 500 win (Juan Pablo Montoya). First manufacturer to capture all titles since Chevrolet returned to INDYCAR in 2012
2014 – 12 wins, 14 poles in 18 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Will Power/Roger Penske)
2013 – 10 wins, 11 poles in 19 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; Indianapolis 500 win (Tony Kanaan)
2012 – 11 wins, 10 poles in 15 races
Engine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Ryan Hunter-Reay/Michael Andretti)
Total – 95 wins, 106 earned poles in 162 races

CHEVY NTT INDYCAR SERIES – WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY RACEWAY

CHEVROLET RACING IN NTT INDYCAR SERIES
BOMMARITO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 500
WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY RACEWAY, MADISON, ILLINOIS
TEAM CHEVY – POST RACE RECAP
AUGUST 21, 2021

JOSEF NEWGARDEN WINS AT WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY RACEWAY FOR THIRD TIME

CHEVROLET DRIVERS SCORE TOP-FIVE FINISHING POSTIONS AND SIX OF TOP-EIGHT

  • Chevrolet sweeps podium under the lights at World Wide Technology Raceway
  • Chevrolet drivers capture top-five finishing positions and six of the top-eight
  • With runner-up finish, Pato O’Ward takes a 10 point lead in the driver standings with three races remaining in the season
  • Three Chevrolet powered organizations represented in top-five finishers

 MADISON, ILL (AUGUST 21, 2021) – Josef Newgarden came to World Wide Technology Raceway with his focus set squarely on doing everything he could to continue his march to secure his third NTT INDYCAR Series title.

The two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion took his third place starting position, avoided near disaster in the race that was slowed by caution six times for a total of 49 lap and drove to Victory Lane for the second time this season and the third time at the 1.25-mile egg-shaped oval in Madison, Illinois, just east of St. Louis.

It was the 20th career win for Newgarden and the sixth win for Chevrolet in 2021 with 13 races in the books. Newgarden now sits third in the point standings, just 22 points behind the leader.

Pato O’Ward finished second after starting fifth.  He was credited for leading once for one lap and as his championship rivals were caught up in on-track incidents impacting their finishing positions, the young Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet driver executed a well-planned race, and is now is the leader in the driver standings with a 10 point advantage going into the final three races.


Pole winner Will Power brought his No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet to the checkered flag in third place to make it a Chevy sweep of the podium. Power led once for one lap and continued on the momentum he built with a strong win at the Road Course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

Scott McLaughlin continues his remarkable rookie season with a fourth-place finish in the No. 3 Dex Imagining Team Penske Chevrolet. Rounding out the all-Chevy top-five was four-time Series’ champion Sebastien Bourdais driving the No. 14 Rokit AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet.

Former champion and Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud rebounded from an early race incident to finish eighth in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet.

TOP CHEVROLET UNOFFICIAL FINISHING POSITIONS
1st JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 SONSIO TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET
2nd PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET
3rd WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET
4th SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 DEX IMAGING TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET
5TH SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 14 ROKIT AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET
8TH SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET
11th CONOR DALY, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET
12th DALTON KELLETT, NO. 4 K-LINE INSULATORS AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET
16th FELIX ROSENQVIST, NO. 7 VUSE ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET
21st RINUS VEEKAY, NO. 21 SONAX/AUTOGEEK CHEVROLET
22nd ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 U.S. AIR FORCE CHEVROLET

Rosenqvist retired from the race due to a mechanical issue. VeeKay and Carpenter were caught in on-tract incidents and sustained too much damage to continue in the race. A total of nine of the 24 starters were in the paddock when the checkered flag flew as a result of several multi-car incidents. 

Next on the schedule is the Portland Grand Prix, Portland International Raceway (Oregon) on September 12, 2021.

DRIVER QUOTES:

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 SONSIO TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – RACE WINNER
ON A WILD NIGHT THAT SAW SO MANY CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDERS HAVE SOME MISFORTUNE, THIS WAS THE ULTIMATE ELIXIR, RIGHT, TO GET YOU RIGHT BACK IN THE TITLE HUNT?
“Yeah, any win is big. It’s been disappointing on a couple of these last events because I felt like we’ve had winning cars. Obviously, Nashville wasn’t supporting for us. It was tough to have a not-so-good-race in your hometown. And the GP wasn’t great. We came here with just an amazing car. Scott McLaughlin tested for us. He made a whole new package for us. I’m real thankful for my team and teammates and just happy to be falling back into this chase with Team Chevy and having Sonsio on the car tonight was good.

