News stories from August 2017



Gateway Motorsports Park


29 August 2017

MADISON, Illinois (Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017) – Josef Newgarden’s latest bold move led the Team Penske driver to win in the Verizon IndyCar Series’ thrilling return to Gateway Motorsports Park and extend his championship lead.

Newgarden completed a daring pass of teammate Simon Pagenaud on the 218th of 248 laps on the 1.25-mile oval and he went on to win the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline by 0.6850 of a second over Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon. The triumph – Newgarden’s third win in the past four races and his fourth victory this season – allowed the 26-year-old Tennessean to push his points lead to 31 over Dixon with two races remaining.

The race marked the Verizon IndyCar Series’ return to the St. Louis region for the first time in 14 years. A packed main grandstand roared when Newgarden, in the No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet, slipped inside of Pagenaud, driving the No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, heading into Turn 1. The cars touched mid-corner, forcing Pagenaud to slow as he moved up the track.

Pagenaud’s loss of momentum on the decisive pass opened the door for Dixon, in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda, to get past for second place. Pagenaud, the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion, was understandably upset after finishing in third place.

Newgarden led 170 laps in collecting his seventh career win, delivering Team Penske its fifth straight victory and ninth this season. It was also the 196th Indy car win for the renowned team.

Dixon felt fortunate to finish second, considering he started seventh and Team Penske had secured the first four spots in qualifying.

Helio Castroneves gave Team Penske three of the top four finishers when he placed fourth in the No. 3 Shell Fuel Rewards Team Penske Chevrolet. Castroneves led 52 laps to become the fourth driver in Indy car history to surpass 6,000 laps led in a career.

Conor Daly finished fifth in the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet, the AJ Foyt Racing driver’s best finish in his first season with the team and his best showing since placing fourth last year at Watkins Glen.

The start of the race was slowed by a pair of incidents. Tony Kanaan of Chip Ganassi Racing spun in Turn 2 on the pace lap and backed his No. 10 NTT Data Honda into the SAFER Barrier. Kanaan went three laps down while the car was repaired and eventually finished 16th.

When the green flag did wave, pole sitter Will Power spun in nearly the same place as Kanaan and hit the wall in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet on Lap 6. The cars of Ed Carpenter and Takuma Sato touched as they slowed to avoid Power, sending both into the wall as well. None of the drivers was injured but their races were over before the night had barely begun.

The Verizon IndyCar Series standings show Newgarden in the lead with 547 points, Dixon second with 516, Castroneves third at 505, Pagenaud fourth at 504 and Power fifth with 464. Graham Rahal (436 points), Alexander Rossi (422) and Sato (410) remain mathematically alive for the championship as well.

By finishing 13th tonight, Dale Coyne Racing’s Ed Jones clinched Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors for the season.

The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to action with the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen, from the road course at Watkins Glen International in upstate New York. The season finale, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sept. 17 at Sonoma Raceway in California, is worth double the normal race points.

by Mark Robinson Indycar.com

Pocono Raceway


21 August 2017

LONG POND, Pennsylvania – Will Power kept telling himself to not give up. They wound up being winning words.

Power overcame numerous obstacles to get to the front today in the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, then held off charging Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden to win the Verizon IndyCar Series race for a second straight year.

Power defeated Newgarden by 0.5268 of a second to become the first Indy car driver to post back-to-back wins on the three-turn, 2.5-mile oval in the event’s 24-race history. It was also Power’s third triumph this season and the 32nd of his 13-year career, moving the 36-year-old Australian into sole possession of ninth place on the all-time Indy car victory list ahead of Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy.

The results also kept the battle for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series championship tight with three races remaining. Newgarden leads Scott Dixon by 18 points, Helio Castroneves by 22, Simon Pagenaud by 26 and Power by 42. The top 15 drivers in the standings remain mathematically alive for the title.

Starting the 200-lap race from fifth, Power made an unscheduled green-flag pit stop on Lap 66 to replace a front wing assembly on his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet and went a lap down. He later had a damaged rear wing assembly replaced during a caution period. Still, Power persevered, was back on the lead lap with 75 to go and worked his way through the field.

A lightning-quick pit stop on Lap 177 put Power ahead of the other front-runners who had stopped before him. When race leader Marco Andretti, who was off pit sequence, stopped for fuel on Lap 190, Power assumed first place and withstood pressure from Newgarden and Alexander Rossi over the final 10 laps.

Newgarden took consolation that his points lead expanded slightly with the second-place finish.

Rossi led 44 laps and finished third in the No. 98 Andretti Autosport/Curb Honda to earn his second podium finish in the past three races.

Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Pagenaud was fourth in the No. 1 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet, with Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Tony Kanaan and Dixon (who led a race-high 51 laps) finishing fifth and sixth, respectively.

Hunter-Reay, who sustained left hip and knee injuries in a qualifying crash Saturday, charged from the 21st starting position to lead 12 laps before finishing eighth in the No. 28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport.

The thrilling race featured 42 lead changes – a Pocono race record – among 10 drivers. At one point, Kanaan and Graham Rahal swapped the lead for 12 consecutive laps. The race was slowed by three cautions, including one when James Hinchcliffe and JR Hildebrand collided in Turn 1 on Lap 125. Neither driver was injured.

The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to action on Saturday, Aug. 26 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois. It marks the return of Indy car racing to the St. Louis region for the first time since 2003.

By Mark Robinson www.indycar.com