A turn of the fortunes saw Team Penske's Will Power and Josef Newgarden left wondering what they missed after a smashing performance by Alexander Rossi in the Rev Group Grand Prix of Road America.

Team Penske drivers had won three of the last four races heading into Road America with Rossi finishing second to Simon Pagenaud at the Indianapolis 500 and Newgarden edging him out at Detroit and Texas.

Rossi countered on Sunday by leading 54 of 55 laps at the 4.014-mile natural terrain road course and winning by 28 seconds over Power.

"I actually never saw (Alexander Rossi)," said Power. "Felt like I was in my own race with Josef (Newgarden). Yeah, that's all we had. It was a very clean day for us. Good start, no mistakes, reasonable car. Yeah, we simply did not have the pace to run with Alex. I've rarely said that in my career."

Power, who won at Road America in 2016, ran inside the top three on his way to scoring his third podium of the season. After coming up short, Power was left mystified on by Rossi's pace.

"You can't look at that pace and go, 'What are we missing?" he said. "It's kind of tough to pinpoint that because the car did not feel bad. It was a reasonable balance.

"Yeah, hard for me to understand how he can be so fast over a whole stint."

Newgarden barely retained his points lead by finishing third after Rossi's win reduced it from 25 to 7 heading into Toronto. He also concurred that Team Penske was behind the eight ball in their fight for the victory.

"We obviously didn't have enough today," he said. "We were a little shy. Probably a lot shy actually. But we were trying to do what we could to catch back up, hold our ground.

"Alex and Andretti, they were too good for us today. We've got to come back to the drawing board, try to figure out what we're missing."

The race went devoid of a full course yellow which could have gathered the field together. Power and Newgarden both admitted that a caution might not have aided him given Rossi's blistering pace. The one chance for a slowdown came when a piece of rumble strip got kicked up onto the track.

"It was offline enough that I don't think anyone was complaining too bad about it.," said Newgarden.

"We should have been. Where is my caution?" Power added jokingly.

"I don't think it (a yellow) would have mattered," he said. "I don't think so. Rain may have. Rain would have been the only thing that might have helped us today."

After getting taken to the cleaners by Rossi throughout the weekend, Power confessed that the race could be considered a learning experience as Team Penske goes forward.

"I think we'll leave trying to understand how to go faster," he said. "It's something we review pretty extensively to understand how we can come back next year and be closer."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...