Newgarden extends Iowa mastery with another win
It might be time to change the name of the town where Iowa Speedway is located from Newton to Newgardenton.
Josef Newgarden became the INDYCAR SERIES all-time wins leader at Iowa Speedway by winning the Hy-VeeDeals.com 250 presented by DoorDash on Saturday, his fourth career victory at the .894-mile oval and his fourth 2022 season win in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet. Newgarden and Ryan Hunter-Reay both entered that run tied atop Iowa’s all-time winning list with three apiece.
Newgarden, who started second, beat Pato O’Ward in the No. 5 Chevrolet Arrow McLaren SP to the checkered flag by 6.1784 seconds for his 24th career win. NTT P1 Award winner Will Power finished third in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet on a scorching day with air temperatures nearing 100 degrees.
SEE: Race results | Race Highlights
“I’m glad I wore this cool shirt,” Newgarden said. “It was actually quite nice and easy in there, to be honest with you. The car felt good. I was surprised how hard these guys were pushing on restarts. It’s a long day of play .
“I was disappointed after qualifying. I just hate losing, and I felt like we had enough to do the job, and we didn’t. It motivated me. I knew we We had a car here today to win this race in front of this big crowd. It’s one of my favorite bits.”
Newgarden, a two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion, added the victory to his wins in 2016, 2019 and the second race of Iowa’s 2020 doubleheader. He will have the chance to add to his win total at the ‘Iowa in the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google at 3 p.m. ET Sunday, live on NBC and the INDYCAR radio network), starting second behind teammate Power.
Newgarden also passed Power for second place in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Championship standings and found himself just 15 points behind leader Marcus Ericsson, who finished eighth in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
“I feel good,” Newgarden said. “We were in the game. It’s just not where we want to be in the game. We’re in the fight; we are relatively there. We just have to figure out how to have more consistency. It’s either win or go awry on our weekends.
There was nothing sideways about Newgarden’s performance today. He led 208 of 250 laps and ran away from O’Ward in the last 25 trips around the “Fastest Short Track on the Planet”.
Newgarden has also completed every lap of the past nine INDYCAR SERIES races in Iowa. It’s an amazing feat considering the dangers of close oval racing and how easy it is to drop a lap on a circuit where racing laps only take 20 seconds.
While Newgarden never trailed past Lap 80, O’Ward made it interesting on the final fuel and tire stint. O’Ward found himself less than eight-tenths of a second off the lead with 25 laps to go when Newgarden got stuck in traffic.
But once Newgarden cleared that thicket of cars, it was time to go. He will share $10,000 with his team and his two charities, SeriousFun Children’s Network and Wags and Walks Nashville, for victory in the PeopleReady Force for Good Challenge.
“I was pushing Josef there at the end, but we didn’t quite get him,” O’Ward said. “We kept making the car better and better with each stint. There at the end I think we took them a bit of time to pass Will and Alex (Palou) and recover the lap times that were trying to catch the No. 2.”
Rinus VeeKay continued his recent resurgence by finishing fourth on the #21 Bitcoin Racing Team with BitNile Chevrolet, his second top four finish in his last three starts. Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon followed up his victory last Sunday at the Honda Indy in Toronto by finishing fifth in the No. 9 Honda of PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing.
Dixon is one of five drivers within a points race of leader Ericsson. Newgarden is second, 15 points behind; Power third, 22 behind; Palou fourth, 33 behind; Dixon fifth, 38 back; and O’Ward sixth, 59 behind.
Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was also one of the stars of the show today, finishing 11th in the #48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Johnson made many brave moves in the highest furrow of the racetrack to pass many enemies. He led a career-high 19 laps – one of only three lap leaders today – and ran in the top five for much of the race.
While there were only three lap leaders, the competitive race featured 772 laps in total, including 372 for position.