With Podium Finish at COTA, Team Chevy Driver Josef Newgarden Retains Points Lead
AUSTIN – (March 24, 2019): With a second-place finish, Josef Newgarden retains the lead in the point standings after race two of the 17-race 2019 NTT IndyCar Series (NICS). The 2018 Series’ champion started the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet in the seventh position for the 60-lap debut race on at the 20-turn, 3.41-mile road course with 113 feet of elevation change.
Pole winner Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, led every lap of the race until a pit stop on lap 47 ended his run with a non-engine related mechanical issue. The 2014 NICS champion couldn’t exit pit lane following the service from his pit crew. He was scored with the 24th finishing position and sits sixth in points.
Patricio O’Ward continued his impressive rookie run with an eighth-place finish behind the wheel of the No. 31 Chevrolet Performance Carlin Chevrolet.
Colton Herta (Honda) won the race with Ryan Hunter-Reay (Honda) completing the podium.
Race three of the season is scheduled for April 7, 2019 at Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Alabama.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 PPG TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 2ND: “I thought we might have had a shot there at the end. A lot of things played into the race today. We had a little luck and I thought that could play into our favor to race for another win. The PPG car looked good and felt good, it just wasn’t enough there at the end. . So, I’m really proud of our guys. I’m proud of Team Chevy. I’m a little disappointed we missed it by a bit, but we’ll go on to the next one. A second place is big for us. We talked about the fact that you need to have podium finishes if you aren’t winning races and this goes a long way to our championship run.”
PATRICIO O’WARD, NO.31 CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE CARLIN CHEVROLET, FINISHED 8TH: “I think it was a pretty good race for us. We ended exactly where we started (eighth) and didn’t go backwards, so I’d say that was a successful day. We ran a clean race and we were right on pace, but after that yellow came out we needed one more lap under yellow to be able to push as hard as we wanted to. I was having to save a lot of fuel to make it to the end, so it was just impossible to keep Marco and Takuma behind me coming full power. I know the No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet had a top-five finish in it today and even though we couldn’t make it happen, it’s nice to know that we have the pace and can be fighting up front with the veteran drivers. Huge congrats to Colton. I’m really happy for him – I know this means a lot to him.”
SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 21 ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 11th: “Overall, we executed the race well. We had good pace, we were able to make passes and work our way up through the field. Unfortunately, (Marcus) Ericcson was sent out right in front of us in the pit lane and prevented me from getting into the pit box. That caused us to have a really slow last stop and forced us down the order we were only able to come back to 11th. Up until then, I thought the race was going pretty well. Thanks to my guys for their hard work and coming back from an unlucky qualifying session yesterday.
TONY KANAAN, NO. 14 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 12th: “Decent day for us after a tough weekend. We didn’t have the qualifying pace but in the race it was actually a little closer. Starting dead last and didn’t have a lot of options but we did a great job on the pit stops and then we got a little lucky with the yellow and in the end we held our place so a top 12, I’ll take it. I think we have to build from here. Matheus had a pretty promising race. I think if we can qualify better – track position is so important nowadays – we’ll be fine. Hopefully we’ll improve that for Barber and we’ll be able to get a top 5.”
ED JONES, NO. 20 ED CARPENTER RACING SCUDERIA CORSA CHEVROLET, FINISHED 14th: “We made a few changes for the start which we thought would help the car in the race, but clearly it was the wrong way. It seems the 21 car had quite a big advantage, so we’ll need to take a look at that. I made the most of what I had today. We were a bit unlucky, because of tire degradation we went to the black tires for the end. With the yellow coming out, we ended up just being a sitting duck. We did the best we could, I think we were the second car on the black tires. It was a long, tough race but we’ll learn from this and move forward for Barber.”
KYLE KAISER, NO. 32 NFP JUNCOS RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 18TH: “That was an extremely long, hard fought race today. I think it really paid to go off strategy pretty early in the race. It made it pretty challenging as we were on a different cycle compared to most of the other cars, so it made it interesting in the middle of the race being on old tires when everyone else was on new. We were able to bring the No. 32 NFP Chevrolet home in 18th, which was a couple positions up from where we started. Overall it was a successful race. The team did an excellent job in the pits. We had really clean pit stops and I learned a lot. I really hope we can continue on and expand with this program and be back at a couple of more events this year. A huge thank you to NFP for their support and making this all possible.”
MATHEIUS LEIST, NO. 4 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET, FINISHED 17th: “Definitely not where we wanted to finish at COTA. I think a lot of things went on in this race, for some parts I thought we had the pace and then others stints we were struggling a lot. In general not a happy day here and then we got caught by the yellow. We were doing a decent race to finish in the top 12 when that yellow came out. But there was nothing we could do, we just went to dead last and from there on with just 10 laps to go, there was nothing we could do. Unfortunately a tough day here at the track but let’s see if we can make the car faster for the next race.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 MENARDS TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 19th: “The race was pretty good. I mean we had a really good car, awesome strategy and really good pit stops. We got caught out by the yellow just like Will did. We were going to make that four stop strategy work really well with potentially a top five or top six finish. So starting 22nd, that was an awesome race. We made a lot of passes. It was great and I had a lot of fun. Unfortunately at the end, I had to get going on the red tires starting back from 16th. I had contact with Rossi, which took my valve stem off. The whole weekend’s been pretty unfortunate despite having a lot of pace in the car. I’ll be back though.”
MAX CHILTON, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST: “Another long day at the office for us. It was just an extremely unlucky day for the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet. We lost a few spots right out of the gate and then we had a very long pit stop trying to get the car going again after running out of fuel. It just wasn’t our day at all, but I’m a big fan of the track at Barber so I’m looking forward to hopefully finding a little bit of luck and coming out with a good result.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, FINISHED 24TH: “Yeah, it feels like an input shaft. I just released the clutch snap and I could kind of hear it grinding together. I’m massively disappointed, man; like you lead all those laps and worked so hard all weekend to put yourself into position. If the yellow didn’t get us, the driveshaft did. Another hole at the beginning of the season. But the guys have done a great job. We’re quick every weekend. Oh, I just want to have a good run, man! I just want to have a normal run in a season without this sort of crap.”