Josef Newgarden in the No.2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet endured aa difficult Gallagher Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the IMS road course. Starting the race from 25th place after an engine penalty, the Tennessee native who went into the race 84 points behind championship leader Alex Palou was caught up in the first lap incident at turn seven and got airborne on top of another car.
Newgarden pitted for a new front wing and came home in 25th place and has now lost ground in the championship standings and is now in third place in the championship, 105 points behind Palou with just three races remaining in the 2023 season.
Just a very unfortunate start to this race, but this weekend was quite a challenge from the start. We came with a new package because we have struggled lately on the Indy road course, and we wanted to do everything we could to finish the season strong. It just seemed to be one thing after another for the Hitachi Chevy team, from the 10-minute practice penalty for me being late to weigh-in, to the engine change last night to the first lap incident. Clearly not the finish we needed for the championship but this team knows how to fight. We are going to try and make everyone earn it over the last three races.”
Scott McLaughlin in the No.3 Gallagher Team Penske Chevrolet started the race in tenth place and came home in eighth place, speaking following the race, he said:
Just a disappointing day today on the Indy road course. I thought we had a really good start. The Gallagher Chevy was feeling great over the opening laps, but at the end we just have no fight here right now and we have to figure that out. Our platform needs to be better. We are getting closer but we are definitely not close enough. It’s frustrating but we still finished eighth today, our eighth top-10 in a row. A good points day and we’ll press on to St. Louis.”
Will Power in the No.12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet had a disappointing qualifying and started the race from 16th place just behind Scott Dixon, who went on to win the race and recovered from a poor start to finish the race inside the top ten in sixth place and speaking following the race he said:
“It was a good comeback for the Verizon 5G Chevy team. Just needed track position. I feel like we were the quickest car out there. It was track position, simply. Every time we got behind someone, we were faster than them, every time we’d go by and left them. Just need to work at qualifying here. It’s very hard to get it right.”