What IndyCar drivers said after Saturday’s race at Gateway

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A roundup of quotes and social media posts from NTT IndyCar Series drivers Saturday after the opener of the race weekend doubleheader at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, where Scott Dixon earned his 50th career victory:

1st – Scott Dixon (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It’s awesome. I can’t thank the PNC Bank crew enough. Superb race all day. Sato was going to be strong at the end, but I didn’t realize how strong he was coming. We were kind of going into a reserve mode, looking after the engine, and he was there with a head of steam. Just so happy for this team. Last week at Indianapolis was a bit of a bummer. So, it was nice to get a win. Fifty – that sounds awesome. We’ve got to keep on truckin ’ and get a few more. But I can’t thank Honda and HPD enough. I’m proud to be powered by them and what they’ve done, especially this year, is just phenomenal, and how quick their cars have been. This is just awesome.”

2nd – Takuma Sato (No. 30 ABeam Consulting Honda): “Obviously, the team did a fantastic job. From last week, we carried a lot of momentum. We lost some places at the beginning of the race. I wasn’t entirely comfortable in the car. But we were strong. Big congrats to Ganassi and (Scott) Dixon. Fantastic win. My ABeam  car was phenomenal. Yeah, it was a great job.” (If not for problem in pit lane, was this race yours to win?): “It sometimes happens in a race. I make a mistake; there’s a mechanical failure sometimes. That pit stop was frustrating, but everybody is on the same team. The boys did a great job two weeks in a row. I’m very proud of them.”

3rd – Pato O’Ward (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “I think we got some really solid points for the championship. We led quite a bit of the race, and in the end, I thought we had a clean, fast pit stop. My in and out laps were very strong, but (Scott) Dixon got us by a little bit. He’s a tough guy to beat. We had a very strong run, but I had nothing for Takuma (Sato) and Scott. I had to maintain where I was and salvage the podium from there. Tomorrow, we just have to work on the No. 5 Arrow  McLaren SP Chevrolet a little bit, and hopefully we can challenge for the win at the end.”

4th – Colton Herta (No. 88 Capstone Turbine #ShiftToGreen Honda): “It was a fairly straightforward race for me, honestly. We didn’t have a lot of passing but a really good  strategy. I tried to make the fuel number, keep my distance and save the front tires. We made an incredibly good fuel number with the Capstone car. We went the longest on the first stint then was able to go that much longer on every stint after. We caught the yellow, and that kind of gave us our break. We had good in and out laps, so we got around Marcus (Ericsson) in pit stop cycles, and that was pretty much it. I don’t think I made a single pass on track. Strategy and knowing how to save fuel efficiently will be important for tomorrow, along with overall racecraft around this place and how to follow cars – so I think we have some takeaways from today.”

5th – Marcus Ericsson (No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “Running that close to the podium, you want to be on that podium. The car is fast and I’m still learning. I thought it was a good day in general. We had a strong qualifying with my career-best qualifying result at P4. Then, we had a strong race. Obviously being that close to a podium was tempting, but still P5 is a good result for the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda. I think it was a good race and something we can build on for tomorrow.”

6th – Rinus VeeKay (No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet): “Stellar race! We were on our way to the podium, I think, but that yellow kind of screwed me. I kept my chin up and had a great car to make passes with. The No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet was great in the second lane when there were no marbles. I’ve learned luck really isn’t our thing, but we did the best we could with the circumstances. It did get a little sketchy on the last run; I almost lost it a few times. It was 200 laps of experience today and some good points. I’m very happy and I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

7th – Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 DHL Honda): “We started eighth and finished seventh, so it may not look like much, but we really hung in there all day. Coming out of practice yesterday, we didn’t get any actual runs due to a brake issue, so to qualify eighth today was all right for us, and we really soldiered through the race. We went backwards on one strategy call, and the next one — going fast in clean track – worked, so it was a bit of a see-saw there. It was a really solid  day in the pits by the 28 DHL guys. I’m proud of them as they put in a lot of work. With our only real run time being today’s race, we’re taking away everything we can from today, and hopefully Race 2 tomorrow is better.”

8th- Felix Rosenqvist (No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It was my best oval finish so far. We had a tough day yesterday. I thought we bounced back pretty well today. I’m a little disappointed because we had a better finish going, but then I screwed it up in one of the restarts. I got really loose in turn two and I was lucky that I got away with it because I was  really close to spinning there. There wasn’t much overtaking going on. The team had a great strategy. Every call was perfect. A P8 finish is definitely in the right direction.”

