CHEVROLET RACING IN THE NTT INDYCAR SERIES
DXC TECHNOLOGY 600
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY POST RACE RECAP WITH DRIVER QUOTES AND TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 8, 2019
Josef Newgarden Puts Chevy in Victory Lane at Texas
Victory is Fifth of Season for Bowtie Brand
FT. WORTH (JUNE 8, 2019) – Joseph Newgarden checked off a biggie on his to-do list. The 2018 NTT IndyCar Series champion crossed-off winning on a fast mile-and-a-half oval after claiming the victory in tonight’s DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.
After a disappointing qualifying run and being mired in the middle of the field at the start of the race, Newgarden and his No. 2 Fitzgerald USA Team Penske Chevrolet team patiently waited for their race strategy to play out in the 248-lap race.
On lap 190, Newgarden took the lead, and except for pit stop exchanges, he led the final 54 laps of the race to claim the 13th NTT IndyCar Series win of his career. It is his third victory of the 2019 season, which extended his points lead over
runner-up finisher, Alexander Rossi, to 25 points with nine of 17 races in the books.
Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet, finished sixth after the shuffle for position got busy during the final restart on lap 236. Will Power drove his No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet to ninth in the final order to give Chevrolet three of the top-nine finishers.
Graham Rahal completed the podium.
Next up is the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on June 23, 2019.
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER QUOTES:
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 FITZGERALD USA TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – Race Winner:
THIS IS YOUR FIRST SUPERSPEEDWAY WIN. YOU GOT IT DONE ON TRACK. HOW DID YOU HOLD OFF ALEXANDER ROSSI?
“These guys, man; they keep putting me out front. I’m just trying to get it done in the end! But, how about this Fitzgerald car? It looked good. It was great to have the Fitzgeralds here tonight. I knew we had a rocket ship; it was just about getting to the front. We were better in the front than we were in the back. I knew if we could some position we would be okay.
“But Team Chevy is doing a great job for us. It’s just a good day to capitalize on some points. These guys put me in position, so it’s all up to them.”
ON THE LAST RESTART, ALEXANDER ROSSI HAD A COUPLE OF GOOD RUNS ON THE OUTSIDE. HOW DID YOU MAKE IT STICK ON THE LOW LINE AND KEEP HIM BEHIND YOU?
“He was fast. Honestly, he ran a great race. Both him and (Scott) Dixon ran me fair at the end. It was hard to get away on the restart. That was my biggest concern was just getting the jump getting back going again. And, he was good, man. He was just hard to hold off. He was so good in dirty air. I saw him earlier in the race how good he was behind people, so I knew it was going to be tough. It was really going to be tough.
“But you saw the speed I had in the crunch just to hold him off. Thanks to Team Chevy. And it was a good day at Texas. I’m glad we finally figured this place out. It’s been a while.”
YOU’VE WON THREE OTHER OVALS, BUT THIS IS THE BIGGEST TRACK YOU’VE WON ON. IS THERE ANY SIGNIFICANCE TO BREAKING THROUGH? YOU’VE BEEN FAST ON BIG TRACKS, BUT GETTING A WIN NOW
“We’ve been close before. Not necessarily at the end of the race, but I know we’ve had good cars here and we haven’t been able to just make it happen. One thing happens or another. So, just to finally figure it out has been great. St. Pete was that way for me, too. I knew we could win a race here but we just hadn’t gotten it done. So, we finally figured it out tonight. I’m so please for these guys. They work hard for this.”
TIM CINDRIC, PRESIDENT OF TEAM PENSKE AND JOSEF NEWGARDEN STRATEGIST:
YOU MADE THAT CALL TO COME IN AND GET SOME FRESH TIRES ON THAT CAUTION. MANY OTHER PEOPLE DIDN’T TAKE THAT OPPORTUNITY BUT JOSEF (NEWGARDEN) HAD TO DELIVER THE LAP TIMES TO MAKE THAT WORK
“Yeah, it was a team effort tonight. We had to have good pit stops all night and track position was key. So, it really was the fuel that we needed there to run those extra laps. So yeah, we made something out of it.”
WHEN YOU GIVE UP TRACK POSITION IT’S KIND OF A RISKY MOVE. WHAT WAS YOUR THOUGHT TO ROLL THE DICE AND GIVE UP TRACK POSITION KNOWING IT MIGHT COME BACK AT THE END?
“I thought we really only had three or four cars on the lead lap behind us, so I thought a couple of those guys would come and we’d give up one or two. It worked out just right.”
SIMON PAGENAUD, NO. 22 DXC TECHNOLOGY TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 6TH:
“It was definitely an interesting race. There was a lot of fuel saving tonight. We had the speed, we just had to save a lot of fuel to play the strategy game. I think obviously the crew did a fantastic job with the DXC Technology Chevrolet in pit lane all night as usual. The strategy was good. At the end we were sitting third and I think that’s really where we should have ended up. I made a little mistake on the restart, I thought I had a right rear puncture and ended up finishing sixth. That’s the part I’m disappointed about but otherwise it was a great day. It was a good points day considering what happened. It’s always such an attrition race here and leaving third in points, halfway to the championship, is really comfortable and really good. We’ll keep on rolling. Thanks to DXC Technology this weekend for an awesome activation and great experience for the fans.”
