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Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report – St. Petersburg

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Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report

Track:                  Streets of St. Petersburg

Race:                   Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Date:                   April 25, 2021

No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 3rd

Finish: 2nd

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 100/100

Laps Led: 0

Points Position: 10th (-20 pts)

  • Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet team entered Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg looking to bounce back from an opening-lap accident and a tough finish last weekend in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season opener at Barber Motorsports Park. Mission accomplished as Newgarden nearly captured his third-consecutive win at St. Petersburg before coming home in second place for his first podium result of the season.
  • After qualifying third in the Hitachi Chevrolet on Saturday, Newgarden’s race got off to a rocky start when the No. 14 car of Sebastien Bourdais made contact with the rear of the No. 2 Chevy entering the first corner. Fortunately, there was no damage done and Newgarden was able to eventually make his way around Jack Harvey and the No.60 car for second place.
  • Sticking to the team’s two pit stop strategy, Newgarden made his final visit to pit lane on Lap 69. From that point on he applied intense pressure to eventual race winner, Colton Herta, but could not get close enough to make a pass for the lead as he crossed the finish line in second place.

Quote: “Well, we lost a little too much ground in that second stint, really; to capitalize with the reds (tires). And then we had the caution, which almost gifted us another chance. And I just didn’t want to over extend myself today. I felt like I was close to an opportunity, but (race winner) Colton was really good. He was doing a great job on the restarts. It was tough to get tire temps. So, I pushed really hard right there in those two initial restarts. I didn’t have quite the runs I needed, so I didn’t want to risk anything. But a good day. I’m really happy with Chevy’s performance and thankful for all their work. And to have Hitachi on the car and get a podium is really nice here to start our year off.”

No. 3 DEX Imaging Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin

Start: 14th

Finish: 11th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 100/100

Laps Led:  0

Points Position:  15th (-32 pts)

  • Scott McLaughlin started 14th and finished 11th Sunday afternoon on the streets of St. Petersburg, just missing his first career NTT INDYCAR SERIES top-10 finish.
  • The Rookie of the Year candidate qualified just outside of the top 12 on Saturday as he lined up in the 14th starting spot Sunday. After the green flag flew, McLaughlin lost a couple of positions when he got shuffled back on a wild opening lap. Despite the first-lap challenges, McLaughlin reported that the DEX Imaging Chevrolet was running well.
  • McLaughlin dropped to 17th but rallied quickly and was running in 10th place by lap 40.  As pit stops cycled through and pit strategies evened out, the DEX Imaging Chevy ran solidly inside the top 10.  With 25 laps to go, McLaughlin moved up to ninth in the running order.
  • Two late-race caution flags provided the opportunity for McLaughlin to make some moves on the wide front stretch during the ensuing race restarts. Team Penske teammate and veteran Will Power was able to get by McLaughlin, however, as the rookie was positioned in 11th place with less than 20 laps to go.
  • The New Zealand native maintained his position for the remainder of the event as he took the checkered flag just outside of the top 20.  The finish moved McLaughlin to 15th in the point standings, now just 12 points outside of the top 10 entering next weekend’s first oval races of the season at Texas Motor Speedway.

Quote: “Yeah, overall a good day for us in the DEX Imaging Chevy. It was a full-on race, very hot, very humid and one of the most physical races I have ever done. Solid race from our end and I was probably a little bit too safe at the start. I was just trying to keep my front wing on. It was pretty forceful out there and a lot of the veterans around me were just using a bit more of their experience on colder tires. We got around in the first stint and we pitted at the right time and we were actually on a very alternative strategy there, that could have almost put us in the lead. Unfortunately, there was a couple of spinners towards the middle of that race. Our team reacted and we pitted and we did the right thing on that strategy, just unfortunately there were no yellow flags. We didn’t use the speed we had in the clear air to really get going, but for me right now its continuously finishing races.  Finishing P11 is a great run for us and we will continue to build on that and hopefully come the end of the year we will be bigger, better and stronger.  Just want to thank DEX Imaging for their support and am excited for the next few races.”

No. 12 Verizon 5G Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 20th

Finish: 8th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 100/100

Laps Led: 0

Points Position:  2nd (-2 pts)

  • Will Power continued his solid start to the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season with an eighth-place finish in Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
  • One of the best qualifiers in series history, Power uncharacteristically started from the 20th position on Sunday afternoon after a tough qualifying result on Saturday. Power moved up quickly, however, using an aggressive driving style early on to make up positions.
  • A switch to red Firestone alternate tires on the first pit stop of the day helped Power produce lap times that brought the No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevy just outside top 10 as the race moved past the halfway point.
  • Solid pit work by the No. 12 Verizon 5G pit crew, coupled with Power’s quick time on the red tires, pushed the 2014 series champion into the top 10 late in the race and he closed strong with an eighth-place finish.
  • Power will look to score his first victory next weekend on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval during a doubleheader race weekend. Power owns two wins at the Fort Worth circuit and he hopes to build on his momentum there and continue his impressive start to the 2021 season.

Quote: “Yeah, really solid day for us to get up there to P8. It was inside the top 10 and that was our goal in starting the race. Obviously qualifying was pretty disappointing, but yeah, solid pit stops today.  We tried to catch a few yellows and finish in the top five but it just didn’t work out. We passed a lot of cars on track and the car did really well, so we were very happy to get the Verizon 5G Chevy in the top 10. Really good day.”

