Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report - Portland

September 2, 2018

Team Penske Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report - Portland

Track:                  Portland International Raceway
Race:                   Grand Prix of Portland
Date:                   September 2, 2018

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 2nd
Finish: 10th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 105/105
Laps Led: 8
Points Position: 3rd (-87 pts)


  • Josef Newgarden started second alongside teammate Will Power in INDYCAR's return to Portland International Raceway on Sunday afternoon at the 1.96-mile road course as Team Penske locked out the front row following qualifying on Saturday.
  • At the drop of the green flag, Newgarden and the No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet couldn't get the power to the ground and slipped back to fourth.  However, the defending series champion was able to avoid an early multi-car accident just past the chicane.
  • Unfortunately, teammate and race leader Power lost power following the restart and Newgarden was able to jump to third, but lost several seconds to leader while getting stuck behind Ryan Hunter-Reay. 
  • Once Newgarden got around Hunter-Reay, he quickly closed on leader Alexander Rossi and moved into the lead on lap 49.  He was able to pace the field for eight laps before coming to pit road on lap 57 following another full-course caution.
  • Only Newgarden and a handful of other front-runners came to pit road on lap 57, forcing him to restart in the 16th position. 
  • On a track that was difficult to pass, Newgarden began moving his way back towards the front of the field.  Newgarden had made his way to 11th when another full-course caution was displayed.  Unfortunately, this caution allowed all of the cars in front of Newgarden to pit – along with the No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet – for the final time and not lose their track positions.
  • From there, Newgarden ended up losing a couple of spots and fell to 12th, but was able to fight his way back to 10th as the 105-lap race came to an end.
  • Newgarden now sits third in the INDYCAR point standings, but 87 points behind leader Scott Dixon, heading into the final finale at Sonoma in two weeks.

Quote"It was a tough day.  I don't know what else to say.  We led some laps and I think we had a Verizon Chevrolet that was good enough to win it.  It just didn't fall our way.  You can't predict these INDYCAR races.  I wish we could get Lady Luck on our side one of these days.  It just seems to walk away from us as of late.  Dixon – he was able to take advantage of it today.  Those guys are having a great year and luck falls on their side.  Now, we will just go and try and win the season finale and do what we can.  I don't think we have much of a shot at the championship.  We've given it a good effort here at Team Penske and you can't ask much more out of the team."

No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 1st    (54th-career INDYCAR pole)
Finish: 21st
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 98/105
Laps Led: 11
Points Position: 4th (-87 pts)


  • It was a disappointing day for Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet team as their championship hopes were dashed following a 21st-place finish in Sunday's event at Portland International Raceway.
  • The Australian-born driver began his day on the pole position leading an all-Team Penske front row beside teammate Josef Newgarden.
  • Quickly, Power's day turned from good to bad when, after an on-track incident on the opening lap led to a caution and a restart eight laps later, the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet began to stall as he reported shifting issues.
  • After recovering from the issue, Power moved back up through the field into the eighth position and pitted on lap 38 for scuffed primary tires and fuel.
  • The gearbox issue once again came into play as Power made contact with the tire barrier in turn 11 on lap 43. When he made his way to the pits, the team replaced the front wing and the gear cluster and added scuffed alternate compound tires. The No. 12 Chevy was unable to return to the race until lap 52 due to the lengthy period of time required for the repairs.
  • Power would ultimately finish the race in the 21st position.
  • Due to the No. 12 team's finish, they are now out of contention for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series championship as the team heads to Sonoma for the series finale in two weeks.

Quote: "I think on the warm-up lap before the green, something happened to the gearbox.  It jumped to neutral, I went into emergency mode and made it go into gear and thought, ‘okay that's alright.'  Then, coming out of the hairpin on the first restart, it popped into neutral again and everyone behind me went past. Then I realized I couldn't use first gear. We were on a reasonable strategy and I made a mistake trying to keep Leist behind me.  Then the gearbox completely went. I'm not sure the gearbox would have made it the whole race anyway. But man, it's a tough sport..  It's too bad because it was actually going to be a reasonable day. We were on path for two stops, but that's racing.  Now, we just go to Sonoma, have fun and win. And hopefully have a good day, have a good finish to the year."

No. 22 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 22nd
Finish: 6th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 105/105
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 6th (-170 pts)


  • Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet struggled in qualifying on Saturday afternoon and took the green in Sunday's Grand Prix of Portland from the 22nd position.
  • Starting near the back of the 25-car field, Pagenaud and race strategist Kyle Moyer elected to work on a different strategy than most, evident when the French driver came to the pits for fuel just four laps into the race following an early caution period.
  • Pagenaud began a steady climb to the front despite being on black primary tires to start the race, working his way into the top-15 by lap 20 and eventually into the top-10 by lap 33 as various other pit strategies played out.
  • With a series of full-course cautions throughout the event, the No. 22 Menards team elected to go for a four-stop race.  With the varying pit strategy, Simon eventually found himself running consistently in the top-10, holding court in the sixth position.
  • On lap 76, a timely yellow allowed Simon to make his final stop of the day and not give up his track position.  Over the final 30 laps, the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion was able to gap the cars behind, but not crack the top-five, eventually coming home in the sixth-position.
  • Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards team remain sixth in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings with the season finale on tap in two weeks at Sonoma Raceway.  

Quote"I think it was a fantastic recovery from the whole No. 22 Menards Chevrolet team. It was phenomenal, the strategy that we adopted. We got a little bit lucky with some yellows too, but before the yellows we came to the eighth position from 22nd, so really good job by all my guys. We still have some progress to make on the car, but overall from a tough qualifying day yesterday, we recovered really well and that's what racing is about."