IndyCar Road America: Newgarden takes commanding victory

Tom Errington
Autosport
Newgarden takes commanding Road America win
Newgarden takes commanding Road America win

Defending IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden led all but one lap at Road America to secure a dominant victory.

Newgarden ended the race in a three-way fight between himself, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Scott Dixon after the final round of a conventional three-stop strategy for the leaders.

Dixon vaulted himself into contention by running a lap longer in the opening stint, climbing from eighth on the grid into the leading pack when the varying strategies shook out.

He inherited third when Alexander Rossi, who entered the race second in the standings, was forced into the pits with an apparent right-rear tyre problem that cost him swathes of time and dropped him to 17th.

Dixon then ensured he would fight for the win when he came into the pits one lap earlier than Newgarden and Hunter-Reay ahead of the final splash-and-dash stops.

That meant when Newgarden edged Hunter-Reay coming out of pitroad, Dixon was able to aggressively close the gap to second and attempt to make the most of the Andretti driver's colder tyres.

Their duel for second allowed Newgarden to further strengthen his lead and sail to victory, as Hunter-Reay resisted Dixon for second place.

Penske locked out the front row of the grid but Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power instantly lost power at the start and dropped to the rear of the field. He would add one more lap before retiring with an engine problem.

Takuma Sato was fourth despite losing several places at the midpoint of the race when Rossi forced him onto the grass at the exit of the tight left-hand Turn 8.

He then moved to fourth after Rossi's problems, having previously picked off rookie Robert Wickens, who lacked top speed on Road America's long straights.

Wickens would hold onto fifth ahead of Sato's team-mate Graham Rahal and Spencer Pigot was seventh in his best result of the 2018 IndyCar season.

Ed Jones finished eighth ahead of Simon Pagenaud, who was forced into a recovery drive from 14th having missed the 'Fast 12' on Saturday by three-thousandths of a second.

James Hinchcliffe rounded out the top 10, ahead of Marco Andretti and Jordan King, who had fallen back after a blistering start to the race in which he made 12 overtakes in the first three laps.

Sebastien Bourdais fell out of contention early in the race when an early stop from fifth place - suggesting he was going for a four-stop strategy - was compromised by an engine stall.

Bourdais ended the day in 13th ahead of AJ Foyt Racing duo Tony Kanaan and Matheus Leist in their first race since being confirmed at the team for 2019.

Former Force India Formula 1 development driver Alfonso Celis Jr finished 21st on his IndyCar debut.

Race result

Pos

Driver

Team

Car

Laps

Gap

1

Josef Newgarden

Team Penske

Dallara/Chevrolet

55

1h40m16.4165s

2

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Dallara/Honda

55

3.3759s

3

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Dallara/Honda

55

5.4902s

4

Takuma Sato

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Dallara/Honda

55

14.8772s

5

Robert Wickens

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Dallara/Honda

55

23.8993s

6

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Dallara/Honda

55

32.5513s

7

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Dallara/Chevrolet

55

42.1868s

8

Spencer Pigot

Ed Carpenter Racing

Dallara/Chevrolet

55

42.5336s

9

Ed Jones

Chip Ganassi Racing

Dallara/Honda

55

46.2118s

10

James Hinchcliffe

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Dallara/Honda

55

47.5359s

11

Marco Andretti

Andretti Herta

Dallara/Honda

55

48.1468s

12

Jordan King

Ed Carpenter Racing

Dallara/Chevrolet

55

53.4242s

13

Sebastien Bourdais

Dale Coyne Racing

Dallara/Honda

55

1m00.3249s

14

Tony Kanaan

AJ Foyt Enterprises

Dallara/Chevrolet

55

1m05.2583s

15

Matheus Leist

AJ Foyt Enterprises

Dallara/Chevrolet

55

1m09.7681s

16

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Dallara/Honda

55

1m23.4715s

17

Max Chilton

Carlin

Dallara/Chevrolet

55

1m24.3709s

18

Charlie Kimball

Carlin

Dallara/Chevrolet

55

1m43.1557s

19

Gabby Chaves

Harding Racing

Dallara/Chevrolet

54

1 Lap

20

Alfonso Celis

Juncos Racing

Dallara/Chevrolet

54

1 Lap

21

Zachary Claman

Dale Coyne Racing

Dallara/Honda

54

1 Lap

22

Zach Veach

Andretti Autosport

Dallara/Honda

54

1 Lap

23

Will Power

Team Penske

Dallara/Chevrolet

2

Mechanical


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