Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report - Mid-Ohio Race 2

September 13, 2020

Track:       Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Race:        Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Race 2
Date:        September 13, 2020
No. 1 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 9th
Finish: 8th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 75/75
Laps Led:  0
Points Position:  2nd (-72 pts)

  • Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 PPG Chevrolet team had a solid result in the second NTT INDYCAR SERIES race of the doubleheader weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday. Newgarden finished eighth in the Sunday afternoon race but he was not able to make up any more ground in championship point standings as he remains second and trails series leader Scott Dixon by 72 points with three races remaining in the 2020 season.
  • Starting in the ninth position, Newgarden was able to move up to eighth on the first lap as three cars went off track early on to bring out a caution flag.
  • Newgarden ran inside the top-10 for most of the day but just before the mid-point of the race, he told team strategist Tim Cindric on the radio that the PPG Chevy was experiencing some rear grip issues. The team continued to monitor the situation prior to Newgarden's second stop of the race.
  • On lap 47, Cindric called Newgarden and the PPG Chevrolet to the pits for their final stop of the day as the No. 1 team looked to improve its performance and overall track position.
  • Newgarden was not able to get by Team Penske teammates Will Power and Simon Pagenaud over the final stint of the race as he produced an eight-place result for his ninth top-10 finish in 11 races this season.

Quote: "We were just a little too average today. We didn't really have superior pace and our starting position didn't help us out. We tried to make some hay in the beginning and the caution didn't really work in our favor for what we were planning strategy-wise. We were just kind of stuck where we were all day, to be honest. We just need to work on getting a little more race pace. I think that's we were lacking. On the car itself, we needed a little better grip and a little more balance. Everything else was solid. I think Team Chevy came with a great engine today. We had what we needed from them and obviously the support from PPG is always great here at Mid-Ohio, so we just need to work on ourselves a little more for next time out."

No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 17th
Finish: 7th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 75/75
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 5th (-150 pts)

  • Following Saturday's victory at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Will Power and the Verizon Chevrolet team scored another good finish Sunday with a seventh-place result in the second NTT INDYCAR SERIES race of the weekend.
  • After a disappointing result in qualifying Sunday morning that saw Power go off course and bring out a red flag, the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet started the race from the 17th position. After taking the green flag, Power showed the speed that was on display Saturday as he moved easily through field and advanced to 10th place by lap 9.
  • The Verizon team provided solid stops during the race but race strategy was a challenge for the team as they experienced intermittent radio issues throughout the race. Power was able to glean some communication from pit lane and follow his teammates lead as he continued to run inside the top-10 despite the challenges.
  • During the team's final pit stop on lap 47, race strategist Ron Ruzewski elected to provide Power with the red alternate compound Firestone tires and fuel in hopes of giving the former series champion the tools he needed to break inside the top five.
  • With 15 laps to go, Power had worked his way up to the seventh position and he would not be able to advance any farther as he took the checkered flag running behind his teammate Simon Pagenaud and in front of his other teammate, Josef Newgarden.
  • With a strong weekend overall at Mid-Ohio, Power advanced to fifth in NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings. The Verizon team will look continue its forward momentum in the standings at the Harvest Grand Prix doubleheader weekend at Indianapolis, October 2-3.

Quote: "It was actually a pretty solid race for the Verizon Chevrolet. We had some radio issues so I really wasn't sure what position we were running in all the time so I really just followed my teammates and pitted when they did. It was pretty smooth sailing from there but we really couldn't make up a lot of ground. Obviously it was a pretty disappointing result in qualifying today and that was totally my fault. Considering that and the radio challenges during the race, we come away actually feeling alright with a seventh-place result and a pretty good weekend overall with the win on Saturday."

No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Start: 6th
Finish: 6th
Status:  Running
Laps Completed: 75/75
Laps Led: 0
Points Position:  8th (-179 pts)

  • Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet team produced a consistent and gratifying performance on Sunday with a sixth-place result that helped provide some redemption following a disappointing and frustrating finish on Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
  • Starting in the sixth position in Sunday's second race of the weekend, Pagenaud moved up to fifth place after Santino Ferrucci went off course on the opening lap to bring out the caution flag.
  • On lap 6, Pagenaud radioed to race strategist Kyle Moyer that the balance was good on the DXC Technology Chevy but he was experiencing some handling issues. Moyer told the Frenchman that it was only a matter of time before the car settled and he would feel more comfortable.
  • Pagenaud pitted for the first time on lap 14 as the No. 22 Chevy took fuel and primary tires during a clean stop.
  • As he patiently worked his way up the running order, Pagenaud seized a race-high fourth place on lap 45 as the race moved past its halfway point and he prepared for his final pit stop.
  • On lap 46, the DXC Technology Chevrolet was equipped with four Firestone red alternate compound tires and fuel to attempt one last charge to the front. Pagenaud was not able to overtake Marcus Ericsson in the closing laps to break into the top five, however, but he did produce the team's top finish of the day in sixth place.
  • Pagenaud and the DXC Technology Chevy team remain eighth in NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship point standings now 179 points behind current championship leader Scott Dixon following Sunday's race at Mid-Ohio.

Quote: "I think we finally broke our curse. We had a good race today and we'll take a sixth-place finish in the DXC Technology Chevrolet. Saturday's result was a real shame – it definitely didn't show the pace that we had here. I think we've had a good car all weekend long and I think today we maximized what we had. We definitely still have some work to do but we are happy with the direction we are headed with the car and that's a good sign for us heading back to Indianapolis and the Harvest Grand Prix."