Team Penske NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report - Mid-Ohio Race 1

September 12, 2020

Track:          Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Race:           Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Race 1
Date:           September 12, 2020
No. 1 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 3rd
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 75/75
Laps Led:  0
Points Position:  2nd (-76)

  • Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 PPG Chevrolet team continued their quest for a third NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship by producing a podium finish Saturday in the opening race of a doubleheader weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
  • Starting third in the No. 1 PPG Chevrolet, Newgarden made quickly moved up one spot on the opening lap of the race and he continued run in the second position for most of the race.
  • Making pit stops on lap 21 and lap 47 just for tires and fuel, Newgarden found the handling of the PPG Chevy to his liking throughout the afternoon as he ran up front and was a consistent pursuer to teammate Will Power for the 75-lap race.
  • Newgarden was not able advance past Power but he did a good job holding off two former Mid-Ohio winners, third-place finisher Alexander Rossi and fourth-place runner Graham Rahal, to finish in second place during the race, which ran caution free.
  • Newgarden's result marked his fourth podium finish of the 2020 season and the 33rd top-three effort of his INDYCAR career.
  • With Saturday's finish, Newgarden maintained the second position in NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship standings as he closed the gap to 76 points behind leader Scott Dixon entering Sunday's second race at Mid-Ohio.

Quote: "It was a pretty straight forward day. Where we started is where we finished with the PPG Chevrolet.  It was good to get by Ryan (Hunter-Reay) right there at the beginning of the race and that helped us for sure.  But, congrats to Will (Power) – he is still Will Power. He's been knocked down a little bit this year, but he drove really well and that was a clinic he put on out there today.  I'm really happy for him, but we were just a couple of tenths slower than him all day long today.  I could kind of tell we were fighting for second today.  Team Chevy – a 1-2 (finish) for us – so that's good for them and I'm proud of that.  We just need to be a little better.  We picked up some good points today, which is good."

No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Start: 1st (60th NTT INDYCAR SERIES career pole)
Finish: 1st (38th NTT INDYCAR SERIES career victory)
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 75/75
Laps Led: 66
Points Position: 5th (-156)

  • Will Power and the Verizon Chevrolet team earned their first win of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season as they dominated in the opening race of the weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
  • Power got off to a strong start Saturday as he won his 60th NTT INDYCAR SERIES career pole position and his fifth pole at Mid-Ohio.
  • From the drop of the green flag, Power imposed his will in the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet building an early lead. The No. 12 team produced strong pit stops on laps 21 and 47 for tires and fuel and no additional adjustments were needed to keep the Verizon Chevy running at the front of the field.
  • Power led by as much as eight seconds over the competition over the course of the afternoon as he led 66 laps, only surrendering the top position for nine laps during the cycle of pit stops.
  • With a nearly flawless performance, Power produced his 38th NTT INDYCAR SERIES victory and his first career win at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after earning eight top-five finishes at the track in his previous 11 starts prior to Saturday.
  • The victory also marked the 216th Indy car win for Team Penske.
  • Power advanced three positions in the championship rankings as a result of Saturday's win as he is now fifth in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings.
  • He will have the opportunity to make up more ground on Sunday as the series returns to the track for the second race of the weekend at Mid-Ohio.

"We've had a pretty trying year.  Everyone really has, with COVID and all the social distancing that we've had this year.  The fact we are out here racing and that fact that we have some fans here (in Mid-Ohio) is great.  This is what we love to do – we love to drive and we love to entertain.  But it's great to have the Verizon Chevrolet in victory lane.  This is probably the first race in 10 years that I've just gone hard the whole time.  So many other races, we try and save fuel and play the strategy game and a lot of times it just doesn't work out.  Today, we said ‘let's just go hard.'  We said let's just go hard and use my race pace and see what happens – and we won the race. This was just a race to put down good laps after good laps.  It was just a flawless day and a flawless race.  The whole Verizon team did a great job.  It's great to see Verizon in victory lane again, because it's been a while.  It's also great to finally win at Mid-Ohio - I'm over the moon about that."

No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Start: 10th
Finish:  18th
Status:  Running
Laps Completed: 75/75
Laps Led: 0
Points Position:  8th (-187)

  • Saturday brought a tough result for Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet team as bad luck resulted in an 18th-place finish in the first of two races this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
  • On the opening lap of the race, Pagenaud's Chevy made contact with rookie Rinus Veekay's car. As a result, Pagenaud spun on track and he was able to continue but he fell from 10th in the running order to the 23rd-position.
  • Though the first lap contact set him back, Pagenaud charged through the field and he advanced to 18th by lap 19 when he made his first pit stop of the day.
  • Unfortunately, there was a tire issue on the No. 22 Chevy during the stop, which dropped the team further in the field and resulted in a post-race monetary fine for equipment.
  • The bad luck continued for Pagenaud as contact with Marco Andretti on lap 46 resulted in a penalty, which required Pagenaud to give up track position on lap 50.
  • Pagenaud continue to battle through the field as he took the checkered flag in 18th place.
  • With the tough result, Pagenaud lost two positions as he dropped to eighth in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings. He'll have a chance to gain back the lost ground on Sunday in the final race of the weekend at Mid-Ohio.

Quote: "Frustrating day for the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet.  We had some good pace, but with no cautions and the mistake at the beginning of the race, it was hard to make up the track position.  Just spun out and stalled the car and couldn't get it refired.  We tried to short pit and gain some track position, but without any cautions, there wasn't much else we could do.  Hopefully, we can go out there tomorrow and do better."