Josef Newgarden turned up the heat in the NTT IndyCar Series points race with his third victory of the season, breaking through previously mediocre results on the IMS road course.
The two-time and defending series champion entered Race 1 of the Harvest GP with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ranking as his worst track (with an average finish of worse than 14th on both oval and road course). But he showed little weakness Friday, starting second and leading 34 of 85 laps for his 17th career victory.
Newgarden finished 14.294 seconds ahead of Alexander Rossi in Team Penske’s fifth IndyCar victory on the IMS road course.
WHAT DRIVERS SAID: Postrace quotes Friday from IMS
Rookie Rinus VeeKay, who led 15 laps after starting on the pole position, was third, followed by Colton Herta and Felix Rosenqvist.
— IndyCar on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) October 2, 2020
Championship leader Scott Dixon had an average day, finishing ninth after starting 12th as the his gap narrowed over Newgarden.
Here are the IndyCar IMS results and points standings from Friday in Race 1 of the Harvest GP:
—Click here for the box score from Friday’s Harvest GP Race 1 at IMS
—Click here for the lap leader summary from the race
After 12 of a scheduled 14 races, Dixon’s lead has shrunk to 40 points (478-438) over Newgarden (who trailed by 72 points entering the Harvest GP doubleheader race weekend at the IMS road course).
The rest of the top 10: Colton Herta 360, Pato O’Ward 346, Will Power 334, Graham Rahal 328, Takuma Sato 312, Simon Pagenaud 291, Felix Rosenqvist 275, Ryan Hunter-Reay 271.
Click here for the driver points chart from Friday’s race at IMS.
Here’s what the full points standings are through 12 races for:
NEXT: The series will race again Sunday in the closer of the doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course before concluding the season Oct. 25 at St. Petersburg, Florida.
IndyCar results and points standings after Harvest GP Race No. 1 Friday originally appeared on NBCSports.com