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
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
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie Plus

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in Indycar for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular team-mate Mauro Martini's passion for racing

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority Plus

The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority

OPINION: Having been Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar focal point for the best part of a decade, Scott Dixon has been so far outgunned by new team-mate Alex Palou in 2021. After finishing behind the Spaniard at his traditional happy hunting ground at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has work to do to assume his traditional position in the team and the standings

IndyCar
Jul 6, 2021
The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far Plus

The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far

At the halfway point in the 2021 IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels?

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Plus

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, he explained his tactics

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Plus

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after edging past Alex Palou on the penultimate lap of a thrilling race that validated Michael Shank's faith in the veteran Brazilian - who is discovering that there is life after Penske after all

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021