NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report - Mid-Ohio
July 5, 2021
Track: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Race: Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
Date: July 4, 2021
No. 2 XPEL Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 1st – 14th-career NTT INDYCAR SERIES P1 Award
Finish: 1st – 19th-career NTT INDYCAR SERIES win
Laps Completed: 80/80
Laps Led: 73
Points Position: 4th (-69 pts)
- On a beautiful Fourth of July Sunday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, American driver Josef Newgarden helped his No. 2 XPEL Chevrolet team rid the "bad luck demons" that had plagued them the last two races, en route to scoring their first NTT INDYCAR SERIES win of the 2021 season.
- The win was Newgarden's 19th-career series victory, making him the winningest-active American driver in the series, and helped put the disappointment of winning the pole and leading the most laps in the last two races before coming up empty behind he and the No. 2 team.
- During Saturday afternoon's qualifying session, Newgarden propelled his No. 2 Chevrolet to its third-consecutive pole position, giving him 14 NTT P1 Pole Awards in his career. As the race began, Newgarden wasted little time in showcasing the strength of his Chevrolet machine.
- The 80-lap event was easily accomplished on two pit stops, with those trips to pit lane the only time Newgarden relinquished the lead throughout the race. Yet, with just a handful of laps remaining, the two-time series champion found his rearview mirror full of the No. 8 of Marcus Ericsson.
- Hitting his marks over the course of the last two laps, Newgarden was able to hold Ericsson at bay to give Team Penske its first victory of the season as the series heads into the inaugural race on the streets of his hometown, Nashville, TN.
Quote: "I don't know what to say other than this team has been doing the job. Everyone has been giving me a hard time asking what's up with us not winning a race. But I don't think these people at Team Penske could have done anything different. We've been in the game almost every race and had great performance and obviously, great support from our partner in Team Chevy. It's my first win with XPEL and I'm very happy to have them onboard. So, it's great to seal a win here finally on the year. We're going to need, probably, three or four more of these if we're going to win this championship. But this team is capable of it. I'm just excited to be back. Two weeks off was enough. And to come back and finally get a win, I'm happy for our whole group."
No. 3 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin
Laps Completed: 80/80
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 13th (-186)
- Scott McLaughlin and the No. 3 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet team ran consistently all afternoon at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to bring home a 12th-place finish.
- McLaughlin started the 80-lap event from the 14th position and quickly advance his Chevrolet through the field, moving up to 10th within the first few laps. After two full-field cautions early in the race, the No. 3 settled in for a long green-flag that saw the field chasing
- McLaughlin's Team Penske teammate, Josef Newgarden.
- Without any cautions to bunch up the field, McLaughlin maintained his position through multiple pit stop cycles and finished his inaugural Mid-Ohio run in 12th.
- The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will resume racing in August as they attack the newly added street course in Nashville, TN.
Quote: "We needed one of these days, it was pretty solid. We got compromised a bit on strategy and put ourselves in a hard situation, but I learned plenty about saving fuel and I'm going to need that in the future! It was pretty good, I made a couple of moves and though I lost some spots on the pit cycle, we ended up 12th. Overall, we're making gains with the PPG Chevy and it's always nice to move forward, regardless of how many spots. We've got a couple of test days scheduled between now and Nashville and I'm very excited to get to a new race in a month's time."
No. 12 Verizon 5G Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Laps Completed: 3/80
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 11th (-175)
- Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevy team finished 25th in Sunday's NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after an incident on the fourth lap left him unable to continue.
- After overcoming an electrical issue during the first round of qualifying on Saturday afternoon, Power was able to use his qualifying prowess to secure the fourth position on the starting grid.
- A quick caution on the first lap of the race allowed the field to restart single file with Power still holding the fourth position. An intense battle ensued with Scott Dixon soon after with the two nearly making contact in Turn 5. The close racing forced Power onto the edge of the racing surface where he spun his No. 12 Chevy before being contacted by another competitor to end his day.
Quote: "(Scott) Dixon was on reds. He was obviously very keen to get by. I battled with him. Knowing that corner, I actually slowed it up a lot. He would have gotten me if he gave me more room. He just squeezed me down so tight, but it spun me out. Honestly, I should have been aware that he was going to be keen to get by and almost give up the position. I thought if I could it, it would put us in a really great position with those guys whose tires were burning off. It's hard to give up a spot. He squeezed my very tight. I didn't think that was very fair."
No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Laps Completed: 80/80
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 6th (-114)
- Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet team narrowly missed a wreck on lap three of the 80-lap event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and went on to secure a 14th-place finish.
- The Frenchman began in his day 15th and advanced to 12th as he drove his Menards Chevrolet to the bottom line and made it stick, missing two early cautions. A stop on lap 21 saw red Firestone tires on the No. 22 the provided additional grip through the turns as Pagenaud settled in for a long green-flag run.
- After cycling through to the 19th position and working his way back up to 14th, Pagenaud needed an adjustment to his front wing to help with the handling of the car. Pagenaud completed his final stop on lap 50 with the adjustment.
- The No. 22 Menards team was consistent all afternoon but could never make up the track position needed to compete for a podium finish. Pagenaud went on to finish the race in 14th position.
- Pagenaud and his No. 22 Menards team will tackle the streets of Nashville, TN next month in the inaugural Music City Grand Prix.
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Quote: "As it turns out, qualifying really hurt the Menards Chevy team, we were buried in the pack all day. We tried to be aggressive on strategy, but we had to take on a lot fuel at the end just to finish the race. It just wasn't fast enough to make up any positions. Good news is that Josef got the first win for Team Penske this year! A little bit of rest before Nashville, which should be a new and fantastic event for INDYCAR."
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