No. 22 Australian Gold Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 4th

Finish: 3rd

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 100/100

Laps Led:  0

Points Position:  5th (-13 pts)

  • Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Australian Gold Dallara/Chevrolet made the most of a strong qualifying effort and solid speed all afternoon long to earn a third-place finish on Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg for first podium finish of the season.
  • Pagenaud made the Firestone Fast Six on Saturday afternoon in qualifying and started the 100-lap race in the fourth position. Early in Sunday’s race, the shiny gold Australian Gold Chevrolet held steady in the fourth position. 
  • Following the first round of pit stops, Pagenaud and the No. 22 team executed a flawless stop, which allowed him to gain a position and seize third place.
  • Ove the balance of Sunday’s race, Pagenaud ran strong in the third position through the final rounds of pit stops. Two late-race caution periods brought the field together, but the No. 22 Australian Gold Chevy wasn’t in the position to move past the top two cars, driven by winner Colton Herta and Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden. Pagenaud came home in third place for his first podium result of 2021.
  • The finish allowed Pagenaud to jump from 11th to fifth in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings, now just 13 points behind first place.

Quote: “I’m glad we had some sunglasses and sunscreen this weekend. It was a hot race. But we’re very happy with the end. Yeah, it was great strategy. We really had a shot on restarts, but it was too slippery on the inside to go for it. I noticed it when I tried to pass Jack (Harvey). But really when I lost the race was at the beginning of the first stint but overall, I think it was a great performance by the No. 22 Chevy Australian Gold team. That was a great performance. I think on street courses we could be very strong. I can’t wait for the ovals, especially Indy and Texas.”

Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report – Barber Motorsports Park

Team Penske NTT INDYCAR Series Race Report

Track:                  Barber Motorsports Park

Race:                   INDYCAR Grand Prix of Alabama

Date:                   April 18, 2021

No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 8th

Finish: 23rd

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 0/90

Laps Led:  0

Points Position:  23rd (-46 pts)

  • Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet team entered Sunday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix of Alabama looking for their third NTT INDYCAR SERIES win – and Newgarden’s fourth career victory – at the Alabama circuit. However, an incident on the first lap of competition left them with a 23rd-place finish and early exit in the opening round of the 2021 season.
  • Newgarden narrowly missed out on the Firestone Fast Six during the Saturday qualifying session, as he started Sunday’s race from the eighth position. After a clean green flag start into the first corner, the No. 2 Chevrolet got loose and Newgarden’s lost the back end once the car went off track which caused a multi-car accident. The ensuing impact with the No. 28 car driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay left Newgarden’s Chevrolet with too much damage to continue. He was credited with a 23rd-place finish.

Quote: “I got loose coming over the hill. It was a good start. We were lining in pretty nicely, but I just got loose in the wake. I thought I had the car and then touched the grass and I think once I touched the grass it pitched me sideways. I feel really bad for anyone that got involved in that. Obviously, my mess created a bigger mess. Any of the cars that got involved, I’m real sorry because it was obviously us that tipped it off. It’s a shame. I feel like we had a really good car. We just needed to file-in there at the start. We partially did that but yeah. But we’ll come back. We’ve just got to bounce back at the next one.”

No. 3 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin

Start: 12th

Finish: 14th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 90/90

Laps Led:  0

Points Position:  14th (-37 pts)

  • Scott McLaughlin accomplished many of his goals to open the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, qualifying 12th and finishing 14th – but most importantly finishing all the laps – on Sunday afternoon at Barber Motorsport Park.
  • After the talented rookie earned a starting spot inside the top 12 during Saturday afternoon qualifying, McLaughlin looked to complete every single lap of the 2021 season opener.  On the opening lap of the race, McLaughlin skillfully avoided a multi-car accident and moved into the top 10, settling into ninth place when the race finally resumed under the green flag. The action on the track was short lived as a series of early-race cautions slowed the field. 
  • McLaughlin made his first stop of the day on lap 25, pitting from the seventh position, as the No. 3 PPG Chevy received four black Firestone tires and a slight wing adjustment.  McLaughlin continued to click off quick laps while learning the tricky road course.   He pitted once again on lap 45 for four fresh tires and fuel. 
  • The remaining portion of the race thankfully ran as planned as McLaughlin worked to get comfortable with the handling of his PPG Chevrolet over the long green-flag runs.  As a slight vibration hindered the handling of the No. 3 Chevy over the closing laps, McLaughlin had to surrender a position late to another competitor.
  • The rookie closed on reining Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato at the finish, but he ultimately wasn’t able to get by him.  The result was a 14th-place finish for McLaughlin in the opening race of the 2021 season as he and the No. 3 team look ahead to next week’s second race on the streets of St. Petersburg.

Quote:  “We got p14, which isn’t bad.  I got held up mid-race, which was disappointing, but I didn’t have the car and I didn’t want to push it either. We ended up getting to them, but it just took too long.  I wanted to get a whole race under my belt, which we did.  The PPG Chevrolet was great and the pit stops were fantastic.  I can’t wait for St. Pete.”

