Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

July 15, 2018

Track:                  Streets of Toronto
Race:                   Honda Indy Toronto
Date:                   July 15, 2018
No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
: 1st
Finish: 9th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 25
Points Position: 2nd (-62 pts)

  • Starting the day from the lead position, Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet looked to have a strong finish at the Verizon IndyCar Series event on the Streets of Toronto, but after some tough luck, they finished ninth.
  • On lap 17, race strategist Tim Cindric radioed to Newgarden that it appeared that the car was developing an understeer issue as they were leading the race and that they would monitor it.
  • Newgarden visited the pits for scuffed primary tires and a front wing adjustment on lap 23.
  • On lap 33, he made contact with the wall resulting in a lap 36 pit stop for a front wing change and sticker primary tires.
  • After the restart, Newgarden had fallen to the 13th position on lap 44 and the team strategized how they would make up the lost track position.
  • By lap 53, the Tennessean saw some improvement in the car setup as he moved into the 10th spot.
  • Newgarden returned for the pits for a final time during the race for fuel and scuff primary tires on lap 54.
  • As the checkered flag waved, Newgarden crossed the finish line in the ninth position.
  • Newgarden maintains his second spot in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship battle – just 62 points behind points leader Scott Dixon.

"It was a tough race. Making contact with the wall didn't help. I don't know what it was to be honest with you, it was either marbles or dust from the sweepers; they're trying to clean off the track and that yellow, when we already had tons of marbles 27 laps in. I don't know what to tell you, I went straight into the wall. And part of that is my fault, just making a mistake, but I didn't expect it; I'll tell you that. I just had no idea the car was going to do that. I knew it would be low grip, but not zero grip. I just lost the front end completely. I feel terrible, it's not fun to make a mistake. This No. 1 Hitachi Chevy was quick today, I think it was capable of being in the top three or potentially winning the race if I didn't make the mistake, but you have days like this in racing. We have to move on now and try to pick it back up. With the championship battle, we've got a long way to go. This doesn't help but look, we have plenty of racing. We need to keep our head up here. We're going to be just fine, we've got fast cars and the best in the business. If we get our mistakes sorted out, we're going to be just fine."
No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
: 4th
Finish: 18th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 83/85
Laps Led: 1
Points Position: 5th (-93 pts)

  • It was a tough day for Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet as they finished 18th after starting their day in the second row.
  • On lap 30, the No. 12 Verizon Chevy made contact with the wall, resulting in a need to change the tow link. Unfortunately, the team would not be able to recover, ultimately surrendering two laps.
  • Another on-track incident occurred on lap 33 as Power was involved in a multicar incident and made contact with the tire barriers in turn one, leading to a lap 36 pit stop for a wing change.
  • By lap 20, Power found himself in the 20th spot working to regain track position.
  • For his final pit stop of the race, Power visited the pits on lap 66 for sticker primary tires.
  • As the race concluded, Power and the No. 12 Verizon Chevy ended their day in the 18th position.
  • The team maintained the fifth spot in 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship point standings – 93 points back from leader Scott Dixon.

"That was definitely a very physical race. In the last corner I brushed the wall and bent a rear tow link so the car was a little bit out of whack. I didn't even know that Rossi and I touched. I was just kind of trying to hang on until we got a yellow and could pit. I've never had so many DNFs; not DNF for this race but like a DNF in a season. Still it's kind of how this sport can go. We're just going to keep pushing away with the No. 12 Verizon Chevy and focus on the double points in Sonoma, that can be a 100 point swing so we're still in the game."
No. 22 DXC Technology Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
: 3rd
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 1
Points Position: 7th (-144 pts)

  • After watching his home country celebrate a World Cup Championship, Frenchman Simon Pagenaud took the green in the Verizon IndyCar Series event at Toronto from the third position and looked to help France celebrate a second time on Sunday.
  • In the first turn of the first lap, Pagenaud's No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet got shuffled out of the groove following a bold move by teammate Will Power.  For the remainder of the first stint, Pagenaud would hold steady in the seventh position. 
  • The DXC Technology team visited pit lane for the first time on lap 23, making a big front wing change in order to help Pagenaud with the increasingly slippery conditions. 
  • After green-flag pit stops cycled through, Pagenaud found himself seventh again, but took advantage of a series of accidents by his competitors in the next several laps and jumped all the way up to third.
  • Pagenaud continued to radio in that the track was getting increasingly slick due to the hot Toronto afternoon, so the team elected to another front wing change on the final stop.
  • The DXC Technology Chevrolet was able to jump to second on lap 58 following the final round of pit stops after a torrid battle with Robert Wickens.  Once Pagenaud settled into second, he set his sights on chasing down leader Scott Dixon over the remaining 20 laps.
  • While Pagenaud was able to close the gap to Dixon, he ultimately had to settle for second and just his second podium finish of the year.  The runner-up result allowed him to jump to seventh in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings. 

"Yeah, hard racing and good racing. I had fun. It was really, really tough out there. The track was changing all the time. I don't know if it's the dust or the tires, but certainly re-starts, where I had wheel speed up to 50 on the front straightaway. It was a blast to drive. It was really difficult. But when you have a good result like this it feels very rewarding and a lot of fun. I'm really proud of the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet team for a great effort this weekend. I think we showed that we're back, so I'm excited. Yeah, you know what? At the end of the day it's racing. We have good seasons and we have not as good seasons, but the big thing is to bounce back and I think we're doing just that. We're working diligently in the background and it's showing this weekend. All three Penske car were in the Fast Six on a street course, so we couldn't be happier this weekend. I'm sorry for Josef (Newgarden) and Will (Power's) race, but we'll get them next week."