Team Penske IndyCar Series Race Report

September 1, 2019

Track:                  Portland International Raceway
Race:                   Grand Prix of Portland
Date:                   September 1, 2019

No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 13th
Finish: 5th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 105/105
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 1st (+41 pts)

  • Josef Newgarden fought his way from a 13th-place starting position to finish fifth in the Grand Prix of Portland, maintaining the 2019 IndyCar Series Championship points lead with just one race remaining in the season.
  • After dropping to the back to narrowly avoid an incident on lap one, Newgarden was able to make his way up to seventh after another caution fell just 13 laps later.
  • Still holding onto the seventh-place position, the leaders began coming down pit road as the No. 2 Hitachi Chevy made its first stop of the day on lap 42, taking four fresh alternate Firestone tires, fuel and a front wing adjustment.
  • Moving up to fifth after pit stops cycled through, Newgarden gained another spot and settled into fourth on lap 53. Talking with race strategist Tim Cindric about their next stop, Newgarden pulled his car down pit road for the team's second and final, green flag stop of the race on lap 74.
  • Needing no adjustments, the No. 2 Hitachi Chevy team switched to fresh primary tires and fuel putting Newgarden in fifth.
  • With a caution falling towards the end of the race, Newgarden battled for a podium spot but would ultimately finish fifth.
  • With Laguna Seca on the horizon in a few weeks, Newgarden was able to gain a small margin of points on the day and extend his championship lead to 41 points over Alexander Rossi in second place.

Quote: "Where we finished is about what we could hope for on a 13th place start.  We got kind of in the mess at the start. That is the risky part when you qualify 13th.  You can end up in the mess like we did at the beginning.  Fortunately we didn't hit anything.  We kept going and that was the most important part of the day.  Then we just worked on making the most of the rest of the day. Climbing into the top-five was what we had from where started as I said. It was a good day for the guys.  The Hitachi car was quick at the end.  We weren't too quick at the start, but towards the end, it got better and it helped us get positions we needed.  Chevy did a great job as always.  Can't be disappointed with fifth.  Overall a solid day to head to the finale.

[About Laguna Seca] It would be nice if it wasn't double points, but it is and we knew that from the start of the season.  We will have to make the most of it.  I don't think it will be easy.  We have to finish top six or seven even if our competitor wins.  That is what we are going to do, be on it all weekend."


No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 2nd
Finish: 1st – 37th career win
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 105/105
Laps Led: 52
Points Position: 5th (-124 pts)


  • It was a thrilling day for Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet team as they brought home their second win in three races at Portland International Raceway.
  • On the first lap of the 105-lap event, Graham Rahal and Zach Veach made contact resulting in a multi-car incident. The No. 12 Chevy was able to avoid all damage and remain at the front of the field.
  • Power's first of two pit stops came on lap 42 where the No. 12 Verizon Chevy team serviced the car with new primary tires and fuel allowing him to maintain track position running third.
  • By lap 45, Power regained his original starting position of second which allowed him to make a strong charge toward the lead.
  • When Scott Dixon had electrical issues while leading on lap 53, Power took advantage claiming the lead where he would remain for much of the closing laps of the race.
  • The No. 12 Chevy's final stop of the day came on lap 74 where the team pitted for new primary tires and fuel, giving them everything they needed to hold the leading position.
  • Power's win in the Grand Prix of Portland marked his second win of the season and 37th IndyCar Series career victory, tying him for sixth on the all-time winners list in the series.
  • It was a special win for Power as Portland was the first track he ever tested at in the United States back in 2005. 
  • Power's win marks 25 IndyCar wins for Team Penske in the past three seasons.
  • With the next two weekends off from racing competition, the team plans to review their data from the last 16 races this season for the final event of the season at Laguna Seca.

Quote: "Absolutely. It was a pretty tough race for the Verizon Chevy. (Felix) Rosenqvist caused some pressure. At the end we could slowly pull away and I felt like oh yeah, this is going to be good; and then we got that yellow flag and I'm like oh, come on, man! But, I was determined to get a good restart and just so stoked to get into Victory Lane. It helps the teams and the other guys take some points away. Awesome. I'm exhausted. I'm mentally exhausted. We've had plenty of what-if years. We will just race right now how we will race next year. It is so good to go into next year with a couple of wins."


No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 18th
Finish: 7th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 105/105
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 3rd (-42 pts)


  • After starting 18th and being involved in a lap-one incident, Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards team showed strong resolve earning a seventh-place finish while staying within striking distance of the 2019 IndyCar Series championship.
  • In a multi-car incident on the opening lap of the Grand Prix of Portland, Pagenaud made minimal contact with Max Chilton but was able to keep his Menards Chevy out on track and move up to 10th before green-flag pit stops began.
  • Pagenaud made his first stop of the day on lap 38 for fresh alternate Firestone tires and fuel. By lap 45 he moved up to ninth and gained two more positions as the halfway point of the race approached.
  • While running seventh, race strategist Kyle Moyer made the call that the team was going to continue using alternate tires for the duration of the race, and on lap 73 the No. 22 Menards Chevy took a set of fresh tires and fuel.
  • With 20 laps remaining, Pagenaud maintained the seventh position and would hold on to that spot for the remainder of the event.
  • In three weeks, Pagenaud will take on Laguna Seca and compete for the 2019 IndyCar Series championship. He sits third in the championship standings, just 42 points behind leader and teammate Josef Newgarden, and one point behind second-place contender Alexander Rossi.

Quote: "(Scott) Dixon has done it from 45 points back, so we're in it. It's awesome to go to Laguna with a chance at the championship. I'm determined. We had a really good race today despite all the problems at the start. It was eventful but a great day for Chevy and Team Penske. It's the championship so you have to be there. So even when days are tough… rebounding from 18th to finish seventh was a really good performance. We made all right decisions in the race. The Menards Chevy felt really good, which is good for next year when we come back. But the biggest thing is that we are in it. We're going to Laguna at a chance at the championship, which is really exciting. Anything can happen there with double points. Anything is possible."