Josef Newgarden in the No.2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet has been handed a grid penalty for today’s Gallagher Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the IMS road course.
The Tennessee native, who is second in the championship, 84 points behind Alex Palou, will start the race from 25th place. In a statement, INDYCAR said:
NDYCAR officials have announced a six-position starting grid penalty for the No. 2 Team Penske entry for an unapproved engine change following qualifying on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Friday, Aug. 11.
The team was in violation of:
Rule 18.104.22.168 A fifth (5th) Engine is eligible to earn Engine Manufacturer points if a Full Season Entrant has completed the Full Season Entrant Engine Mileage with its first four (4) Engines. Otherwise, a fifth (5th) or more Engine does not earn Engine Manufacturer points and will be considered an Unapproved Engine change-out.
According to Rule 22.214.171.124, the penalty is a six-position starting grid penalty on road and street course events and nine positions at oval events and will be served at the series’ next event, which is the Gallagher Grand Prix, today, at IMS.
Speaking following qualifying, Newgarden said:
“Frustrating day for all of Team Penske, not just the Hitachi Chevrolet. It has been a strange year for us when it comes to qualifying. I’m sure we will have good pace tomorrow and hopefully we can catch a break with a caution or two to get some track position. We just need to be a better hold on qualifying moving forward, particularly over the off-season. It’s something we’ve been working on but we still need to keep improving.”
Will Power in the No.12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet starts the race from 16th and speaking following qualifying he commented saying:
“Definitely a little disappointed in our qualifying results. It was just quite difficult for us to put a good lap together. I think we do have good Verizon Chevrolet here – we did when we raced here in May – and there are a lot of good cars and drivers starting back where we are so it will be a very interesting race. It’s a tough track and it should be tough. This is INDYCAR and you just can’t leave anything on the table.”
Scott McLaughlin in the No.3 Gallagher Chevrolet is the lead Team Penske driver starting the race from 10th place speaking following the action he commented saying:
“Not too bad today for the Gallagher Chevy. We will roll off P10 after the penalties tomorrow. The car isn’t the fastest but I think we’ve made some sort of inroads, but we’re still trying to look for a little balance here on the Indy road course, compared to all the other road courses. I think we got a really good race car, just a matter of qualifying at outright pace. So keep working, keep trying to find things. I think there is still a lot more work to be done but still start at the top 10.”