“Team Penske is good here. I’m so proud of this team! Team Chevy did awesome as you can tell! Great Mileage. Great Performance. This is so good.”

LET’S GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING WHERE THERE WAS SOME CONTACT WITH SIMON PAGENAUD. AT THAT POINT, HOW CONCERNED WERE YOU ABOUT THE RACE CAR?
“I was real concerned that we were going to have a tire going down. I knew his front wing had touched my left rear. I wasn’t sure how bad it was. I picked up a vibration and I think it ended up just being a bent rim. So, we got really lucky it didn’t get worse, but I knew our car was good. I was like if we can make it through this stint, and not compromise our positioning, then we’re going to be just fine.”

GOING TO THE FINAL STINT, HOW CONFIDENT WERE YOU THAT YOU HAD THE CAR TO BEAT AND THAT YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO KEEP PATO O’WARD AND THE REST OF THE FIELD AT BAY?
“I felt good about it. I was real confident we had the car if nothing silly happened. So, at that point, I was feeling good about things.”

PATO O’WARD, NO. 5 ARROW MCLAREN SP CHEVROLET – FINISHED 2ND
LATE IN THE RACE WITH NEWGARDEN ON THE RESTART, DID YOU KNOW HEY, I’M THE POINTS LEADER? DID IT GO INTO YOUR MINDSET AT ALL?
“I knew we were having a good points day. And I just had to keep my nose clean the whole race. Obviously, it would have been great to win. I think I had the car to win. Man, these Penske guys were really, really tough. It was really tough to get by them. I think we maximized today. I think we truly did. So, I’m proud of the Arrow McLaren SP No. 5 crew.”

WE HEAD TO THE WEST COAST FOR THE LAST THREE RACES. YOU ARE THE POINTS LEADER IN THE NTT INDYCAR SERIES
‘Yeah, there are still three races to go. But this is definitely the right way we want to go. So, we need to continue pushing.”

WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON 5G TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 3RD
SOMETIMES YOU CAN FINISH 3RD AND SAY I HAD A LITTLE BIT LEFT IN ME AND OTHER TIMES YOU CAN SAY I GOT THE MOST OUT OF IT. WHICH WAY DID THIS ONE GO?
“I was really lucky to finish third. I really didn’t have the car, honestly. I was definitely not as quick as the guys in front.”

HOW DRAINING IS A TRACK LIKE THIS? IT IS HOT OUT HERE
“It wasn’t bad until the end there and we were pushing really hard. Not terrible. Just a little tired like mentally tired in a long race like that. I got a bit tired at the end there, like mentally tired. I was physically fine.”

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN, NO. 3 DEX IMAGINING TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FIINISHED 4TH: “I feel like I jumped in a sand pit. I have sand up and down my back and its disgusting. BUT, it was an awesome day for us with the Dex Imaging Chevy. I had a decent car. I fell back at the start so I probably didn’t pick the right hole, I took it a little safe I suppose, but then on the third or fourth or 10th restart, whatever we had, they were crazy starts, but I really got into it, and got comfortable. We got ourselves in a nice position there. We were able to get a good finish.
“We tested here a while back, and my feedback translated to good performance gain for all the guys and I am really proud of that. I’m learning the car and getting more comfortable in it and learning to trust the car and myself. Really proud of the Dex Imaging Chevrolet. We had great fuel mileage and I can’t wait for what’s ahead.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 14 ROKIT AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 5TH
YOU LOOK LIKE YOU ARE COMPLETELY WORN OUT BY THAT RUN. THAT WAS A HECK OF A NIGHT. TAKE US THROUGH YOUR TOP 5 FINISH
“Honestly, I’m still not quite sure how we didn’t cycle in the lead when the yellow came out and we basically stopped one less time than everybody else, I think. And we stopped after the yellow. But I don’t know. I’ll have to look at it. But I didn’t quite understand at the time and I really thought shit, we’re actually going to be in the lead! But anyway. I didn’t have the fastest car but the car was still pretty solid. I was really trying to bring it to the end because I had that feeling like after the start and looking at all the chaos and the aggressivity and things, one yellow after another, finishing was actually going to be some valuable points. So, yeah I guess we were well inspired this time because there was definitely a lot of attrition and a top-5 finish with the ROKiT No. 14 Chevrolet is definitely a good result for us.”

