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Roger Penske expects a four-car team for the 2022 IndyCar season

Detroit – Roger Penske expects to have a four-car team again in the 2022 season.

Before this season, the Penske team last presented four cars in 2017 when they brought in Josef Newgarden, who rewarded Penske with a series championship. That was the last year with Helio Castroneves as a full-time driver in the team despite victory and fourth place in the overall standings.

Newgarden, who also won the series title in 2019, is supported by 40-year-old Will Power, 37-year-old Simon Pagenaud and 26-year-old Scott McLaughlin, whom Penske brought with him this season after winning three Australian victories in a row Supercars championships for Penske (2018-20).

Power, who is in his twelfth season at Penske, the 30-year-old Newgarden and McLaughlin all have multi-year contracts with Team Penske. Pagenaud will be signed this year.

Pagenaud won the Indianapolis 500 for Team Penske in 2019 and finished second in points. He has won eleven races in his seven years with the team, five in 2016 when he won the series title.

“We drove four cars in IndyCar and we can drive more or less. But I think the four-car program is fair, ”said Penske.

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Penske said Pagenaud has not been signed for next year, adding that he hopes Pagenaud will continue with Team Penske.

Penske, who also owns the IndyCar series, is enthusiastic about the youth movement in the series. The group includes the 21-year-old American Colton Herta, the 22-year-old Mexican Pato O’Ward, the 24-year-old Spaniard Alex Palou and the 21-year-old Rinus VeeKay. Everyone has won races.

Palou, who is the team-mate of six-time serial champion Scott Dixon from Chip Ganassi Racing, is the championship leader in the one-two at Belle Isle.

“We saw them coming,” said Penske, who is still waiting for his team’s first win of the season. “(Michael) Andretti did a great job bringing out some of these riders. They have the opportunity to test them on another series. I think that’s one of the reasons we brought Indy Lights back, and I think they are have reacted well. “

Cindric joins Team Penske in NASCAR

Austin Cindric, the 22-year-old son of Team Penske IndyCar’s team president, Tim Cindric, will join the team’s NASCAR Cup roster in 2022.

Cindric won the Xfinity series title last season

“We announced that he was going to the Cup,” said Penske from Cindric. “The season isn’t even over yet, so we haven’t made any permanent driver decisions at the moment.”

What does the future look like for Brad Keselowski from Rochester Hills, who won his first NASCAR Cup title in Penske in 2012?

Keselowski signed a one-year deal with Penske last season and is slated to join Roush Fenway Racing as a partner next season. He would take seat # 6, now driven by Ryan Newman.

“We have a deal with (Keselowski) for the rest of the season and everything he does will be announced at the right time,” said Penske.

Joey Logano has a long-term contract with Team Penske in NASCAR and is in his ninth year with the team, winning the Cup championship in 2018 and finishing third in points last season.

Ryan Blaney is in his fourth year with Team Penske.

Robb takes the next step

Sting Ray Robb dreams of competing in the IndyCar series.

Robb made his debut on Belle Isle in the Indy Lights series – which is like Triple A to MLB – after winning the Indy Pro 2000 championship last season.

The 19-year-old native of Idaho was awarded a $ 609,000 scholarship that gave him a ride on the Juncos Racing team.

He has competed in six races en route to Belle Isle, including double-header weekends in Alabama, St. Petersburg and Indianapolis, with a season high of six in Alabama.

He compared the Indy Lights car to the Indy Pro 2000.

“They are completely different,” said Robb. “The driving style between Indy Pro 2000 and Indy Lights is pretty extensive. Speed ​​isn’t much more so it’s not about comfort, but the way you drive the car must be different.

“The Indy Pro 2000 car seemed a little underpowered compared to the grip it had, and it was super fun to drive. The thing about the Indy Pro car is that it has a short wheelbase, high downforce, normal performance, and it’s easy to roll speed through corners. Indy Lights, it’s a little heavier, more horsepower, but not quite as much grip. So you have to drive around the rear of the car a little more and try to make it a little uglier, to say the least. “

Robb didn’t have as much testing time before the season as some of his competitors.

“Just a few days and that was the main problem, the other teams that had 10 to 15 days of testing before the season, plus the 2019 season. So for me it’s just about feeling comfortable and adapting to what is going on wants the car from me as the driver, ”said Robb.

Robb qualified for Friday’s ninth in the 13-car field for Saturday’s race at a speed of 100.281 mph around the 13-corner, 2.3-mile street course. Rookie Kyle Kirkwood took pole with 101.612.

david.goricki@detroitnews.com

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