INDYCAR 2020 Season Review - No. 12 Chevrolet Team

December 18, 2020

In a season unlike any other in the history of NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet brought home wins at Mid-Ohio and the Harvest Grand Prix, posted five pole awards and five podium finishes and finished fifth in the 2020 championship standings.

Power also continued to build on his legacy as one of INDYCAR's most accomplished racers. With his victory at the Harvest Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, the 2014 series champion captured his 39th career victory, which moved him into a tie for fifth on the series all-time wins list with former Team Penske standout Al Unser Sr. Additionally, when Power won the pole at St. Petersburg in the 2020 season finale, he reached another milestone with his 62nd career pole. The total leaves him just five poles short of tying Mario Andretti’s record for the most career INDYCAR poles.

Miscues and some bad luck seemed to haunt Power and the No. 12 team early in the season. After the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the start of the season, the first race of 2020 was hosted at Texas Motor Speedway in June. Power qualified a respectable sixth in the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet but some issues on pit road resulted in a 13th-place finish in the season opener.

The tough start continued for the Australian driver in the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. After starting the 80-lap race on the pole, Power encountered an untimely caution on his second pit stop of the race and the car stalled on the final pit stop to avoid a piece of equipment. As a result, the team ended the day in a disappointing 20th-place.

One week later it was back to the track for the first doubleheader race weekend of the season at Road America. In the first of the two races, Power started fifth and scored his first podium result of the season with a runner-up result. Contact on the opening lap and mechanical issues over the rest of the second race saw Power and the No. 12 Chevy come home in the 11th position.   

As the series returned to the Iowa Speedway short oval for a doubleheader race weekend, Power encountered mixed results. In the opening race, Power was leading when an on-track incident with less than 100 laps to go led to a 21st-place finish. However, the fortunes improved for the Verizon team in the second race of the weekend as Power finished in second place for his podium finish of the season.

The Indianapolis 500 would run in May under normal circumstances. However, in the unprecedented year that was 2020, the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” ran in August for the first time. The race proved to be a challenge for the 2018 Indianapolis 500 winner as Power and the team struggled in qualifying to produced a 22nd-place stasrting spot. Pit road problems plagued the team again during the race as the Verizon Chevy finished 14th on the day.

Power won his second pole of the 2020 season in the opening race of a doubleheader weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis, Mo. However, after a late race unscheduled pit stop to repair a deflating tire led to a 17th-place finish. The team’s efforts overnight to regroup and reset for the second race proved to be fruitful. The team put together a fast a competitive car that propelled Power to a third-place finish to close out the weekend.

After a brief break in racing, the series visited the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for its fourth doubleheader weekend of the season and the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet team was determined to itsluck around for good and make a push towards the series championship. The hard work paid off for the No. 12 team after Power won the pole for the first race of the weekend – his 60th career pole - and led 66 out of 75 laps to earn his first win of the 2020 season. A misstep in qualifying led a 17th-place starting spot for the second race, but Power and the team rallied to finish seventh.

The Verizon Chevy team returned to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the fifth and final doubleheader weekend of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season - the Harvest Grand Prix. In the first of the weekend’s two races, Power qualified fourth and finished sixth with just two races remaining in the season.

The second Harvest Grand Prix race proved to be record breaking on multiple levels. Power qualified on the pole for the race, as he secured his 61st career pole. He then posted his second win of the season as the No. 12 led all 75 laps for the victory. Power's 39th career triumph placed him in a fifth-place tie on the series all-time wins list with Al Unser Sr.

Despite the late-season surge, Power and the Verizon team entered the 2020 season finale on the Streets of St. Petersburg mathematically eliminated from championship contention. The No. 12 crew was focused on closing the season with a win and they took the first step as Power won his 62nd career pole position. However, an uncharacteristic mistake on-track ended Power’s race and brought a premature end to the season as the team closed it out with a 24th-place result.

Throughout a 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season that brought its share of challenges for everyone involved in the series, Power and the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet team continued to produce. Power earned a win for the 13th consecutive season and the team finished among the top five in the championship standings for the 11th year in a row.

“It was an unusual season for the Verizon Chevrolet team," said Power. "We had a slow start but we were able to have some success later in the season and broke some cool records. It’s unbelievable to me to realize I am so close to breaking Mario Andretti’s record for poles. It’s an honor to be ranked along side him already but to be that close is just awesome. The team worked so hard all year. While things didn’t always go our way, we worked together and learned a lot especially with this being the first season with the new aeroscreen. I’m really looking forward to the 2021 season and can’t wait to get back on track next year.”

With the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season just a few months away, the No. 12 team knows that with determintation and teamwork it can reach its goals.  Entering next season the team is focused on more wins, another championship and to help Power reach Mario Andretti’s all-time record for career INDYCAR poles.