No. 12 Verizon 5G Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 4th

Finish: 2nd

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 90/90

Laps Led:  4

Points Position:  2nd (-12 pts)

  • Will Power got the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season off to a solid start by scoring a second-place finish in Sunday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.
  • After rolling off the grid from the fourth qualifying position, Power and the No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet team determined that a two-pit-stop strategy would be their best course of action in Sunday’s race. The 2014 INDYCAR champion made his stops on laps 33 and 62, respectively, while cutting into the lead of the eventual race winner, Alex Palou, over each stint.
  • The 90-lap event settled into a quick pace after early stoppages for caution periods and Power was able to reserve over 100 seconds of push-to-pass boost as he attempted to track down the race leader. Unfortunately, the No. 12 Verizon 5G machine was too close on fuel to fully use the remaining overtake, resulting in a runner-up finish for the Australian ace.
  • Power and the No. 12 team will look to continue their hot start next weekend at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, a race that Power has won on two occasions.

Quote: “I had enough fuel left to use push to pass for the last two laps, but it just blew my mind how fast Alex (Palou) was in the first stint. We had absolutely nothing for him – he just pulled away, so I figured he was doing a three-stop race because I was doing the best lap time I could for the fuel number we needed. We’re super happy to get the Verizon 5G Chevy on the podium. We’ve had a pretty bad to the year the last four years so it’s awesome to get a really good start to the season. I said to the guys, if we do this week in and week out – just solid races with no mistakes – I promise you we will absolutely have a great chance at winning the championship this year.”

No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 15th

Finish:  12th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 90/90

Laps Led: 0

Points Position:  12th (-35 pts)

  • Simon Pagenaud had an uneventful start to the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, grabbing a 12th-place finish at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday afternoon.
  • After qualifying 15th on Saturday, Pagenaud did a good job to avoid contact with several cars that went off track on the opening lap as he advanced to the 13th position.  From there, the Frenchman settled in following a couple of early-race caution periods.  The No. 22 Menards Chevrolet suffered slight nose damage in the opening lap melee, but it didn’t result in any handling issues. 
  • On lap 16, Pagenaud unfortunately had to make an unscheduled stop to check for damage on the nose of the Menards Chevrolet.  The team elected to not to replace the front wing and Pagenaud continued on. He pitted again on lap 38, continuing the team’s plan of a three-stop race. 
  • The off-stop strategy allowed Pagenaud to run quick lap times on an open track to make up ground on the race leaders.  While he never made it inside the top 10 due to all of the varying race strategies, Pagenaud ran laps as fast as the leaders for most of the race.
  • Following his final stop of the day, Pagenaud tried to make up ground on the cars in front of him and ran fifth among the cars that elected to run a three-stop strategy.  Unfortunately, several cars at the front of the field made it to the end on two-stops, which resulted in a 12th-place finish for the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet.

Quote: “We made a gamble on a three-stop strategy, which didn’t work for us and we wound us finishing 12th. We made big progress in the race.  The whole weekend, we improved the Menards Chevrolet.  We need to keep digging and keep finding some speed on the racecar to be up front, but we will get there.”

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN TO RACE IN PPG COLORS DURING ROOKIE INDYCAR SEASON

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN TO RACE IN PPG COLORS DURING ROOKIE INDYCAR SEASON

New Zealand Driver Will Compete in the No. 3 PPG Chevrolet for 10 Races in 2021

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (January 25, 2021) – Team Penske announced today that PPG (NYSE: PPG) – a global manufacturer of paints, coatings, and specialty materials – will be featured as the primary sponsor on the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet driven by Scott McLaughlin for 10 races during the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.

McLaughlin, the reigning and three-time Australian Supercars champion, made his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut when he raced for Team Penske in the 2020 season finale on the streets of St. Petersburg. The 27-year-old native of Christchurch, New Zealand, will embark on a new challenge this season as he transitions to open-wheel racing with a full-season INDYCAR program. For his rookie season in 2021, McLaughlin will represent one of Team Penske’s longest-active partners as the team celebrates its 37th season with PPG, a Fortune 200 company with headquarters in Pittsburgh, Penn., and operations in nearly 70 countries around the world.

“PPG is a global, industry-leading brand that has been a terrific partner with Team Penske for more than three decades,” said Roger Penske. “Our relationship with PPG has continued to grow and reach across all areas of our business. We are excited about the newest racing opportunity in our partnership as PPG teams up with the No. 3 team and Scott for his first full season competing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.”

McLaughlin enjoyed an incredibly successful four-year run with the DJR Team Penske Supercars program, helping secure three team championships and winning the driver’s title in each of the last three seasons. Over the course of his nine-year Supercars career, McLaughlin won 56 races and 76 poles. He and co-driver Alex Premat also earned Team Penske’s first win in the legendary Bathurst 1000 race in 2019. As he begins his fifth season with Team Penske in 2021, McLaughlin already ranks among the team’s all-time leaders in career victories (third) and poles (second). He is excited for the opportunity to add to those totals in 2021.

“It is surreal to think my first full season in the INDYCAR SERIES is almost here,” said McLaughlin. “I am truly living out my dreams and to have PPG on board as our primary partner is amazing. I watched the beautiful blue and white PPG cars compete over the last few years, and they look amazing on track. It is going to be an honor to represent PPG in the No. 3 Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet this season.”

