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Alex Palou wins INDYCAR Rev Group Grand Prix at Road America

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Chris Owens/INDYCAR

ELKHART LAKE, WI (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou passed Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden on a restart with two laps-to-go to win Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rev Group Grand Prix at Road America.

The win was Palou’s second of the year, CGR’s fourth of 2021 and third straight at Road America where the team swept both races in 2020.

“Thank you to all the guys on the No. 10 car,” said Palou. “It was amazing.  We had a really good car during the race. We were able to overtake him before the corner. I’m super happy and super proud of this Chip Ganassi Racing Team. I can’t believe it!”

The drama unfolded after the final caution flag of the race flew for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan’s Ed Jones, who had a left rear failure on the No. 18 Sealmaster Honda.

On the ensuing restart Newgarden led the field up the hill to the green flag but shortly after passing the start/finish line Newgarden’s Hitachi Chevrolet lost forward drive and began to slow allowing Palou to pass Newgarden before turn one.

Newgarden continued to fall through the field eventually dropping to the last car on the lead lap where he had to settle for a 21st place finish.

“I couldn’t get it to shift into sixth gear,” said Newgarden. “And then I got it stuck in fifth in turn one and finally got it to go down, but just could not get it to upshift after that. So I got it down to first essentially. Just trying to stay out of the way after that because I couldn’t get it to upshift after that. I’m not sure what happened. Obviously it’s disappointing for all of us. I know we had a great car. We had a good car all day and were doing everything we had to do. We were surviving the yellows. Surviving the fuel game. We had a rocket ship.”

Palou knew the restart was going to be critical so he was doing everything he could to stay as close to Newgarden’s gearbox as possible.

Three Rivers Karting

“I was on my Push-to-Pass, and as soon as I saw I was in fifth gear and I saw I couldn’t get him, I saved my Push-to-Pass, and as soon as I saw that there was something weird, like I was getting a lot of tow I thought, I pressed it again and said, oh, wow,” said Palou. “So I didn’t really see if he had an issue or not. Obviously I saw later, but at that moment I just thought, oh, wow, we had a lot of power

Palou meanwhile put the hammer down and crossed the finish line 1.9106-seconds ahead of Andretti Autosports Colton Herta who finished second.

“I think we had third place pace and that was where we were going to finish until Josef had that problem”, said Herta. “Car felt really good. Guys did an amazing job in the pits to gain me a few spots on track and put us on the podium in the second spot.”

Team Penske’s Will Power finished third and could empathize with Newgarden as Power saw victory slip from his grasp last week in Detroit when his car wouldn’t start, while leading, following a red flag.

“Man, you just don’t know what it is about our team right now,” lamented Power. “We almost have a win in the bag and something just ridiculous happens, like just something that — I don’t know what it was, but things that you couldn’t prep for, something that you couldn’t avoid. It’s like my thing was just a switch, just a weird glitch in the system in Detroit, and I don’t know what his was this time. But yeah, unbelievable.”

Palou’s CGR teammate Scott Dixon started 13th and methodically worked his way up through the field to finish in fourth place.

The victory allowed Palou to regain the Championship points lead by 28-points over Arrow McLaren SP’s Patricio O’Ward.  Dixon, who is battling for a record-tying seventh title is lurking 53-points back in third place.  Newgarden’s troubles left him fourth in points, 88-points behind Palou.

The next NTT INDYCAR SERIES race is the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on the 4th of July.

INDYCAR Road America Results

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Scott Dixon looking to get season and title fight on track at Mid-Ohio

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Penske Entertainment

LEXINGTON, OH (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon is looking to get back to victory lane and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Complex could be exactly what ‘the Iceman’ needs.

Chip Ganassi Racing has 11-wins at Mid-Ohio, the 13-turn 2.258-mile permanent road course 181-miles West of Pittsburgh.  The list of winners includes Alex Zanardi (1996, 1997), Juan Pablo Montoya (1999), Dario Franchitti (2010), Charlie Kimball (2013) and Dixon (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2019).

“I think the last to first of course was probably the best one,” recalled Dixon. “Obviously the most unexpected one where I think where we were able to save a ton of fuel. We kind of caught a caution, which I think was Ryan Hunter-Reay, at the perfect time and went on to win”.

The 1-2 finish between he and one of his CGR teammates was one of the most memorable too.

“I think that probably was the craziest one was with Felix Rosenqvist, a few years back, where it was a two-stop strategy against a three-stop strategy. We drove the tires off, and I think I had a whole logjam behind me the last three or four laps.”

Three Rivers Karting

Dixon and the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda team is looking up at a logjam in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Championship where Dixon sits sixth, 67-points behind teammate Marcus Ericsson.

“I think as a group and as a team, we just haven’t been getting the job done,” said Dixon, a 6-time Series Champion. “I was hoping that the Indy 500 was going to be that turn and kick that we needed, but yeah, it’s been an interesting year, lots of ups and downs and some missed opportunities. We’ll keep after it.”

