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Scott McLaughlin to make Team Penske INDYCAR debut at St. Pete

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN TO MAKE TEAM PENSKE INDYCAR DEBUT AT ST. PETE 

Supercars Championship Leader Ready for First Open-Wheel Race Following 2020 COVID-19 Delays

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (September 17, 2020) – Team Penske announced today that Scott McLaughlin, the current Virgin Australia Supercars Championship points leader, is scheduled to make his long-awaited NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut in the series’ 2020 season finale on the Streets of St. Petersburg on Sunday, October 25.  

The two-time and defending Supercars Champion for DJR Team Penske (DJRTP) was set to compete in his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES race earlier this year on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course before the COVID-19 global pandemic forced several delays and postponements on racing schedules, along with international travel restrictions. Before the pandemic shutdown, McLaughlin participated in the INDYCAR SERIES preseason open test at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, where he ran consistently well and posted the third-fastest time of the test session. The 27-year-old native of New Zealand also competed in separate tests at the Sebring International Raceway road course and the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval. 

Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin is interviewed for the IndyCar.com live stream of testing at Circuit of The Americas (Photo by Michael Levitt – © Lumen Digital Agency)

“This is something I haven’t stopped thinking about, but I wanted to ensure my focus was on winning our third-straight Supercars championship for DJR Team Penske and all our partners in Australia,” said McLaughlin. “We are still laser-focused on that and have three more rounds to get it done, but I’m equally as excited to finally get the chance and make my INDYCAR debut. I’ve been doing everything I can to keep up with the series this year, from watching as many races as I can on TV to even talking to the drivers and some of the engineers back at the Team Penske shop. I never knew if I would be able to get behind the wheel of one of these cars this year due to all the COVID-19 restrictions, but I wanted to be ready if it became an opportunity.”

McLaughlin currently leads the Supercars point standings with just three rounds of competition remaining on the 2020 schedule. McLaughlin has produced a series-best 10 wins and 10 poles and holds a 143-point lead over Jamie Whincup entering this weekend’s race at The Bend. Over the course of his Supercars career, McLaughlin has won an impressive 53 races and 71 poles, while helping DJRTP claim team championships in 2017 and 2019 and winning the driver’s title in each of the last two seasons. He also earned his first win in the legendary Bathurst 1000 race in 2019 with co-driver Alex Premat. Though he is in just his fourth season competing for Team Penske, McLaughlin already ranks third on the organization’s all-time wins list, trailing only Brad Keselowski and Mark Donohue.

Earlier this year, McLaughlin made his “virtual” INDYCAR debut, competing in the series’ iRacing Challenge and winning two races among the full field of current NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers that were competing against each other while traditional racing was put on hold.

“Our plan has always been for Scott to run a race in the INDYCAR SERIES this season, but we never wanted to take the focus away from the main goal, which is winning another Supercars Championship,” said Team Penske President Tim Cindric. “COVID-19 certainly altered those plans early on, but with the way the schedules have lined up at the end of this season, St. Pete became an available option and we remain committed to getting him some INDYCAR seat time. We know Scott is ready for this challenge and this should add even more excitement to the 2020 season finale in St. Petersburg.”

McLaughlin will pilot the No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro+ Dallara/Chevrolet at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which was postponed from its original date in March and will now take place on Sunday, October 25. The race on the 1.8-mile street circuit will be seen live at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, with radio coverage on the Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network and SIRIUS XM.

Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report

Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report

Race:                   Iowa INDYCAR 250s – Race 2

Date:                   July 18, 2020

No. 1 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 1st – 11th-career INDYCAR pole
Finish: 1st – 15th-career INDYCAR win
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 250/250
Laps Led: 214
Points Position: 3rd (-53 pts)

Notes:

  • It was a big day for Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet team, as the defending NTT INDYCAR Series Champion started on the pole, led the most laps and won his third-career race at Iowa Speedway to mark a Team Penske weekend sweep, following Simon Pagenaud’s win in last night’s first race of the doubleheader.
  • As the race began, Newgarden showed he had one of the fastest cars in the field as he led the first 57 laps of the event before being called to the pits by strategist Tim Cindric for fuel and tires.  He quickly regained the lead on lap 63. 
  • Battling a bit of understeer, Newgarden continued to run out front and stretch his lead to nearly five seconds before returning to the pits once again on lap 106.  He would find himself in the lead once again on lap 120.  
  • For the remainder of the race, Newgarden would only relinquish the lead during pit cycles.  He retook the top spot on lap 189 and never looked back, cruising to his third Iowa victory by nearly three-seconds over teammate Will Power. 
  • Newgarden’s win advanced him to third in NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship points as the series takes a two week break before returning to action at Mid-Ohio in early August.

