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Josef Newgarden Wins His 2nd IndyCar Series Championship

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Chris Owens-IndyCar Series

MONTEREY, CA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden won his second NTT IndyCar Series title in three years by finishing eighth in Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

“I was just happy we were able to get through today,” said Newgarden, a Franklin Tennessee native.  “It was kind of a chaotic event.  There were times I didn’t think it was going to go our way.  The most important thing was for a Team Penske car to win the Championship, and that’s the was we devised our strategy, and you hope it works out in your favor.”

The Championship was team owner Roger Penske’s 16th title and fourth in the last six years.

“Josef’s a great Champion,” said Penske.  “You can see it in his eyes.  You could see it the first time he won with us and with Will (Power) and Simon (Pagenaud), who just had an outstanding season, when you think about three wins and certainly the Indy 500 is the crown jewel that all of us want to have every year.”

Pagenaud finished fourth in the race and second in the Championship.

“I won Indianapolis this year,” said Pagenaud.  “There’s nothing to be disappointed about.  We finished second.  That’s the second time we’ve finished second in the Championship.  We won the Championship in ’16.  But I’m just equally happy for Josef and the whole team, to wrap up the Indy 500 and the Championship in one year is just absolutely incredible.”

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Andretti Autosports Alexander Rossi finished sixth in the race and ultimately finished third in the Championship.

“It is the way it goes,” said Rossi.  “It is the way the chips fell.  Nonetheless, I think the No. 27 NAPA Andretti Honda has some highlights this year.  Ultimately, we just weren’t good enough.  We need to regroup and work hard this offseason.”

PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon finished third in the race and ended up fourth in the Championship.

“The car was by far better on the red Firestone (Alternate) tires than the black primaries,” said Dixon.  “There was a ton of tire degradation and it kind of threw us for a loop.  Great result for PNC Bank, great for Honda winning the manufacturer title.”

Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta won the race in dominant fashion, leading 83 of the 90-laps to pick up his second victory of the season.

“It was a perfect race,” said Herta.  “Whenever you win an IndyCar race, it has to be a perfect race.  You can’t really make mistakes and get away with it, just because there’s always two or three other guys on that day that can win.  We had the pay on them and we were definitely the best today, so we deserved to win.”

The win for Honda was its eighth of the year while clinching its second consecutive Engine Manufacturer’s Championship.

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IndyCar

The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast – Episode 15 – Aaron Reutzel, Matthew Dillner, Chip Ganassi and more!

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast features the 2-time and defending Champion of the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 Aaron Reutzel.  We also talk to Matthew Dillner of Dirty Mo Media about the new show he co-hosts with Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chip Ganassi takes his own trip down memory lane and we hear from Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials about safety protocols in place at this year’s Indy 500.

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Racing Notebook: Cole Pearn Joins Ed Carpenter Racing; Paul Tracy Joins SRX and Road To Indy At Mid-Ohio

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has news about Engineer Cole Pearn joining Ed Carpenter Racing for the Indy 500 plus Paul Tracy joins SRX Racing.

Cole Pearn Joins Ed Carpenter Racing For The Indy 500:

  • Championship-winning Crew Chief Cole Pearn is joining Ed Carpenter Racing for the Indianapolis 500.  Pearn will serve as the lead engineer for Conor Daly. Daly will compete in ECR’s third entry, the No. 47 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet.  Pearn and driver Martin Truex Jr captured the NASCAR Cup Series title in 2017 with Furniture Row Racing.  Pearn left full-time NASCAR competition at the close of the 2019 season, returning to his home country of Canada with his wife Carrie and their two young children. The couple now own and operate Golden Alpine Holidays, which includes four backcountry lodges in British Columbia.
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Paul Tracy and Tony Kanaan Join SRX Racing Series:

  • Paul Tracy and Tony Kanaan are signed on as drivers in the Superstar Racing Experience, the new series founded by Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham. Tracy joins Tony Stewart and Tony Kanaan as the third confirmed driver for the series that will air Saturday nights in primetime on CBS Television Network in the Summer of 2021.

Road To Indy Racing At Mid-Ohio:

  • Braden Eves from New Albany Ohio too home the victory in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Complex.  Eves held off Daniel Frost and Parker Thompson, who rounded out the podium.  Colin Kaminsky, who is the goaltender for the University of Pittsburgh Hockey Team, finished sixth.
  • Christian Rasmussen was victorious Wednesday afternoon in the USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires Honoring First Responders. Second-generation Brazilian racer Eduardo Barrichello held on for a career-best second-place finish, despite a determined challenge from 15-year-old Floridian Reece Gold who also secured his best result to date for Cape Motorsports.
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7-time NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson Tests Chip Ganassi Racing INDYCAR

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Chris Owens

SPEEDWAY, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson is spending his Tuesday testing one of Chip Ganassi Racing’s INDYCAR’s on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Johnson was supposed to test at the Speedway on July 8 following the INDYCAR/NASCAR doubleheader weekend on the Fourth of July, but Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 forcing him to miss the Brickyard 400.  Johnson tested negative for the virus a few days later and only missed that one race, opening the door to reschedule this test.

Johnson climbed aboard the No. 10 NTT Data Honda that is usually driven by Felix Rosenqvist and after his initial run he hopped on the team radio.  CGR Managing Director Mike Hull shared Johnson’s comment on his Twitter feed.

5-Time NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion Scott Dixon, driver of the No. 9 PNC Bank CGR Honda, was on hand to help Johnson too.

Seven-time even took a few minutes to thank five-time:

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No official speeds were available but if Johnson’s social media posts were any indication it was a productive day.

 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles presented Johnson with a gift following the test.

Johnson has expressed an interest in competing in a few INDYCAR races in 2021 since he is retiring from full-time NASCAR competition following the 2020 season and after the day seemed like he’s ready to give it a try.

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