Team Penske IndyCar Series Race Report

September 22, 2019

Track:                  WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Race:                   Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey
Date:                   September 22, 2019

No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 4th
Finish: 8th
Status:  Running
Laps Completed:  90/90
Laps Led: 0
Final Points Position:  1st (2nd-career IndyCar Series Championship)


  • Josef Newgarden didn't have a race-winning car on Sunday afternoon at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, but his eighth-place finish was enough for him to earn his second IndyCar Series Championship in the last three years and Team Penske's 16th IndyCar Series Championship.
  • Starting from the fourth position, Newgarden and the No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet knew exactly what they needed to do to try and win the IndyCar Series title and fell into the fourth position early on, while also defending the fifth position from James Hinchcliffe.  As tire degradation was extreme at the 11-turn track, Newgarden began catching third-place Alexander Rossi just 10 laps into the event. 
  • Newgarden made his first pit stop on lap 13 behind Rossi.  A fantastic stop from the Hitachi team allowed Newgarden to come out of the pits in front of Rossi, but he eventually gave up spots on the track to Rossi and Simon Pagenaud and ran sixth while running on primary Firestone blacks. 
  • Newgarden and Rossi put on a spirited battle as Rossi's tires continue to wear. Newgarden nearly got around his championship rival, but elected to play it safe before coming to pit road again on Lap 35.  Once again, when everything cycled out, Newgarden was eighth with a car that was struggling to find rear grip just past halfway.
  • Continuing to struggle to find grip on the track, Newgarden came to pit road for the final time on lap 64, making it a 26-lap run to the finish. He was seventh when the pit stops cycled through.
  • Newgarden dropped one more spot before the checkered flag to finish eighth. However, the finish was enough to earn his second IndyCar Series Championship.  He beat Pagenaud by 25 points to secure his second title in the last three years and Team Penske's 35th National Championship. 


"They just did such a great job, this group all year long, and I didn't want to throw it away at the end and do something silly. But man, they called a great race and I tried to be as smart as I could today. I am so proud of everybody and Team Chevy has done a great job. They won the Indy 500 with Simon (Pagenaud), which has been fantastic, and then to win the championship is as much as you can ask for in a year. I am just so thankful to the team and we just have such a great group.  Not just on the No. 2 car, but everybody on the team is just amazing in what they do.  Thank you to Hitachi, they just signed on for a multi-year deal, so this is big for us. I am glad its over with because I was crying that whole lap, and just happy that its over with.”

No. 12 Verizon 5G Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 7th
Finish: 2nd
Status:  Running
Laps Completed:  90/90
Laps Led: 6
Final Points Position:  5th


  • Will Power wrapped up his 2019 IndyCar Series season with a runner-up finish at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday afternoon, securing fifth place in the season-long INDYCAR Championship point standings. 
  • The No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet just missed the Firestone Fast Six during qualifying on Saturday and started the race in the seventh position.  When the green flag flew, Power settled into seventh, trailing teammates Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud as they raced for the 2019 IndyCar Series Championship.  Early on, Power was one of the only teams to start on primary black Firestones. 
  • Power went the longest of anyone in the field on the first stint of the race, leading for a lap before coming into the pits for Firestone Reds on lap 19.  As he reentered the race, the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet was fifth and chasing down the No. 27 of Alexander Rossi.   On lap 30, Power got around Rossi for fourth.   
  • Power continued to run long and took the lead once again on lap 39.   He came out of the pits in third, but let Pagenaud by and slotted into fourth once again.  A caution flag just past halfway tightened the field, but everyone stayed on the track.
  • The Verizon team made their final stop on lap 67 and was able to jump to second for the final run to the checkers.   Power continued to chase down Colton Herta for the lead, cutting the lead to less than a half second with less than 10 laps to go. 
  • Unfortunately, as the checkered flew, Power couldn't get pass the race winner and had to settle for second place.  Power ended the 2019 season with two wins and three poles and grabbed fifth-place in the 2019 Championship standings. 


"It was a solid race, just needed to qualify a little bit better. Similar to last year when you qualify seventh, you are not going to have a shot. We had a fantastic car today and we could have won this thing. Obviously we tried to help Simon out there and we sat behind him with probably a better car than him or (Scott) Dixon or (Colton) Herta. I had to give Simon a shot to have a chance at the championship, so I was willing to just sit back."


No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 6th
Finish: 4th
Status:  Running
Laps Completed:  90/90
Laps Led: 1
Final Points Position:  2nd

  • Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 DXC Technology team did everything they could to try and contend for the 2019 IndyCar Series Championship, but their battle fell just short at Pagenaud finished fourth on Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and second in the season-long point standings. 
  • After starting from the sixth position in the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet, Pagenaud got in line quickly after the drop of the green as the field drove into turn one and began running his race, listening to race strategist Kyle Moyer while trying to figure out a strategy to get them out front.  Pagenaud made a couple of early moves to try and get into fifth, but couldn't get past James Hinchcliffe. 
  • Pagenaud made his first pit stop on lap 12, keeping Firestone red tires on his No. 22 while trying to undercut the rest of the field. Moyer coached the French driver to run as fast as possible.  As his contenders for the Championship pitted on the next lap, Pagenaud was able to get around both Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi. Once the first round of pit stops cycled, Pagenaud slotted into third. 
  • While still running third, Pagenaud made his second stop on lap 38 to Firestone black primaries.  As everyone finished their pit cycle, Pagenaud was fourth and quickly made a pass on teammate Will Power to get back to third.  At halfway, he was less than two seconds behind the leader before the day's first full-course caution.
  • Pagenaud continued to be aggressive on the track and put pressure on Scott Dixon for second.  He stayed on the track on lap longer than the rest of the leaders on the last stop of the day, which came on lap 63.  He slotted into fourth as everyone completed their final stops.
  • Pagenaud put a ton of pressure on Dixon as the race wound down, but couldn't advance any more.  His fourth-place finish jumped Pagenaud to second in the final point standings, giving Team Penske a 1-2 finish in the points.


"First of all, an amazing race for sure and very happy for the fans. We all want to thank you for being here and supporting us as a sport. Just an amazing year for Team Penske. Back at the 500 and for Josef to get the championship, its pretty much a perfect year. I gave it everything I had. Today felt amazing, the car was fantastic and I tried to give everything I had at Dixon and it was tough for sure. We had a great battle at the end."