Quote: “It feels really good. I don’t know what we have to do to keep the bad luck off of us but hopefully this is the start. Our guys did an amazing job yesterday. I was so disappointed for them. I was angry for them because I felt like they had the winning car. They put in the work but they just weren’t able to get rewarded for it. So I was so determined to come back today. I think everyone was so determined to come back today to the track and have a really good race. And we just ran hard. We ran hard all day. I am so proud to be powered by Chevrolet. I feel like we had the package to beat. Fuel mileage, durability, and we had the power. And to have Hitachi back on, I think they gave us that good luck charm. So thank you to Hitachi. Thanks to everyone at Team Penske back at the shop. I’m just thrilled we were able to get this monkey off our back. I don’t think I have been here on pole before. So I was sitting here thinking we can do that. I don’t know why we can’t convert from pole. Just kind of a silly stat I guess. I knew we had speed. I felt totally confident. You know when Tim [Cindric] is on my stand and I have my guys doing pit stops, I have complete confidence we can run any race we go into so that stat wasn’t bugging me. It would have been nice if we could have had a couple of finishes where we thought we should have been. Like at Road America we had a winning car that Saturday. I wasn’t able to secure that. I knew we needed a win and we need another one to come again soon. We need to be able to put consistent finishes on the board.”

No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 2nd
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 250/250
Points Position: 5th (-102 pts)

Notes:

  • Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet team walked away from Saturday night’s second race of the Iowa Speedway doubleheader feeling redeemed, turning his season-long bad luck around by earning a second-place finish and moving up five positions in the point standings.
  • In what was a relatively and much welcomed “uneventful” night for Power, the former series champion raced inside the top-three all night long.  Following leader and teammate Josef Newgarden to the pits on lap 58, the Verizon crew made a front wing adjustment as he continued to try and close the gap on Newgarden.
  • Much of the evening, battling traffic proved to be the toughest challenge for the Australian driver. 
  • Power used strong pit stops and good strategy to keep his Chevrolet near the front of the field.  After falling back to third behind Pato O’Ward, he took advantage of a mistake on pit road by O’Ward to slot into second and once again chase down Newgarden.
  • In the end, the Verizon Chevrolet had nothing for his teammate, but did collect his second running-up finish of the 2020 season.  His podium finish also allowed him to climb to fifth in NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship point standings. 

Quote: “It feels good. We just had a solid day. I just want to thank Verizon and Chevy for all of their support. I would have loved to have the win of course.  I’m glad for once we actually get a good result out of it. Solider on, man. I’m exhausted – it’s so bloody hot in these cars man. I’m going to look forward to trying to have a good rest of this season. I don’t know what it is I have to do to have normal races like Dixon and Pagenaud.  Excited to have a good finish tonight though.”

No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Start: 23rd
Finish: 4th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 250/250
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 2nd (-49 pts)

Notes:

  • Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet followed up his win on Friday night by completing another come-from-behind run on Saturday night at Iowa Speedway, finishing in the fourth position after once again starting 23rd
  • Unlike Friday night, Pagenaud’s move through the field was slowed on Saturday, and he only jumped from the 23rd to 21st position in the opening laps.
  • However, similar to how he won on Friday night, Pagenaud and the Menards team elected a different pit strategy from the other Team Penske Chevrolets and team strategist Kyle Moyer called Pagenaud to the pits earlier than most of the leaders. 
  • The ability to get tires earlier than everyone else and have clear track position allowed him to crack the top-10 – in eighth.
  • The remainder of the night saw Pagenaud continue to hit pit road early to try and gain track position.  As the 250-lap race wound down, Pagenaud found himself crossing the checkers in the fourth position. 

Quote: “It was a tough, dramatic weekend, but we prevailed. I want to thank Team Penske, Menards and Chevy for giving me the horsepower going forward. We weren’t quite as hooked up today. I think we might have gone the wrong way with an adjustment during a pit stop and from there we had to do quick pit stops so we didn’t make any changes. Maybe we didn’t have the outright pace but overall first and fourth is pretty good when we started last in both races. I’m pretty pleased with our results. It seems like the championship is shaping up so it’s pretty exciting right now. It’s satisfaction from a preparation standpoint. We just showed everyone in the paddock that you have to count on us no matter what happens. That’s the mark of a championship team. That’s what you want to do. That’s what you want to show every weekend. You want people to fear you. I’m pretty sure they feared us today. We’ll regroup again and go to Mid-Ohio. And be strong from there.”

Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report – Road America – Race 2

Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report

Track:                  Road America

Race:                   REV Group Grand Prix – Race 2

Date:                   July 12, 2020

No. 1 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 14th

Finish: 9th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 55/55

Laps Led: 0

Points Position: 5th (-67)

Notes:

  • After running up front on yesterday, Sunday ended up being a challenging day for Josef Newgarden and the No.1  PPG Dallara/Chevrolet. The Tennessee-native qualified in the 14th position and finished ninth to complete Race 2 of the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America.
  • On the first lap of the 55-lap event, Newgarden was able to move up nine spots prior to the caution flag waving when teammate Will Power made contact with both Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
  • As the laps wore on, Newgarden pitted on lap 12 for fuel and tires and, by lap 25, had moved up to a race-high seventh position as the pit cycle played out.
  • He eventually slipped back in in traffic, forcing the team to take a more fuel strategy/early pit stop strategy for the remainder of the race.
  • There were no late cautions to try and make up positions with a closed-up field like during Saturday’s race, and Newgarden would have to settle for ninth-place as the checkered flag waved.
  • Newgarden dropped to fifth in NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship point standings.

Quote: “Just a tough day for our PPG Chevrolet.  Not the kind of day we wanted, especially when you see someone like (Scott) Dixon not have a very stellar day either.  We just didn’t have the speed we were hoping to have.  I thought we made some good changes overnight, but the race didn’t play out in our favor today.  Early on, we knew we were going to be fighting some aero issues being back in the pack, so we switched to more of a fuel strategy/track position race.  It could have played out a few different ways, but it just wasn’t meant to be today. All-in-all, we had some speed in our Chevrolet this weekend and we showed that with the pole and leading a bunch of laps yesterday.  We just couldn’t put everything together.  We will move on and focus our efforts on Iowa now.”

No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 8th

Finish: 11th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 55/55

Laps Led: 4

Points Position: 7th (-81)

Notes:

  • A frustration-marred race for Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet led to an 11th-place finish in Sunday’s REV Group Grand Prix at Road America.
  • As the green flew, Power attempted to move through the field quickly from his eighth-place starting spot. However, his efforts on lap one led to contact with Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter-Reay after traffic crowded the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet. The incidents resulted in Power going to the back of the field to serve a penalty and restarting 19th when the green flag waved again.
  • Just a few laps later, Power had an issue with understeer, leading to him driving off the track and bringing out the caution flag. After receiving considerable front wing damage, Power pitted on lap six for fuel, tires and a front wing change to correct some of the damage.
  • The team’s efforts helped Power advance to the lead on lap 18 after the pit cycle. Power’s lead came to an end as he pitted on lap 23 for fuel and tires.
  • Going off pit sequence for the remainder for the event,  Power tried to make up as many positions as possible, but would finish the race in the 11th position.
  • His finish led to him maintaining seventh in NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship point standings.

Quote: “Man, just a rough race for us today. I guess in the end, things could have been worse and an 11th place finish is a small victory.  I don’t really agree with the penalty from early in the race.  I felt that was just a racing deal. So we had to come in and change the front wing, then I made a mistake and ran off the track and we had to make another stop for another wing change.  Just not the day we needed for the Verizon Chevrolet.  Got a podium yesterday, but just didn’t have it today.”

No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 22nd

Finish: 13th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 55/55

Laps Led: 0

Points Position: 3rd (63)

Notes:

  • It was a frustrating end to the weekend for Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet team, as they finished the finale of the doubleheader race weekend in the 13th position.
  • After a couple of on-track incidents occurred in the opening lap, Pagenaud was able to take advantage and move up to 14th before the field restarted on lap four.
  • After asking for a change to his front wing on lap 10, Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menard team pitted for fuel, tires and an adjustment to improve his ability to turn the car.
  • While continuing to run middle pack, Pagenaud once again pitted for some changes in an effort to gain some momentum and increase his track position. However, by lap 28, he radioed to team strategist Kyle Moyer saying the car improved but there was a shift of balance he wanted to look at again later in the 55-lap event.
  • Despite running laps as quick as the leaders late in the race, Pagenaud was never able to make up his track position and settled for the 13th position.
  • Pagenaud fell to third in NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship point standings heading into next weekend’s doubleheader at Iowa Speedway.

Quote: “I’m ready to get to Iowa and get the Menards Chevrolet back up front.  This was not our best weekend, but I have to give it to my guys, they never gave up and worked really hard all weekend long.  Both days, we tried a lot of different strategies to try and gain back the track position that we needed from qualifying further back in the field. Yesterday, we should have had a top-10 and today we gave it all we had.  Just had to play the cards we were dealt and try and make it up through pit strategy and fuel savings. At times, the car was a handful and at times we were as fast as the leaders. Time to shift our focus to Iowa Speedway.  There are a lot of points we can make up with another doubleheader weekend.”

Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report

Track:                  Road America

Race:                   REV Group Grand Prix – Race 1

Date:                   July 11, 2020

No. 1 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 1st– (10th-career pole, 2nd of 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season)

Finish: 14th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 55/55

Laps Led: 25

Points Position: 4th (-71)

Notes:

  • Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet began the NTT INDYCAR SERIES REV Group Grand Prix – Race 1 at Road America on the pole and led laps early, but problems on pit road and an extra pit stop near the end of the race forced the team to a 14th-place finish on Saturday.
  • Despite jumping out to an early lead, Newgarden discussed tire degradation with team strategist Tim Cindric and decided to pit on lap 14 for fuel, tires and a front wing adjustment.
  • Continuing to find himself with a nearly 10-second lead on the field, Newgarden pitted again on lap 27 but stalled the car while exiting.  A delay while trying to restart cost the PPG Chevrolet quite a bit of track position, falling back to 13th
  • Despite the lost track position, Newgarden was able to race his way back to the top-10 and then needed to survive a number of late-race restarts. However, during one of those restarts, he locked up the front tires diving into turn one, causing a flat spotted tire.  With 12 laps to go, Newgarden was forced to make an unscheduled stop and lost more track position.
  • He made up a couple of positions at the end, but could manage no more than a 14th-place finish at the end.

Quote: “That was a tough one. We had such a strong PPG Chevy and the guys did such a great job putting together such a fast car. We started on the pole and at the beginning of the race, we were just trying to hold track position. I think at one point, we had about a eight second lead. Unfortunately, we had a problem in the pits and stalled the car.  It took us a while to get it restarted and that lost all the gap we had built and from there and we were fighting from behind.  We had gotten back into the top 10 and I just locked up the tires going into turn one on one of those late restarts. So our day went from a great to pretty bad pretty quickly. But hey, that’s racing – we just didn’t take advantage of our opportunities today.  I’m thankful we have another shot tomorrow, since I really love racing at this place. We’re going to take a look at a few things tonight to make sure we have a solid plan going into tomorrow’s qualifying session with the PPG Chevrolet.  I’m confident our guys will put together another fast car tomorrow.”

No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 5th

Finish: 2nd

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 55/55

Laps Led: 10

Points Position: 7th (-83)

Notes:

  • It was an up-and-down day for Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet team in Race 1 of the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America, which resulted in a season-best second-place finish.
  • After starting fifth, Power struggled with grip and handling early in the race and fell all the way back to 10th.  Gearing issues kept the Verizon Chevrolet from achieving maximum power on the 14-turn Wisconsin road course.  The team’s first pit stop occurred on lap 15 for just fuel and tires.  A strong run, coupled with some issues for other drivers, allowed them to move from 10th to third during the pit cycle.
  • Power returned to the pits again on lap 27 for fuel and tires.  Once again, a strong pit cycle saw Power and the Verizon Chevrolet take over the top spot.
  • Unfortunately, a late-race caution before the field’s final pit stops brought all the lead-lap cars into pit road at the same time.  Coming in from the lead, a slow stop allowed eventual race winner Scott Dixon to get out ahead of Power and relegated the Verizon Chevrolet back to second. 
  • Over several late-race restarts, Power wasn’t able to make a charge on Dixon and had to settle for the runner-up position.  Power heads into Race 2 of the doubleheader weekend seventh in NTT INDYCAR SERIES points – up eight spots over the previous race.

Quote: “Unfortunately we had to pit under yellow and that lost us the lead in the pits.  We just had a slow pit stop.  And then we had the wrong gears in the car, so it kind of hurt those restarts. Other than that, it was a good day. We moved up and got up to second. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’ll sit there as a team and will figure out how to execute a bit better. Especially frustrating when we just let wins like that go. I think we had a good Verizon Chevrolet and I don’t think Dixon would have gotten by us if we came out of the pit ahead of him. It wasn’t the end of the day but we still could have won. We’ll try again tomorrow.”

No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 17th

Finish: 12th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 55/55

Laps Led: 0

Points Position: 2nd (-62)

Notes:

  • Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet had a character building day at Road America in the first race of the REV Group Grand Prix, finishing in the 12th position.
  • The day got off to a rough start for the No. 22 team when Pagenaud qualified 17th.  However, early speed and other drivers’ mistakes for the Frenchman up to 13th early.  However, Pagenaud radioed to his team that he was losing grip with the front tires and they needed to attempt to correct it with a major front wing adjustment on lap 14.
  • Pagenaud returned to the pits for fuel and tires on lap 27, as he worked to move through the field and gain track position.  He eventually found himself inside the top-10.
  • Running in the latter half of the top-10 for much of the second-half of the event, Pagenaud jockeyed for positions during several late-race restarts.  With less than 10 to go, contact between he and Pato O’Ward forced the Menards Chevrolet off-track and back to the 12th position, where he would ultimately finish.    
  • Pagenaud will race again with the series tomorrow for the second race of the doubleheader weekend and he continues to sit in the second position in NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship point standings.

