Team Penske IndyCar Series Race Report - Toronto

July 14, 2019

Track:                 Streets of Toronto
Race:                   Hondy Indy Toronto
Date:                   July 14, 2019
No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 5th
Finish: 4th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 1st (+4 pts)

  • Josef Newgarden drove the No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet to an uneventful fourth-place finish on Sunday on the Streets of Toronto and was able to maintain his lead in the IndyCar Series Championship point standings as the series heads to Iowa Speedway next weekend.

  • Newgarden had an uncharacteristic brush against the wall in qualifying on Saturday, but still started the race from the fifth position on Sunday.  At the drop of the green, Newgarden fell one position as he tried to maintain pace with the rest of the field, including championship rivals Alexander Rossi and Simon Pagenaud.

  • The No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet made its first pit stop on lap 17, getting fuel and primary Firestone tires, along with a front wing adjustment.  With several drivers involved in an earlier accident staying out to run long, Newgarden rejoined the race in the 10th position.

  • The remainder of the event was relatively uneventful for the Championship point leader, as Newgarden rode in the fourth position for the entirety of the second-half of the 85-lap race.  He was also able to survive a brush with the wall with less than five laps to go while trying to chase down the drivers in front of him.

  • As the race went caution free until the white flag lap, Newgarden wasn’t able to make any additional moves and ended up missing the podium by one spot, coming home fourth.  The finish, along with Rossi finishing third, allowed Newgarden to keep the points lead by four markers over his title rival.

Quote"It has been a tough weekend - hasn’t been my strongest weekend for sure.  I had a flat hit against the wall in turn 11 there with a handful to go.  I was smelling blood on (Alexander) Rossi a little bit and trying to get another position.  But I think I sealed our fate on the No. 2 car in qualifying.  Starting fifth was tough. When a race goes green like that, where you are is where you are going to finish.  You can make some up in the pit stops, but we just didn’t have enough today to overhaul Rossi and (Scott) Dixon.  That was my goal coming into today was trying to get up to second.  We knew it Simon (Pagenaud) had a clean start that he was going to be tough to beat.  Getting on the podium was our goal.  But for having a tough weekend and to finish fourth isn’t a bad thing.  The Hitachi car looked good and felt good.  It just wasn’t enough.  And thanks to Chevy.  They gave us a good package this weekend and that’s how we fought so hard."
No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Start: 15th
Finish: 18th
Status: Out, Contact
Laps Completed: 83/85
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 5th (-128 pts)

  • Will Power was involved in an early-race accident, fell to 20th and made a valiant rebound to the top-10, only to fall victim to more contact with just two laps to go which resulted in an 18th-place finish for the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet on Sunday in the Streets of Toronto.

  • The weekend started off tough for Power as he missed making it out of the first round of qualifying for the first time since Long Beach in 2015.  Hopes were high coming into the race that the Verizon Chevrolet could make up some positions on the track through pit strategy and yellows.  Unfortunately, coming to turn eight on the opening lap of the event, Power jumped to the inside of Graham Rahal trying to make a pass. At the same time, Rahal jumped to the inside of another car and all three made contact with Power ending up in the tire barrier. The contact resulted in Power having to come to the pits to replace a front wing.  He restarted the race from the 20th position.

  • After climbing his way up to 17th, Power once again came to the pits to try and get back on strategy on lap 15. By continuing to turn fast laps with clean race track as the rest of the field pitted for their first stops of the race, Power worked his way up to the 12th position.

  • The Australian driver continued to have one of the fastest cars and make up positions when race strategist Roger Penske called Power to the pits for the final time on lap 50 from the 10th position.

  • However, with just two laps to go and while running eighth, Power locked up the rear brakes and got into the tire barriers once again.  The crash brought out a full-course caution, ending the race under the yellow flag.  Power was credited with a 18th-place finish as a result of the crash.  He remains fifth in the IndyCar Series Championship point standings, 128 points out of first.

Quote"I got a good run on Graham and when I realized he was turning into the corner aggressively, I tried to back out of it.  I wish I didn’t go for it that early.  I feel bad for him.  It was just a mistake and I didn’t realize someone was on the outside of him.  Then, I just made a bad mistake there at the end. We just locked the rears up there.  I have been having problems all weekend long with locking up the rears.  I feel bad for the Verizon team.  We had a reasonable comeback going, all the way up to eighth I think.  That wasn’t the way I should be driving.  But I know how to come back from this.  I just need to mentally keep in the right place and keep doing what I know."
No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Start: 1st  (13th-career INDYCAR pole)
Finish: 1st (14th-career INDYCAR victory)
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 80
Points Position: 3rd (-39 pts)

  • Simon Pagenaud completed a dream weekend on Sunday at the Streets of Toronto IndyCar Series event, starting from the pole, leading the most laps and earning his 14th-career IndyCar Series victory in the No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet.

  • After being fastest in practice both Friday and Saturday, Pagenaud started the 85-lap event from the pole position – the 13th pole of his IndyCar Series career.  As the green flag flew, Pagenaud and the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet jumped out to an early lead ahead of Scott Dixon. He was able to stretch the lead to over two seconds in the first 10 laps of the race.

  • Race strategist Kyle Moyer called Pagenaud to the pits for the first time on lap 18 after the French driver built a three-second lead on the track. It would be the only time all race long that this year’s Indianapolis 500 winner would lose the lead.  As others finally took their green-flag stops, Pagenaud retook the top spot on lap 24.

  • By lap 30, Pagenaud had built a nearly six-second lead on Dixon, who was the first driver on the same pit strategy as the No. 22 team. At the halfway point of the race, the lead was nearly seven full seconds.

  • Pagenaud’s second and final-scheduled stop of the day came on lap 51. Quick work by the DXC Technology crew kept Pagenaud in the lead through the pit stop cycle. He continued to maintain a gap of four to six seconds on Dixon.

  • With 20 laps to go, Dixon had closed the gap to less than two seconds on Pagenaud as the team instructed the driver to save tires and fuel for the end.  Dixon continued to close to within a second of the lead as Pagenaud encountered lapped traffic while training to maintain the top spot.

  • On the white-flag lap, Team Penske teammate Will Power got into the tire barrier, causing a full-course caution.  It allowed Pagenaud to finish the race under the yellow and secure his third victory of the 2019 IndyCar Series season.

  • The victory keeps Pagenaud in third in the Championship point standings and cut the gap to 39 points behind teammate Josef Newgarden.

Quote"It was a perfect execution for the No. 22 DXC Technology team. I was confident all weekend; I never had a doubt. We were only focused on ourselves. I never really looked at who was behind. We were just focused on getting the car where we wanted it to be. Those days are the best. There are a lot of bad days in racing, but those sweet days make up for it. For the whole race, I was waiting for that yellow. I was sure we were going to have a yellow with five laps to go and we were going to have a restart.  But no matter what, we had the best car today. When I had to push, we could go faster than (Scott) Dixon, or match anyone and save fuel.  It was an amazing day. Dixon made it interesting at the end, which is great for the fans. It's time to go. We are going to be aggressive. We had to win at this place and we did it. We will keep pushing."