The relationship between Team Penske and PPG officially began in 1984 when the company first provided paint for the Team Penske racecars that competed in the former CART Series. The iconic blue and white PPG cars have become some of the most popular designs in both INDYCAR and NASCAR competition in recent years. Team Penske drivers have produced eight wins in the distinctive PPG livery with the most recent INDYCAR SERIES victory coming in 2017 at World Wide Technologies Raceway with driver Josef Newgarden.

In addition to the partnership with McLaughlin and the No. 3 team in 2021, PPG will also continue to serve as a sponsor for Team Penske’s NASCAR Xfinity Series program with 2020 series champion Austin Cindric. Cindric will pilot the No. 22 PPG Ford Mustang in races this season at the Daytona Road Course, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Mid-Ohio and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.

“The relationship with Team Penske has been extremely successful for PPG, both on and off the track,” said Bill Shaw, PPG director, strategic accounts, automotive refinish. “We are excited to add another chapter to our history with Scott McLaughlin and the No. 3 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet team. Scott has proven himself to be one of the most talented racecar drivers in the world, and we know success in his new opportunity with the team is just around the corner. PPG is excited to be a part of that.”

The 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season will begin for McLaughlin and the No. 3 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet team on April 18 at Barber Motorsports Park, located just outside Birmingham, Alabama. The race will be seen live on NBC. McLaughlin will also drive the PPG Chevy during the doubleheader race weekends at Texas and Detroit, as well as races this season at Mid-Ohio, Toronto, Portland, Laguna Seca and Long Beach.

PPG: WE PROTECT AND BEAUTIFY THE WORLD™

At PPG (NYSE:PPG), we work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and materials that our customers have trusted for more than 135 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, we operate and innovate in more than 70 countries and reported net sales of $13.8 billion in 2020. We serve customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. To learn more, visit www.ppg.com.

We protect and beautify the world is a trademark and the PPG Logo is a registered trademark of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.

You can see the car unveiling here:

Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report – St. Pete

IndyCar - Wikipedia

Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report

Track:                  Streets of St. Petersburg

Race:                   Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete

Date:                   October 25, 2020

No. 1 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 8th

Finish: 1st (18th-career NTT INDYCAR SERIES victory)

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 100/100

Laps Led: 21

Final Points Position:  2nd (-16 pts)

Notes:

  • It was a bittersweet Sunday for Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet team as they won the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season finale at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg but fell short of winning their third championship as they finished second in the series point standings, 16 points behind series champ Scott Dixon.
  • Starting the 100-lap event in the eighth position, the team knew it would be a battle to get to the front of the field, knowing it would take a win and championship rival Scott Dixon finishing 11th or worse for a chance to win their third series title.
  • Newgarden visited pit lane for the first time on lap 29, as he traded his Firestone primary compound tires for alternate compound tires, fuel and a front wing adjustment while running in seventh place.
  • After teammate Scott McLaughlin was involved in an on-track incident with Rinus Veekay to bring out the caution flag, Newgarden restarted in the fourth position on lap 54.  After a series of caution flags for consecutive on-track incidents, Newgarden took the green flag race restart in the third position on lap 78 and seized the race lead with a nice outside move around the two cars ahead of him.
  • Newgarden led the field at the final restart of the race with just 16 laps remaining in the Firestone Grand Prix. Pato O’Ward battled closely with Newgarden over the closing stage of the race as Dixon maintained the lead in the series championship standings by running third while the final laps of the season wound down.
  • The native of Nashville, Tennessee scored his fourth win for the 2020 INDYCAR season and his 18th career victory as he held off O’Ward at the finish line. With the win, Newgarden also became the third consecutive repeat winner at St. Petersburg.  This victory marked the 219th Indy car win for Team Penske.

Quote: “Congrats to Scott (Dixon) and his guys on his crew. It’s big time to win six championship so I’m sure they’re thrilled. They were great competitors. It’s bittersweet. On one hand, I really don’t know what I’d do different this year and I don’t know what I’d ask my guys to do different. They were flawless – fastest in the pits all year long and they were rewarded for it earlier this weekend by Firestone. I’m extremely proud to drive for my team – not just my car but all the Team Penske cars combined, all the engineers, all the mechanics. They’re an incredible crew that puts in a lot of work. We just came up short and that’s all it is. We just weren’t able to get it done but we’ll reset and we’ll hit ‘em harder next year and I promise you we’ll be in the fight. Thank you to Hitachi and Team Chevy. You know Team Chevy was the engine to beat today and I think all year long so big credit to them. We were just a little short on points but we’ll come back harder next year.”

