Team Penske IndyCar Series Race Report - Iowa

July 20, 2019

Track:                  Iowa Speedway
Race:                   Iowa 300
Date:                   July 21, 2019
No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 3rd
Finish: 1st
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 300/300
Laps Led: 245
Points Position: 1st (+29 pts)

  • Josef Newgarden put on a dominating display by leading 245 laps in Saturday night's Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway, his series-leading fourth IndyCar Series victory in 2019.
  • Frustrated after qualifying in the third position for the race, Newgarden wasted little time in showing the strength of his No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet, grabbing the lead from teammate Will Power on the 50th lap, just prior to a 30-minute red flag for a small rain shower that followed severe weather pushing the start time of the race back to 10:45 p.m. CT.
  • Like his teammates, Newgarden needed front-wing adjustments to improve the handling of his No. 2 Chevrolet so that he could maintain his position at the front of the field. He was able to do just that as he was never seriously challenged after assuming the lead for the first time.
  • The win is the second of Newgarden's career at Iowa Speedway, and the 13th overall for the 2017 IndyCar Series champion. He has a knack for dominating while winning at Iowa as he led 282 laps in his 2016 win there. Newgarden also has a win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, site of the next series event.
  • Newgarden was able to maintain the IndyCar Series championship points lead, 29 points ahead of his nearest challenger, Alexander Rossi.

Quote"Let me thank the fans that stayed. I'm sorry it took so long, but glad we got it in tonight. We can't help the weather. My guys were awesome on the Hitachi car. Team Penske, Team Chevy, I can't thank them enough. We had three fast cars. I wanted to be the fastest. We succeeded tonight. The car was great. You had to be good in traffic, and we were pumped for the guys. They worked really hard. It was nice to have it under the lights. I think if the weather didn't come, we weren't going to be under the lights. We just have to keep going. It's early. This helps tonight, but it's never enough. You never have enough points. We just have to stay on top of it."
No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 2nd
Finish: 15th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 299/300
Laps Led: 49
Points Position: 5th (-165 pts)

  • Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet looked like strong contenders for the win in Saturday night's IndyCar Series Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway before a pit road penalty relegated the former champion to a 15th-place finish.
  • Thanks to a strong Team Penske qualifying effort on Friday afternoon, Power took the green flag – which was delayed nearly four and a half hours for severe weather – from the second position. However, he quickly powered his way to the lead with a strong move in the outside lane.
  • Power held the top spot until lap 49 when eventual race winner, and Team Penske teammate, Josef Newgarden moved past him just before a red flag for a slight rain shower halted the on-track action for 30 minutes.
  • When the race resumed, Power was able to keep the leader in his sights while manning the second position, despite needing two front-wing adjustments on subsequent pit stops to help the handling on the No. 12 Chevy.
  • Unfortunately, on the team's fourth pit stop of the night, Power was hit with a pit road commitment violation that resulted in a stop-and-go penalty, placing him down in the running order with the lap count dwindling.
  • Power was unable to make up the lost ground and crossed the finish line in the 15th position. He remains fifth in the IndyCar Series standings, 165 points behind leader Newgarden.

Quote: "I went just a bit wide getting onto pit road and then you get into the marbles. Once you get your tires dirty it is almost impossible to drive, and I really had no chance. It was an unfortunate end to a pretty strong day for the No. 12 Verizon Chevy team. We jumped out to the lead early before Josef got around us. He was very strong tonight, but we definitely had a podium tonight before the pit road penalty."
No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 1st
Finish: 4th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 300/300
Laps Led: 2
Points Position: 3rd (-58 pts)

  • After starting Saturday night's Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway from the pole position – his third of the 2019 IndyCar Series season – Simon Pagenaud brought the No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet home in the fifth position in a race than began at night and ended early Sunday morning.
  • After winning from the pole position last weekend in Toronto, Pagenaud was the only driver to hit the 180-mph mark for his two-lap average in qualifying during the Friday session. On Saturday, however, heavy rains and severe weather moved over Iowa Speedway, washing the rubber off the track and pushing the start time back nearly four and a half hours. As a result, Pagenaud was not able to hold the lead when the green flag flew as teammate Will Power moved by on the first lap.
  • Race winner and third member of Team Penske, Josef Newgarden, also maneuvered past Pagenaud before the Frenchman could settle into the third position as Team Penske dominated the first half of the event.
  • Following a brief shower that brought out the red flag around 11:10 p.m. CT, Pagenaud radioed to his crew that he needed more grip. Front-wing adjustments were made to help improve his handling as he remained inside the top-five.
  • The final restart of the race occurred on lap 275 with Pagenaud holding down the fourth position. He was unable to advance his position any further and crossed the finish line with his fourth top-five finish in 2019, and his third top-five finish at Iowa Speedway.  
  • Due to the strong finish, Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet team remain third in IndyCar Series championship point standings.

Quote: "I think today was a decent day considering how fast Josef (Newgarden) was. Frankly, he was in a league of his own, but it is awesome for Team Penske to get another win. That makes two weeks in a row and he was just as strong as I was in Toronto. So, the momentum can swing back and forth. Certainly, I feel like we extracted the most we could out of the Menards Chevrolet. We just had too much understeer in the car tonight. Otherwise, the guys did a great job on pit road and the strategy was good. Between second and fourth is really where we were today. We'll go on to Mid-Ohio, continue the attack, and try to win the pole and the race there."