By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Josef Newgarden was not pleased with his performance during Friday’s IndyCar race at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. One day later, Newgarden was pleased with his performance during the second half of the doubleheader.
The team Penske driver won the Iowa 250 race on Saturday night. This is Newgarden’s first win of the IndyCar season.
“It feels really good,” Newgarden said. “I don’t know what we have to do to keep the bad luck off of us, but hopefully this is the start. Our guys did an amazing job (on Friday night). I was so disappointed for them. I was angry for them because I felt like they had the winning car. They put in the work, but they just weren’t able to get rewarded for it. So, I was so determined to come back (on Saturday). I think everyone was so determined to come back to the track and have a really good race. And we just ran hard. We ran hard all day. I am so proud to be powered by Chevrolet. I feel like we had the package to beat. Fuel mileage, durability, and we had the power. And to have Hitachi back on, I think they gave us that good luck charm. So, thank you to Hitachi. Thanks to everyone at Team Penske back at the shop. I’m just thrilled we were able to get this monkey off our back. I don’t think I have been here on pole before.
“So, I was sitting here thinking: ‘We can do that. I don’t know why we can’t convert from pole.’ Just kind of a silly stat, I guess. I knew we had speed. I felt totally confident. You know when Tim (Cindric) is on my stand and I have my guys doing pit stops, I have complete confidence we can win any race we go into, so that stat wasn’t bugging me. It would have been nice if we could have had a couple of finishes where we thought we should have been. Like at Road America, we had a winning car that Saturday. I wasn’t able to secure that. I knew we needed a win and we need another one to come again soon. We need to be able to put consistent finishes on the board.”
Newgarden is the first driver, according to IndyCar, to win from the pole at Iowa. He also previously won at the venue.
With the win by Newgarden, Penske was able to sweep both Iowa races. Simon Pagenaud won the first Iowa 250 on Friday night.
So far this season, Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske have all six wins. Chip Ganassi Racing won the first races of the season with Scott Dixon winning the first three and Felix Rosenqvist winning the fourth race.
Will Power — who had a disastrous first night as he crashed and lost a tire — rebounded with a second-place finish. Graham Rahal finished third in the race.
“The Hy-Vee car came in third, and I think we actually had the best car on track (Saturday night),” Rahal said. “We passed a ton of cars. It was just hard at the end when Will (Power) was driving on the same line as me. It was difficult up high to get the grip to go by. Thanks to Hy-Vee for coming on board this weekend and thanks to Honda; the motor was a rocket. We’re proud to be powered by Honda. It was a great run right there and just a good rebound for our team after starting in the back.
“I’m super excited with P3, and we’re moving up in the championship. The entire team worked awfully hard. And even better, we raised $24,900 for Turns for Troops with United Rentals this weekend, which is awesome.”
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