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET – FINISHED 9TH:
“It was kind of a frustrating night. It was totally a track position race and I pushed up high in the beginning of the first stint and that was it. I got stuck in traffic and just never got our lap back. Ninth was actually a reasonable finish after such a bad run there. We’ll take the Verizon Chevy back to the shop and be ready for Road America in a couple weeks.”
CONOR DALY, NO. 59 GALLAGHER CARLIN CHEVROLET – FINISHED 11TH
“I think we can be super happy with that result for the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet. We had a bit of a slow start. I just really struggled at the beginning of the first stint, but once we changed to the second set of tires, we just kept going faster and faster and were able to get into the lead group even though we were a lap down. We were keeping up with those guys really well and we just had solid pace all night. Every restart we seemed to pass people, which is a lot of fun, and we just kept working on it little by little. I’m pretty happy with moving from 19th to 11thand I think it’s something we can all be proud of coming out of this weekend.”
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 13TH:
“That was a very difficult race, right from the start. I struggled in traffic, but we weren’t great on our own either. I couldn’t defend any positions as I couldn’t drive the car hard at all, then we were just trying not to impede anyone else’s race. I am disappointed as I really enjoy racing at Texas Motor Speedway but we just didn’t have it tonight. I wish the next oval was not so far off but I am looking forward to getting back in the car in Iowa and coming back much stronger there!”
SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 21 AUTOGEEK ED CARPENTER RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 14TH
“Obviously it was a frustrating race; a very difficult race. We just seemed to struggle over the course of a stint, keeping the tires underneath us. The balance just went away too quick, unfortunately. It was very tough to keep position and pass cars. We’ll look at everything to see where we can get better for the next oval; until then, I’m looking forward to Road America in a couple of weeks.”
TONY KANAAN, NO. 14 ABC SUPPLY AJ FOYT RACING CHEVROLET – FINISHED 16TH:
“We did what we could. We made 27 changes I think overnight so it was a completely new setup going to the race. So I just tried to manage what we got. I think we got to a point that we have something to work with. I’m glad we finished. We could have finished probably in the top 12 if it wasn’t for that penalty but when you try, you’re trying too hard. All in all, we finished, we’re learning. We have to take what we learned here and take it to the next oval.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 23 FIASP CARLIN CHEVROLET – FINISHED 21ST:
“Unfortunately we had a mechanical issue out there, but no damage to the car. It just stepped out right at the exit of four. The car loaded up and gave me a little bit of strange feedback as I turned into three and then I honestly thought we had a right rear puncture, but it looks like it was more of a bad wheel bearing and not quite as easy of a fix as we were hoping for. It’s a shame that our day ended early because the No. 23 Fiasp Carlin Chevrolet was really good all weekend when we were in clean air. The No. 7 car and I were just going forward out there. It felt like we were driving away from the leader who had caught up to the back. I feel bad for these Carlin guys. They put in so much effort and to have something like that pop up out of nowhere totally unexpected just really hurts.”
PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT: .
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 2 FITZGERALD USA TEAM PENSKE CHEVROLET, RACE WINNER:
THE MODERATOR: We’re joined with our race winner, Josef Newgarden.
Josef, congratulations. Your first superspeedway win out of 13 wins in the NTT IndyCar Series. How does it feel to get that one checked off the list?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: It feels great. I’m going to be honest with you, we’ve had good cars here, we’ve just not been able to make it happen. My voice is going away. I’ve been sick. Actually don’t feel very good. I did not feel good tonight. The car was so good, I just tried staying in it.
This win was down to the team right here. They keep putting me out front, putting the pressure on me. I guess it’s a good thing. It’s good when they put you out front, put it on you. They did a great job tonight.
I knew once we pitted and got back to where — basically got back to where we were before the pit stop on the green flag sequence, I knew once we got back there, we had such a fuel advantage on everybody, if we could get to the lead, I could crank out super quick laps and jump everybody. That’s what we did.
It was a great plan. We had to make hay after that pit stop. We had to get back up behind the lead pack. Once we did that, I thought, ‘Man, we’re just in position.’ Guys did a great job.
Feels awesome to win here. I knew we’d get it done here at some point. We’ve had fast cars. It never has materialized. Tonight it happened.
THE MODERATOR: We’ve been hearing from a number of drivers throughout the weekend talking about what they think their chances are in the championship. We know a lot of drivers are thinking about it even though we’re just past the halfway point of the season. Is it something you’re thinking about, especially as you continue to finish ahead of the drivers that you’re mostly competing with right now?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: We’re in a good spot, there’s no secret about that. But it’s early. It’s still early. You’re halfway now. You could have a stellar first half of the season and a terrible second half or vice versa.
I think you got to stay consistent throughout. You got to stay on top of your game. I think we got the best group for it. I have all the faith in everybody at Team Penske. I think we have a great crew. Wouldn’t trade anybody any day of the week. Best of the best.
