Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report -World Wide Technology Raceway Race 2

August 30, 2020

Track:      World Wide Technology Raceway
Race:       Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Race 2
Date:       August 30, 2020
No. 1 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 2nd
Finish: 1st (16th-career INDYCAR SERIES victory)
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led:  48
Points Position:  2nd (-96)

  • Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 Hitachi Chevrolet bounced back from bad luck on Saturday to win Sunday afternoon's INDYCAR SERIES event at World Wide Technology Raceway, the second race of a weekend doubleheader.
  • The race got off to an auspicious start when the green flag was delayed by fluid on the track from pre-race activities. The first two laps were run under caution until the green flag finally flew on lap three. When at speed, Newgarden comfortably raced in second place with a slight understeer on the Hitachi Chevrolet. Once the first round of stops was complete, Newgarden's Hitachi Chevy was driving well, but he fell to fourth place when several cars that short-filled on fuel made up track position on pit lane.
  • The Tennessee native was quiet on the radio with the No. 1 team, other than to report that the Hitachi Chevy continued to be strong and it showed, as Newgarden advanced to third place, running less than two seconds behind the race leaders.
  • Newgarden moved up to second place and ran just behind race leader and teammate Will Power just past the halfway point of the 200-lap race.
  • On his final trip to the pits, Newgarden enjoyed a lightning-fast stop from the Hitachi crew as they got their driver out in front of Pato O'Ward, who was running well and led a race-high 66 laps on the day. The fast work on pit lane proved to be the key to the race as Newgarden took the race lead once pit stops cycled through.
  • Newgarden never looked back, as he led the final 43 laps to secure the 16th of his career, tying Dan Wheldon for 30th on the all-time INDYCAR list.

Quote: "This was all a pit stop victory right there. We got pretty dicey with Will and Pato there on track, but my guys have been amazing in the pits. They put me in position every time and it was really fun racing Pato out of the pits. He did an amazing job - he's going to do great things I think in this sport, so good job to him. Obviously it was a smaller crowd today, we weren't allowed to have as many people here but thank you to everyone who came out. I hope you enjoyed your Sunday and enjoyed the race but like I said, this was all thanks to my team. Team Chevy did an amazing job, great to have Hitachi on the car this weekend, they've been good luck for us but really proud of my team. They won the race - I didn't win it, they did.  I can't give up on it.  Yesterday was a pretty big blow. We've been bitten by bad luck I think this year. The yellows have really gone against us, probably three or four out of the eight races. What are you going to do? Sometimes it comes your way, sometimes it doesn't. I feel like this year they haven't really come our way, but that's racing. You have to hopefully get on a good cycle and maybe this will be a little kickstarter for the end of the season for us."

No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Start: 3rd
Finish: 3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 40
Points Position: 8th (-190)

  • After falling victim to an untimely caution on Saturday at World Wide Technology Raceway, Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon team rebounded on Sunday to capture third place in the second race of the weekend INDYCAR doubleheader.
  • After a delayed start due to fluid on the track, Power slotted into third as the field settled in for the 200-lap race. Early on, with the excessive heat on the track, Power worked to save his tires while keeping the lead cars in his view. Despite falling three seconds behind race leader Takuma Sato early on, traffic allowed Power to catch back up and he moved into second place before his first pit stop. When stops cycled through, Power held steady in second.
  • Power continued to run within a second of the leader and worked with race strategist Ron Ruzewski to come up with a pit strategy. Electing for a quicker stop instead of adjustments, Power took the lead just past the halfway point of the race.
  • After leading 40 laps, the Verizon car got caught up in some traffic late in the race and Power came to pit lane for his final stop a lap later than his teammate, Josef Newgarden. The delayed trip to the pits left Power running third in the running order with less than 50 laps to go.
  • The final stint of the race was run under the green flag and Power pushed hard in traffic but he was unable to gain ground on Pato O'Ward and Newgarden. Power took the checkered flag in third place for his third podium finish of the season

Quote: "Yeah, I mean we had a very good Verizon Chevrolet. I felt like we had the car to win, but obviously it's a traffic game. I have to thank all the guys. The No. 12 Verizon Chevy was really strong today. We had great stops and a great car, but the strategy certainly didn't work out obviously at the end, and either way I'm happy to get a podium. We certainly have had a lot of potential this year. It's been a very strange year, but I feel very fortunate that I get to drive the Verizon car and get to do this.  And it was actually great to have some fans here."

No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Start: 8th
Finish:  16th
Status:  Running
Laps Completed: 199/200
Laps Led: 0
Points Position:  6th (-179)

  • After getting caught up in an opening lap accident on Saturday at World Wide Technology Raceway, Sunday's opening lap didn't treat Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet team much better, as a three-side situation forced him to lose a bunch of track position and he was never able to regain it, finishing 16th.
  • Pagenaud started eighth and when the race went green, he was caught in an untimely three-wide situation which forced the 2019 Indy 500 winner to get off of the gas and lose several positions in order to not crash the car. The momentum loss dropped the Frenchman all the way back to the 15th position. He continued to struggle with a total lack of grip on the Menards Chevrolet while racing in turbulent air.
  • Pagenaud proved to be faster than several cars in front of him, but he told his team that it was extremely hard to pass. The Menards Chevy was getting better as each run went on, but dirty air was hindering his recovery.
  • Throughout the race, race strategist Kyle Moyer tried to play the strategy game to regain track position for Pagenaud. However, with no caution flags most a majority of the 200-lap event, Pagenaud was never able to make up the track position he lost early on. Pagenaud went on to finish 16th in the second race of the weekend.

Quote: "Yeah the whole weekend didn't go well. Yesterday really put us on the back foot and we didn't get to really feel the racecar. Today, turn one just obviously got us shuffled and sandwiched and didn't want to end my race in the first corner, so I slowed down and lost all momentum. It caused a freight train around me. We had a really good car the whole race, we were just stuck at the back. I was super happy with the Menards Chevy, but I think we had one of the fastest laps of the race.  We just got stuck in the back, so let's regroup and go to the next race. I guess it's that kind of a season where you just have to take every race as it comes."