Team Penske IndyCar iRacing Race Report - Michigan

April 11, 2020

Team Penske eSports INDYCAR iRacing Challenge Race Report

Track:                  Virtual Michigan International Speedway
Race:                   Chevrolet 275
Date:                   April 11, 2020

No. 1 XPEL Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 14th
Finish: 24th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 83/85

Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 XPEL Chevrolet fought back after receiving damage at the initial start of the race ultimately finishing in the 24th position.
Running as high as 13th, Newgarden had issues at the end of the event and found himself unable to regain the two laps he went down while trying to recover from damage at the beginning of the 85-lap virtual event.
Newgarden will return to a track via iRacing at the next INDYCAR iRacing Challenge event April 18 at a randomly drawn track to-be-determined.

Quote: “Not the way we wanted to end the day in XPEL No. 1, but I had a ton of fun running at Michigan and I’m happy Team Penske could bring home the win.  Congrats to Simon and the 22 team! I still have a lot to learn about this whole sim racing program but I’m excited to get back to work and figure it all out!”

No. 2 Snap-On Dallara – Scott McLaughlin

Start: 4th
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85

Scott McLaughlin continued his hot streak in the eSports racing world in the INDYCAR Series with a second-place finish in his oval debut in No. 2 Snap-On Dallara after starting in the fourth position.
Utilizing a new strategy after getting collected in the multi-car incident at the beginning of the event, a pit stop on lap 45 with teammate Simon Pagenaud would setup the New Zealand native to run to the end of the 85-lap race.
The fuel strategy paid off and McLaughlin was able to complete the race in the runner-up spot in a Team Penske 1-2 finish. McLaughlin will compete in the next INDYCAR iRacing Challenge event at a track to-be-determined on April 18.

“P2 in my first oval for the year. I got run into and flipped at the start and it was crazy. Eventually it became a strategy race and we started way back in the field and had to save as much fuel as we could. We managed to save a ton and eventually were good to the end unlike some others who had to make extra stops and managed to bring the Snap-On car home P2. Obviously put in a ton of work so thank you to my engineer Jonathan Diuguid and TJ Majors for spotting and helping me learn ovals. I can’t wait for the next one.”

No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 2nd
Finish: 4th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85

Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet found a considerable amount of speed today at the virtual Michigan International Speedway, but a late-race stop for a splash of fuel would ultimately have the Australia-native settle a fourth-place finish.
Power was the only Penske entry to avoid the big crash at the start of the race.
Short on fuel to the end, Power would make his final stop of the day on lap 72. Falling as low as 15th, Power would utilize the fresh tires and fight back to fourth at the race’s end. Power will join his Team Penske teammates and the rest of the INDYCAR Series field at the next INDYCAR Challenge event which will be randomly drawn.

“P4 today for the Verizon Chevy. We qualified at the front and led most of the race going back-and-forth with Sage Karam which was a lot of fun. All the guys who crashed at the start got to fuel up and Simon (Pagenaud) and others saved that won them the race. I guess I won being the first on my strategy which is two weeks in-a-row I’ve been beaten on strategy, but that means we are going to have a win here soon. But I’m having a lot of fun with this and see what happens next week.”

No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 20th
Finish: 1st
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 85/85

Simon Pagenaud and No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet team continued Team Penske’s winning ways in the INDYCAR Challenge as the Frenchman scored a win at the virtual Michigan International Speedway.
Utilizing engineer Ben Bretzman’s strategy and with a few laps of extra fuel onboard, Pagenaud made his charge to the front as he drove into a podium spot by lap 80. In the final laps of the event, Pagenaud passed Zach Veach for the lead and held off teammate McLaughlin ultimately for the victory.
The win marked Team Penske’s 26th victory in both the real and the virtual world at the former Penske-owned speedway.

“All the credit goes to Ben Bretzman and my virtual team that’s right behind me. We worked hard to understand this kind of racing. Having teammates, we work together to understand fuel consumption and strategies. We were just saving fuel trying to stay out of trouble. At the start of the race, we got run into. The goal was to stay out of the back. We didn’t have the pace in qualifying. I must have done something wrong with my lane, and we qualified toward the back. We decided to go for Option B, which is saving fuel and conserving tires. It’s a pleasure to bring the DXC car to victory lane this year.”