Quote: “It was a really disappointing day. The Menards Chevy had a few struggles in qualifying, but we were able to get ourselves in a decent spot a few times during the race with some speed on the track and taking advantage of some of the other drivers’ problems. I think we were going to have a top-10 finish and limit the points we might have lost, then we got pushed off the track late in the race.  That costs us some spots and points, which is frustrating with Dixon winning again.  But it’s alright – we learned a lot today and we’re still second in points, so that’s great. There is still a lot of season left to go and we’ve got another shot at this tomorrow.  I have full confidence we will have the Menards Chevrolet ready to go tomorrow.”

Team Penske INDYCAR Series Race Report – Indianapolis GP

Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course

Race: GMR Grand Prix

Date: July 4, 2020

No. 1 XPEL Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 6th

Finish: 7th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 80/80

Laps Led: 4

Points Position: 3rd (-40 pts)

Notes:

Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 XPEL Dallara/Chevrolet had a hard-fought day, leading laps and looking to capitalize on some solid race strategy, but ultimately settled for seventh in the 80-lap event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
The Tennessean started sixth and ran fifth early, then pitted for the first time on lap 15 for alternate tires and fuel in hopes of moving up through the field.
The strategy worked, and Newgarden eventually found himself second behind teammate Will Power as the leaders cycled through pit stops.
Shortly before pitting for fuel and alternate tires after complaining of tire fall off for most of the race, Newgarden was caught as the caution flag waved causing him to drop further on the leaderboard. As several others had already pitted before the caution, Newgarden was forced to come to pit road during the yellow, allowing those who pitted to jump him on the track.
He continued to run his race and his pace, and by lap 58, Newgarden took hold of the lead during more green-flag stops as the final laps wound down.
However, as he tried to battle his way back to the front, he was caught in traffic, leading to a seventh-place finish.

Quote: “It was a tough day – really disappointing. We got hosed today by the caution, both Will [Power] and myself. I felt like we had a pretty strong chance of being able to finish 1-2 and it’s a shame to miss it by just a little bit. We almost pitted right before it came out but went one lap longer. I guess it was a good day in reality. We got up to the front there with Will running 1-2 and then wound up in the back with the yellow. From there we just tried to claw back our way as much as we could from 15th or 16th. It was just a tough pill to swallow in the middle there. Our XPEL Team Chevy car was good. I felt really proud of us this weekend and thought we made nice little baby steps every session and we seemed to be getting better. I thought we were relatively decent compared to Will who seemed to be the best this weekend. It was awesome to have XPEL on the car this weekend and at the end of the day it was just a shame we weren’t able to convert and finish the race 1-2.”

No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 1st – (58th career NTT INDYCAR SERIES pole)

Finish: 20th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 80/80

Laps Led: 28

Points Position: 15th (-73 pts)

Notes:

It was a frustrating day for Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet, finishing 20th after starting the day on the pole and leading more laps than any other driver in the 80-lap road course GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Power, who has won three races from the pole on the Indianapolis road course, seemed to have the stars align for a fourth victory starting from the pole – his 58th career pole.
Finding speed early on, it seemed that Power was unstoppable as great pit stops early on kept Power and teammate Josef Newgarden running 1-2 at the front of the field.
However, an untimely caution just prior to his second stop put him back in the field and forced him to race back to the front from the 15th position.
Then, on the team’s final stop, Power stalled the car in an effort to avoid a pit gun in front of him.
Power was unable to recover and was stuck in the back of the field finishing the race in the 20th position.

Quote: “We had a great Verizon Chevy and definitely had the speed that we showed in qualifying. Just got caught out by a unfortunate caution that really didn’t help. After that, we had a problem in the pits that cost us a lot of time and then there was no chance to recover. Chevrolet did a really great job with the power and we had awesome car, but we just had a tough day. This Verizon team is fast, we just need to put a full race together.”

