Team Penske were celebrating on Saturday night as Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet who started the IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course took the team’s 200th Verizon IndyCar Series victory.
Power who is now tied with team mate Helio Castronves on 30 wins for Team Penske spoke following the race saying:
It’s been a slow start for us, so it’s just fantastic to get the win. But 200 wins in IndyCar just shows Roger’s determination and the way his team works and his passion for winning. It’s a real pleasure to drive for him. You’re given equipment week in, week out to win, and yeah, I have to say it’s amazing to be a part of that history of Penske Racing because it’s such a deep history. So yeah, I’m so grateful to be able to drive for this team.
On his return to the Verizon IndyCar Series, Helio Castroneves in the No.3 Verizon Chevrolet had a fantastic race, having started the race from 10th place on the grid the Brazilian finished the race in sixth place just ahead of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe.
Speaking following the race, the three time Indianapolis 500 winner commented by saying:
It’s just like I never left, you know? It was great strategy from the team. We started with the blacks and took a gamble. It wasn’t worth it to try to fight because I kind of knew it would have come back, and it did. The team did a phenomenal job staying cool. All my guys did phenomenal pit stops. This is a group that we’re going to have for the 500. So, imagine when you have the guys just showing up and doing the job is incredible. I feel sorry about Simon (Pagenaud). (Takuma) Sato hit me on the back. I lost control on that part of hitting the No. 22 of Simon, but he made a phenomenal comeback. Again, it’s great to be back in Indianapolis and I’m ready to get going.
Simon Pagenaud in the No.22 Menards Chevrolet started the race from seventh place and finished the event in eighth place and speaking following the race, the 2016 Indianapolis Grand Prix winner commented by saying:
What a day. I can’t believe my luck so far this season. Maybe that is good for Indy 500. I keep saying it. It’s coming up now. Hopefully I get all the luck in the world for the 500. It was an awesome car today, fantastic. I think we could have challenged for the win. It is what it is. We recovered from the first lap incident. They opened the pit and we pitted, then they threw the green flag that next lap so we couldn’t get back to the pack. The car was very good and the Chevy power was awesome. We managed to finish the race with good fuel consumption and was able to pass Graham Rahal just before start finish because of fuel consumption. Awesome heading to 500. Congratulations to Will (Power) – he made it three here now. So, I have to catch him next year. Also, it is the 200th win for Team Penske in INDYCAR. It is phenomenal. What a team. It is an honor to be part of it.”
Defending series champion Josef Newgarden who spun going into turn 1 on the opening lap of the race finished the event in 11th place and as a result heads into the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil just two points ahead of second placed Alexander Rossi in the race for the championship.
Speaking following the race, the Tennessee native commented by saying:
We had a podium car, for sure. It’s tough to throw it away. I think I got too greedy. I had two or three runs on (Sebastien) Bourdais. I just got frustrated and too greedy. I thought he was going to give me a little more room. He gave me some, but it wasn’t enough. It is my fault, I think I ruined a podium finish for the No. 1 Verizon Chevy team. But, we recovered what we could. The Chevy power helped. The 200th win for Roger (Penske, team owner) and Team Penske is a very big deal. I am happy for Will (Power) and his team. Now we go on to preparation for the 500