Chevrolet and Josef Newgarden Celebrate 2019 Season

Team CHEVY Photo

In auto racing, as in a successful business, people make the difference.
Team owner Roger Penske knows the value of individuals who execute as a team for the good of the organization, and he experienced it again September 22 in the NTT IndyCar Series season finale September 22 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.

“The continuity of our team and the people make the difference,” the team owner said after joining driver Josef Newgarden on stage to celebrate the driver/entrant championship. “I think when we go to Indy, we have almost 700 years of experience around these cars, which makes a huge difference.”

In the span of four months, Penske has realized his 18th Indianapolis 500 victory compliments of Simon Pagenaud in the No. 22 Chevrolet-powered Team Penske race car and his 16th Indy car championship with Newgarden behind the wheel of the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet.

“I just have to say thanks to our people, (team president) Tim Cindric and our sponsors, Chevy, great power for the whole season,” Penske said after the grueling 90-lap race that capped a challenging 17-race schedule. “Josef, a great champion. You can see it in his eyes. You could see it the first time he won with us, and with Will (Power) and Simon, who just had an outstanding season, and certainly the Indy 500 is the crown jewel that all of us want to have every year.”

Newgarden delivered a field-high four victories enroute to his second championship. Pagenaud, runner-up in the championship standings, swept the May races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and tacked on a win in Toronto. Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, won two of the final four races and was runner-up in the finale.

With Pagenaud delivering the Indianapolis 500 win, and Newgarden’s title, it was another strong season for Chevrolet in the NTT IndyCar Series. Overall, drivers of the 2.2-liter, twin turbocharged, direct-injected Chevrolet V6 engine amassed nine victories, nine pole starts and 19 podium finishes in the 17 races. Since returning to NTT IndyCar Series manufacturer competition in 2012, Chevrolet has collected 82 wins and 92 poles in the 135 races.

Newgarden has collected 14 victories since graduating to NTT IndyCar Series competition in 2012 – all in a Chevrolet-powered race car.
Gingerly holding the Astor Cup aloft for the second time since 2017, an emotional Newgarden said winning the championship “really hit me.”
“I don’t know why, but it feels more special. I don’t know if you don’t have quite the respect for it or what it is,” said Newgarden, whose 80-year-old grandmother made the trip from Denmark to share the exciting weekend. “When you’re in a season, those opportunities (to win) come every single week, but to win a championship, it doesn’t come every week. That opportunity seldom is there.

“I think this one just felt like it was more ours to lose. It was more ours to give away. I thought it was our year to win, and if we didn’t, it was just going to hurt a lot. Just the effort would have been — not for nothing, but it just would have felt pretty bad to throw away what we had put together all season.”

The 2020 season begins March 15 in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Newgarden will likely be carrying the No. 1 on the side of the Chevrolet again. He’s looking forward to the challenges.

“I think we can put together a better season than what we did this season, and that makes me feel pretty good going forward,” he said. “I think as a team we can always do better, but me personally I can do better than what I’ve done this year, so we’re going to focus on trying to turn it up a notch next season.”

That includes joining teammates Pagenaud and Power as Indianapolis 500 winners.

“You can give your best there and you hope lady luck shines on you one day around that place, and I hope it does for us in the future, but I’m certainly going to be happy about what we put together over the last three years,” he said. “Just being a part of this organization, it’s been a dream ride so far.”

Inside Track Communications PR

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