Team Penske IndyCar Series Race Report - Barber

April 8, 2019

Track:                  Barber Motorsports Park
Race:                   Grand Prix of Alabama
Date:                   April 7, 2019

No. 2 Fitzgerald USA Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 16th
Finish: 4th
Status:  Running
Laps Completed:  90/90
Laps Led: 0
Points Position:  1st (+32)


  • Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 Fitzgerald USA Dallara/Chevrolet began the Sunday afternoon race at Barber Motorsports Park in the 16th position and thanks to the right pit strategy, along with aggressive moves on track, was able to battle his way to a fourth-place finish.

  • Starting the 90-lap road course event on primary Firestone tires, Newgarden made quick work of his competition, moving up to ninth by lap 20.  He continued to push his No. 2 Fitzgerald USA Chevrolet hard and made it up to fifth by lap 30.

  • Right before the final caution came out on lap 56, race strategist Tim Cindric called Newgarden to the pits, where they took alternate Firestone tires and fuel in hopes of timing things well in terms of their tire and fuel strategy.

  • That stop gave Newgarden everything he needed to go from the eighth position to the fifth position, where he had a hard fought battle with Alexander Rossi to gain fourth, where he remained there until the checkered flag fell.

  • Newgarden was able to maintain the IndyCar Series championship points lead, 32 points ahead of his nearest challenger, Scott Dixon.


"I didn’t mean to push (Alexander) Rossi as much as I did. I had a good run on him and he went pretty deep into the corner and I locked the front up and just went into him a little too aggressively. Honestly, he gave me a ton of room there and let me do my thing. Hats off to him for making it work. We had a good car today. We just started too far back – that was kind of our story this weekend, couldn’t really get going really enough. Our Fitzgerald USA Chevrolet was good. We got a race win here (with Fitzgerald) in 2017, so nice to get a fourth today and Chevy did a nice job getting us what we needed."

No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 7th
Finish:  11th
Status:  Running
Laps Completed:  90/90
Laps Led: 0
Points Position:  9th (-59)


  • Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet began their day in the seventh position and preserved through some radio communication issues and a spin to finish 11th at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday afternoon.

  • By lap 22, Power had moved through the field to seventh, then locked up his brakes and spun into the grass on lap 27.  Thankfully, Power the No. 12 team received no damage due to the spin.

  • Race strategist Roger Penske called the Australian-born driver to the pits on lap 27 for scuffed primary tires and fuel. That led to Power falling towards the back of the pack while other cars moved up through the field during the pit cycle.

  • On lap 40, Power found himself up 11 spots up through to the 11th position.  By the time the caution flag waved on lap 56, he was in the 10th position.

  • As the checkered flag waved, Power was out of fuel, but was able to hold onto the 11th position.  Power fell to ninth in IndyCar Series championship points.


"It was a tough day, but we did the best we could with the Verizon Chevy. We just didn’t have the right tire setup for the race and it cost us. Barber is hard on the tires and it was difficult to hold on at times. We had to save fuel quite a bit on the last stint and that actually helped us take care of the tires a bit more. We’ll take the 11th-place result here but we know we can get a better result next week in Long Beach."


No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 14th
Finish: 9th
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  90/90
Laps Led:  0
Points Position:  12th (-66)


  • Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet began their day at Barber Motorsports Park in the 14th position, but through smart pit calls and solid moves on track, the French driver was able to finish with a ninth place finish – his second top-10 finish this season.

  • Pagenaud made early contact with Ben Hanley, but the Menards Chevrolet didn’t suffer any damage and the fifth-year Penske driver continued on.

  • Pagenaud was running ninth when he stopped for primary Firestone tires and fuel on lap 37.  As green-flag stops cycled through, he settled into 14th-place.  By lap 50 he was fighting with teammate Will Power for the 10th position

  • After an aggressive move on lap 51, he was able to get by Power for 10th place just laps before the only caution flag of the day waved on lap 60.
    With 29 laps to go, he moved inside the top-10 and secured ninth-place with 15 laps left, where he remained until the race was completed.

  • Pagenaud has now finished inside the top-10 in all nine of his career starts at Barber.

  • Due to the strong top-10 finish, Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet team move into 12th in IndyCar Series championship point standings.


"It was actually pretty fun out there – a lot of passing, side-by-side racing and a lot of strategy going on. The Menards Chevy was good today, but we weren’t able to start up front and we had to work really hard to try and make up ground. We know we have the pace to win races. I guess we have to be a little more patient. Our next race is one of my favorite tracks at Long Beach and hopefully we can get back on the podium there."