INDIANAPOLIS – Last year, Team Penske dominated all the preliminary action for the Verizon IndyCar Series at the Texas Motor Speedway. They were quick in practice and swept the top three starting spots for the race, as they had all four cars in the top five of the starting lineup for last year’s 248 Lap event.
They thought it was their race to lose.
Unfortunately, they went with a low downforce setup while Chip Ganassi Racing went with a more conservative downforce trim. The latter was the winning one.
With lap traffic, the Penske cars struggled to handle their respective machines. They had the most speed, but in traffic, they were toast.
Ganassi gave up speed for better handling and it proved to be the winning combination.
Penske has said they’ve learned from last year and hopes to come back with the perfect combo to win this year’s Firestone 600k under the lights on Saturday night.
Bad luck struck them at Phoenix by virtue of tire troubles and bad handling kept them from having a good Month of May at Indy as they had just one car finish in the top 10 in the Indy 500.
With how last year went at Texas and the other two ovals this season, Penske has more aggression than ever before to turn things around on their oval program.
It’s hard to believe, but they’re not even in the top three teams as far as oval success over the last year and a half. They’ve had speed in qualifying but haven’t had the race day setups to win.
They said they’ve learned from it and hope to debut that this weekend.
If so, watch out for them. After all, they’ve won five of the eight races this season already.