It was the most devastating performance we have ever seen as Josef Newgarden almost circled the entire field, but a failure in the rear of his car and a major crash on lap 236 of 300 left the Iowa Speedway doublehead wide open as Team Driver Penske won’t win in a row.
IndyCar officials stated after the race, “Following an on-track incident at the Iowa race track, Team Penske driver Josef Newgarden was examined and discharged from the infield center. After finishing today’s race, he fell and returned to the infield. He is conscious and the alarm has been delivered to [Mercy One Des Moines Medical Center] for further evaluation.
A big beneficiary after the Newgarden incident was Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward, runner-up to Newgarden on Saturday, who led the lap 250 restart and drove away from Penske’s Willpower to take his second win of the season.
Winning by 4.2 seconds, O’Ward held off Power and Penske’s Scott McLaughlin 9.4 seconds on the checkered flag as the Chevy team completed the podium to take all six spots at the weekend.
“Great weekend for us,” said O’Ward. “We knew we needed to play this weekend for a chance at the championship. The guys were great in the boxes. I was doing my job in the car and I knew we needed to speed up to win.
“The problem was just trying to get through to Josef – and it’s one thing to approach him, and another thing to get around him. I’m glad he’s okay. We took the opportunity and just left with it. I knew we had the pace to do it. [It’s] it’s just about being in the right situation.”
Newgarden led 148 laps and was poised to lead the championship with 10 points before crashing; his misfortune dropped the Iowa specialist from second to fourth in the standings. O’Ward’s victory contributed to his championship quest as he moved up from sixth to fifth place, only 36 points behind leader Markus Eriksson.
Power entered Iowa 35 points behind Eriksson, who returned home in sixth and left with a lead of eight.
“Great weekend in terms of points for us,” Power said.
Prior to Newgarden’s crash, there wasn’t much to report other than his racing prowess. At one point, he moved up to fifth, and there was no hope for O’Ward, Power, or anyone else to catch up with the No. 2 Chevy until a surreal image of Newgarden slid backwards with the back of his car in an alarming state appeared. came into view.
“Of course it was a bit of a shock,” he said. “I want to cry. I’m so sad for my team. I don’t know what happened. It was a good run. It’s only one race, but I feel terrible for us. The guys from Chevy and Hitachi did a great job. Something it went wrong.”
Off the podium, Chip Ganassi Racing had a good day with most of its drivers as Scott Dixon overcame a poor start from 18th to fourth, becoming the first Honda driver to return home. Fellow Jimmie Johnson put in his best IndyCar performance to date, looking fast and determined on his way from 13th to fifth. The aforementioned Eriksson, who lacked speed on the podium in the first race, managed to take sixth place as the only CGR to struggle was Alex Palou, who had never raced and finished far 13th.
Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports’ David Malukas posted his best rookie season ever with a solid eighth place finish; teammate Takuma Sato pushed him hard in the final laps, but Malukas kept up with the two-time Indy 500 winner. Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean ended an impressive debut weekend at Iowa with eighth place, adding to his seventh the day before, and last the big standout was Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Callum Ilott, who improved from his 12th place on Saturday to another clean spot on Sunday. claim 11th place.
Aside from Kyle Kirkwood hitting the first turn wall on lap 117 on his own and Newgarden’s surprise exit, 300 laps went by without a break.
The Hy-Vee IndyCar weekend in Iowa was a resounding success, with an encouraging crowd at race one and a large audience at race two. If half of IndyCar’s annual events, lacking a lot of people and a lot of energy, followed Iowa’s new blueprint, the series would be the richest and most popular in decades.
#OWard #wins #Iowa #late #crash #Newgarden