Sonoma IndyCar: Top 10 quotes after race

Perfect Penske day ends with Pagenaud race win, Newgarden championship

Cla #DriverLapsTimeGapMphPoints
1   1 france Simon Pagenaud 85 1:55'52.6840   104.968 103
"I want to thank everybody on the DXC Technology Chevrolet team today. It was a phenomenal performance, I think, all weekend. I want to congratulate Josef (Newgarden), of course, and Team Penske. I think our team this weekend and the whole season showed how strong everybody is at Team Penske. Back-to-back champions. It's phenomenal. Great testament to a great team spirit and I'm very happy for him. He deserves it. We did what we had to do. We tried. We won the race; it wasn't enough. It's a whole championship. You've got to be strong on every race and I guess Josef was a little stronger this year so we'll come back. Thirteen points (behind). Next year we'll come back and give him a hell of a competition again."
2   2 united_states Josef Newgarden 85 1:55'53.7826 1.0986 104.952 82
 "I'm so proud of these guys. I don't even know what to say. It was all year. It took a lot to make this happen. Thank you to my teammates. They were giving me a lot of help today in making sure that we got this done. It's a huge team effort at Team Penske. So, it's cool to do this with Verizon. Verizon does so much for the IndyCar Series. They've given fans such great access over the years. I'm happy to have this car for the championship. It's super fitting; and all the other partners we've had at Team Penske. It's just been phenomenal working with Team Chevy. We've had so many great partners on this car. And to finally get it done is a dream come true. It's too awesome. It was hard. I was using my natural instincts. I was trying to get (Simon) Pagenaud there because that's what I normally do. I try to win the race whenever possible. They were telling me to be patient and not do something stupid. I tried to get him, but I also tried not to do anything dumb for the team. Like I said, this has been a team effort. So, I'm happy for Pagenaud. He had the pace to win today, for sure; he's very deserving. This entire group makes this happen. I'm so thankful and happy with everything that Team Penske has done. Congrats to everyone at the factory. This is an amazing amount of work that goes into this."
3   12 australia Will Power 85 1:55'54.2979 1.6139 104.944 70
"It was pretty obvious a couple races ago that we were in trouble after Gateway, so yeah, I mean, it's great for the team. Obviously, you want to be the one that wins it, but it's very tough these days, and you've got to have a very solid year to get it done, and when I look at this year, no one made mistakes. You see the top six there, top six or seven are the top six or seven almost every race. We had some ups and downs with the No. 12 Verizon Chevy team, but it was a good year. We won some races and some poles. We'll give it another go next year." 
4   9 new_zealand Scott Dixon 85 1:56'04.7710 12.0870 104.786 64
"It just seems like the No. 3 car covered us. Every time we short-pitted they followed us and he was just a massive roadblock. Once we got into clean air, we were able to make up ground, but every time we got into traffic we got real loose. Huge credit to everyone on the NTT Data crew obviously not the way we wanted to finish. A big congrats to Penske and Josef (Newgarden) on a job well done." 
5   3 brazil Helio Castroneves 85 1:56'15.1862 22.5022 104.629 60
"I'm always going to focus on the positive thing. I'm not going to focus on Texas when we had a problem, or other races that I missed strategy or made mistakes. You've got to think about, again, it was another season that we pushed as hard as we could and another top four. And again, sometimes it's funny because you see the statistics, finished second - I finished second four times. But it was more times - the P4 is not what it represents because we were in a battle a lot more years than that. And that's what I look at. I look because each year that's what kept me motivated to come back and push hard, and that for me was hard. Sometimes it's - well, I try, but to get one - it's easy to follow from that position, but to keep up like I've been doing all these years, I think it's the hardest thing to do. But it doesn't just happen. It comes with a great team. It comes with great dedication from your guys, great trust, and obviously, myself to keep motivated, finding ways to keep pushing and having teammates like I have today, no question, helped me to become a better driver. The Hitachi Chevrolet team was great all season and I can't thank them enough for their hard work dedication." 
6   15 united_states Graham Rahal 85 1:56'16.2129 23.5289 104.614 56
"I think as predicted by a lot of people, today's race was a lot about tire fall-off. We fought rear grip and traction for most of the day, especially after about four or five laps in a stint. Overall I'm proud of the guys on the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team. They didn't give up today and they haven't given up all year. They kept their chins up and kept pushing as hard as they could. I think the 83 crew doesn't know the definition of giving up. I'm appreciative of everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing for the last seven years and I'm not sure what the future holds. I'll relax tonight and get back to work on next season tomorrow." 
7   27 united_states Marco Andretti 85 1:56'16.6628 23.9788 104.607 52
"I think we pretty much maximized our pace today. We probably could have gotten (Graham) Rahal, but I couldn't hold him on black (Firestone tires). I was on cold blacks and I locked up, so I did the best I could to keep him behind me. It was pretty obvious the Penske cars were in a league of their own so we were just trying to maximize what we had going on. We don't come here to finish seventh but it's a decent result, it's something to build on. I really think the (2018) package will be way more to my strengths. I struggle in the high-speed corners, I struggled in (Turn) 6 today so I need to get a grip on that. I don't just want to turn the page after not being great this year, I want to figure out why we weren't great. I have no doubt next year we can be on it. I tidied up my street course game, which was my old weakness, so I think if we get my strength back on the short ovals, where I used to be good, who knows?" 
8   28 united_states Ryan Hunter-Reay 85 1:56'17.1980 24.5140 104.599 48
"I don't know what happened on the start, but (our lane) didn't go and I got jumped by three or four cars there. It was kind of a mess. We were just in recovery mode from there, trying to get back up where we started. We made some setup changes before the race that didn't work out. Often in this sport it's trial and error, and we found what didn't work today. Disappointing finish to the race but all in all, looking at where we were in the championship points leaving Indy, to finish ninth in the championship, we clawed our way back many, many spots. But, we're here to win races, win championships and we've certainly had our fair share of misfortune this year but there's also a lot we could have done better. We'll have to put all that together and hopefully have a little bit better luck next year and be a stronger overall effort." 
9   18 france Sébastien Bourdais 85 1:56'42.6751 49.9911 104.219 44
"We started off pretty strong this week and felt really good the first couple of days but then we lost it on Friday afternoon. I don't know what we did wrong, or what I did wrong, but we couldn't find the pace we had earlier in the week. Today's race was a pretty miserable day with nothing really to fight for. It's never the kind of race you want to have. It's disappointing, but it was a bit a reflection of our year with highs and lows. We'll forget about 2017 and look forward and hope to have a better stretch next year." 
10   4 united_states Conor Daly 85 1:56'48.3490 55.6650 104.134 41
"I have to thank the boys for keeping faith in the strategy. It was a bold move to make the three-stop call. We were able to make the numbers but we got stuck behind (Jack) Harvey in the third part of that stint which was really frustrating. I think it impeded us from doing a little bit better. In the end, another top-10 which is really positive from where we started this weekend. It was a good consistent race. It was tough - there were a lot of moments of flying through the air and banging wheels with people. It was wild, so I'm just happy to come back in one piece and have another consistent finish to end the year. I'm happy to finally finish a double points race, I've never done that, so that was nice." 

 

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Event Sonoma
Sub-event Sunday pre-race
Track Sonoma Raceway
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Scott Dixon , Graham Rahal , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Sébastien Bourdais , Marco Andretti , Will Power , Simon Pagenaud , Conor Daly , Josef Newgarden
Teams Team Penske , Andretti Autosport , Chip Ganassi Racing
Article type Race report