Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report - Indy Road Course

May 16, 2021

Track:     Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
Race:      GMR Grand Prix
Date:      May 15, 2021

No. 2 Snap-on "Makers and Fixers" Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 2nd
Finish: 4th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 3rd (-28 pts)

  • Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 Snap-on "Makers and Fixers" Chevrolet team entered Saturday's GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with high hopes to pick up their first win of the year. Despite not making it to Victory Lane, the team moves onto the Indianapolis 500 following a solid, fourth-place effort.
  • After a strong, second-place qualifying effort on Friday afternoon, Newgarden dropped to the third position as the No. 60 of Jack Harvey was able to dive underneath into the first corner. An early caution followed on the first lap before the running green for the remainder of the event.
  • The early caution period allowed a few teams to gamble on strategy, but team strategist Tim Cindric stuck to his plan of starting on the Firestone alternate tires before moving to one stint on the primary tires. Newgarden would finish the race on the alternate tires, as did much of the field.
  • In the end, despite a great day on pit road by the Snap-on crew, the pace was not a strong as was expected following a solid qualifying run by the No. 2 team. Newgarden closed to the back of the No. 10 of Alex Palou late in the race to nearly finish on the podium, but the two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion had used up most of his tires in the pursuit.
  • Newgarden and the No. 2 Snap-on Chevrolet team now turn their attention to the biggest prize of the all, the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend. Practice for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" begins Tuesday with qualifying next Saturday and Sunday.

Quote: "It was a good run for us today with a fourth-place finish with the No. 2 Snap-on Chevy. Even though it was a good run, it's a bit disappointing because we thought we had a winning car coming into the race, especially after qualifying second. It just didn't pan out. We were a little shy on pace, but still a good weekend. Team Chevy has done such a good job for us, and they won the race today, which is great. And to represent Snap-on today was special. The livery looked great and I'm happy to get a good result for one of the team's longest-running partnerships."

No. 3 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin
Start: 5th
Finish: 8th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led:  0
Points Position:  8th (-53 pts)

  • Adding a third straight top-10 finish to his NTT INDYCAR SERIES resume, Scott McLaughlin scored an eighth-place finish in his first GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course in the No. 3 PPG Chevrolet.
  • Coming off an impressive qualifying effort for the New Zealand native and series rookie, McLaughlin started the 85-lap event from the fifth position and kept that position until the first pit stop of the day at lap 14 for fuel and the red Firestone tires.
  • Battling hard in the top 10 throughout the middle of the race, McLaughlin developed a loose condition in the rear of his Dallara Chevrolet by lap 32. Precision driving and awareness of the car kept McLaughlin competitive through his lap-38 pit stop.
  • McLaughlin and the No. 3 PPG team continued in the top 10 through the later stages of the virtually caution-free event. A final stop on lap 62 provided the softer compound tires for the last stint of the 85-lap event and McLaughlin would go on to finish his inaugural GMR Grand Prix in eighth place.
  • Remaining in eighth place in the INDYCAR SERES point standings with back-to-back-to-back top-10 finishes gives the No. 3 team confidence as they head into the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 in two weeks.

Quote: "Not a bad day for the No. 3 PPG Chevy. We were probably a top-six car, but we got caught behind some lapped cars, and lost a bit of position on pit sequence at the end. An eighth-place effort is still a very solid result for us in the end. We wanted to be in the top eight in the standings heading into the Indy 500 and that's where we are. Hopefully we can have a big leadup to the biggest race of my life. I'm really proud of everyone because we've completed every lap so far this year. To have three top-10s in a row is a pretty cool thing."

No. 12 Verizon 5G Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Start: 12th
Finish: 11th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 0
Points Position:  9th (-58 pts)

  • Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet team nearly overcame an uncharacteristic qualifying effort to score a top-10 finish in Saturday's GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course before crossing the finish line in the 11th position.
  • After finding himself off track in both practice and qualifying, Power started the 85-lap race from the 12th position. Following an early caution flag on the first lap, Power quickly moved into the top 10 and looked to be on his way to another solid finish on the Indianapolis road course.
  • Unfortunately for Power, the fast pace of the race and varying pit strategies kept the No. 12 Chevy from advancing much further through the field, despite turning some quick lap times late in the race while hustling the Firestone alternate tires.
  • The next race for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES is the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 30, a race Power and the No. 12 Chevy team conquered in 2018.

Quote: "We obviously started from behind a bit with mishap in qualifying yesterday. The pace out there today was so strong that it was very difficult to make up many positions, especially when you trying to get into the top 10 or top five. I thought the pace of the Verizon 5G Chevy was good today, and if we have a better qualifying session I think we have a solid points day. Now we'll take a couple days to prepare and get ready to start work on winning the Indianapolis 500."

No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Start: 10th
Finish: 6th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led:  0
Points Position:  6th (-46 pts)

  • Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet team narrowly missed a wreck on lap one of the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, but the three-time GMR Grand Prix winner went on to secure his fourth top-10 finish of the 2021.
  • The Frenchman began in his day in the 10th position and quickly advanced his Menards Chevrolet to ninth by lap seven. A stop on lap 15 saw red sticker tires on the No. 22 the provided more grip through the turns.
  • Pagenaud and the No. 22 team competed in the top 10 for a majority of the afternoon. Long green-flag runs meant the team focused on fuel strategies and elected to pit with the other Team Penske cars. By lap 59, Pagenaud successfully chased down and passed his Team Penske teammate Scott McLaughlin to grab the sixth position.
  • A great stop at lap 62 by the Menards pit crew kept Pagenaud in the sixth position as the field cycled through. Great stops on pit road kept the No. 22 in the top 10 as the race came to a conclusion. Pagenaud crossed the finish line in the sixth position.
  • The NTT INDYCAR SERIES remains at Indianapolis for qualifying next week and the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30th.

Quote: "We made up a lot of track position today and that makes me very proud of everyone on the No. 22 Menards Chevy team. Once again, our pit stops were amazing. My guys on pit road continue to get the job done every week. We have the pace and we're very close to putting it all together. I can't wait for the Indianapolis 500."