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No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro+ Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin

Start: 21st

Finish: 22nd

Status: Accident

Laps Completed: 46/100

Laps Led: 0

Notes:

  • Three-time Australian Supercars Champion Scott McLaughlin turned some heads as he made his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut on Sunday afternoon on the Streets of St. Petersburg. McLaughlin ran laps times as fast as the race leaders and moved his way up the running order, before contact ended his race just before the halfway point on Sunday.  The 27-year-old native of New Zealand finished the race in 22nd place.
  • As the green flag flew to begin the race, McLaughlin took it easy heading into the first turn to get through his first INDYCAR start cleanly.  With the goal of finishing every lap and taking the checkered flag, McLaughlin used the early stages of the race to get the feel of his No. 3 Shell V-Power Nitro+ Chevrolet INDYCAR.
  • Utilizing an alternate pit strategy to gain track position, McLaughlin and the Shell V-Power Nitro+ team came to pit lane for the first time at lap nine. The move allowed McLaughlin to run laps with a clean track ahead of him.  While getting comfortable with the car, McLaughlin made up a few spots on the track. After the first round of green flag pit stops, McLaughlin advanced from 22nd to 18th place in the running order.
  • Following a caution period, McLaughlin tried to advance further on the race restart. Unfortunately, the rear tires locked up and the No. 3 car spun, making contact with another car.  The damage was too extensive to continue the race and McLaughlin was forced to retire. After it was announced Friday that McLaughlin will compete with a full-season entry next season, he will return to St. Pete in March to begin what he hopes will be a dynamic rookie INDYCAR season in 2021.

Quote: “What a day.  The best day of my life, except for my wedding. The Shell V-Power Nitro+ INDYCAR was going really well then I just made a move trying to block Marco (Andretti). Then I felt like I made a half of a rear lock, but I’m not exactly sure. Cold tires caught me out a little bit.  But I had a lot of fun today.  I just can’t thank my guys, Roger (Penske), Tim (Cindric), Shell V-Power and the entire organization for the weekend.  It was so much fun.  I wish the 2021 season was starting tomorrow.  I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of this car.”

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No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 1st (62nd NTT INDYCAR SERIES career pole)

Finish: 24th

Status: Accident

Laps Completed: 35/100

Laps Led: 4

Final Points Position: 5th (-141 pts)

Notes:

  • Will Power started Sunday’s race from the pole position after he earned his 62nd career INDYCAR SERIES pole position on Saturday.
  • Unfortunately, Power made an uncharacteristic mistake in the first half of the Firestone Grand Prix and the resulting contact forced him out of the season finale and he was scored in 24th place in the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet.
  • Power held of the competition and maintained an early lead for the opening first four laps on Sunday. However, a gearbox issue when he was downshifting saw Power drop to third place just five laps into the race. 
  • On lap 32, Power visited pit lane and returned the track right in front of teammate and championship contender Josef Newgarden. The two avoided contact as Newgarden continued his march forward and Power got up to speed.  
  • Just three laps later, the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet made contact with the wall after exiting turn 4 and Power came to a halt in the runoff area.  The damage was too extensive to continue and he retired from the event in the 24th position.   

Quote: “I just lost it. The rear bottomed and I just had a moment. Earlier in the race, the Verizon Chevrolet didn’t downshift for some reason. It did it a couple of times. Then I started downshifting really early. I don’t know what happened or if that caused any of our issues. It just didn’t go down gears and that is how (Alexander) Rossi got me, and then (Colton) Herta attacked for position. But I’m just frustrated with me making a mistake and hitting the wall. The car got loose and it’s just so very, very frustrating. I shouldn’t be the one crashing. My bad for putting us out of the race.”

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No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 12th

Finish: 6th

Status:  Running

Laps Completed: 100/100

Laps Led: 0

Points Position:  8th (-198 pts)

Notes:

  • Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet brought home a solid finish on Sunday to conclude a challenging 2020 INDYCAR SERIES season.
  • The Menards Chevrolet started Sunday’s race in 12th place, but Pagenaud slipped back to 16th at the end on lap one. The hot and humid day caused a lack of grip on the track and it affected the handling of the No. 22 Chevy. Despite the hot conditions, Pagenaud radioed to the team early on that he was happy with the performance of the car.
  • While several teams opted for a three-stop strategy on Sunday, Pagenaud and the Menards team were able to make up ground by executive a two-stop strategy.
  • Race strategist Kyle Moyer called Pagenaud to pit lane for his final stop of the race on lap 66. Fortunately, the caution flag flew just a couple of laps later which allowed Pagenaud to gain track position while also benefitting from running on new Firestone alternate tires.
  • A number of caution flags, and attrition from several other competitors exiting the race, shuffled the field and positions multiple times in the second half of the Firestone Grand Prix. Running consistent laps, Pagenaud advanced to eighth place with less than 20 laps to go.  The Frenchman ran hard to the finish and he gained two more positions to finish his 2020 season in the sixth position.

Quote: “That was a good finish for the Menards Chevrolet.  It was survival of the fittest out there today.  At one point, I said on the radio that there could be many, many more cautions and there was. We just couldn’t get in a race rhythm. But we were able take advantage of all those other people’s mistakes and put ourselves in position to have a good finish.  All weekend, the car was really good – I think it was better than even sixth where we finished.  But I’m pretty excited to build upon this for next year. All-in-all, good weekend.  It was also good to see the fans back at the track.  We finished St. Pete, just a few months after the fact.”

TEAM PENSKE WILL NOT RETURN TO SUPERCARS COMPETITION IN 2021

Three-Time Supercars Champion Scott McLaughlin to Race Full Season in Team’s INDYCAR Program

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (October 23, 2020) – Team Penskeannounced today thatit will not return to compete in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship for the 2021 season. The team’s exit concludes an incredibly successful six-year run in Supercars competition. Since joining forces with Dick Johnson Racing to form DJR Team Penske (DJRTP) in 2015, the team has earned 56 wins, 62 poles and six championships, including three-consecutive driver’s titles with Scott McLaughlin. Fabian Coulthard produced the team’s first pole position in 2016 and its first race win in 2017. 

