Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden in the No.2 Hitachi Chevrolet and his teammate Simon Pagenaud in the No.22 Australian Gold Chevrolet had a great day at the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg on Sunday. Josef Newgarden, who started the race from third place on the grid had a great early fight with Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey before a battle royale with Colton Herta.

Speaking following the race, Newgarden, who came home in second place commented saying:

Well, we lost a little too much ground in that second stint, really; to capitalize with the reds (tires). And then we had the caution, which almost gifted us another chance. And I just didn’t want to over extend myself today. I felt like I was close to an opportunity, but (race winner) Colton was really good. He was doing a great job on the restarts. It was tough to get tire temps. So, I pushed really hard right there in those two initial restarts. I didn’t have quite the runs I needed, so I didn’t want to risk anything. But a good day. I’m really happy with Chevy’s performance and thankful for all their work. And to have Hitachi on the car and get a podium is really nice here to start our year off.

Scott McLaughlin in the No.3 DEX Imaging Chevrolet started the race from 14th place and came home just outside the top ten in eleventh place and speaking following his second Firestone Grand Prix of St Pete start, McLaughlin said:

“Yeah, overall a good day for us in the DEX Imaging Chevy. It was a full-on race, very hot, very humid and one of the most physical races I have ever done. Solid race from our end and I was probably a little bit too safe at the start. I was just trying to keep my front wing on. It was pretty forceful out there and a lot of the veterans around me were just using a bit more of their experience on colder tires. We got around in the first stint and we pitted at the right time and we were actually on a very alternative strategy there, that could have almost put us in the lead. Unfortunately, there was a couple of spinners towards the middle of that race. Our team reacted and we pitted and we did the right thing on that strategy, just unfortunately there were no yellow flags. We didn’t use the speed we had in the clear air to really get going, but for me right now its continuously finishing races. Finishing P11 is a great run for us and we will continue to build on that and hopefully come the end of the year we will be bigger, better and stronger. Just want to thank DEX Imaging for their support and am excited for the next few races.”

Will Power in the No.12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet who finished the season-opening Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in second place started Sunday’s race from 20th on the grid and came through the field to finish the race inside the top ten in eighth place and speaking following the race, the Australian said:

Yeah, really solid day for us to get up there to P8. It was inside the top 10 and that was our goal in starting the race. Obviously qualifying was pretty disappointing, but yeah, solid pit stops today.  We tried to catch a few yellows and finish in the top five but it just didn’t work out. We passed a lot of cars on track and the car did really well, so we were very happy to get the Verizon 5G Chevy in the top 10. Really good day

It was a great day for Simon Pagenaud and his new partnership with Australian Gold as the Frenchman, who started the race from fourth scored his first podium finish of the season with a third-place and speaking following the action he said:

Yeah, really solid day for us to get up there to P8. It was inside the top 10 and that was our goal in starting the race. Obviously qualifying was pretty disappointing, but yeah, solid pit stops today. We tried to catch a few yellows and finish in the top five but it just didn’t work out. We passed a lot of cars on track and the car did really well, so we were very happy to get the Verizon 5G Chevy in the top 10. Really good day

 

 

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