Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden scored his first podium for his new outfit at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The Tennessee native, driving the No.2 Hum Chevrolet started Sunday’s 85 lap race from eighth place and made his way through the top five to claim a third place finish just behind race winner James Hinchcliffe and second placed Sebastien Bourdais.
Speaking following the race, Newgarden commented by saying:
We ended up finishing third which is a good result for us and the No. 2 hum Chevy team and I’m pretty happy about that. I’m disappointed that we couldn’t get a Penske car in Victory Lane but at least we got a podium under our belts so we’re really happy about that for the No. 2 car. I feel like we had amazing speed all day and we had the fuel mileage. Team Chevy did a great job for us. We had fast pit stops and the guys took care of the car great. So we were right there. We finished a strong third this weekend and that’s something we can go to Barber and hopefully get that first win, so we’re excited to go on to the next one.
Helio Castroneves driving the No.3 Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet started the race from pole position however an electrical issue at the start saw the Brazil lose six places off the line.
During a routine pit-stop, Castroneves was deemed to have been speeding on pit-road and as a result he was handed a drive through penalty by Verizon IndyCar Series officials and ended the race in ninth place.
Speaking following the race he commented by saying:
It just wasn’t our day. The Auto Club of Southern California was really fast but we had a few other problems that kind of ruined the day. I think we had some electronic problems that caused us to mess up the start of the race and the pit road speeding penalties. We’ll regroup and head to Barber. One of these days all of this bad luck will even out. It can’t come soon enough.
Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud in the No.1 Menards Chevrolet made the best of a bad qualifying position. The Frenchman was handed a penalty in qualifying as a result of blocking his team mate’s Helio Castroneves and Will Power in Saturday’s session.
Pagenaud made his way through the field from 21st place on the grid to finish the race in fifth place and speaking following the race he commented by saying:
It was exciting. At the beginning we were able to pass a lot of cars. The Menards Chevrolet was phenomenal all weekend. I was really excited before the race because I knew we had such a strong weapon. It was all about having the right strategy to make it work. We actually switched strategies because it was going so well at the beginning. The flat tire set us back a little, but it was a good championship day. I’m so proud of the team. Everyone worked really hard to come out of here with a good result.
Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet had a tough day at the office, the Australian was involved in a first lap incident with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Charlie Kimball which saw Power have to pit at the end of the opening lap for a new front wing and as a result he fell down the order.
Power who had started race from ninth place finished the event in 13th place. Speaking following the race he commented by saying:
It was a tough day for the No. 12 Verizon Chevy. We were caught up in an incident early in the race and I feel like it really ruined my day. It was an awful situation to be put in since we had nowhere to go when we made contact with the wall. Still, we battled. I’m really proud of my guys for working as hard as they did to try and come back from the incident but we couldn’t. We’re ready to head to Barber and really get another chance to perform well.