9th – Tony Kanaan (No. 14 Big Machine Vodka / AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Very good result for us. Best result for the team this year. Obviously, this place, I had a podium here last year. We have one more tomorrow. Awesome, awesome result. The guys had good pit stops. Thanks to Big Machine Vodka for the help and nice to see some fans in the stands, too. Emotional day for me — one more day, so I’ll see if I can sleep tonight. Good day for us.”

10th – Conor Daly (No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet): “I think we had a great car today in the race with the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet. Qualifying was a bit confusing for us. We aren’t really sure  where our pace went, but once we got to the race, we were fantastic, strong and able to pass cars. The rain was a huge factor for us – no idea where that came from. We were making all the right strategy calls and decided to pit a little early to undercut Colton (Herta). When we came out of the pits, we ran the three fastest laps of the race at that point, and then unfortunately there was the yellow for the rain. It just absolutely killed our race, and from then on, we were really just trying to recover. We were able to still finish in the top 10, which is great for us, but I really think without the rain we could’ve been on the podium or at least in the top five since we were faster than Colton, who finished fourth. Thankfully, we know we have a fast car, and we get another chance tomorrow to do it again.”

11th Jack Harvey (No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda):  “We were on track to have a really good day. We were running in either fourth or fifth for the first half of the race, and the car felt great; the guys had great stops. But when that yellow came out for rain, it really turned our race upside down. I’m still trying to wrap my head around why it was called since there wasn’t any rain that I saw on track. We’re doing everything we can to try and show up to races and be competitive. We know that we have a really good race car for tomorrow’s race, so we will focus on that and getting the result that we deserve.”

12th Josef Newgarden (No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “That was a frustrating race for the Hitachi team. That caution came out totally at the wrong time, and we lost all of  our track position and everything we’d worked for up to that point. The team had great stops, and we gained some positions on each of our first two pit stops. I think without the caution, we would have cycled out in the right position and been up there in the top three and got to battle it out. Instead, the caution ruined our day, and we were just fighting from behind. The Hitachi car was good, and Chevy brought some great power. Just nothing you can do when the caution falls. This just makes me more hungry to go out there tomorrow and win the race.”

13th — Charlie Kimball (No. 4 Tresiba / AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet):  “I feel pretty good about the race for the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet. Went off strategy early, it paid off with the yellow for the little bit of rain, got some track position and was able to hold that track position. On that last stop, the 14 and the 4, we kind of split strategies, so it felt really good to see them come in the top 10. We didn’t quite get the top 10 that was there, but had the yellow fallen right, we’d have had a really good  result. Great strategy, great pit stops all day long. We’ll figure out how to make the car better overnight and do it again tomorrow.”

14th — Oliver Askew (No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “A really rough start today. Everyone seemed to check up in front of me in the midfield and made some contact with the front wing. Luckily, the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet crew were able to replace the wing and keep me on the lead lap. Our race was compromised from the start, but we salvaged what we could. I’m looking forward to tomorrow with a better starting position.”

15th — Alex Palou (No. 55 Guaranteed Rate Honda): “The race didn’t start off like we wanted. I tried to avoid hitting the car in front of me as we were coming to take the green flag. They checked up in front of me, and I pulled out of line to avoid contact, but I still got penalized for pulling out of line before the green. Because of that, we got sent to the back and started last. From there, we just tried to make our way back up. We were a bit lucky with the yellow and made it back to the top 10. However, on the last restart, I lost some places. We tried to go long before our last pit stop , hoping that a caution would come out, but it didn’t go our way. Tomorrow we have another race, and the No. 55 Guaranteed Rate car is really strong, so I’m looking forward to it.”

16th — Santino Ferrucci (No. 18 SealMaster Honda): “With limited practice yesterday, it took me the first stint to get used to the car. We went with a different fuel strategy, which with a late caution, played in our favor. It put us up to 10th. We had a killer restart and moved into fifth. We rode there and things were looking real promising until the final pit stop. We had a major mistake during the stop and ended up in the back of the field.”

17th — Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “That was not the race that Verizon, Chevrolet or my team deserved out there today. Our car was pretty good. It was really hard  to get close to guys and hard to pass when you got around them. A lot of us were just running the same speed. So, when it’s like that, it’s all about track position, and we lost ours with that caution. The race was over after that. Then we had a tire go down, and that was that. We just have to go back after it tomorrow at this point.”

