Track: Texas Motor Speedway
Race: Genesys 300
Date: June 6, 2020
No. 1 XPEL Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 1st (Ninth-career INDYCAR SERIES pole)
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 41
Points Position: 3rd (-16 pts)
- It was a strong start to the 2020 INDYCAR Season for Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 XPEL Dallara/Chevrolet, as the defending series champion finished third at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday evening at the NTT INDYCAR SERIES returned to action for the first time since September of last year.
- Newgarden jumped out to an early lead as the race went green and paced the field over the first portion of the race, keeping the No. 1 XPEL Chevrolet near at or near the front of the field all night long.
- After complaining on and off throughout the race about understeer issues, team strategist Cindric called Newgarden to the pits for one final front wing adjustment on lap 122. The team would pit a total of five times with the last stop coming at lap 180 for just fuel and tires.
- Despite falling back to as far as seventh in the late part of the race, the last stop allowed Newgarden to jump the field and get ahead of those who waited a few additional laps to pit, putting him back up into third, where he would ultimately finish.
- Newgarden also sits in the third spot in the INDYCAR Series championship points following the first race of the delayed 2020 season. The team will next compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's road course for what is sure to be a historic weekend in racing as the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and the INDYCAR Series will race together at the same track for the first time during the Fourth of July weekend.
"Tonight was just a night for just hanging on for the No. 1 XPEL Chevrolet. We came home with a podium finish and that is what we needed to do. You have to have nights like this. Tonight was a night to swallow your pride and get the best out of what you got. If I can go out there and win the race, I'm going to try and do it. But tonight wasn't that night. We weren't good enough throughout a tire stint to challenge Scott. He was just so, so good all night. But that is what this team is capable of doing. They are the best in the business and give me everything they can to put me up front. Now, we just got to regroup. I'm not pleased with third because I want to go win a race. But tonight, third place for us almost feels like a win."
No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Laps Completed: 199/200
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 13th (-36 pts)
- Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet team finished 13th and one lap down in the first race of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season due to an unfortunate pit road issue midway through the race.
- After starting in the sixth position, Power and team had a strong start to the day, but slipped back to seventh as the driver struggled racing in traffic. Unfortunately, during a pit stop on lap 80, the right rear tire was not bolted on properly and the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet had to remain in the pits longer than desired.
- The team attempted to battle through traffic to make up positions, but found it difficult to navigate in the back-half of the field, eventually losing a lap.
- Despite running as low as 18th, Power and the Verizon team were able to come back and ultimately settled for the 13th position.
- Power and the No. 12 team will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to compete for the second race of the season this time on a road course – a course where he has won three out of six races run there.
"The Verizon Chevy was really good, it was just so hard to pass. Obviously, we had a mishap on a pit stop and that put us at the back and, man, there were four cars that went 36 laps on the first stint. They should be penalized, it's unbelievable. That could be four more positions for me. It was a frustrating night. We had a mistake that put us in a bad place and it's just unfortunate."
No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 2nd (-13 pts)
- Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet got their 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season off to a strong start, as the team battled a vibration problem all night but still was able to come home with a second-place finish.
- Early in the race, Pagenaud began to complain of a vibration that the team would monitor for the entirety of the event.
- All night long, the DXC Technology team would make wing adjustments while looking for the optimal setup of the Chevrolet. Despite the handling issues, Pagenaud remained a top-five car all race long. Only briefly did the team slip out of the top-five during a round of green-flag pit stops.
- On lap 191, Felix Rosenqvist spun bringing out the caution, placing Pagenaud in the second position for the final restart.
- Unfortunately, Pagenaud lined up behind several lapped cars during the late caution and was unable to pass eventual race winner Scott Dixon on the final lap and finished second.
- Pagenaud will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway Fourth of July weekend as NASCAR and INDYCAR compete for their first double-header. The team also returns to the track for the first time as the reigning champions of the 2019 Indianapolis 500 and INDYCAR Grand Prix.
"We knew coming in it was going to be a tough situation for the INDYCAR SERIES putting together the race and making sure we could put on the show to entertain people. That's what we do, that's what this business is about. I'm very proud to carry the DXC Technology colors here, you know they are from Texas. It was just an intense night. We had balance changes – some stints we went really loose, one stint we had understeer, it was very difficult to understand so I had to be really cognizant of that with the adjustments in the race car. At the end, we managed to take some front wing out and it came back to us and it was a lot of fun, I enjoyed it."