Dixon, and his teammates, have come up as part of rumors swirling about driver movement in coming seasons.  Dixon said he has not been part of those conversations and is happy where he is at.

“I haven’t been a part of any of these conversations, so not really sure where a lot of these things come from,” said Dixon.  “Obviously people talk. I even got a few messages from people asking about the same thing. For me I love doing what I’m doing, I love being a part of the team that I’m with, and who knows what comes in the future, but as of right now just focusing on this season. Yeah, that’s all I’ve got to say really. There’s nothing to it.”

Dixon and the rest of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES competitors hit the track for 1st practice Friday at 3:30 p.m.  Tickets are available at www.midohio.com.

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Josef Newgarden puts the PPG colors in victory lane at Road America

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Penske Entertainment: Chris Owens

ELKHART LAKE, WI (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Josef Newgarden leapfrogged leader Alexander Rossi during green flag pit stops and held off a hard-charging Marcus Ericsson late in the race to win Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America.

The victory was Newgarden’s third of the year and came with a $1-million dollar bonus from PeopleReady.  The bonus went to the first driver to win on an oval (Texas) a street course (Long Beach) and a road course (Road America).  The money will be spit with half going to Newgarden and Team Penske and the other half to charities of Newgarden’s choice.

“To finally get it done and most importantly to give that money to charity, half of that money is going to charity with SeriousFun Network and Wags and Walks Nashville,” said Newgarden. “I hope they’re happy about it, that’s a lot of money coming their way.”

Newgarden started second and tucked in behind Rossi, the pole sitter, for the first 14-laps when the first round of green flag pit stops took place.  Newgarden’s No. 2 PPG Chevy crew got the two-time Series Champion out ahead of Rossi and as the rest of the field completed their stops.  Newgarden inherited the lead.

“You’ve got to be on your toes at all times (in this series),” said Newgarden. “You can go in with a plan, but you probably have to change your plan 90 percent of the time once the race starts to unfold.”

Three Rivers Karting

Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson finished second in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda after passing Rossi on a late restart.  The runner-up finish came despite Ericsson making contact with his teammate, and defending Series Champion, Alex Palou while racing for third in Turn 5 on Lap 4.

“First of all, I’m really sorry,” Ericsson said. “You never want to have contact with a teammate. From my point of view, the door was open, and I was already side by side. If you see a gap, you go for it. It’s important at the beginning of the race to get track position.”

Ericsson regained the points lead with the second place finish and sits 27-points ahead of 2nd place Will Power (293-266).  Power, last week’s winner at Detroit, finished 19th after rookie Devlin Defrancesco punted Power into the Turn 5 wall early in the race.

The next NTT INDYCAR SERIES race is The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by the All-New Civic Type R on Sunday, July 3 (noon ET, NBC, Peacock Premium, INDYCAR Radio Network).  Mid-Ohio is the closest track to Pittsburgh that the NTT INDYCAR SERIES races.

INDYCAR Road America Results

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Racing Notebook: Rossi on INDYCAR pole; Larson on Cup pole; Busch wins Truck Race

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Sunday’s Racing Notebook has details on the starting lineups for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at Road America and the NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma as well as Kyle Busch winning another truck series race>

Rossi on INDYCAR Series Pole:

  • Andretti Autosports Alexander Rossi earned his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES pole position in three years by beating Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden in knockout-style qualifying for Sunday’s race at Road America.  Rossi’s fast lap of 1 minute, 44.8656 seconds edged Newgarden’s 1:44.9371 in the No. 2 PPG Chevrolet. Defending series champion Alex Palou, who led the final warmup session on Saturday afternoon, qualified third at 1:45.3822 in the No. 10 American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Teammate and 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson joins Palou in the second row after his best lap of 1:45.4240 in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Road America INDYCAR Lineup
Three Rivers Karting

Larson Leads Hendrick Cup Series Front Row:

  • Hendrick Motorsports Kyle Larson is on the pole position for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma.  Larson’s fast lap of 92.111 mph (1m70.776s) edged teammate Chase Elliott’s 92.083 mph in the No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet.  Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing’s Chris Buescher qualified third at 91.919 mph after missing last week’s race due to Covid-19. Michael McDowell starts fourth after posting a fast lap of 91.916. Sonoma Cup Lineup

Kyle Busch Wins Truck Series Race:

  • Kyle Busch held off Zane Smith to earn his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory of the year Saturday at Sonoma.  The win extended his record career total to 62 series victories and a streak of 10 consecutive years with at least one series win.  Busch led 45 of the 75 laps in the victory.  Wexford’s Kris Wright finished 26th in the No. 44 FNB Chevrolet after starting 30th in his first race at Sonoma. Sonoma Truck Results
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