No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 20th

Finish: 3rd

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 80/80

Laps Led: 0

Points Position: 2nd (-29 pts)

Notes:

What began as a tough day for Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet turned into a day showcasing the team’s tenacity, as they began the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in the 20th position, but ended the day on the podium with a third-place result.
Starting so far back in the field, Pagenaud and strategist Kyle Moyer elected to run a different race strategy then a majority of the leaders to get the three-time race winner with clean track ahead of him.
The team pitted for alternate tires, a front wing adjustment and fuel on lap 9 which proved fruitful as the team made major moves on-track finding themselves in 13th position.
Pitting for new alternate tires on fuel on lap 54, the well-timed pit stopped and a subsequent caution before others had pitted helped Pagenaud climb into the top-seven.
The Menards Chevrolet continued to prove strong during the race’s final segment, and Pagenaud drop all the way to third place and remained there as the checkered flag waved.
Pagenaud maintains the second position in 2020 INDYCAR Series point standings after two races.

Quote: “Yesterday was not what we wanted with qualifying. We unloaded well but went the wrong direction with this basically new car. But it was a negative that became a positive. I think it sets us up for the season really early on knowing what we need for the car. We weren’t totally happy when we started the race and adjusted the Menards Chevy and got better and better. We were also able to keep the tires underneath us really well. We made a lot of ground under pit sequences by really, really pushing really hard when everybody pitted and we gained a lot of ground that way. The yellow helped us a bit because we pitted about five laps before so that did help us. In the end we had good pace. It was really hard to move the car so thanks to all the extra training I put in since it was a really physical race. I also want to say a big thanks to Chevy because that was a lot of horsepower in the straightaway and helped me pass all of those people. Just a big thanks to them.”

Team Penske eSports INDYCAR iRacing Challenge Race Report

Track:                  Virtual Watkins Glen International

Race:                   American Red Cross Grand Prix

Date:                   March 28, 2020

No. 1 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 9th

Finish: 7th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 45/45

Notes:

  • Josef Newgarden started the American Red Cross Grand Prix from virtual Watkins Glen International from the ninth position as drivers qualified just prior to the race.
  • Unfortunately, the two-time INDYCAR Champion’s race turned south when he was involved in a multi-car incident on lap 6, which also included teammates Scott McLaughlin and Simon Pagenaud.
  • After visiting the paddock for repairs, Newgarden made a strong drive back through the field to score a seventh-place finish, the last car on the lead lap.
  • The next INDYCAR iRacing Challenge event will take place at virtual Barber Motorsports Park on April 4.

Quote: “Seeing as how I was up so late last night getting my rig ready, I’m pretty happy with a seventh-place finish. It’s amazing the quality of racing you can do with the iRacing platform and I’m psyched about the rest of the races. We obviously had a strong Hitachi Chevy today to battle back after the early incident. Thank you to everyone that tuned in. It was such a neat event.”

No. 2 Shell V-Power Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin

Start: 7th

Finish: 4th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 45/45

Notes:

  • Scott McLaughlin made his first INDYCAR start – albeit virtually – in Saturday’s American Red Cross Grand Prix. He entered the event as the winningest iRacing driver in the field with 178 career wins.
  • After starting from the seventh position, the New Zealander was involved in a multi-car incident on lap 6 that resulted in only minor damage to his Shell V-Power Dallara/Chevrolet.
  • McLaughlin chose to short-fill his Chevy on his first pit stop of the day to gain valuable track position in a race that went caution free, which ultimately helped lead him to a fourth-place finish.
  • The reigning Australian Supercars Champion will compete in the next INDYCAR iRacing Challenge event at virtual Barber Motorsports Park on April 4.

Quote:  “A fourth-place finish with the Shell V-Power Dallara was not too bad for us today. Had a bit of an incident at the start with Oliver Askew, but it was just a racing incident and we had a good battle at the end. It was good fun today and a joy to be a part of it. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.”

No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 3rd

Finish: 3rd

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 45/45

Notes:

  • Will Power drove a consistent race in Saturday’s American Red Cross Grand Prix at the virtual Watkins Glen International that led to a third-place finish.
  • A former winner in INDYCAR competition at Watkins Glen, Power qualified his No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet in the third position before falling back to the fifth spot early in the event.
  • A long-pit strategy put Power into the lead just before his first pit stop of the day, and the strategy also helped him gain two overall positions following the cycle of stops.
  • Over the second half of the race Power continued his rock-solid day but was not able to advance past his third place running position. He was able to secure a podium finish in the first virtual race of the season.

Quote: “A good start to the INDYCAR season. Online, that is. I’m happy with a solid, third-place finish in the Verizon Chevy. It was really cool to see everyone come together to put this race on. I wish I could have been the first winner, but I hope the fans enjoyed it.”