Team Penske will assist team co-owners Dick Johnson and Ryan Story with the transition as they prepare for the 2021 Supercars season. The team is expected to announce its plans for next season, including a 2021 driver lineup, in the near future.

Team Penske also announced that McLaughlin will transition from Supercars racing to begin the next phase of his career. McLaughlin will race for Team Penske to complete the team’s four-car, full-season lineup in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The 27-year-old McLaughlin will make his INDYCAR SERIES debut this weekend at the 2020 season finale on the Streets of St. Petersburg.

“We have enjoyed an incredible six seasons competing in the Supercars series with DJR Team Penske,” said Roger Penske. “Partnering with Dick Johnson and Ryan Story to form DJR Team Penske was an incredible experience that produced success on the track and in the boardroom. We have built so many lasting partnerships and friendships, and competing in Supercars has certainly helped strengthen our brand and our business in Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, with the challenges we have faced in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to readjust our business initiatives for 2021 and beyond. We want to thank Dick Johnson, Ryan Story, Fabian Coulthard and all of our team members for their hard work and dedication as we reestablished a championship organization together over the last six years. I know that Dick, Ryan and the team will continue to build on that success moving forward.”

DJR Team Penske quickly became one of the top teams competing in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. With McLaughlin and Coulthard racing their Shell V-Power Fords, DJRTP won the prestigious Supercars team title in 2017, just three years after entering the series. McLaughlin captured his first driver’s championship in 2018 and he established a new single-season record with 18 wins on his way repeating as champion in 2019. McLaughlin and co-driver Alex Premat also produced a victory in the legendary Bathurst 1000 endurance race in 2019. This past season, DJRTP secured its third team title with 14 combined victories between Coulthard and McLaughlin, who won his third-consecutive driver’s championship.

“I want to thank Roger and the entire Penske organization for all they’ve done for our team over the last six years,” said Johnson. “While we hate to see them go, we understand the tough business decisions that have to be made. We’ve worked together over the last six years to build a team that has become the benchmark for performance both on and off the track. With the assistance of Roger and Team Penske we will be in position to build on that success. With the full support of Ford Australia, Ford Performance, Shell V-Power and all of our great partners, our team will continue to be a leader in Supercars racing.”

Considered one of the greatest Supercars drivers in series history, McLaughlin ranks fourth on the all-time wins list with 56 career victories and second on the all-time list with 76 career poles in just eight full seasons of racing. After four seasons competing for Team Penske, McLaughlin already ranks third on the organization’s all-time wins list, trailing only Brad Keselowski and Mark Donohue. He will get the opportunity to add to that total next season in the INDYCAR SERIES racing alongside three former series champions in Josef Newgarden (2017 & 2019), Will Power (2014) and Simon Pagenaud (2016) to form a powerful four-car program for Team Penske.

“I’m so excited for the opportunity to take the next step in my career and compete against some of the best drivers in the world in the INDYCAR SERIES,” said McLaughlin. “The last four years racing for DJR Team Penske has been amazing. I want to thank every single person on the team, and everyone that has helped me reach this point in my career. I wouldn’t be in position to continue to chase my dream without the hard work of so many people along the way. I’m looking forward to the challenge of joining one of the most iconic motorsports programs of all time – Team Penske’s INDYCAR team. I wish the 2021 season would begin tomorrow.”

The 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season is set to begin at St. Petersburg on March 7.

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 580 major race wins, over 640 pole positions and 38 Championships across open-wheel, stock car and sports car racing competition. Over the course of its 54-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 IndyCar Series, the NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The team also raced 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.

Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES INDYCAR Harvest GP – Race 2

Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report

Track:                  Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course

Race:                   INDYCARHarvest Grand Prix – Race 2

Date:                   October 3, 2020

No. 1 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 9th

Finish: 4th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 75/75

Laps Led: 0

Points Position:  2nd (-32 pts)

Notes:

  • It was a strong day for Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet team as they slightly closed the difference in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship points battle with leader Scott Dixon, finding themselves just 32 points behind after a fourth-place finish at the INDYCAR Harvest GP Race 2 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
  • Starting towards the middle of the pack in the ninth position, Newgarden attempted to move through the field quickly as he made his way into the fifth position by lap 21.
  • After a pit stop on lap 26 for fuel, Firestone primary compound tires and a front wing adjustment, Newgarden continued to maintain the fifth position until pitting for the second and final time on lap 50, taking Firestone alternate compound tires and fuel hoping to find just a bit more speed to advance on track.
  • Just a few laps later Newgarden, found himself in his race-high fourth position on lap 56, attempting to close a 13.2 second gap behind leader and teammate Will Power, Colton Herta and Alexander Rossi.
  • Unable to pass his competition, Newgarden settled for fourth the position as the checkered flag waved.
  • This was his 11th top-10 finish, and 8th top five for the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.
  • With just 32 points between himself and Scott Dixon in the points race, Newgarden and the Hitachi Chevrolet team will race down to the wire at St. Petersburg, Fla. for the final race of the season to determine the champion on Sunday, October 25.

