Team Penske IndyCar Series Race Report - Circuit of the Americas

March 24, 2019

Track:                  Circuit of the Americas
Race:                   INDYCAR Classic
Date:                   March 24, 2019

No. 2 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 7th
Finish: 2nd
Status:  Running
Laps Completed:  60/60
Laps Led: 0
Points Position:  1st (+18)


  • Josef Newgarden continued the strong start to his 2019 season, grabbing a second-place finish in the inaugural INDYCAR Classic at the Circuit of the Americas and extending his IndyCar Series points lead.
  • Newgarden started the day in the seventh position and ran sixth until race strategist Tim Cindric called him in to the pits early for fresh tires, hoping to make up some positions on the track utilizing the newer rubber while all the other leaders faced severe tire degradation.  The call worked, as Newgarden found himself fourth once pit stops cycled out for the first time.
  • The rest of the afternoon, Newgarden and Cindric continued to pit early compared to the other leaders, which allowed him to keep pace with them and make up time on the track as the first half of the race went caution free.
  • Things took a turn Newgarden's way when he pitted for the final time on lap 43 and, one lap later, the day's only full-course caution came out, forcing many of the front runners to have to pit under caution.  With fresh Firestone red tires, Newgarden lined up second for the final run to the finish.
  • Despite the fresh tires and fortunate restart position, Newgarden wasn't able to catch leader and eventual race winner Colton Herta for the win, settling for his second-straight podium to start the 2019 season.
  • The second-place finish, along with his St. Pete victory, saw Newgarden extend his points lead to 18 over Herta after two events.


"I thought we might have had a shot there at the end.  A lot of things played into the race today.  We had a little luck and I thought that could play into our favor to race for another win.  The PPG Chevrolet looked good and felt good, it just wasn't enough there at the end.  A second place is big for us.  We talked about the fact that you need to have podium finishes if you aren't winning races and this goes a long way to our championship run."

No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 1st
Finish:  24th
Status:  Mechanical
Laps Completed:  46/60
Laps Led: 45
Points Position:  6th (-46)


  • Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet had the fastest car in all of Texas on Sunday, starting from the pole and leading the most laps, before mechanical problems knocked him out of the race in the inaugural INDYCAR Classic at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
  • Power won his 56th-career pole on Saturday afternoon and started from the front row for the second-straight race to begin 2019.  He jumped out to an early lead and pulled away from the rest of the field, pacing the first half of the race at the three-mile circuit.
  • Through two separate pit stops, Power was able to maintain the top spot as the Verizon team elected for Power to perform a three-stop race and taking advantage of quick times with the Firestone alternate red tires.
  • The caution fell on lap 44, catching Power and several other of the front runners out while some of the cars in the back half of the top-10 had already pitted.  However, when Power was leaving the pit stall, something in the rear end of the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet broke, forcing the pole sitter to retire. 
  • Despite leading a total of 45 laps, the 24th-place finish dropped Power to sixth in the IndyCar Series point standings, 46 points behind leader and teammate, Josef Newgarden.


"Yeah, it feels like an input shaft broke. I just released the clutch snap and I could kind of hear it grinding together. I'm massively disappointed, man; like you lead all those laps and worked so hard all weekend to put yourself into position. If the yellow didn't get us, the driveshaft did.  Another hole at the beginning of the season. But the Verizon guys have done a great job. We're quick every weekend.  I just want to have a good, normal run to start the season."


No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 22nd
Finish: 19th
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  60/60
Laps Led:  0
Points Position:  13th (-56)


  • Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet fought all day long in the inaugural INDYCAR Classic at the Circuit of the Americas, working his way into the top-10 from a 22nd-place starting position, but fell victim to late contact with another car and an unscheduled pit stop to finish 19th.
  • For the second week in a row, Pagenaud fell victim to a red flag during his group session in qualifying, resulting in 22nd place starting spot.  Early on the race Pagenaud complained of a lot of understeer as he picked off a couple of positions in the opening laps before short pitting on lap eight to switch to alternate Firestone reds and a wing adjustment.   On the fresher tires, Pagenaud was able to run fast laps and make up a few additional positions.
  • Race strategist Kyle Moyer continued to keep Pagenaud pushing it hard early in the stint on new tires while others pitted. The strategy paid off as Pagenaud found himself up to 13th at the halfway mark. Electing for a four pit stop strategy, Pagenaud continued to come to the pits early and charge hard on fresh tires while others stretched their time on the track.  By lap 44 - and the first yellow flag of the race - Pagenaud finally found himself in the top 10.
  • Pagenaud had to make his final scheduled trip to pit road under the caution, which dropped him to 16th on the restart. While fighting back in the pack, Pagenaud made contact with Alexander Rossi, causing a flat tire and an unscheduled stop with just 10 laps to go.
  • Pagenaud brought the No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet home in the 19th position.  He now sits 13th in the point standings.


"The race was pretty good. I mean we had a really good car, awesome strategy and really good pit stops. We got caught out by the yellow just like Will did. We were going to make that four stop strategy work really well with potentially a top five or top six finish. So starting 22nd, that was an awesome race. We made a lot of passes. It was great and I had a lot of fun. Unfortunately at the end, I had to get going on the red tires starting back from 16th. I had contact with Rossi, which took my valve stem off.  The whole weekend's been pretty unfortunate despite having a lot of pace in the car. I'll be back though."