ON THE STRATEGY AND PIT STOPS
“It was a total team effort for sure. Good strategy, good pit stops, and didn’t make any mistakes on track or in the pits. Actually, if that yellow doesn’t come out, I’m quite sure how it works out. But we’re going to do one less than some of the guys, so for sure. Anyways, we’ll take a top-5; and not really being able to pass anyone because there really wasn’t any passing, is a heck of a result.”

POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
THE MODERATOR: We have joined by the third-place finisher, Will Power. Power’s fourth podium of the season, 85th now of his career. That seems like a lot. Pato O’Ward, fifth podium of the season as he now takes over the overall points championship. He’s up 10 over Alex Palou with just three races remaining in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.
Will, tell us about your night.
WILL POWER: Yeah, actually I was really happy to finish third. Definitely didn’t have the car to challenge for the win. Yeah, struggled a little bit to get the car in a window.
Just did a really clean race, clean pit stops, no mistakes. Yeah, stoked to be third.
THE MODERATOR: Clean certainly because there’s a lot of attrition early on. Just staying clean was key. There was one point in the race, maybe the third stint, you lost some ground. Difficult to tell exactly what happened.
WILL POWER: That was when everyone was saving fuel. You literally have to lift at the start/finish line. If you wanted to burn more fuel to pass someone, which a couple guys did to me, you could. I lost track position doing that. I could have burnt more fuel. But I was playing the long game. I wanted to get that number and made sure we went a couple laps longer.
Ultimately I should have kept the track position. Nothing much would have changed to be honest. The guys that I was fighting, most of them just fell out, so it didn’t matter. I don’t think I was going to beat Newgarden or Pato.
THE MODERATOR: Pato, congratulations. Another podium. Perhaps more importantly you now take over the points championship. How big is this for you?
PATO O’WARD: It’s a very big points day for us. To be honest, man, it’s so tight. There’s still three races to go, 150 points on the table. Yeah, I mean, this means we’re going on the right path. We came off a solid run in Indy road course, now we have a podium with second. It would be great to rack up a couple more, a few more podiums.
Yeah, man, we’re just going to push until the checkered flag waves in Long Beach and see where we stand.
THE MODERATOR: Speaking of pushing, were you content with the podium? Were you thinking championship maybe versus the win?
PATO O’WARD: Yeah, man, I was happy. In a perfect world, it’s not ideal that Josef beat us. But, man, the guy had everything to win it. He had so much pace. I honestly didn’t have anything to challenge him.
The only way I could have maybe challenged him was if we got stuck behind lapped cars. But they were all very respectful, which is completely fine. Yeah, that’s a change (smiling).
Yeah, I couldn’t really get close enough. I didn’t want to throw away a second.
THE MODERATOR: We’ll open it up for questions.
Q. What did you think of the racing tonight? Scott Dixon said it was erratic, race control needs to look at it. What did you two think?
PATO O’WARD: In the beginning of the race, I mean, I was alongside — I will remain not saying their name, but I was alongside…
Q. Say it.
PATO O’WARD: No. I think you guys know who. I was alongside him. But people know who they can race dirty or not. I had a lot to lose today, and they know that. Yeah, they’re just taking advantage of what position they’re in in terms of the championship because it’s almost finishing.
Other than that, after the first — honestly, I wasn’t even keeping track when it was, but after the first hundred laps, my race calmed down a lot actually. But the start was pretty hectic.
I don’t know what you think, Will.
WILL POWER: It was me, wasn’t it (laughter)? That was the person. No, just kidding.
Actually, it was all behind me. I didn’t have any issues with anyone. I didn’t see anything. Everyone was saying after the race it was a very crazy race. For me, it was a pretty straightforward, no issues with anyone. Yeah, I didn’t fight Herta very hard at the beginning because it’s such a long race.
Yeah, it didn’t matter in the end, so… I just wanted to finish this race. I wasn’t that good, so just wanted to get through it, no mistakes. Yeah, I’ll be interested to watch to see what went on.
Q. Pato, the restart where VeeKay and Dixon and Palou were in their incident, TV said they thought you had backed out a little bit, you were racing safe. At any point were you racing safe?
PATO O’WARD: Yeah, I was fully alongside Rossi. I guess he doesn’t look in his left mirror here. He just turned in, so I had to slam on the brakes so I didn’t crash. Marcus had to, as well, because we were going three-wide into there.
I’m assuming that is what caused the checkup behind for sure. For me it was even sudden and pretty aggressive, yes.
Q. (No microphone.)
PATO O’WARD: I mean, I was trying to make positions when I could. I mean, it’s so important. It’s such a long race. Sometimes it’s not really so good to be risking so much in the beginning just because, I mean, so many things can fall.
