After two races have been completed for the 2022 IndyCar season, Penske driver Josef Newgarden feels that his team is carrying some great momentum going into the third round at the iconic Long Beach street circuit.
After narrowly pipping his teammate Scott McLaughlin for victory four weeks ago in Texas, Newgarden comes into Long Beach fourth in points as he heads into what has previously been a challenging circuit for the Nashville native.
Newgarden spoke to selected media including Motorlat, about his mixed record around the iconic California street circuit, as he goes into Long Beach full of confidence after a great start to the season.
"I'm very encouraged about what we have going into Long Beach. I think we can be good across all disciplines, which is so critical in this championship. We can't have just good cars on a certain kind of oval or a street course, for instance. We've got to be good across the board. I think our street course package absolutely has a lot of new strengths to it" he said.
"We definitely have good momentum, but that shifts so quickly in this sport. We're just going to stay focused on the task, and hopefully, we can keep it up. Especially as we get into the month of May, where it's most important to carry some momentum."
Penske's perfect start to the 2022 season pales in comparison to how the team started its 2021 campaign, as the Captain's cars went winless for the first ten races of the season as they suffered their worst start to a season for over 22 years.
"Honestly, I thought it was so funny last year we kept getting. We were getting bombarded. The first eight races, people were, like, 'what's wrong with you guys?' How have you not had a win? It was just becoming comical because our performance was actually pretty good. We had good performances, and they just weren't translating. We had an issue here, an issue there, and we could never really rattle off a complete victory. Because that went on for whatever it was. I think it was seven or eight events. Everyone just assumed that there was a really big issue within our team. There wasn't."
"For me, the performance was always there, especially in the 2 car. We showcased that in the middle of the season and almost had a good rally to win the championship, but just didn't quite get there. To speak to this year , we've had a lot of effort that's gone into this offseason. We knew that we had some deficiencies all around and across the board. I felt like we were capable of winning the championship last year, but even when you have that capability, you can still have deficiencies that you have to improve on."