I feel confident. We just got to keep doing what we’re doing. It’s a little early to predict where everything will finish up. If we keep doing as we did in the first half of the season, we’re going to be looking to challenge for a championship.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Josef.
Q. (Alexander) Rossi was trying to make a pass on you, what was going through your head, lap after lap he was coming after you?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: He was really good in traffic. We were kind of vice versa. We were really good out front. I knew that. If we can just get the car out front, we can run just as quick as anybody, make quicker. Once we got out front, we were pumping out super quick laps.
Rossi, I looked early in the race, he was very good in traffic. His car looked stellar behind others. I knew he was going to be difficult to beat. He had a great car. He drove me clean. He drove me hard.
I think we just had enough. I think we had enough power there from Chevy. Our car was handling well enough out front we could get the job done, pretty much stay on the throttle as much as we needed to just to stay ahead of him.
Yeah, it was tough. He was very fast tonight. Good night for points, good night to get a win, but he was stellar.
Q. On the penultimate restart when Dixon was trying to go around you, how close were you to actually conceding that?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I mean, I was not going to give up the bottom lane. It’s tough because on the restart you’re almost a sitting duck. You’re going so slow there, and the draft works so well at night, especially when it cools off, you’re so draggy. Being in first is such a disadvantage.
If he had cleared me, it would have been game over. Didn’t quite clear me. I had probably just a tire on him. It was enough to hold my lane. If I didn’t have that, yeah, I think it would have been game over for me. I tried everything I could just to keep the bottom lane there.
Q. That pit stop, the execution was perfect because it got you out ahead of everybody else that had already pitted. I think everybody that was in that cycle said, Where did he come from? How huge was that pit stop?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I’m telling you, if you look at those five or so laps I pumped out, I guarantee you that’s the quickest in lap. If not, I can’t go quicker on an in lap. I knew it. Man, we’re going to have a good set of laps here to pump out and just jump everybody. That’s what we did.
We were running fast, good in lap, good execution from the boys in the pit, put us out front. I knew once we were out front, we could hold it off.
It was well executed, well planned. Tim did a great job. The boys did a great job. It was up to them to put me in position, and they did. We brought it home.
Q. I was talking to Simon Pagenaud, Graham Rahal, they addressed a little bit of that late restart. They got bunched up, ended up making contact a little bit. Take me through managing that late restart. Graham kind of felt like you were past that start zone.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: It leader’s discretion to go when he wants. I thought I was in a fine enough position to start where I did. I don’t know what to tell him. I went when I needed to go. It’s your discretion. That’s the rule.
I haven’t seen it. I don’t know what happened to those guys in the back. I went when I wanted to go. I think I went out of four, which you’re supposed to go out of the last corner, so…
Q. First superspeedway win for you, I believe, is that correct?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Sounds right.
Q. What does that mean to you to get that knocked off your bucket list?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: It’s nice. I mean, we’ve had seconds. We’ve had thirds. We’ve been on the podium. We just never got the win. I know we’ve had great cars. The team has done a great job of putting us in position to win those races. It’s just not worked out to this point.
The seconds and thirds were nice, but you want to finally win one. I was just, yeah, really pleased we could get that done. Maybe we can get some more now after this. It’s down to the team, the car. Like I said out there, they won this race tonight, I think. If they keep doing that, maybe we’ll win some other superspeedways.
Q. You’ve had a great first half of the season, from the start you’ve been leading the points. Now you’re going to probably one of your best tracks, Road America. You have to feel like there’s more to be gained yet this month.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: I hope so. I mean, I think we’ve got good cars. I always feel we can win anywhere we go. I always feel confident of that. But things change.
Road America… There’s tracks where you’re historically good, you go there and have an off year. Things change, tires change, the car changes. We’ve just got to stay alert and aware of where we’re good and where we’re not.
What I mean by that is, it’s never guaranteed where you’re going to be good for the second half of the season. I think you just got to be open-minded that there might be some tracks we weren’t good at in the past, maybe we’re good at this year, just capitalize when you can. You have to take advantage of the opportunities when you have a good car.
Tonight was about taking advantage of a great team. They called a great race, they executed. If you can take advantage of a night like tonight, it’s a big win.
Q. Tell us about the victory chalice.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Gerry is the champion right now, OK? Gerry Cowan has the chalice. It was bestowed to him this evening. It was filled up. I don’t know what he filled that chalice with when he brought to it Victory Lane. I didn’t want to go near it.
It’s a mythical cup. I don’t know if anybody knows about this. I don’t know where it came from. We’re still trying to understand the history of it. It’s a mythical chalice. It gives people powers whoever holds it.
Tim had it in Detroit, made an amazing call. We won the race. I’m just saying, whoever has that thing, watch out, they’re going to have a good weekend.
Q. How did Gerry get it?
JOSEF NEWGARDEN: Gerry got it from just being an incredible human being. Doing a great job. Going above and beyond for everyone. Jerry take great care of me. He always preps my helmet. Always cares about how I’m feeling about the race. He’s a deserving champion.
Two weeks from now in Road America he’s going to have to pass it on to the next recipient.