IndyCar News: Texas third like a win after "how bad we were" - Newgarden

Defending IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden says he felt "like we won the race with how bad we were", after the Penske driver finished third in the Texas season-opener

IndyCar News: Texas third like a win after "how bad we were" - Newgarden

The polesitter led 41 of the race's 200 laps, but consistently fought with tire problems that left him easy prey for the dominant Chip Ganassi car of eventual winner Scott Dixon and late-crasher Felix Rosenqvist.

"I feel like we won the race with how bad we were!" he told NBC after leading the first 32 laps and then another eight mid-race thanks to an exceptional stop by his crew.

"My team fought; if there's anything we have it's an incredible fighting spirit. We do everything we can to finish the races as good as possible.

"But we were just struggling. I was really struggling with vibrations on the tires. For whatever reason, our setup philosophy kind of fell apart on us.

"It wasn't favouring the race conditions. Congrats to Scott, the Chip Ganassi cars were amazing tonight.

"They definitely deserved to win. I'm happy we were able to fight for a podium.

"I feel bad for [new sponsor] Xpel. We got pole, they were pumped to try and win this race, I said, 'Hey, we gotta do the best we can to try and win'.

"We'll have another race with them and try and get a victory at some point. Team Chevy did a great job. We were close but we didn't have what it took to fight for the win tonight."

Firestone had to bring 2019-spec tyres to the race due to their plant being shut down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the extreme heat in Texas and the new weight distribution of the cars with their aeroscreens, Firestone had a consultation with IndyCar and it was decided to impose a 35-lap limit on each set.

This was in marked contrast to the stint lengths seen in 2019, of around 60-65 laps.

Nevertheless, the Penske cars of both Newgarden and second-placed finisher Simon Pagenaud suffered severe tire vibrations from early in a stint.

"There were times I felt like I was gonna wreck the car but I kept it off the wall, came home with a podium finish, which is really good," Newgarden said.

"That's what have you have to do all year long. If I can win the race, I'm gonna go for the win, but tonight was not that night.

"So we tried to pick up the pieces and finish as strong as possible. That's what this team is capable of.

"They execute [stops perfectly] at every stop for me, I've got the best of the best on my car Tim [Cindric, Penske team president] is always calling a great race, and that's why we're able to finish up front on a tough night.

"We've gotta regroup. I'm not pleased with third, I wanna go win a race, and I know all these guys do behind me, so we'll figure out what wasn't right tonight, we'll fix it and we'll come back for a win."

shares
comments
Texas IndyCar: Dixon wins season-opener, Rosenqvist crashes out from second

Previous article

Texas IndyCar: Dixon wins season-opener, Rosenqvist crashes out from second

Next article

IndyCar News: Rosenqvist "can't blame" Hinchcliffe for late crash

IndyCar News: Rosenqvist "can't blame" Hinchcliffe for late crash
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Josef Newgarden
Author David Malsher
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021
Why American racing's top dog is without equal Plus

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

A byword for success in business and in motorsport for over 50 years, Roger Penske's importance to the US scene cannot be understated. In an exclusive interview, the custodian of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway reflects on his journey

IndyCar
Jan 11, 2021
The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete Plus

The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indycar game-changer that won its third Indianapolis 500 five years after its debut

IndyCar
Dec 22, 2020
Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough Plus

Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough

Josef Newgarden feels he didn't put a foot wrong in 2020, yet his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield a third series championship. But in a warning shot to Scott Dixon, Team Penske's team leader has vowed to redouble his efforts in 2021

IndyCar
Dec 21, 2020
How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season Plus

How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season

Three wins on the trot gave the Chip Ganassi Racing superstar the cushion he needed to hang on for a sixth title in the face of Josef Newgarden's late challenge. Here's the rundown of a typically frantic IndyCar campaign in an extraordinary year

IndyCar
Nov 28, 2020
The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy Plus

The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy

Calls for an improvement in the racing spectacle at the Indianapolis 500 have been met with small aerodynamic tweaks from IndyCar on superspeedways. But where such high speeds are involved, even minor adjustments require significant planning

IndyCar
Oct 31, 2020
The departing IndyCar hero who can't let go Plus

The departing IndyCar hero who can't let go

He's an IndyCar champion and an Indianapolis 500 winner, but there's more to Tony Kanaan's legacy than sheer numbers according some key rivals, team-mates and friends from his 20-year top-flight US open-wheel career

IndyCar
Oct 4, 2020