Momentum is a big thing in sports. Success, breeds success. We’ve seen that a number of times. It’s not how great of a season you’ve had, it’s getting hot at the right time. For the Team Penske organization, the success from the season opener two weeks ago on the streets of St. Pete built some big team morale in the off week.
Josef Newgarden was victorious with Will Power giving Penske two of the three spots on the podium. They also swept the front row starting spots too.
See, Penske knew that the main area that they needed to work on this past offseason was their street course program. Heading into the 2019 season, out of their last 10 street course starts, they’ve won just once.
All three Penske drivers spoke during the opening race weekend on how the team identified that as an area to work on and St. Pete would show if their efforts worked or not.
It clearly did.
Now, they hope to carry that momentum over to a new race of the schedule, the IndyCar Classic (1 p.m. ET/NBCSN/IndyCar Radio Network).
“The No. 2 PPG Chevrolet team is off to a really great start to 2019,” said Newgarden. “We’re really pumped after finally capturing that win at St. Petersburg. The whole team is feeling great energy and momentum headed to COTA.”
Newgarden, says it’s going to be really cool to race at a track that F1 races at and is looking for his ninth victory since joining Team Penske three years ago.
Power, agrees noting that their weekend in St. Pete has really had a big impact on their team shop.
“St. Pete was a pretty solid weekend,” Power said. “We’re off to such a great start with the No. 12 Verizon Chevy and all of Team Penske. It’s just a really great time for everyone in our shop and all the success we’ve had across the board. We have had a fast start and have every intention of continuing that.”
Simon Pagenaud finished seventh two weeks ago and is hoping to really contend with his teammates this Sunday at COTA. He has seven wins in his four seasons with Penske and looking for more.
“I can’t wait for Circuit of The Americas this weekend,” said the Frenchman. “After St. Petersburg, our confidence level went up and it was great to see the Team Penske cars perform so well. I’m really excited about what this season has to bring after such a great feel in the first race. The No. 22 Menards Chevy crew is in very good spirits and we are focused on ourselves and bringing our best to Texas”
Over the past 18 natural road course races, Penske drivers have won 12 of them. They have the best program on these tracks. Can they avoid a drop off?