Josef Newgarden was confident in his abilities to get his No. 2 Chevrolet back to victory lane this weekend on the streets of Toronto. He had won twice in the last four years on the Canadian street course including having two wins on the season since the start of June. It could be his chance to open his points lead back up a bit as well.
Unfortunately, it was a frustrating weekend for the Tennessee native.
Newgarden, was only eighth quickest in practice on Friday. He was just 13th on Saturday morning. In qualifying, he made a mistake in the Fast Six and would start fifth as a result of that.
That mistake, cost what Newgarden considers a podium finish in Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto. Another mistake with four laps remaining in the race also cost him his 29th career top three finish in the NTT IndyCar Series
“It has been a tough weekend – hasn’t been my strongest weekend, for sure,” said a disappointed Newgarden. “I had a flat hit against the wall in Turn 11 there with a handful (of laps) to go. I was smelling blood on (Alexander) Rossi a little bit and trying to get another position.
“But I think I sealed our fate on the No. 2 car in qualifying. Starting fifth was tough. When a race goes green like that, where you are is where you are going to finish. You can make some up in the pit stops, but we just didn’t have enough today to overhaul Rossi and (Scott) Dixon. That was my goal coming into today, was trying to get up to second. We knew that if Simon (Pagenaud) had a clean start, that he was going to be tough to beat. Getting on the podium was our goal. But for having a tough weekend and to finish fourth isn’t a bad thing. The Hitachi car looked good and felt good. It just wasn’t enough. And thanks to Chevy. They gave us a good package this weekend and that’s how we fought so hard.”
Newgarden heads to Iowa with five top four finishes in his last six starts on the season. His points lead may be down to four after being 25 heading into Road America, but you can’t count him out next weekend in Iowa to make it grow up in a position direction again.