Yeah, I was trying to make positions when I could. I mean, I had a run. It wasn’t like I was going to brake and let Hunter-Reay and Sato and everyone behind by, I had to pull out. I did but I got blocked.
WILL POWER: Sounded like it was Rossi (smiling). Just kidding.
Q. There seemed to be questions, the first couple of restarts, even the start, that the starts were way too slow. They were coming up in first gear, stacking everybody up. How did you feel about that?
WILL POWER: I actually did the start. I started in first gear. They told me first gear. Go at this point. I did exactly what they said. After that it was Colton. Let’s see, you know more.
PATO O’WARD: I can’t remember who it was. It wasn’t Will because I think you were in the first and second restart. First restart, yeah. I think it was either the third or fourth restart.
The problem was, the guys were starting to accelerate. Everybody is like, Okay, we’re going. They would stop and then go. That’s what makes the checkup so much. I don’t know why it’s so hard to comprehend. Man, just stay in one throttle, then go. It’s so simple.
But when guys just go, then stop, everybody behind us, I mean, at least with me, if you’re fourth or fifth in the line, you see the first jump a little bit, let’s go. If not, you just get eaten. They stop, you stop, you’re relying on the guys behind to stop, it just creates chaos.
Q. Early in the race we saw the high line getting used, especially in three. Did it marble up?
PATO O’WARD: Yeah, just all the marbles at the end of the race. Really, I didn’t use the second groove. I had big wiggles when I tried so I stopped.
WILL POWER: Yeah, I think it would be awesome if it got rubbered in. You would see one of the best races you’ve ever seen. It would be like Iowa. Yeah, I don’t know how they do that.
I was speaking to the guys that run the track. Do you grind up there? Do you do something that adds a lot of grip? That’s what needs to be done. It just makes the racing so much better, so much better when you got a second groove to go to, especially on the outside.
Yeah, you’ve literally got 10 laps maybe beginning of the race to do that, then it’s gone.
Q. Now that the last oval is out of the way, you have a couple weeks off before the three-week stretch to finish out the season. How do your respective teams prepare for three weeks out west?
WILL POWER: Yeah, we tested out there for our team. I know those guys tested, as well. Yeah, there’s not much you can do now. We’ll do some sim work. Pretty quick weekends, too. I think they’re shorter weekends. Not much practice.
It will be an interesting three races, as tight as the championship is. It always is this way. I’ve never seen someone wrap it up in all my 15 years in INDYCAR, no one’s wrapped it up the race before the last race. It never happened. Looks like the same here.
PATO O’WARD: Which was the question again?
Q. How does your team prepare?
PATO O’WARD: We prepare like we have been preparing the whole year, I guess. Now championship is more into the mindset of just really be aware of who we’re racing and when. But, yeah, I mean, to make your life easier, you score more points than the guys you’re fighting. It’s not really as easy as it sounds (smiling).
Q. Last week you were pretty frustrated at your race at Indy. Is there any frustration at not getting the top step tonight? Are you happy given what’s going on with the championship right now?
PATO O’WARD: I was happy. We did a really good race. I think I did a really smart — I think I maximized every little bit I could out of our car. But Josef was just really quick. The Penskes in general were just really, really quick.
So, yeah, I mean, I think for us it was a really good day.
Q. Was it difficult to balance the level of aggression towards the end knowing you wanted to get Josef?
PATO O’WARD: Yeah, I tried to catch him. I could get within I think 3 or 4/10ths. That’s as close as I could. If not, I was risking too much of getting some takeoff understeering into the marbles. Like I said, I needed him to have his wings messed up with a car in front for me to be able to get more of a run.
When one car has clean air and the one behind doesn’t, the pace is very similar, it’s pretty much impossible to get by them.
Q. Will, with four Penske cars in the top eight tonight, what has changed at Penske?
WILL POWER: Well, nothing really. I mean, like I said at Indy, it wasn’t due to lack of trying or hard work. Obviously there’s a bit of bad luck in there. Yeah, nothing’s changed. I think we’re just kind of seeing our true potential right now, yeah.
When you look at Newgarden’s pace all year, it really is not a lack of performance. It’s just a lack of just circumstance. Yeah, I mean, I expect us to be competitive for the next three races.
Q. Pato, given the intense ups and downs of the championship fight, how have you balanced that mentally with the high stakes of this year’s close competition?
PATO O’WARD: I mean, you try not to think about it too much because there’s so much racing. Whenever it’s so competitive like this series in INDYCAR, just a lot can shift in one race, as we saw today.
You just always try to maximize every session you’re in, whether it’s practice, qualifying, race. Obviously the race counts way more than others. Yeah, I mean, you kind of just have to weigh it out and understand who you’re racing against.