Quote: “We were a little shy of where we needed to be. If we had a phenomenal day like we had yesterday, we would be in really good shape. We were just mediocre today. I think we had a car to compete with Will and Herta and Rossi up there but we just didn’t start up there high enough. With the start, I got kind of buried on the inside and I tried to get as much as I could on the outside but then Santino (Ferrucci) came in running tight – but he was fine. It just got tight and I got pushed back a little too far. The key for us was being up higher earlier today. I just had to work for a lot just like Scott did. If we had a cleaner qualifying run, I think we really would have had a better day. I’m really thankful to Team Chevy. There were two wins for Team Chevy here this weekend. They did a phenomenal job, and obviously having Hitachi support is always big for us. Look, we’re in it with a shot. We’re going to go to St. Pete and try and win this championship. I just wish we were in a little closer position.”

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No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 1st (61st NTT INDYCAR SERIES career pole)

Finish: 1st (39th NTT INDYCAR SERIES career victory)

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 75/75

Laps Led: 75

Points Position: 4th (-114 pts)

Notes:

  • In an almost unbelievable display of skill, Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet not only won the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Harvest GP Race 2 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course – they led every one of the 75 laps in the event.
  • After beginning his morning qualifying for the Saturday afternoon race, Power claimed his 61st NTT INDYCAR SERIES career pole – putting him just six poles away from tying Mario Andretti’s record for the most career poles by a single INDYCAR driver.
  • With the team electing to begin the event on Firestone alternate compound tires, Power held off until lap 26 to make his first pit stop, in which he switched to primary compound tires and took fuel. He remained in the lead as he exited the pits and returned to the track.
  • He came back to the pits for his second and final pit stop on lap 52 for Firestone alternate compound tires, fuel and an aeroscreen tear off to find more speed as Colton Herta and Alexander Rossi continued to close the gap behind the leader.
  • With just nine laps remaining, it seemed Herta saved his remaining push-to-pass time to try and make a pass on Power as the gap between the two leaders closed to just 0.636 seconds.
  • However, Power maintained his lead and won the race – his 39th NTT INDYCAR SERIES victory – tying him with Al Unser Sr. for fifth on the all-time INDYCAR wins list.
  • This was Power’s second victory this season after also winning at the first race of a doubleheader weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in September.
  • Power’s victory was Team Penske’s 218th Indy car victory and the team’s 24th win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This was also their seventh team victory on the road course.

Quote: “The tires had gone away and it was a tough battle and I had to work very hard to keep him behind. I am just so happy to have Verizon and Chevy in Victory Lane again. We had two Hondas trying to attack us there but my Chevy had very good power and drive-ability, so just over the moon to get another win, especially at this place.”

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No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 19th

Finish: 10th

Status:  Running

Laps Completed: 75/75

Laps Led: 0

Points Position:  8th (-191 pts)

Notes:

  • Starting further back in the field in 19th, Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet team powered through with determination to finish the race in the top-10 in the Sunday’s second race of the Harvest GP doubleheader weekend on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
  • Being the only Team Penske Chevrolet who started the race on Firestone primary compound tires, the team elected to change to alternate compound tires by lap 26 while also taking fuel and a front wing adjustment.
  • Moving through the field and carefully using his push-to-pass time, Pagenaud was able to move into the 10th position for the first time by lap 39.
  • In hopes of advancing his track position, team strategist Kyle Moyer called the Frenchman back to the pits on lap 50 for one final stop, taking Firestone alternate compound tires, fuel and a front wing adjustment.
  • His efforts to further his track position were not rewarded as he ended the 75-lap event in 10th-place. This was his sixth top-10 finish of the 2020 season.
  • Pagenaud will join the rest of the field for the final race of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season at St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, October 25.

Quote: “It was a big weekend for Team Penske. Will did a great job today and congratulations to him for the win. We worked hard today for a top-10 finish with the DXC Technology Chevrolet and it was a good way for us to end the weekend. With another good finish today by Josef, Team Penske has a chance to race for the championship at St. Pete so we’re all looking forward to the finale and a good result there.”

NTT INDYCAR SERIES INDYCAR Harvest GP – Race 1

Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report

Track:                  Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course

Race:                   INDYCARHarvest Grand Prix – Race 1

Date:                   October 2, 2020

No. 1 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 2nd

Finish: 1st (17th NTT INDYCAR SERIES career victory)

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 85/85

Laps Led:  34

Points Position:  2nd (-40 pts)

Notes:

  • With a chance at a third NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship hanging in the balance with only a few races remaining in the season, Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet team delivered an impressive performance in bringing home a well-timed victory in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES INDYCAR Harvest GP Race 1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
  • Starting the 85-lap event in the second position on alternate compound Firestone tires, Newgarden quickly lost one spot to Colton Herta in the first few laps of the race but regained his position by lap 13. The battle with Herta would develop into a major storyline for the race as they continued to battle throughout the event.
  • After Rinus VeeKay gained the lead before pitting on lap 18, Newgarden took over the lead for the first time during the late afternoon event.
  • Newgarden’s first pit stop was something his competitors kept their eye on as he continued to show impressive speed by lap 22 when he pitted for primary compound Firestone tires in an effort to continue to run consistently at the front of the field.
  • Jostling back and forth with Colton Herta for the lead on lap 54, Newgarden found himself only 1.5 seconds behind the leader after having a 4 second gap just laps before. On lap 57, the Tennessean maintained 50 seconds remaining for push-to-pass with Herta only having 11 seconds remaining.
  • In a twist of fate, Colton Herta locked up his tires and missed the corner into turn 1 allowing Newgarden to take the lead on lap 59.
  • During his final pit stop on lap 62, the No. 1 Hitachi Chevrolet team provided Newgarden with fresh primary compound tires and fuel allowing him to work his way back into the lead quickly by lap 67 where he would remain until the checkered flag waved.
  • This was Team Penske’s 217th Indy car victory and their 23rd win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in total with now six of those victories being on the road course. This also was Newgarden’s first NTT INDYCAR SERIES career victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • Entering today’s race 72 points behind NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship points leader Scott Dixon, his victory allowed him to inch closer to closing the gap now just 40 points behind headed into tomorrow’s second race of a doubleheader weekend in Indianapolis.

