NEWTON, IA – Statement made by Josef Newgarden this weekend at the Iowa Speedway. See, Newgarden was sick of giving up points. The last two NTT IndyCar Series races, he finished in the top five in both. Unfortunately, the two worst candidates possible for him would win.
Alexander Rossi won in Road America in dominating fashion in leading 54 of 55 laps while Simon Pagenaud won last week in Toronto while leading 80 of 85 laps. Rossi, made up 21 points on Newgarden in two races while Pagenaud made up 22 points in one week on the streets of Toronto.
It wasn’t like Newgarden was bad at either place though. He finished third in Road America and fourth in Toronto. It was just that his main competition for this year’s championship was just better.
In Iowa, it was Newgarden’s turn to reverse the tide.
In Saturday’s rain delayed Iowa 300, Newgarden dominated in leading a race-high 245 of 300 laps en route to his fourth win of the season. Pagenaud, faded to fourth while Rossi was only good enough for sixth.
Now, it was Newgarden pulling ahead with just five races remaining on the season as he now leads Rossi by 29 points. He not only gained his deficit incurred the last two races back, he gained four points.
Pagenaud, falls to 58 points down again, three shy of what he was down heading into Toronto.
Scott Dixon rallied to a magical second place finish on Saturday night, but he falls to 99 points out. Will Power had a costly pit road penalty in the end and is 165 points out himself in fifth. Takuma Sato had a second straight DNF and is trailing Newgarden by 176 points now while Ryan Hunter-Reay missed the setup and had a 17th place result which puts him 189 points out.
As you can see, Newgarden stopped the bleeding and is now pulling away again.