Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden was delighted after he scored the outfit’s first NTT IndyCar Series victory of the season in Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 presented by HPD Ridgeline at the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course on Sunday. The Tennessee-native started the race from pole position and dominated the race leading 73 of the 80 lap race and speaking following the event he commented saying:
I don’t know what to say other than this team has been doing the job. Everyone has been giving me a hard time asking what’s up with us not winning a race. But I don’t think these people at Team Penske could have done anything different. We’ve been in the game almost every race and had great performance and obviously, great support from our partner in Team Chevy. It’s my first win with XPEL and I’m very happy to have them onboard. So, it’s great to seal a win here finally on the year. We’re going to need, probably, three or four more of these if we’re going to win this championship. But this team is capable of it. I’m just excited to be back. Two weeks off was enough. And to come back and finally get a win, I’m happy for our whole group.
Scott McLaughlin in the No.3 PPG Chevrolet started the race from 14th and came home in 12th place and speaking following the race he commented saying:
We needed one of these days, it was pretty solid. We got compromised a bit on strategy and put ourselves in a hard situation, but I learned plenty about saving fuel and I’m going to need that in the future! It was pretty good, I made a couple of moves and though I lost some spots on the pit cycle, we ended up 12th. Overall, we’re making gains with the PPG Chevy and it’s always nice to move forward, regardless of how many spots. We’ve got a couple of test days scheduled between now and Nashville and I’m very excited to get to a new race in a month’s time.
Will Power in the No.12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet was forced to retire from the race following a spin on the third lap of the race while battling with Scott Dixon and as a result, he hit Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan Racing’s Ed Jones and speaking following the race, Power, who is now 175 points behind championship leader Alex Palou with just six races remaining commented saying:
(Scott) Dixon was on reds. He was obviously very keen to get by. I battled with him. Knowing that corner, I actually slowed it up a lot. He would have gotten me if he gave me more room. He just squeezed me down so tight, but it spun me out. Honestly, I should have been aware that he was going to be keen to get by and almost give up the position. I thought if I could it, it would put us in a really great position with those guys whose tires were burning off. It’s hard to give up a spot. He squeezed my very tight. I didn’t think that was very fair.
Simon Pagenaud who started the race in 15th place in the No.22 Menards Chevrolet ended the race in 14th place and speaking following the event, the Frenchman said:
As it turns out, qualifying really hurt the Menards Chevy team, we were buried in the pack all day. We tried to be aggressive on strategy, but we had to take on a lot fuel at the end just to finish the race. It just wasn’t fast enough to make up any positions. Good news is that Josef got the first win for Team Penske this year! A little bit of rest before Nashville, which should be a new and fantastic event for INDYCAR