Quote: “I don’t know that I can think about the race because I’m just so excited to be up here on the top of the podium. I wish I could’ve been up here in August (Indianapolis 500) for ‘The Captain.’ He’s done such an amazing job with this facility. To see people back here, socially distancing in the stands and getting to watch a race I’m sure makes him happy. I’m happy to be standing up here today representing him and everyone at Team Penske, along with everyone at INDYCAR and IMS. Thank you to everyone that came out here in cold conditions. We had a rocket ship! I knew we did yesterday in qualifying. I was surprised at how quick the Hitachi Chevy was, and it was a great fight today. It was about strategy, close combat, everything you want in an INDYCAR race. I felt like Team Chevy did an amazing job and having Hitachi onboard has been good luck for us this year. I’m just pumped to be up here. I’ve always wanted to get up here during the 500, but this one is just as cool. If we had a few races back where we caught bad yellows we would really be in this championship fight. It’s almost a shame to see the deficit we had at times in the points because this team is unbelievable. They’ve been the quickest on pit lane all year. Everyone has done a great job and they deserve to be in this championship fight. We still have a bit of a hill to climb, but we made it smaller today. I said we needed to have three perfect races to finish. One of them is down and there are two to go.”

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No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 4th

Finish: 6th

Status: Running

Laps Completed: 85/85

Laps Led: 0

Points Position: 5th (-144 pts)

Notes:

  • Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet team had a solid day at the NTT INDYCAR SERIES INDYCAR Harvest GP Race 1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) road course where they started the day in the fourth position and settled for a sixth-place finish.
  • In the beginning of the 85-lap event, Power was able to maintain a position within the front of the field near where he started. He was able to take over the second position on lap 18 as teammate Josef Newgarden took the lead for the first time during the race.
  • On lap 22 Power pitted for the first time with his Verizon Chevrolet team supplying him with primary compound Firestone tires and fuel. Unfortunately, the right front tire changer had an issue replacing the tire, slowing down the pit stop just slightly.
  • Power visited the pits for a final time on lap 62 where he took fresh primary compound Firestone tires, fuel and a wing adjustment in hopes of being able to find speed and advance track position.
  • However, with just 10 laps remaining Power would find himself in the sixth position where he would remain for the end of the race.
  • Having too few points to be able to compete for the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship, Power and his team are focused solely on race wins and will be looking to score their series-leading fourth win on the IMS road course in tomorrow’s second race of the Harvest GP doubleheader.

Quote: “Man, that was a tough race. We had some great pace at different points but we just didn’t have enough to fight for the win at the end. Congrats to Josef. That was a big win for the team and big for the championship. I think we learned a lot on the Verizon Chevy that we can apply in tomorrow race and hopefully fight for the win.”

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No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 22nd

Finish: 16th

Status:  Running

Laps Completed: 84/85

Laps Led: 0

Points Position:  8th (-187 pts)

Notes:

  • It was an unfortunate day for Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet as bad luck plagued the team which settled for a 16th-place finish in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES INDYCAR Harvest GP Race 1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
  • The team’s misfortune began during qualifying on Thursday when, after beginning the session on primary compound Firestone tires and planning to switch to alternate compound tires for a faster lap, a red flag came out for Takuma Sato that ended the session. Pagenaud would qualify in the 22nd position.
  • Knowing the team would have to battle from the back of the field, a confident Simon Pagenaud and DXC Technology Chevrolet team approached the event like the race they won in Iowa just a few months prior where they started from the last position before finishing in victory lane.
  • In hopes of using a different strategy than the rest of the field, team strategist Kyle Moyer called Pagenaud to the pits on lap 9 for fresh alternate compound Firestone tires, fuel and a front wing adjustment in hopes of improving downforce and finding speed to advance quickly through the field. The plan seemed to work as Pagenaud found himself running the 14th position just 10 laps later on lap 19.
  • Running in 11th, Pagenaud returned to the pits on lap 33 for fuel, tires and a front wing adjustment.
  • By lap 65, Pagenaud found himself running 16th and would remain in that position for the rest of the 85-lap event.

Quote: “Congratulations to Josef on the win today. It was a great race out there today. We still have some work to do on the DXC Technology Chevrolet for tomorrow’s race but we will get there. While things didn’t go our way today, it’s a great result for the team and good for the championship. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race and hopefully we can end the weekend with another win for Team Penske.”

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.”

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