No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 8th

Finish: 6th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 45/45

Notes:

  • Simon Pagenaud qualified his No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet in the eighth position for Saturday’s American Red Cross Grand Prix, and the iRacing veteran looked to be a contender as the race began.
  • However, on the sixth lap of the race, Pagenaud was involved in a multi-car incident that left his Chevy with enough damage that he was forced to the pit for repairs.
  • Like his teammate, Josef Newgarden, Pagenaud began to maneuver his way back through the field with precision and nearly made it back to the top five before settling for a sixth-place finish on the day.

Quote: “Thank you to all the fans that tuned into today’s INDYCAR iRacing Challenge. It was so cool to see so many stakeholders in our series come together to give the fans something during this time. I think these races are going to get even better as we go. Our Menards Chevy was pretty strong today, but we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. We still battled back for a strong finish and I can’t wait to get to Barber next week.”

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN TO MAKE INDYCAR DEBUT AT INDIANAPOLIS GRAND PRIX

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN TO MAKE INDYCAR DEBUT AT INDIANAPOLIS GRAND PRIX

Two-Time & Defending Supercars Champion to also Participate in COTA Preseason Test

 

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (February 5, 2020) – Team Penske announced today that defending Virgin Australia Supercars Champion Scott McLaughlin will make his NTT IndyCar Series debut on Saturday, May 9, racing in the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

 

The two-time Supercars title winner, who will attempt to win his third consecutive series championship for DJR Team Penske (DJRTP) in 2020, will also participate in next week’s IndyCar Series preseason open test at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas.

 

“This is an amazing opportunity – to race against some of the best open wheel drivers in the world on one of the most historic tracks in motorsports,” said McLaughlin, who drove an open wheel car for the first time last month during a series rookie evaluation test at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla.

 

“I’m excited about the challenge of trying to win a third-consecutive Supercars championship while helping to keep the Shell V-Power Racing Team at the front of the field this season. I’m also really looking forward to this new opportunity,” added McLaughlin. “It’s a driver’s dream to get a chance to race an Indy car for Team Penske. With the experience I gained at the test in Sebring, I know a little bit more about what to expect when I get back into the car at COTA. I just want to learn as much as I can every time I’m in the car so I can make the most of the opportunity to race with the team at the Grand Prix in Indianapolis.”

 

McLaughlin will pilot the No. 2 Dallara/Chevrolet during both the COTA test and the GMR Grand Prix in Indianapolis. McLaughlin has produced 35 victories and 44 pole positions over the last three seasons while helping DJRTP claim team championships in 2017 and 2019 and winning the driver’s title in each of the last two seasons. McLaughlin also earned his first win in the legendary Bathurst 1000 race in October, with co-driver Alex Premat. On his way to the title last season, McLaughlin established a new single-season Supercars record with 18 victories, along with a series-leading 15 poles and 22 podium finishes.

 

“Scott has experienced tremendous success in Supercars over the last three seasons with DJR Team Penske and we believe his talent and his drive will continue to shine behind the wheel of an Indy car,” said Roger Penske. “It will be interesting to see how he continues to develop as we work up to his first race at the Indianapolis Grand Prix. We know Scott will work hard to improve with every lap and he will represent Team Penske well as he gets acclimated to the IndyCar Series.”

 

Team Penske has won five of the six IndyCar Series races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course since the series began competing at the 2.4-mile track in 2014.  Will Power won the Grand Prix in 2015, 2017 and 2018, while Simon Pagenaud captured the checkered flag in 2016 and again in 2019 for the team.

 

The GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will take place on Saturday, May 9, with the green flag scheduled to waive at 3:50pm ET. The race will be seen live on NBC, with radio coverage on INDYCAR Radio and SIRIUS XM.

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN TO TEST TEAM PENSKE INDY CAR

Defending Australian Supercars Champion to Participate in Rookie Evaluation Test

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (December 13, 2019) – Team Penske announced today that Scott McLaughlin, the recently-crowned, back-to-back Virgin Australia Supercars Champion for DJR Team Penske (DJRTP), will participate in an INDYCAR Rookie Evaluation test at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla. on Monday, January 13.

McLaughlin is once again set to defend his Supercars title for DJRTP in 2020 in the No. 17 Shell V-Power Ford Mustang.  He will build on his already successful racing career by driving a full-sized open-wheel car for the first time.

“I am always open to new challenges and I’m thankful to Team Penske for providing this opportunity to test an Indy car,” said McLaughlin, who established a new Supercars single-season record with 18 victories this past season. “We had an amazing year in 2019 and I’m looking forward to defending our Supercars championship next season. I’m also excited to grow as a driver and being with Team Penske creates cool opportunities to try something new. Although I have spent a few hours in a simulator earlier this year, it’s going to be a blast to see what one really feels like at a place like Sebring.”

