Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Recap
Track: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Race: Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey
Date: September 11, 2022
No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Laps Led: 5
Point Standings: 2nd (-14 pts)
Race Rundown: In what was one of the most-impressive drives of his career, Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet team charged from 25th to second in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Newgarden would waste no time driving up to 18th by the seventh lap of the 95-lap event. Newgarden would be fifth when the only full-course caution flag waived on Lap 39. He would pit for red tires on lap 61 and begin a charge to the front, eventually passing teammate Will Power for second place. Unfortunately, the two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion would run out of time and come home second to race winner Alex Palou. Newgarden clinched second in the championship with the result, his fifth-career top-two finish in the series standings.
Newgarden’s Thoughts: ” You know, in a lot of ways, I’m proud. I think I’m overwhelmingly proud of our team. We came up short in the 2 car, but at the end of the day, the team excelled tremendously this year. Outside of Indianapolis, I don’t think there’s a team that was in touching distance to Team Penske.
I’m filled with a lot of pride because I think the world of everybody on this team, not just the 2 car, but everyone on the 12, everyone on the 3. We’re all very close. I’m sad for the 2 car crew, but I’m also elated for the 12 car crew because there’s a lot of really good people there, and really a win for one car is a win for all of us. Obviously, we’re all competitive, and we want to personally be the winners, but when we win as a team, it is big for everybody. I’m filled with a lot of pride.
No. 3 XPEL Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 4th (-50 pts)
Race Rundown: Scott McLaughlin started eighth and finished sixth in Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of Monterrey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca driving the No. 3 XPEL Chevrolet. McLaughlin would start eighth and the New Zealander dropped back to the 10th position early. As strategy began to come into play, McLaughlin would move up to sixth during the only full-course caution on Lap 39. The second-year NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver would put on a spirited drive over the last 25 laps to make it up to sixth position. With the result, McLaughlin locked up fourth in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES final standings.
McLaughlin’s Thoughts: “We were doing our best for the team there and just covering Dixon. Covering our bases just so we wouldn’t get jumped by Ganassi. Once we got clear of him for the last stop it was just all about passing cars and using our speed. The XPEL Chevy was so good, and the Chevy power was awesome. Great car — fantastic and we just picked them up one at a time and got to fourth in the points on the last lap. Really awesome!
No. 12 Verizon 5G Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Start: 1st – 68th NTT P1 Award (most all time)
Laps Led: 17
Point Standings: 1st
Race Rundown: Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet team wrapped up the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship with a third-place finish in Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. One of the most-prolific racers in series history, Power now adds a second title to accompany his 2014 championship. It was a historic weekend for the Australian driving ace as he passed Mario Andretti as the leader in all-time pole positions with his 68th NTT P1 Award on Saturday afternoon. Needing a third-place victory to clinch the title, Power led 17 of the first 26 laps before giving way to eventual race winner Alex Palou. Teammate Josef Newgarden – who entered the race 20 markers back of Power – made it interesting as he powered his way from a 25th-place starting position to second during the 95-lap event. A calm, collected Power did not stress over the remaining laps of the race as he finished on the podium for the ninth time this season to give Team Penske its 17th NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship.
Power’s Thoughts: “It’s so surreal. In the offseason my wife said to me I believe you’re going to beat Mario’s record and you’re going to win the championship. It actually gave me confidence that I could do it. That’s how much confidence I have in her gut feel. I just couldn’t believe that they came true. I just knew I had to get the most out of those stints today and not lose any more positions. I had to drive the thing today. It was on the edge, very loose. What a relief to get that done. I can’t thank Verizon enough. They’ve been with me for close to 12 years now and without them I would never have had this career and obviously Roger Penske, the whole team and Chevrolet.”