Team Penske IndyCar Series Race Report - Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race 2

June 2, 2019

Track:                  The Raceway at Belle Isle Park
Race:                   Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix (Race #2)
Date:                   June 2, 2019
No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 1st
Finish: 19th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 49/70
Laps Led: 1
Points Position: 1st (+15 pts)
  • Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet team followed up their win in the first race of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix by securing the pole position for the second race, but falling victim to an accident on lap 33 and resulting in a 19th-place finish at the 2.3-mile Belle Isle Park street circuit.
  • Despite starting on pole, Newgarden's stay at the front was short lived, as a caution flag on the first lap of competition brought Newgarden – and many others – down pit road to remove the alternate Firestone tires to the longer-lasting primary blacks.
  • The IndyCar Series points leader restarted from the eighth position when the race resumed, behind cars that did not elect to change tires. Newgarden quickly raced into the top five, eventually getting back to the third position before an incident with Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe sent him to the paddock for repairs.  While attempting to hold his position on the inside Of Hinchcliffe while keeping Rossi at bay, Newgarden ended up taking a bad entry into turn three that resulted in him spinning and making heavy contact with the tire barriers.
  • After lengthy repairs, Newgarden returned to the track, but he was scored 21 laps down to the race leaders, crossing the finish line in the 19th position.
  • Newgarden and the No. 2 will take a 15-point lead in the IndyCar Series standings to Texas Motor Speedway for Saturday night's DXC Technology 600.
Quote"He checked me up and I had to go down a gear, and then we were in a bad situation with Rossi behind us. I can't blame anyone. It's my fault, it's ultimately my fault with the way this happened. I thought he didn't have to come straight across the track, and I got held up. It's still my fault; I should have made a better decision there. Obviously, it's not the right thing that I did, and that's on me. I feel bad, and it hurts in the moment. I feel sorry for my guys, sorry for my team, sorry to Chevrolet. We had a good day yesterday and thought we were going to have a good day today. I actually thought we were fine and then I picked up too much marbles on the inside, and (that lane) was too slick and as soon as I tried to turn the rear I lost the rear."
No. 12 Verizon 5G Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Start: 11th
Finish: 3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 70/70
Laps Led: 3
Points Position: 6th (-84 pts)
  • Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet team's luck finally turned the corner on Sunday in the second race of the Chevrolet Detroit Gran Prix, coming back from an early race mechanical issue to finish third at Belle Isle.
  • Power started the second race of the double-header weekend from the 11th position after slightly brushing the wall in the morning qualifying session.  Then, things looked to go from bad to worse as, on lap one, Power made contact with Felix Rosenqvist, causing several cars behind to stack up. Power got hit from behind during the melee and immediately reported possible gearbox problems. During the caution, Power came to a stop on the track trying to diagnose the issue, but eventually got it refired without losing a lap.
  • Restarting from the back of the field in 20th, Power tried his hardest to make up as many positions as possible. He was aided by a number of incidents and caution periods that knocked out several of his competitors. He had made it up to 15th by lap 20 and was running as high as 13th.
  • Power made two quick pit stops in the middle portion of the event for red and then black Firestone tires. Despite dropping back to 17th, he continued to use a fast Verizon Chevrolet and attrition by the rest of the field and was up to 12th by lap 37.
  • During green flag stops, Power stayed out long and cycled to the front of the field on lap 46 and led until pitting for the final time on lap 49. When he came back out on the track, Power slotted into the fourth position.
  • Power was able to race up to third, but wasn't able to catch the top two and finished with his first podium since the season opener in St. Pete. He remains sixth in the IndyCar Series point standings, but cut the deficit to 84 points.
Quote"I can't believe it. Amazing day. I've got to thank Chevy and Verizon and the team for giving me a good car. I definitely thought we were done. I couldn't shift and I tried to reset it, then it stalled. Just a great recovery after that. We went fast when we needed to in that sequence to get a bunch of spots. I haven't been satisfied with a race since Gateway last year. This is the first I've been satisfied with a race this season.  The luck always switches at some point. I reckon this is the switch."
No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Start: 14th
Finish: 17th  
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 58/70
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 3rd (-25 pts)
  • Simon Pagenaud fell victim to a lap one accident that damaged a part on his No. 22 DXC Chevrolet and forced him to make repairs in the paddock, losing crucial laps and eventually finishing a disappointing 17th in the second race of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle. 
  • As the race took the green flag, several cars got together in turn three.  With cars spinning in front of him, Pagenaud tried to get slowed down, but got hit from behind and spun.  The contact broke a gear sensor, which kept the car from being able to refire.  The DXC Technology Chevrolet had to be towed to the pits, where the team was able to make repairs and get Pagenaud back on the track, 12 laps down to the leaders.
  • Despite the issues, Pagenaud's No. 22 was one of the fastest cars on the track, even turning the fastest lap of the race by nearly a half second over all of his competitors.  Using a fast car and a number of problems from other drivers, Pagenaud was able to climb from 22nd following his first lap crash to 17th at the finish.
  • Thanks to the persistence of the No. 22 DXC Technology team, Pangeaud fell just one spot in the IndyCar Series point standings to third.  He sits just 25 points behind leader and teammate, Josef Newgarden.
Quote"A sensor was damaged after the contact, then I couldn't select the gears, it couldn't restart. The car wasn't too badly damaged. But yeah, that was it, had to wait for the car to come back. The guys did a great job fixing it. We got back in the race and we scored six points which could be important in the end. We had the fastest lap of the race by half a second so the car was just honestly really, really good. It was a bit of a shame we didn't get to race because I really think we would have challenged for it today. It could have been a huge day for points, but at the end of the day you also have to remember, I think we got pretty lucky today. Unlucky for Josef of course, you don't want to see that happen, but Rossi didn't score too much which for the both of us is a good thing."