Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden in the No.2 XPEL Chevrolet was delighted with how his night under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway went on Sunday as he challenged for the win of the XPEL 375 and came home in second place behind race winner Pato O’Ward to score his first podium finish of the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season.
Speaking to Paddock Eye following the race, the Tennessee native said:
Yeah, we feel pretty good about things. Felt positive coming here. Didn’t have the weekend we could have. But I think at the end we definitely feel pretty positive about what we’re doing. Then Indianapolis, same deal, pretty happy with what we’re going to be bringing there.
Yeah, excited to get to May. It’s finally here. We can settle in now and try to make the most of it.
Newgarden went on to talk about having XPEL on the car for their race saying:
Yeah, it was great. I saw them in victory circle when I got to see Pato. They were pretty pumped to have a fun finish to the race. It was definitely more thrilling than it could have been. So excited they were here. Excited they were on our car. I think their support was great. Good second place, couple podiums now. We just got to keep going.
Newgarden elaborated on his race, saying:
“You know, I don’t know what it was. It just seemed like his Chevy was a little better than my Chevy for some reason. But at the end of the day a Chevy won the race, so I am pretty happy about that. Always have great support from Chevy, and fuel mileage. Fuel mileage was very important and reliability, and Chevrolet is always top notch for those qualities. Happy with that and to get Xpel a good second place finish, and I don’t know that we can be disappointed, but we were in the catbird seat for sure. Just did not have the speed at the end, I don’t know what it was. At the middle of the race, I made a comment to the guys that we were lacking speed for some reason. I don’t know what it is, but we will figure it out. We did a great job and I was really proud of the team and they stuck to it. We learned some stuff from Scott (McLaughlin) on his car, did a great job in the pits and second place is a good day for us.”
Scott McLaughlin who scored his first IndyCar Series podium in the opening race of the weekend on Saturday was unable to repeat that performance on Sunday and came home in eighth place and speaking following the race he commented saying:
It was an up and down day for sure for the PPG Chevrolet. We got bounced around early cause these veterans are very quick and getting into their pace. For me, it just takes me some time to get comfortable and feel out the track conditions. The PPG Chevrolet was really strong, and I felt like we weren’t as strong as yesterday, but we were good with fuel saving. It was hard to pass out there and you had to make your time up with lapped traffic or on restarts. And my two restarts were terrible. Overall, it was a great weekend and now I’m pumped to get to Indy.
Will Power in the No.12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet started the race from 3rd place but went backward and was unable with the start of the race complaining that Scott Dixon was too slow going to the green flag. Power ended the race in 13th place and speaking following the event he said:
It was a tough couple of days at Texas. I got caught out by the yellow there. We had a pretty good shot at a top-five, but unfortunately, I got put three-wide and put into the marbles. This is a one-groove track and it was over after that. I should have went to the inside and not the outside. We are still in the game – not as big of a points deficit as we’ve had before. The Verizon 5G Chevy will motor on to Indy.
Simon Pagenaud in the No.22 Menards Chevrolet was happy with his sixth-place finish and speaking following the race he commented saying:
Got a P6 in Texas. Good race. Had a car good enough to win. The Menards Chevy was behaving well today. We had some great restarts and awesome pit stops. My crew was on fire on pit lane. So happy with P6 today. We are building toward the championship and races like today will help that. Congratulations to Pato and the who McLaren Schmidt team for their win today.