June 9, 2024 | By IndyCar PR

Power Ends Drought To Lead Penske Podium Perfection at Road America

Photo by IndyCar photo

ELKHART LKAE, Wis. — The drought is over for Will Power.

Power earned his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES victory since June 2022 at Detroit – a span of 34 races – to lead a podium sweep Sunday by Team Penske at the XPEL Grand Prix of Road America presented by AMR. Power had won at least one race for 16 consecutive seasons from 2007-22 before going winless in 2023.

Two-time series champion Power, who started fifth, drove his No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet to a 3.2609-second victory over teammate Josef Newgarden in the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet. Scott McLaughlin finished third in the No. 3 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet, 8.0148 seconds behind Power.

Power’s 42nd career victory, tying him for fourth with Michael Andretti for all-time INDYCAR SERIES wins, created one of the more emotional, cathartic victory lanes this season in the series. Power was embraced tearfully by his wife, Liz, who Power cared for during her serious illness last year, and his son, Beau, among other team members and friends.

“Massively special,” Power said of the win. “We’ve worked so hard to try to get wins. I worked really hard in the offseason. Obviously, last season was very stressful. Had half a mind at home and half at the track, so it was very difficult to perform at a high level there.

“Man, I’m just stoked. I’m very happy, man. That was very well deserved for the whole team. We worked so hard for that.”

This was the first podium sweep by a team in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES since Andretti Global drivers Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay took the top three spots in September 2020 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Team Penske’s last podium sweep came in September 2017 at Sonoma Raceway with Simon Pagenaud, Newgarden and Power finishing in that respective order.

Power also took the championship lead by five points over Alex Palou, who finished fourth in the No. 10 DHL Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Kyle Kirkwood rounded out the top five in the No. 27 AutoNation Honda of Andretti Global.

The race started in chaotic fashion on Lap 1 when NTT P1 Award winner Linus Lundqvist’s No. 8 American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda was hit from behind into a spin in Turn 1 by the No. 11 Ridgeline Lubricants Chip Ganassi Racing Honda of teammate Marcus Armstrong.

Newgarden narrowly escaped that incident, as the accordion effect of that fracas forced his nose to hit the rear of front row starter Colton Herta’s No. 26 Gainbridge Honda of Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian, sending Herta’s car into a spin.

Kirkwood took the lead after that incident, with McLaughlin right behind. McLaughlin passed Kirkwood in Turn 1 for the lead on Lap 4 and stayed there until Lap 16, when Newgarden took the top spot after McLaughlin’s first pit stop.

By that point, Power had crept into the top five, and tire tactics began to unfold on the leaders’ respective pit boxes.

Newgarden completed the first 17 laps of the 55-lap race on Firestone Firehawk alternate tires, while McLaughlin and Power stayed on Firestone primary tires for their first two stops. INDYCAR rules state drivers must use both tire compounds for at least two laps in each road or street course race.

Alternate, red-sidewall tires had more speed but less durability. So, it appeared Newgarden was in good shape to drive to victory since he already used his alternate tires early in the race, while his two teammates had to run a stint with the alternate tires in the second half of the race.

The pivotal point came on the final pit stops by the Penske lead trio. McLaughlin came to pit road first, shedding his alternate tires for primaries at the end of Lap 42. Newgarden pitted one lap later, staying with a final set of primary tires. He exited pit road well ahead of McLaughlin, as the “overcut” strategy worked.

Power waited until the end of Lap 44 to replace his alternate tires with a fresh set of primary Firestones. The deepest of the “overcuts” prevailed, as Power exited pit lane ahead of Newgarden.

Two-time series champion Newgarden made one final attempt to pass Newgarden at the start of Lap 46, but he couldn’t finish the move. Power then cycled to the lead on Lap 49 as slower drivers on alternate pit strategies made their final stops, and he was never challenged again.

“It was a really good team day,” Newgarden said. “Will did a great job, too. Look, he deserved to win that race, as well.

“We put together a great day. We just probably misstepped there at the end. I feel bad that I came in a lap early. I probably should have stayed out.”

The next NTT INDYCAR SERIES event is the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on Sunday, June 23 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Live coverage starts at 6 p.m. ET on the USA Network, Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.



XPEL GRAND PRIX AT ROAD AMERICA RACE RESULTS

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Results Sunday of the XPEL Grand Prix at Road America presented by AMR NTT INDYCAR SERIES event on the 4.014-mile Road America, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (5) Will Power, Chevrolet, 55, Running
2. (6) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 55, Running
3. (8) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 55, Running
4. (7) Alex Palou, Honda, 55, Running
5. (4) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 55, Running
6. (2) Colton Herta, Honda, 55, Running
7. (14) Romain Grosjean, Chevrolet, 55, Running
8. (11) Pato O'Ward, Chevrolet, 55, Running
9. (15) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 55, Running
10. (24) Graham Rahal, Honda, 55, Running
11. (13) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 55, Running
12. (1) Linus Lundqvist, Honda, 55, Running
13. (18) Theo Pourchaire, Chevrolet, 55, Running
14. (22) Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 55, Running
15. (19) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 55, Running
16. (25) Pietro Fittipaldi, Honda, 55, Running
17. (26) Sting Ray Robb, Chevrolet, 55, Running
18. (9) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 55, Running
19. (27) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 55, Running
20. (16) Christian Rasmussen, Chevrolet, 55, Running
21. (10) Scott Dixon, Honda, 55, Running
22. (23) Luca Ghiotto, Honda, 55, Running
23. (21) Nolan Siegel, Chevrolet, 54, Running
24. (17) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 53, Running
25. (20) Jack Harvey, Honda, 51, Running
26. (3) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 35, Mechanical
27. (12) Kyffin Simpson, Honda, 5, Contact

Race Statistics
Winner's average speed: 126.154 mph
Time of race: 1:45:00.0267
Margin of victory: 3.2609 seconds
Cautions: 3 for 6 laps
Lead changes: 13 among 7 drivers
Lap leaders:
Kirkwood, Kyle 1 - 3
McLaughlin, Scott 4 - 15
Newgarden, Josef 16
Palou, Alex 17 - 18
Herta, Colton 19 - 20
Rosenqvist, Felix 21 - 23
McLaughlin, Scott 24 - 29
Newgarden, Josef 30 - 31
Palou, Alex 32
Herta, Colton 33 - 35
Newgarden, Josef 36 - 42
Power, Will 43 - 44
Herta, Colton 45 - 48
Power, Will 49 - 55

NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings: Power 236, Palou 231, Dixon 225, O'Ward 184, McLaughlin 179, Kirkwood 179, Herta 176, Newgarden 169, Rossi 162, Rosenqvist 157, Lundgaard 141, Ferrucci 132, Ericsson 130, Armstrong 121, Rahal 121, Grosjean 112, VeeKay 109, Lundqvist 100, Simpson 81, Fittipaldi 81, Pourchaire 75, Canapino 74, Robb 68, Rasmussen 65, Harvey 65, Blomqvist 46, Ilott 39, Castroneves 26, Ghiotto 22, Daly 21, Larson 21, Sato 19, Siegel 17, Carpenter 14, Vautier 12, Braun 10, Hunter-Reay 6, Andretti 5, Legge 5

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