IndyCar Road America: Newgarden takes commanding victory

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

IndyCar Road America: Newgarden takes commanding 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 Simon Pagenaud finished in seventh, having been forced into a recovery drive from 14th having missed the 'Fast 12' on Saturday by three-thousandths of a second.

That meant Spencer Pigot was eighth as he missed out on his best IndyCar result of the 2018 season by one place.

Ganassi's Ed Jones and 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 20th 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

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Scott Dixon 393
2 Ryan Hunter-Reay 348
3 Alexander Rossi 348
4 Josef Newgarden 343
5 Will Power 328
6 Graham Rahal 278
7 Robert Wickens 274
8 Simon Pagenaud 255
9 Sebastien Bourdais 235
10 Marco Andretti 232
11 James Hinchcliffe 229
12 Ed Jones 205
13 Takuma Sato 201
14 Tony Kanaan 173
15 Spencer Pigot 171
16 Zach Veach 155
17 Charlie Kimball 151
18 Gabby Chaves 149
19 Matheus Leist 148
20 Max Chilton 134
21 Ed Carpenter 128
22 Zachary Claman 94
23 Jordan King 88
24 Carlos Munoz 53
25 Jack Harvey 53
26 Kyle Kaiser 45
27 Helio Castroneves 40
28 Rene Binder 39
29 J.R. Hildebrand 38
30 Stefan Wilson 31
31 Oriol Servia 27
32 Santino Ferrucci 18
33 Conor Daly 18
34 Danica Patrick 13
35 Jay Howard 12
36 Alfonso Celis 10
36 James Davison 10
36 Sage Karam 10
39 Pietro Fittipaldi 7


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Road America IndyCar: Josef Newgarden leads all-Penske front row

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Josef Newgarden
Author Tom Errington
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