Too bad this guy beat us today so he’s closer in the championship to me. He did a great job.
THE MODERATOR: Obviously joined now by Josef Newgarden, for the third time a winner here, second win of the season, 20th now of his career. We talked earlier about the championship. Josef now 22 points out of first place.
Congratulations. It’s a whole new ballgame now for the last three races of the season, isn’t it?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, I think so. It definitely helps a lot. I was surprised when I saw the early wreck. Will and me were talking about it. Yeah, everyone was good, which is great. But it’s about time we got something to come our way a little bit. That’s what it felt like.
Yeah, it does help a lot. It helped a lot today. A win helps a lot. The team did a great job. Will was super quick this weekend. I thought Scott McLaughlin did a great job for us. He came and tested here. He’s a rookie that never has driven on ovals before this year. He helped develop a lot of the things I ran on the car here.
Everybody did a great job of pitching in this weekend. We had great cars. The circumstances have played favorably into helping us get back into this race, which is what we’ve been working towards. I feel really confident about where we’re going.
THE MODERATOR: The big announcement at Iowa Speedway this week where you have won three times. These types of tracks seem to be right in your wheelhouse? How are you so comfortable at tracks like this?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I’ve always liked short ovals. I think it’s some of the most fun racing out there. It’s fun to drive these type of cars on these type of tracks. It’s hard competing against Pato and Will at these type of tracks, too. I mean, I’m pretty sure whether it’s Iowa or here, these are the guys I’m racing. It’s not a given. They’re going to be very strong next year, too.
I’m excited to see it back on the schedule. Past success doesn’t necessarily mean future success. We got to stay vigilant. Yeah, I love the style of racing. I would put a lot more short ovals on the calendar if we could. I’d love to go back to Milwaukee, if we can figure that out. Iowa I think is a big favorite for everybody. To have a doubleheader is pretty cool.
I hate when we have these dinky little champaign bottles. This is awesome. Everywhere we should have big bottles like this. I know the boss, so I’ll put in a good word.
THE MODERATOR: We will let Pato and Will go and continue with questions for Josef.
Q. You had a bit of a collision with Simon. What happened on the backstretch?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Well, I knew we touched, his right front wing to my left rear wheel. I knew that. I was just concerned after it, I didn’t know if I had a tire going down or not immediately. I think it was just a bent rim. Fortunately that didn’t turn into something more significant somehow. I just had a vibration after the contact.
Yeah, we obviously had some sort of miscommunication. For me I thought he was making a move, I swung back out wide, went in pretty deep. It didn’t look like he got into the corner deep enough on me. I started to kind of come down so I wasn’t in the marbles. Looked like we just touched from where he was still at getting into the corner.
I would say a bit of a miscommunication. We don’t normally get together very often. It’s been a long time since I’ve touched with a teammate. It happens. Fortunately it wasn’t more significant. I hate to see that it broke his front wing. I came out better of that mix for sure. It only damaged my rim, was able to continue. It obviously ruined his race. I don’t like seeing that. Unfortunately it happened.
Q. From the manufacturer’s standpoint, Chevy was first through fifth. How is that for Chevy as a manufacturer?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Stellar. I think Chevy has been doing a great job for us. Real proud to represent them as always. Had everything I needed tonight as far as fuel, power, reliability. Couldn’t ask for more.
Q. With how your season really started with just a string of bad luck, now two race wins, how big of a morale boost is this for you and the team?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Any win is positive. Everyone is going to be really happy about that. Yeah, I’m pumped for the crew. I felt like we’ve been very competitive all the way through this summer, to be quite honest.
I don’t know that we needed a big jolt of confidence. We needed definitely some more consistency. Last weekend hurt us. It was a small mistake that kind of derailed the weekend with not getting qualifying right. Mostly that was on me. Just not setting my gap correctly. A small little mistakes like that can affect you from winning the race or finishing eighth.
I think when I look at our overall performance, our capability, do we have the capability to come to most tracks or every track and win the race? Yeah, I do. As far as a confidence standpoint, it’s been really strong. But a win, to seal that off, obviously it cements things. I think that’s always positive. Whenever we can get ’em, we’ll take ’em.
