Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden in the No.2 XPEL Chevrolet says that the qualifying session at the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 presented by Ridgeline was a little tighter than he liked as he just managed to beat Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta to the NTT P1 Award, his third in a row earning him a valuable bonus point as he looks to close the gap in the championship race.
Speaking following the action, Newgarden who set a 01:06.6739s, commented saying:
That was a little tighter than I wanted it to be. I about fell apart the second half of that lap. I opened the lap really well. The car has been on rails right out of the box. I am really proud of the team. Obviously thanks to this whole group here. Everyone at Team Penske has been on it! We’ve had some troubles the last couple weeks securing a win, but I can’t ask much different. They are doing everything they need to do to win these races. Excited to have another chance with a really great car. Team Chevy keeps doing a great job for us.. It’s good to have XPEL on the car. They’ve been a great partner for us the last couple of years. There is an anniversary! I didn’t know this coming into it. This is the 50th year today for Team Penske and Roger Penske scoring the first win for the organization with Mark Donohue. I was thinking of how cool it is to be in the car here racing today. Every now and then you have moments where you reflect that you are actually doing this. It’s so cool It’s a dream to drive for Roger and this entire group. So proud of everybody. Hopefully we can seal one off tomorrow—that’s what we need to do!
“I knew the third lap would be the money lap on used red tires. I opened the lap really well and then started losing time in Turn Four, all the way to the line. I was just trying to keep it together – Tim (Cindric) was telling me exactly what we needed and we got it. Really proud of everyone, the car looks good and it’s fast, and Team Chevy has done a great job so we just need to keep it together tomorrow. We need a good, clean day and I think we have the car to do that, and I know we’re capable. You have the curse of wanting to do well and get a good result when you know you’re capable as a team, but I’ve been racing long enough to see the ebbs and flows and I know that if we keep doing what we’re doing, it will come.
“There’s a lot of respect for Honda as our competitor, here at one of their home races. You want to have a good battle with someone who pushes you and they push us as hard as you can push. I’m proud to be backed by Chevrolet: every one of my INDYCAR wins has come with Chevrolet engine power so I’m pretty comfortable with where I’m at. I’m looking forward to putting them on top tomorrow.”