Champion Newgarden 'dreaded' facing "chaotic" IndyCar 2019 finale

Freshly-crowned double IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden says he was "dreading" the "chaotic" double points finale at Laguna Seca, which the Penske driver "hated"

Champion Newgarden 'dreaded' facing "chaotic" IndyCar 2019 finale

Newgarden finished eighth with his closest title rival Alexander Rossi in sixth place, and it was enough to give the former a second title following his 2017 success.

The Penske driver added his second title was "more special" than his first and that he was more "emotional" than he was after his 2017 crown.

"I'm just happy it's done with, to be honest with you," said Newgarden following his second title win.

"I've been dreading the last couple weeks because I don't think it really hits you until you get finally to Laguna - or after Portland I should say, [with] two weeks to go, because then you really realise the points situation.

"It's just such a stressful deal with double points. I hated it.

"I hated thinking about it, and I know we didn't build up enough of a gap to make it super-easy on ourselves, and I was just kind of dreading it, to be honest with you.

"I was just happy we were able to get through today. It was kind of a chaotic event. There were moments where I didn't think it was going to go our way."

Newgarden and his Penske team set out with the strategy to shadow Rossi - in a race which was won by rookie Colton Herta - in order to protect Newgarden's 41-point lead.

But during the second stint after switching to the harder Firestone tyres, he felt an as yet undiagnosed issue with his car.

"My goal was to shadow Rossi, and that's either going to be in my favour or it's not," Newgarden added.

"And it looked like it was coming out of that favour, that sort of strategy. But I had to stick to the plan.

"Our goose was kind of cooked after the first stint. It was like, look, you've made your bed, this is what it is.

"I do think we encountered a problem today, though. I don't know what happened. My first stint was very good. The car felt normal.

"Rossi was really slow in front of me towards the end, and I was just doing my game. I was shadowing him.

"I was nervous he was going to wreck me if I tried to pass him. It sort of seemed like it.

"But then the second stint, as soon as I went to black tires, it was like something just happened.

"It was like we dropped a bunch of downforce, or a shock went out or something like that, and I was really struggling with the car, but I was still keeping with my objective to shadow Rossi to the finish."

shares
comments
Laguna Seca IndyCar: Newgarden seals 2019 title as Herta wins again

Previous article

Laguna Seca IndyCar: Newgarden seals 2019 title as Herta wins again

Next article

Rossi: "The right guy won" IndyCar title after Newgarden victory

Rossi: "The right guy won" IndyCar title after Newgarden victory
Load comments
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Plus

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets is now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over Plus

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over

OPINION: The 2021 IndyCar silly season has been one of the silliest for many years, as many talented drivers remain in play – with new pieces to the puzzle being added all the time. Here's what we know so far about who will end up where in 2022

IndyCar
Sep 15, 2021
Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears Plus

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears

OPINION: The rise of two drivers racing only their second full-season IndyCar campaigns to head the points with four races to go has led to some observers doubting the credentials of the old guard. But they haven't faded away, there's merely a deeper talent pool that is helping to make this season one of the best in recent years

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021