We’re going to need some more. This is kind of the situation we’ve been in. Road America didn’t help us, a couple other races that didn’t help us this year. We’re not where we want to be points-wise. But we’re clawing back. We said we would and we are.
Q. The end of the race, how important was it you did not catch Tony Kanaan?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I don’t know that it was critical. If I had a preference, I probably would like to not get there. So, yeah, it’s a game. I just turned into a time game at the end, how you want to manage gaps, how fast you really want to go. It’s a little bit boring. Probably didn’t look very entertaining.
It’s definitely a game that you’re playing, trying to figure out what’s the best way to run the car to finish the race, not use it up, not get passed, keep the thing clean.
It wasn’t critical we catch him. My preference was to not catch him.
Q. You could feel the air getting disturbed and it messing you up?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Yeah, honestly I don’t think it would have been very different if we caught him 20 laps sooner. I don’t. It disturbs the car. It’s been tough to drive here in the turbulence. I don’t think we probably have the degradation of the tire perfect where we should have it for incredible racing.
But it’s hard to create that perfect storm. It’s a moving target every track, trying to get the conditions and the tire and the downforce, it’s just really hard to nail it, exactly where it needs to be.
Yeah, I guess to answer your question, I don’t know that it would have made a big difference.
Q. Dixon said it was erratic and crazy driving out there tonight, race control needs to look at it. Did you see any of that, share that sentiment?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I saw it last week. When I started 20th last week, I was just trying to protect my race car. First stint of the race, I was about getting run into three or four times. Literally was just trying to not wreck while being aggressive and going forward myself.
Yeah, I mean, I think people are driving aggressively these days. They really are. You almost have to match it to some degree because if you don’t you just get run over. You’re sitting there going, Why are you running me over? Doesn’t matter who is right or wrong at that point, you still got ran over, right?
I would agree with him. Everyone just drives real aggressive these days. They push the cars to the limits, they push how much they can touch or not touch. With these cars you can touch a lot, generally get away with it. I think people are pushing over the edge of that at times.
I definitely feel and understand and probably agree with him that people are driving pretty aggressively these days.
Q. In the other series I cover, there’s allegedly a hierarchy where veterans will talk to the younger guys, say, We don’t do that. Is there a fix for the way guys are driving? Can something be said or done?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: That’s a tough question. Some of it’s self-policing, right? You end up causing enough problems in a row, an individual, that’s going to turn into a bad situation. Everyone’s going to not be happy with that certain individual. I think that frustration will not last too long.
So I don’t think it’s going — if you’re running up front around the same guys every weekend, I don’t think you’re going to have multiple instances week after week. There’s no way you can sustain it. In some ways that’s self-policing. You’re not going to get a lot of multiple offenses.
The hard thing nowadays is you’re up and down the grid. It’s really hard to stay at the front nowadays. Last weekend I had to start 20th. I’d consider us a frontrunner. Every now and then we find ourselves all over the grid. I’m not always around consistently the same people. You end up having these run-ins with people you don’t see very often during the year.
I think that’s part of what’s aggravating the situation, is the field is so competitive, it’s jumbled up every weekend. Different people are around each other all the time now. Couple that with aggressive driving, you’re just having a lot more moments I think where people are upset with each other.
It’s kind of the nature of the beast right now. It’s so competitive and so tight, the field as far as performance goes, you almost have to be aggressive to get in front of people and find an edge.
Like I said before, if you don’t bring that aggression yourself, you end up getting run over now. It’s a hard balancing act. But, yeah, I don’t think there’s like a pecking order as far as the veterans and who gets a talking to. I don’t think the youth really cares anyways.
Q. (No microphone.)
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: If you were talking to Will, we’d get a cage out. We’d settle this UFC style. I’d put some money on Will. That guy’s nuts. He just blacks out sometimes. You should see him drive. I don’t think he even knows where he’s going half the time. He’s literally just driving off instinct.
You put him in a cage, you don’t want to go against Will Power. I think it’s called psychotic, is what it’s called.
Q. Without naming names, are there drivers that when you get up beside them, you’re like, Yeah, no, this is not going to be fun?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: So difficult not to just blurt a name, but I’m not going to do that.
