Josef Newgarden’s chances of winning his third NTT IndyCar Series championship were slim, at best, entering Sunday’s 260-lap oval race at World Wide Technology Raceway.
A blend of being out-foxed on race strategy by Chip Ganassi Racing and an error by the Tennessean who hit the Turn 2 wall on lap 210 ensured the quest for the title ended at WWTR, and afterwards, the Team Penske driver vowed to pursue more wins to add to the four he’s already claimed in the No. 2 Chevy.
“Tough result today,” Newgarden said. “I was just trying to push and catch up to the guys that were on a different fuel strategy so we could try to make a run at the end and just got up too high and into the marbles. I give a lot of credit to the No. 2 crew for giving me a really fast car again this weekend and for trying to fix the car and get us back out there. It’s not the result we were hoping for, obviously, but we’ll look forward to Portland and Laguna Seca to try and finish the season strong.”
Newgarden was credited with 25th at WWTR, which matched the 25th-place finish he earned at the last race after being included in a first-lap crash that wasn’t of his making. Presently third in the championship, Newgarden heads into Sunday’s race at Portland with a 51-point deficit to WWTR race winner Scott Dixon and an 11-point lead over the surging Pato O’Ward from Arrow McLaren.