Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report - Barber

April 28, 2024

Children's of Alabama Indy Grand Prix
Leeds, Alabama - April 28, 2024


POINTS: 15TH (-53) 

RACE RUNDOWN: Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 PPG Chevrolet team fought through a tough Children's of Alabama Indy Grand Prix weekend to finish 16th at Barber Motorsports Park. The three-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES winner at Barber began the 90-lap event from the eighth position after narrowly missing out on the Firestone Fast Six during Saturday's qualifying session. Newgarden was able to gradually improve his track position during the first round of pit cycles, eventually coming to pit lane on Lap 31 for new Firestone primary tires. With many of his competitors on the Firestone alternate tire, Newgarden fell victim to the softer compounds when he returned to the track and was eventually contacted by the No. 11 of Marcus Armstrong on Lap 33 that resulted in pushing Newgarden off course. The contact dropped him to 17th in the running order and altered the pit strategy from the No. 2 timing stand. From there the No. 2 PPG Chevy team received no breaks from the caution flags that flew over the course of the remaining laps before crossing the finish line in the 16th position. 

NEWGARDEN'S THOUGHTS: "It just seemed as though we were just one step or one decision behind today and that isn't something you can do with the competitiveness of this series. I couldn't be more proud of this No. 2 PPG Chevy team and the work they continue to put in. We were up against it this weekend, but the fight never left us. It will be good to get an off weekend for everyone and then head to Indianapolis. We all know the feeling we had when we left Indy last May and that is something we are all hungry to experience again."



POINTS: 9TH (-42)

RACE RUNDOWN: Scott McLaughlin and the No. 3 Good Ranchers Chevrolet team are beginning to make Barber Motorsports Park their personal playground as the New Zealander raced to his second straight victory at the Alabama track in Sunday's Children's of Alabama Indy Grand Prix. It was his fifth NTT INDYCAR SERIES win in his three-plus seasons since making the move from Australian Supercars to North America's premier open-wheel series. On Saturday afternoon, McLaughlin picked up his 65th pole position as a member of Team Penske, breaking a tie with fellow mate and Sunday's second-place finisher, Will Power. From the start of the 90-lap event, McLaughlin and team rarely waffled on the three-stop strategy that worked so well for them in 2023. Though several Untimely cautions threatened to derail their winning efforts, the all-out pace of the Good Ranchers Chevy proved too much for the competition as once McLaughlin cleared the No. 10 of Alex Palou at the exit of pit lane after his final pit stop of the day, he was able to easily cruise to victory of the final two laps following a late-race caution. By taking the checkered flag, McLaughlin brings his Team Penske win total to 53 victories and remains third on the team's all-time wins list.  

MCLAUGHLIN'S THOUGHTS: "Just super proud of the Good Ranchers Chevy team. Just unbelievable. Our word now is execution, and we just executed to the highest we could. I'm super proud of them. Look, I just love Barber, I love Alabama. I love the vibe everyone brings, and I'm just super lucky to drive such an amazing race car these guys and girls prepare for me. I'll just keep enjoying it, keep having fun, and see if we can get a few more wins along the way."


POINTS: 2ND (-1)

RACE RUNDOWN: Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet team endured an eventful Sunday morning before finishing second in the Children's of Alabama Indy Grand Prix at picturesque Barber Motorsports Park. After a spirited battle with teammate, Scott McLaughlin, in Saturday's Firestone Fast Six where he came up just short of his 71st career NTT P1 Award, Power radioed to his crew during the Sunday morning warmup that something felt amiss in the power plant of his Chevy. A quick diagnosis led to Team Penske and Chevrolet electing to swap the engine prior to Power rolling off from the second position. In remarkable work, both entities staffed the changeout and made it to the starting line in plenty of time despite a tight turnaround. When the green flag flew it was clear that Power and McLaughlin were two of the cars to beat over the course of the 90-lap event. The two remained in lock-step on their three-stop strategy despite several full course yellows that seemed to work against them at every inopportune moment. Despite fighting traffic resulting from mixed pit strategies, Power continued to cycle toward the front of the field where clean air allowed the legendary driver to turn some of the fastest laps of the race. Both he and McLaughlin came down pit lane for the final time on Lap 75 and had enough of a lead to stay at the front of the field when they returned to action. From there, a caution flag late in the event set up a two-lap shootout that provided some drama and Power tried to quickly overtake McLaughlin on the first lap back to green before settling for second at the checkered flag. Power now enters the month of May just one marker out of the points lead. 

POWER'S THOUGHTS: "(McLaughlin) did an amazing job with his speed when he needed it. We got that first yellow, we were okay, and then the way it started to kind of transpire with the yellow, the (Alexander) Rossi yellow, that really put us behind. We were in a situation where he was going to pass a lot of cars. The Sting Ray Robb caution kind of brought us back into play. It was going to be "how fast can he go?" He got clear for six or seven laps there and put laps that were faster than anyone. About a second a lap for anybody. He pulled out and we were able to pit and get ahead of the No. 10 car before he came around. This is raw pace in the Verizon Chevy when we needed it." 

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will enjoy a weekend off before setting up shop at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the month of May beginning with the Sonsio Grand Prix on May 11.