Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Recap - Texas

March 20, 2022

Track:  Texas Motor Speedway
Race:   XPEL 375
Date:   March 20, 2022

No. 2 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 7th
Finish: 1st – 21st career INDYCAR SERIES win
Laps Led: 3
Point Standings: 4th (-32)
Race Rundown: In a thrilling duel with one of his teammates, Josef Newgarden put his No. 2 PPG Chevrolet to the outside of Scott McLaughlin on the last lap and was able to make it stick coming off Turn 4 at Texas Motor Speedway, collecting his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES win of 2022. After an uncharacteristic, 16th-place finish on the streets of St. Petersburg last month, Newgarden was third among the Team Penske trio in the Saturday qualifications. However, he was the fastest car in the final practice session and, using strong pit strategy, was able to put his No. 2 Chevrolet in the lead pack for most of Sunday’s race. When McLaughlin caught lapped traffic on the final lap, Newgarden was in optimal position to capitalize for the win, extending his reign as the winningest current American driver in the series.
Newgarden’s Thoughts: "Oh my gosh! That was, I was fuming in the car. We had all this traffic, and it wasn't helping me and then right when I needed it to help me. And then right when I needed it to help me, literally last corner, last lap traffic helped me out. Unbelievable PPG car in victory lane. Also, our XPEL car. How about Scott (McLaughlin)? I think he led like 95 percent of the laps. I hate doing that to a teammate, but I was going for it just like he was. We were driving hard. Man, I was loose. I was driving things sideways off of three and four every lap. I was trying to get a run, but Team Chevy what an unbelievable job right? We showed up, got the win for Team Chevy's camp, and just so pleased for everybody. It was so good to drive this PPG car again with Team Chevy."

No. 3 XPEL Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin
Start: 2nd
Finish: 2nd                                               
Laps Led: 186
Point Standings: 1st (+28)
Race Rundown: Just weeks after his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES win in St. Petersburg, Scott McLaughlin dominated the XPEL 375 for much of Sunday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS). Unfortunately, he could not hold off teammate Josef Newgarden on the final lap around the 1.5-mile oval, finishing second in a race at TMS for the second-consecutive year. McLaughlin narrowly missed out on his second series pole position on Saturday afternoon, rolling off from the second starting position. On the second lap of the race, the New Zealander moved into the lead for the first time and would remain at the front of the field for a majority of the race. Throughout the final 100 laps, several drivers took their place at the front of the field as varying fuel strategies began to play out. After resuming the lead on lap 205, McLaughlin looked to be in control of the race before lapped traffic over the final laps let Newgarden close the gap. Coming off the last corner, Newgarden was able to complete the outside pass for the win, pushing McLaughlin back to second.  However, the second-place finish allows him to keep the lead in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings.  
McLaughlin’s Thoughts: “Looking back at it, if I would have thought about it in my head, which I already have done a million times, my car was tightening up, especially in traffic. It probably wasn't handling exactly how it had at the start earlier in the race. I was trying to control the traffic, couldn't catch the traffic too much. At the end the traffic checked up into me. I knew there were going to be dramas in three and four. I struggled with my turns at three and four. I guess I wasn't prepared to take the risk on the outside at 3-4, which looking back at it I should have. My teammate Josef, obviously Josef chose to. Once he was on the outside of me, I can't do anything. I'm gutted. I'll reevaluate everything over the next few days. But it's funny, like last year I was fist pumping and jumping out of the car finishing second. I'm like today – it sucks. That's how it is. That's how we're growing. I'll learn from this, get better.  We led a lot of laps, extended the championship lead. Yeah, I'm a race driver. I want to win. It definitely hurts.”

No. 12 Verizon 5G Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Start: 4th
Finish: 4th
Laps Led: 20
Point Standings: 2nd (-28)
Race Rundown: Will Power, a two-time winner at Texas Motor Speedway, was a strong contender for his third win at the track before crossing the finish line in the fourth position in the XPEL 375 on Sunday afternoon. After starting from the fourth position, Power maintained his position near the front of the field for the entire 248-lap event, eventually moving into the lead on lap 168. Power would lead for a total of 20 laps on the day as the cars at the front of the field each took turns leading while trying to save fuel. With his teammates running first and second, Power tried mightily to make it a clean Team Penske sweep before crossing the finish line in the fourth position.
Power’s Thoughts: “That’s Texas for you.  Big day for Team Penske.  Congrats to Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin on a great battle.  I am happy to finish fourth. The Verizon Chevrolet is sitting really nice in the points.  We are having a really consistent start to the season, which is great.  I’m very happy with Chevrolet.  We are knocking on the door of a win for sure.”