Q. I would be okay with that.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: You would. It’s late at night, between us, not going anywhere. Absolutely not getting suckered into that.
Yeah, we all have our feelings on who we feel like is not the right person to be around or who we think is aggressive more than others. It’s just part of the learning process, trying to understand your competitors.
It’s like that in any series, though. That’s not unique to INDYCAR racing. It’s like that in Formula 1 or sports cars or NASCAR. Everyone knows or has an opinion on who they think is probably not safe to be around on the track as far as protecting your car.
So, yeah, there are instances like that. I won’t be specific, but I think we all feel that way.
Q. Now that it’s time to make the numbers in the fight for the championship, is your strategy to win all three of them?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Well, I think the good news is, is if we win all three, it definitely adds up to winning the championship. That’s the good news.
As far as our approach, I don’t know that we’ve ever really changed our style or procedure. We typically show up every weekend and try to maximize whatever our potential is. We felt like we had a winning car today and we tried to win the race.
I think the name of the game for us is doing that in Portland, Laguna and Long Beach. Kelly asked me this question before the race. Of course, within the race, if there’s situations that arise, bring about an obvious change of course or change of approach, then maybe we would. Say the leaders get taken out like today, leaders of the championship I should say, then maybe you’re going to be a little bit more cautious towards of the end of that race.
But when you go into the weekend, I think you’re just trying to maximize whatever your result is. It’s really the best way to approach it.
Q. Given your past experiences fighting for the title, how much can you rely on that? Can you rely on your teammates with the tight competition?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Definitely can rely on my teammates. We have a lot over the years. They’ve always been good to me. I feel confident that we have a championship-winning team. I felt that, I mean, how many years have I been doing that? Is this my fifth-year at Penske? I think so. I felt that my first four years here. Every single year we’ve had the competitive capacity to challenge for the championship. I feel no different now.
I think, yeah, it definitely will serve us well in this homestretch.
Q. How do you think the strong end of the season will help you in 2022?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Well, we got to keep it up, right? We’re doing a good job now. Nashville was a little rocky for us. GP was slightly rocky, too. It can swing very quickly. We could be from being a hero this weekend to right back out of it in Portland. It swings that fast.
I don’t think we can be relaxed about anything. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’ve been doing. We certainly have to be strong. We’re not in some cushiony position when we can just sit back and anything can really happen to us. We can’t. We have to be solid. Hopefully we have a good, solid end here. If we do, that could add up to a championship.
Q. Not a very important question. The giant champagne bottle thing, the bigger the bottle, is that so you can get more people?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I mean, in all seriousness, it just looks more professional. When you hand someone a foot bottle, half this size, it just looks funny. When you look at a professional championship, we got a big champagne bottle that doesn’t run out in like three seconds, it just looks better in my opinion.
I think whoever has done a great job and gotten up on the podium should have a nice, big champagne bottle that sprays for a little while. You can hand it to the team and everyone can enjoy it. I just think it’s better for the series. It’s not that hard to do. It’s just a small request. I think it goes a long way to the appearance of the show.
Q. (No microphone.)
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I think they would agree. Talk to Roger or Bud about it. I think they would agree. Whatever the small details. I mean, they’re all about the details. Adding a little detail like that is not difficult. Yeah, I think it should be mandatory we have big champagne bottles.
Q. You have two weeks off until you go to Portland. How do you plan on spending the next two weeks off?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Well, I’m going to sleep probably all day tomorrow, I can tell you that. I was really lucky. My dad drove me up here this weekend, about four and a half hours from Nashville. He’s a sweetheart. He’s going to drive me home tonight. I’ll sleep in the car. How lucky am I? 30-year-old, still have my dad driving me around. Feel like the go-kart days.
I’m going to relax. I have some sponsor deals I’m going to do next week and the week after that. Once we go out to Portland, I’m pretty much staying out there, help my team try to maximize three events to go.

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