Josef Newgarden in the No.2 PPG Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet took the opening NTT P1 Award of the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season at the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg presented by RP Funding for third time in his career, setting a 59.5714s and speaking following the action, the Tennessee native commented saying:

“Man. I get jacked up every time I show up for an INDYCAR race. It’s an elevated level when you start out the year, because you just don’t know. You have no idea if you’re going to keep coming back in and producing results. It’s very difficult. You saw how tight it was, and I didn’t know this would come today. I just thought ‘Look, let’s get through Round 1, let’s get through Round 2, and then see what we can make happen in the Fast Six. Just really proud of this team. This is a rockstar team. I love everybody on it. I’m happy to be back. 2024, we’re starting right with Team Chevy and PPG. We’re here to go after it every weekend.”

Newgarden went on to say:

“You have to give hats off to Team Chevy. They listen to every bit of feedback we had. They took a lot of meetings, and they delivered today. Everything we were asking for they made better all around, and it’s not easy to do that. We asked for a menu of items, and they were like ‘Okay, we’ll give you everything.’ You don’t always get that every year, and I just feel like they knew they had to do even more this offseason just like us. Chevrolet did their part, and us at Team Penske, what we needed to do with our chassis, we did the exact same thing. So us together, I think we can have a really strong year.”

Scott McLaughlin, No. 3 Chevrolet at Team Penske starts the race from ninth place just ahead of Will Power and speaking following the action he commented saying:

“Not a bad day for the DEX Imagine Chevy. We left a little bit out there. I think we could’ve easily made the Fast Six. We had a couple of little issues that were out of our control and held us back there. Overall, really solid start. We start P9, which it’s better than P19. We have a lot of cars to pass tomorrow. We’ll have fun. Good job to my teammate Josef (Newgarden) getting the pole. He made sure Chevy got a first pole of the year, which is really important for them, and hopefully we can add to the win tally in St. Pete tomorrow.”

Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Business Chevrolet at Team Penske commented following his qualifying action where he set a time of 59.5594s the Australian said:

“He had to back up and so I had to finish that second lap just to be eighth and then started my third lap kind of hurting, so I aborted it. Still, top-12 and P8. We can definitely race from there. The car has been really good all weekend and man you have to dig deep in these qualifying sessions. We will see what we can do tomorrow. I am very, very determined to have a good year and a good race, so it’s a good start. Anytime you are top-10 in this series, it’s pretty good, or top-12. We would have loved to get in the top six, but it’s so tight.”

Power has been suffering from allergies all weekend and speaking about he said:

“Ah, brutal. Brutal honestly. It’s like a bloody sauna or a steam room. You are struggling in the car, but it is always like that in the first race. In the last race you are so race fit. That is the first time in the weekend when you have been digging deep for hundredths and you feel it coming in and I am like, ‘get the air on me’. Great series man. So, so tight. I really, really enjoy it.”


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