McLaughlin joined DJR Team Penske in 2017 as one of the brightest stars in Supercars. He has produced 35 victories and 44 pole positions over the last three seasons while helping DJRTP claim team championships in 2017 and 2019, the driver’s title each of the last two seasons and the legendary Bathurst 1000 race in October, along with co-driver Alex Premat.

“Scott has been incredibly successful for DJR Team Penske over the last three seasons and he has become a true champion of our sport,” said Roger Penske. “He certainly embraces new challenges and we think this is a great opportunity to utilize the IndyCar Series rookie testing program so Scott can experience what it is like to get behind the wheel of one of our Indy cars.”

Team Penske enjoyed another successful IndyCar Series season in 2019. The team earned its record 18th Indianapolis 500 victory as Simon Pagenaud captured the checkered flag in May, while Josef Newgarden won his second series title in three years and the team’s 16th INDYCAR Championship. Team Penske will once again compete with three full-season entries in 2020, featuring series champion drivers Newgarden, Pagenaud and Will Power.

XPEL JOINS DEFENDING INDYCAR SERIES CHAMPION NEWGARDEN AND TEAM PENSKE

New Team Sponsor Named “Official Protective Film Partner of Team Penske”

MOORESVILLE, N.C. / SAN ANTONIO, TX (December 12, 2019) – Team Penske and XPEL, Inc. (NASDAQ: XPEL) a leading provider of automotive paint protective film and window tint, today announced a multi-year partnership. XPEL will be the primary sponsor of the No. 1 Dallara/Chevrolet driven by reigning and two-time NTT IndyCar Series Champion Josef Newgarden for two races in 2020. XPEL will also serve as the “Official Protective Film Partner of Team Penske.”

 

The partnership with Team Penske – the most successful team in motorsports history – represents the first racing sponsorship for the San Antonio, Texas-based company. Newgarden will race the No. 1 XPEL Dallara/Chevrolet in the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on May 9 and in the Texas Indy 600 at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) on June 6. XPEL will build on the partnership and become a primary sponsor for a third IndyCar Series race with Team Penske in 2021 and beyond.

 

“We are excited to welcome XPEL to Team Penske in 2020,” said Roger Penske. “Motorsports provides a great opportunity to build the XPEL brand and we hope to build on a lot of business-to-business opportunities with their group. We look forward to delivering for XPEL both off and on the track as they compete with Josef and the defending champion No. 1 Chevy team starting next season.”

 

XPEL is a global company that offers high-quality products, world-class customer support and a vast network of trained installers. Through partnership with Team Penske, the company expects to generate maximum brand recognition among core marketing segments including dealers as well as consumers.

 

“We have thought about motorsports for quite a while, but we wanted to make sure we partnered with the right team,” said XPEL CEO Ryan Pape. “No one matches the success, class and integrity of Roger Penske, Team Penske and Penske Automotive Group. We are thrilled to be associated with Josef Newgarden as he is a proven winner. He will have plenty of support from our network of employees and dealers both at Texas and at Indianapolis.”

 

Since he joined Team Penske in 2017, Newgarden has captured two of the last three IndyCar Series championships. The native of Tennessee has produced 14 IndyCar Series victories in his career and he is the defending race winner at Texas Motor Speedway.

 

“When you race for Team Penske you are certain of two things – you will be in well-prepared cars with a chance to win every week and you will get a chance to represent some outstanding partners,” said Newgarden. “It is an honor to be the first race car driver to represent XPEL and I’m excited about carrying their brand at two fantastic venues next season. Partnerships are the lifeblood of our sport and I can’t wait to get XPEL to Victory Lane.”

 

ABOUT XPEL

XPEL is a leading provider of protective films and coatings, including automotive paint protection film, surface protection film, automotive and commercial/residential window films, and ceramic coatings. With a global footprint, a network of trained installers and proprietary DAP software, XPEL is dedicated to exceeding customer expectations by providing high-quality products, leading customer service, expert technical support and world-class training. XPEL, Inc. is publicly traded on Nasdaq under the symbol “XPEL”.

www.xpel.com

 

ABOUT TEAM PENSKE
Team Penske is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Cars owned and prepared by Team Penske have produced more than 540 major race wins, over 620 pole positions and 37 Championships across open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition. Over the course of its 53-year history, the team has also earned 18 Indianapolis 500 victories, two Daytona 500 Championships, a Formula 1 win, overall victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, along with a win in Australia’s legendary Bathurst 1000 race. Team Penske currently competes in the NTT IndyCar Series, the NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team also races in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, in a partnership with Dick Johnson Racing, as DJR Team Penske. For more information about Team Penske, please visit www.teampenske.com.

eam Penske Infographic – Laguna Seca (INDYCAR) / Richmond (Cup & NXS)

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