18th — Graham Rahal (No. 15 United Rentals Honda): “I’m clearly disappointed with the end result . I thought that after the start, when a lot of our competitors were involved in that crash, I thought that maybe we would have a good day and be able to put our heads down and work through things, but, instead, on Lap 29 we had GCU problems. Somehow a napkin got in there and lodged itself in the GCU cooling tube and overheated one and then overheated another. Unfortunately, it was just one of those days that we struggled with the chassis handling but also just had poor luck with sucking up a napkin. It’s certainly frustrating and disappointing, but there is always tomorrow.”

19th — Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “Definitely not fun out there. I just feel sorry for Chevy and for Menards. I think we had a good car today and never even got a chance to really test it for tomorrow. That was a little too much excitement for the start of the race at the back. The front of the pack slowed down; I don’t know if it was the accordion affect or whatever that was. We had to pull out of line, and  all of a sudden someone hit us from behind. It is what it is, but it’s very unfortunate. You aren’t going to win the race in the first corner. People just need to be more patient. We’ll be back tomorrow.”

20th — Ed Carpenter (No. 20 United States Air Force Chevrolet): “I am pretty bummed out. Second race in a row that I’ve been representing one of the Forces, the U.S. Air Force this weekend. I was basically out of the race before it started, also for the second race in a row. Zach Veach is the current theme right now. He obviously didn’t see the yellow flag or the bright yellow car spinning on the track.”

21st — Zach Veach (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda):  “The situation with (Simon) Pagenaud on the start, I think I had a better run than a lot of the guys in front of me, and I was faced with the decision to either hit Pagenaud head-on or get to the bottom. The bottom was moving, but unfortunately those guys got on the brakes at the same time I did. But for whatever reason, I couldn’t get the car stopped. I got to the (brake) pedal and I pumped it – by that time I was too close to stop the car and struggled to get the brakes engaged. I hate it for the people involved, and, obviously, it makes us look a little stupid. A big thank you to my Gainbridge  crew for fixing what they could so quickly and get us back out there for a shakedown. It’s frustrating. It looks bad, but I physically couldn’t have done anything else to slow the car down. For those that were involved, they understand, but from the outside, it doesn’t look as good as it is.”

22nd — Alexander Rossi (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation Honda):  “I thought at least a top five was possible, and we didn’t even get to do 100 feet. There’s just no way around the disappointment. I was going in a straight line (coming to the green) and just got drilled. We just got hit. It sucks, really. Everything about this year has felt like a disaster, so we will see the rest of it goes. Fortunately, Ryan (Hunter-Reay) and Colton (Herta) were on a similar kind of setup as to what I was on, and the race went OK for them, so we’ll take what we can from that for tomorrow. We still want to win races, and that’s what we are here for. It’s very frustrating for the NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation boys. But in the big scheme of things, there’s a lot bigger issues in the world right now in 2020, so this is relatively minor, but it still sucks.”

23rd — Marco Andretti No. 98 Oberto Specialty Meats / Circle K Honda): “Sad to see the day end before it began for us. I saw everything happening in front of me and had the car whoa’d up. I got the car stopped, and then (Zach) Veach got into the back of me. Just really disappointed  for the Oberto Circle K boys. They’re working hard tonight on repairs, and we will look for a better day tomorrow.”

IndyCar champion Will Power completes ‘Victory Lap’ at ceremony in Indianapolis

Will Power Victory Lap
Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment
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INDIANAPOLIS – Will Power went on his “Victory Lap” last week to celebrate his second career championship as the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series champion.

It began with several media interviews in Monterey, California, the day after he won the championship with a third-place finish in the Sept. 11 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.

From there, it was off to Los Angeles for more interviews and personal appearances that included a VIP Tour at the Petersen Automotive Museum, several appearances on SiriusXM and lunch at The Ivy, where the Team Penske IndyCar Series driver was treated to Wagyu Beef.

“It was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had in my life,” Power told NBCSports.com.

From L.A. back to Power’s North Carolina home, near Team Penske’s home base of Mooresville, there was one stop left on Sept. 17 — the Victory Lap Celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, an invitation-only banquet where Power and his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet crew at Team Penske were honored for the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series championship.

