It was a truly up-and-down day for Team Penske’s Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Business Chevrolet on the streets of Detroit on Sunday. Starting the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear from the eighth place, he overcame three penalties during the 100-lap race to finish the event in sixth place and speaking following the action, he said:

That’s a good day for the No. 12 Verizon Chevy team. It was very tough, really. All sorts of stuff going on. Felt like Nashville. That’s, I mean, you’ve got everything in there. Rain, everything. Happy to get back to sixth, and go from there, and see what we could do. That is a good points day, man. I knew when it was that sort of race, (Scott) Dixon was going to win it somehow. We just wanted to salvage something.”

It was a dreadful day for Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden. One week after becoming a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, Newgarden and team suffered through a dramatic, 100-lap event of the streets of Detroit to finish in the 26th position. The two-time series champion started the race from the third position and looked to be in great shape when he entered pit lane on Lap 33 while running in the second position.

It was here the race began to go in the wrong direction for the No. 2 team as the fuel probe valve would not initially open after being plugged into the car. As a result, Newgarden dropped to the 19th position when the skies briefly opened up before the race restarted. Needing to do something to gain back the lost track position, race strategist Tim Cindric was one of the first to call his driver down pit lane again, this time for Firestone rain tires just before the green flag waved. This proved to be a short stint as the skies quickly cleared but not before another caution flag flew just two laps back to the action.

This allowed teams to revert back to Firestone racing slicks as the track quickly dried. After climbing back to the 13th position just before halfway, Newgarden was hit with another penalty for running over pit equipment as the left his stall following a Lap 43 pit stop. The resulting pass-through penalty on Lap 61 effectively ended Newgarden’s chance at a top finish.

Speaking following the race, Newgarden said:

“It is crazy how races in this series can turn on a dime. We were in a great position to capitalize on some of the drama going on around us to possibly win today. Unfortunately, Scott (McLaughlin) had his incident just before halfway and that helped us into second before we hit pit road. That’s kind of where our day went south when the fuel probe valve wouldn’t open initially, costing us a ton of track position. After restarting 19th, it just seemed our day went downhill. Definitely a wild afternoon for not just the Astemo Chevrolet team but for most of the field.”

Scott McLaughlin in the No.3 Gallagher Chevrolet also had a tough Detroit Grand Prix as he went into the tires. Starting the race from fourth, the New Zealander who won in Barber Motorsports Park in April came home in 20th place and speaking following the race he said:

Just driver error there on that incident in the tires. We were in fantastic position up to that point. I hate it for my Gallagher Chevy team and for our partners, and I’m gutted that it cost us a shot at a win. We’ll press on to Road America, one of my favorite race tracks in the world.”


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