In the last race at Mid-Ohio, Josef Newgarden left with a bad taste in his mouth. He had a car capable of a podium and definitely a top five machine. Instead, he pushed too hard to go for podium and spun while doing so. He went from a fourth place finish and 34 point lead in the standings to a 14th place run and 16 point advantage heading to Pocono.
Now, Newgarden is hoping to not let anymore points go. The problem is, the guys chasing him for the championship are really good superspeedway racers and could easily win Sunday’s ABC Supply 500.
Scott Dixon is a past Pocono winner and finished third in this race last year. He’s never finished worse than ninth. Rossi, won this race last year in leading 180 of 200 laps. He finished second in both superspeedway starts in 2019. Simon Pagenaud won the Indy 500 and has scored the most points on ovals this season. Will Power has won this race in two of the last three years and finished second in the other.
Josef Newgarden celebrates his DXC Technology 600 win at the Texas Motor Speedway back in June
Newgarden, has never won at Pocono but did finish fourth and first respectively on superspeedways in 2019. He does have two runner-ups in his Pocono career and five top five finishes in six tries. His worst finish is eighth. He’s very undervalued on these three tracks annually. In fact, he sits second in points scored on ovals this season, only trailing Pagenaud by three for the lead.
“It was good to have a couple of weeks off, so I took some time to reset and refocus as we head into the final stretch of the season,” Newgarden said. “Pocono is a difficult track, and it takes the right pit and fuel strategy to do well with any 500-mile race. We have a pretty good plan in place for the Hitachi Chevy, so we’re ready to put it into action. My crew has been really giving it their all every race and we’re all ready to keep fighting for more wins to keep gaining points and continue to make a run at the championship.”
So, while everyone may be pressing for wins on Sunday, Newgarden can settle for another solid top four, his 11th of the season.