They didn’t even have to check into a hotel and spend another night on the road. Power and his team left on a Team Penske plane from the Statesville, N.C., airport at 4 p.m. ET Saturday to fly to Indianapolis. On arrival an hour later, a limo bus took the team to IMS.

Power led the 2022 season with five NTT P1 Awards for pole, earning the NTT P1 Award as the best qualifier of the season for the fifth time in his career. Power also made history with his 68th career pole, breaking the all-time mark held by the legendary Mario Andretti.

Power and Scott Dixon also became just two of only five drivers to complete every lap of every race in IndyCar Series history.

“What a year,” Power said as he was awarded his personal Astor Cup trophy (the second in his collection after the 2014 championship. “What a phenomenal year coming off one of my worst seasons personally. We came back with a vengeance.

“I want to thank Roger and Kathy Penske for everything they have done for me over the years. I wouldn’t be standing here and have the numbers I have without what Roger has done for me. I’m given a car every week that is capable of winning the pole, races, championships, and Indianapolis 500s. I’m so grateful for that.

“Also, to Greg Penske, you are there every week now at every event and I know we will be in good hands moving forward with the Penske Family.”

There are many on Power’s team and at home, that helped support Power throughout his career. None is bigger than Power’s wife, Liz, who told Power before the season that he would win the championship and break Andretti’s record.

“I must thank my wife. I’m so lucky to have a wife with that crystal ball that can tell me what is going to happen,” Power said. “I can’t think you enough, babe. I love you so much and you have been a big support to me my whole career. We’ve been together 17 years, and I’ve been in the series 17 years. She has been such a huge support to me. The mother of our child and she is a fantastic mother.

“She can’t tell the future. She just had faith in me.”

Liz Power’s premonition came true and that allowed Power and his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet team to celebrate Penske’s 17th IndyCar championship and 42nd title in the racing team’s history.

“The 12 crew this year, I’ve never had such a great group of guys,” Power said. “Trevor Lacasse (chief mechanic) is such a calm guy, but he does such a meticulous job on the preparation of the car. He is very, very good at keeping the whole crew happy. It feels as if there is no pressure on us. That’s a huge part in getting the most out of people. It was our first year together with you as a crew chief. What a great year to start our relationship.

“Dave Faustino (Power’s longtime engineer), we’ve worked together for 15 years. He’s almost like a wife to me, a partner … apart from sleeping together. We have a very good working relationship. Sorry Dave, I’m an awkward person and you are not.

“The things we have been through in our years together, it’s crazy that we continually improve and get better. We are standing on the podium after winning the championship and we are talking about the car, the race, and the tires. We weren’t talking about the championship.

“We never stop. The other boys were laughing at us, but I’m already thinking about next year.

“Ron Ruzewski (Team Penske IndyCar Managing Director and strategist) on the radio, always calm. He has actually made me a calm person. I rarely get upset on the radio anymore.”

Power also recognized the fans who helped boost attendance at many venues on the schedule this season as NBC Sports enjoyed its largest IndyCar audience yet.

“This series is growing,” Power said. “With open wheel racing now so popular because of Formula One, it’s really our time to push and put money behind it and go now and take IndyCar to another level because we have the best racing product in the world.

“I have to thank my teammates and (Team Penske president) Tim Cindric. I can’t tell you how hard we push each other. We are ultracompetitive and love each other and push each other hard, so thank you.”


Power won the championship by 16 points over hard-charging teammate Josef Newgarden, who finished second in the standings for the third year in a row.

“Overall, I’m filled with a lot of pride for our team and what we were able to do this year,” Newgarden said in his banquet address. “Any year that you step in the championship, you can easily see the challenges it presents everybody.

“It’s a very difficult challenge for the teams and drivers. To be a part of it, make it through it and for us at Team Penske, to topple it, is a very big deal. We’re all competitive.

“The tough thing about being in a championship fight, especially with teammates is we all want to be the best. That’s how it should be. We are competitive people and want to be the best. But it’s a team sport.

“Will, tremendous season, great, great job. I think the world of everybody on our team. It’s a big group. I’m so happy for all of you on the 12-car crew. There is so much we can take into next year.”

Six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon was unable to attend the banquet because of the Goodwood Festival in England but sent congratulations to Power via a video message.

“I really want to congratulate Will Power,” Dixon said. “You drove a tremendous season this year. Even with some of the lows that you had, some of the mistakes with qualifying, you bounced back tremendously. I know how tough these championships are and to see you do it in the style that you did it in the last race of the season, massive congratulations.”

