NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report - Laguna Seca

June 23, 2024

Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey
Monterey, California
June 23, 2024


POINTS: 9TH (-104)

RACE RUNDOWN: It was a rollercoaster day for Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet team in Sunday's Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Newgarden started 14th and picked off one spot early in the 95-lap race. He reported to his crew that tire degradation felt a little higher but might get better as the competition progressed. The Hitachi crew would opt to run longer in the opening stint to gain track position. He would pit from 10th position on lap 26 but would be assessed a drive-through penalty for an improper pit exit. Newgarden would fall to 24th in the running order. Their luck seemed to turn around as a timely full course yellow allowed Newgarden to flip strategy and regain track position. The Tennessee native would restart 10th near the halfway point. Another full course yellow on lap 75 would be his big break of the day which allowed Newgarden to restart as high as second position. With 14 laps remaining, Newgarden would have a slight off track moment and fall back to fifth position. He would maintain that position until the penultimate lap of the race when he would spin just off Turn 6, which caused him to fall back to 19th at race's end.

NEWGARDEN'S THOUGHTS: "Definitely not the day the Hitachi car deserved. I felt like the strategy played into our hands and unfortunately just spun late. It shows the commitment you have to have every lap in the INDYCAR SERIES today. We will put it behind us as we get ready for Mid-Ohio in two weeks."


POINTS: 8TH (-97)

RACE RUNDOWN: Scott McLaughlin's finishing position is not representative of the day he and the No. 3 Good Ranchers Chevrolet team had at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday. McLaughlin rolled the "Meat Wagon" off from a team-high seventh in the 95-lap event in the Monterey Peninsula. He would settle into eighth position as he clicked off competitive laps. McLaughlin would pit for the first time on lap 21 and solid service would give the Kiwi two spots when he came out of the pits. The first full course yellow would see strategies flip and the Good Ranchers crew opted for primary Firestone tires on their pit stop. He would restart outside the top 15 but would quickly be as high as fifth once the various pit cycles played out. McLaughlin would pit on lap 68 for red tires. Unfortunately, McLaughlin would have slight contact with teammate Will Power as they headed into Turn 5. Try as he might, McLaughlin would go for a spin and subsequently received a drive-through penalty and needed suspension repairs. McLaughlin would finish the race under power in 21st position.

MCLAUGHLIN'S THOUGHTS: "Not the finish we were looking for with the Good Ranchers Chevy today. Felt like we had a top-five car and strategy played into our hands to bring home a result close to that. Had contact and went for a spin. Certainly, did not want that to happen. Really proud of the effort by the Thirsty 3's every week."


POINTS: 2ND (-9)

RACE RUNDOWN: Following his first win of 2024 last time out at Road America, hopes were high for a strong day for Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Business Chevrolet. Power would start in the 15th position and unfortunately would fall to the tail of the field in the opening lap after being pushed off the track. Slowly and methodically, Power would work his way back through the field and with the help of a timely caution would be back inside the top 10 near halfway. Running seventh, Power would make a nifty move into the famous Corkscrew to pass Scott Dixon for sixth and soon after passed teammate Scott McLaughlin for fifth. Power would pit for red tires on lap 68 and would be running in eighth position. The Australian would avoid near disaster late after slight contact with McLaughlin to bring home a seventh-place finish. Power now sits second in the championship standings.

POWER'S THOUGHTS: "I had a bad first lap and was last. Went back up to sixth, went back to 10th. It was still a good recovery day. When you can make the most of those bad days, it is good stuff for the points. It will be a tight battle to the end, but we will keep digging in the Verizon Business Chevrolet."

The ninth round of the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season will take place Independence Day weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday, July 7. This will be the first race of the hybrid era in the INDYCAR SERIES.