NEWTON, IA – Josef Newgarden lost 21 points over the last two NTT IndyCar Series races to Alexander Rossi. Heading into Saturday’s Iowa 300 at the Iowa Speedway, his points lead went from 25 down to four.
Plus, with Simon Pagenaud’s dominating weekend last week in Toronto, he went from 61 points down to 39.
Newgarden, was down on himself for letting that duo back into the championship race. On Friday, he was down again after qualifying third for the race on the .894-mile oval. But, him being down on himself didn’t last long.
Josef Newgarden leads Saturday night’s Iowa 300 – INDYCAR Media Site
Newgarden, quickly grabbed the lead on Lap 49 when race leader Will Power hit lapped traffic. His No. 12 Chevrolet couldn’t get by which allowed Newgarden to erase a 2.1-second lead down to taking over the top spot in eight laps.
From there, it was pure domination by the current Indy Car points leader.
Newgarden, would lead all but a handful of laps from then on and took his No. 2 Chevrolet to victory lane in the rain delayed Iowa 300 for the 14th career time and the fourth time of the season. It was also his second win at the Iowa Speedway and his fourth top two finish here since 2014. Furthermore, Newgarden has led 881 laps over his last five Iowa starts including 487 just the last two years alone.
The only pressure Newgarden had all night was when Scott Dixon somehow lucked out on a caution on Lap 264 with Ed Carpenter crashing in Turn 2 and Dixon having not pitted yet allowed him to remain on the lead lap. With only nine cars on the same lap at that point, the worst he would restart was ninth. That was a win alone in that he was a lap down for a majority of the race and was mostly a 15th or worse placed car. But, when all but the top five hit pit lane on Lap 268, Dixon included, he had 15 laps fresher tires than those in front of him as he restarted the race in sixth.
Dixon, quickly moved up and with 10 to go found himself in second. He just didn’t have enough laps to chase down Newgarden as Dixon had to settle for his first top two finish in Iowa and just his second top five here since 2015. It was also Dixon’s 45th Indy Car runner-up including his second straight on the season.
James Hinchcliffe would finish third in his No. 5 Honda for his second straight Iowa podium and his sixth consecutive top 10 finish here. It was also his third straight top seven result on the season.
Pole sitter Simon Pagenaud faded to fourth in his No. 22 Chevrolet in the end while Spencer Pigot rounded out the top five in his No. 21 Chevrolet.
Newgarden, now leads Rossi by 29 points in the standings while Pagenaud and Dixon trail him by 58 and 99 points respectively heading into next Sunday’s race at Mid-Ohio.
Tonight’s race was delayed by over four hours due to a thunderstorm that hit the Newton area just prior to driver intros. Then, on Lap 51, we saw light moisture bring out the second caution of the night which a few laps later led to a red flag. The stoppage would only last 27 minutes before the engines were refired.
Iowa 300 Results
15 Rahal -1
18 Bourdais -1
14 Kanaan -1
7 Ericsson R -1
19 Ferrucci R -1
59 Daly -1
10 Rosenqvist R -1
12 Power -1
4 Leist -2
28 Hunter-Reay -2
88 Herta R OUT
20 Carpenter OUT
30 Sato OUT
98 Andretti OUT
31 Karam OUT