Power’s championship formula included one victory, nine podiums and 12 top-five finishes. Teammate Josef Newgarden was second in the championship with five wins but only six podiums.

Cindric saluted Power’s season in accepting the championship team owner award.

“Will, you took it to another level this year,” Cindric said. “You are the complete package. You completed every lap, had nine podiums, finished out of the top 10 just four times, broke Mario Andretti’s record, and you did it all without cussing at the officials on national TV.

“One complaint I do has is while most of us think you might be from another planet, you never told us your wife was a fortune teller.”

Cindric also honored the seasons of Penske drivers Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin, who won three times in his second full season (“You are one of only two full-time IndyCar drivers that has driven for us in the past 23 years that hasn’t won an Indy 500 or an IndyCar championship. Your time is coming.”).

Kyle Moyer was named team manager of the year (his fifth time and Penske’s sixth). Pennzoil presented Lacasse with the chief mechanic of the year for the first time, the sixth time for Team Penske. The No. 12 crew also won the Firestone Pit Performance Award for the most pit stop performance award points in 2022.

Power, Newgarden and McLaughlin delivered nine of Chevrolet’s series-leading 11 victories this season, helping Chevy win the Manufacturer Award for the seventh time since it returned to the series in 2012 and the first time since 2017. Jim Danahy, U.S. vice president, Competition Motorsports Engineering for Chevrolet, accepted the award on behalf of his team.


Christian Lundgaard was honored as the 2022 NTT IndyCar rookie of the year. Lundgaard, from Denmark, scored one podium, two top-five finishes and seven top-10s in the No. 30 Honda fielded by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. He edged David Malukas of Dale Coyne Racing with HMD by 18 points in the standings for first-year series drivers.

Christian Lundgaard (Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment)

“It’s been a tough season and looking at how it panned out, we struggled so much at the beginning of the season and how we were able to turn it around means so much to me and the team,” Lundgaard said. “It’s the one thing that you only get one shot at. I’m happy to have it.

“Being the first Dane at the Indy 500 certainly helps. Competing here for me is quite important and also special. To win this award and to be here in future years means so much to me. I have a chance to compete for wins and championships.

“This team gave me this opportunity at this track one year ago. We came back and got redemption. We got our first podium here. This year was 40 years ago that Bobby Rahal won the same award. It’s pretty special to keep it among the team.”

Sweden’s Linus Lundqvist was honored as Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion after a dominant season for HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing. Lundqvist won a series-high five races in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing entry and clinched the Lights championship with a race to spare, ending with a 92-point advantage over Sting Ray Robb. HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing owners Henry and Daiva Malukas accepted the team championship.

“I’m very proud of that,” Lundqvist said. “It’s cool to see. We are starting to look to the future, and this might not be doing too bad. It’s been great. As most of you can guess with Henry and Daiva Malukas (team owners), it’s been an incredible journey. So much fun that we’ve had. To be on the grid this year was so much of a struggle for us. I didn’t even know I would be doing this until January.

“To be able to pull out the season that we had, I cannot thank this team enough. We will celebrate this for a long time. I’m so happy and proud about that.”

Outgoing IndyCar Director of Medical Affairs Dr. Geoffrey Billows also was honored as he is leaving that role while battling cancer.

“When I think of Dr. Billows, I think of two words,” IndyCar president Jay Frye said. “One is selfless and the other is tough. He’s gone through a lot these last couple of years, and he didn’t want anybody to know. He’s an amazing man, and we are very grateful for what you have done.”

Dr. Geoffrey Billows with IndyCar president Jay Frye (Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment)

Billows was presented with a framed checkered flag signed by all drivers in the series as well as other IndyCar officials and dignitaries.

“I was not expecting this at all,” Billows said. “This means so much for me to be part of this family for the past 30 years. I’ve been presented with opportunities I never thought I would ever have. I can’t tell you how much I love all of you guys and care for all of you guys.

“Thank you so much. I want to also thank my wife, Tammy, who has been a pillar of strength as I continue on this journey with cancer for the past two years as well. You will still see me as a consultant because I love this too much to quit altogether.”

When the evening concluded, Team Penske boarded a bus to the airport for the short return flight to Statesville. They were home by midnight.

Power’s Victory Lap was complete.

“The best thing about this is I get to sleep in my own bed tonight,” Power said.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500