INDYCAR Race Report: Road America

June 19, 2023

DATE: JUNE 18, 2023

START - 4TH     
FINISH - 2ND     
POINTS - 3RD (-81)

RACE RUNDOWN: It was a workman-like day for Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 PPG Chevrolet team which resulted in a runner-up finish in Sunday’s Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America. The defending winner of the race scored his third podium finish of the 2023 season through eight events. Newgarden started fourth after making steady gains on his PPG Chevrolet from the opening practice to the race. He reported that he needed a little help with the aero balance of the car and made his first stop of the day on lap 12. Strong service by the PPG crew gained him one position for the restart. By lap 22, Newgarden worked his way around Alex Palou for the runner-up spot. He would pit on lap 25 for Firestone red tires and would fall to sixth by the time the race went back green. Newgarden reported the balance of the PPG Chevrolet had swung to the loose side and strategist Tim Cindric would call him back to pit road for the final time on lap 41 for primary tires. He would eventually work his way around a struggling Colton Herta, but just ran out of time to catch Palou and would cross the line in second place.

NEWGARDEN'S THOUGHTS: “We definitely had a shot at the win today, but not at the end. I think (Alex) Palou was just better than us in that final stint. I think he did a great job, and he is very deserving. In the middle of the race definitely felt like we had an opportunity, and I chose a lane on the restart when we had the off-cycle cars in front of us and I just chose the wrong lane. I chose the wrong lane with Palou, and I lost a couple of spots to Colton (Herta) and Pato (O’Ward) and that just set us up for the end of the race and playing catch up. I felt like if I had made a different choice there, then maybe we would have had an opportunity for the win. But I guess I am happy to be disappointed with second. This was a great recovery drive I think from our team. You know we rolled off pretty bad and we were off the pace and not happy. This team went to work and did a great job with the PPG car and Team Chevy. So, I have to be pretty pleased with second, it's just tough when you have an opportunity to win, and you just don’t seal the deal.”

START - 18TH     
FINISH - 8TH      
POINTS - 6TH (-125)
RACE RUNDOWN:  A weekend of steady improvement proved dividends for Scott McLaughlin and the No. 3 Sonsio Chevrolet team as he brought home an eighth-place finish at Road America. No doubt with a little extra pressure carrying the race entitlement sponsor on his car, McLaughlin gained eight positions from his 18th starting spot within the first 10 laps of the event. Strong pit service by the Sonsio crew gained McLaughlin an additional position by lap 12. He would settle into the eighth position for much of the midpoint of the race. McLaughlin would pit on lap 25 needing to fulfill his one stint on the Firestone red tires. The alternate tire proved to be a challenge for the balance of the Sonsio Chevrolet and Mclaughlin would fall to 10th in the running order. Some good coaching and encouragement from strategist Kyle Moyer kept McLaughlin in the game and by lap 41 the window opened to get back on primary tires for the run to the finish. He would utilize the fresh rubber to gain two additional positions and came home eighth at the end of the 55-lap event.
MCLAUGHLIN'S THOUGHTS: “I just think it's very easy to use a lot of push to pass and making sure that you have some available to you. But ultimately it was just a tire race. People that were on the reds when there's heaps of yellows, you know, guys like (Scott) Dixon benefit huge. Ultimately, I think we're probably top-six today. This is a good bounce back. We really found something in the warm-up today, I think balance-wise the car felt nice, so I'm happy with that.”

START - 25TH     
FINISH - 13TH     
POINTS - 8TH (-134)
RACE RUNDOWN: In what proved to be an eventful at times weekend, defending NTT INDYCAR Series Champion Will Power soldiered home for a 13th-place finish in the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America. Power started from the 25th position and needed to go on an alternate strategy which he came to pit road on lap 2 for service. The Verizon 5G crew would utilize several early full-course caution periods to top-off the fuel tank. Just past the halfway point, Power had cycled his way to second position and eventually would put himself out front prior to his final pit stop on lap 46. The strategy along with strong laps proved to be a huge net gain in track position and he came home in 13th place at race’s end.

POWER'S THOUGHTS: "Good recovery for the Verizon 5G team. Had a big off-track near the end of the race that cost us a little. I think our potential was just inside the top-10. Without the fueling issue maybe somewhere around (Scott) Dixon in the top-eight. Certainly, was a tough weekend, but we made the most of it."

WHAT'S NEXT: The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will celebrate Independence Day weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 2. Race coverage begins at 1:30 pm ET on USA Network, Peacock, INDYCAR Radio and Sirius XM Channel 160.