No. 1 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 1st – (10th-career pole, 2nd of 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season)
Laps Completed: 55/55
Laps Led: 25
Points Position: 4th (-71)
Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet began the NTT INDYCAR SERIES REV Group Grand Prix – Race 1 at Road America on the pole and led laps early, but problems on pit road and an extra pit stop near the end of the race forced the team to a 14th-place finish on Saturday.
Despite jumping out to an early lead, Newgarden discussed tire degradation with team strategist Tim Cindric and decided to pit on lap 14 for fuel, tires and a front wing adjustment.
Continuing to find himself with a nearly 10-second lead on the field, Newgarden pitted again on lap 27 but stalled the car while exiting. A delay while trying to restart cost the PPG Chevrolet quite a bit of track position, falling back to 13th.
Despite the lost track position, Newgarden was able to race his way back to the top-10 and then needed to survive a number of late-race restarts. However, during one of those restarts, he locked up the front tires diving into turn one, causing a flat spotted tire. With 12 laps to go, Newgarden was forced to make an unscheduled stop and lost more track position.
He made up a couple of positions at the end, but could manage no more than a 14th-place finish at the end.
Quote: “That was a tough one. We had such a strong PPG Chevy and the guys did such a great job putting together such a fast car. We started on the pole and at the beginning of the race, we were just trying to hold track position. I think at one point, we had about a eight second lead. Unfortunately, we had a problem in the pits and stalled the car. It took us a while to get it restarted and that lost all the gap we had built and from there and we were fighting from behind. We had gotten back into the top 10 and I just locked up the tires going into turn one on one of those late restarts. So our day went from a great to pretty bad pretty quickly. But hey, that’s racing – we just didn’t take advantage of our opportunities today. I’m thankful we have another shot tomorrow, since I really love racing at this place. We’re going to take a look at a few things tonight to make sure we have a solid plan going into tomorrow’s qualifying session with the PPG Chevrolet. I’m confident our guys will put together another fast car tomorrow.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!