Newgarden unapologetic over Grosjean clash in Nashville IndyCar race

Josef Newgarden said “welcome to IndyCar” in response to his clash with Romain Grosjean that took the French driver out of the Nashville race.

Newgarden unapologetic over Grosjean clash in Nashville IndyCar race

After a fuel strategy didn’t work out due to how the caution periods unfolded, Newgarden made a late pitstop under yellow and had to climb back up from 14th place.

After moving up to 10th place, at the penultimate restart following a caution period he made a bold dive up the inside of three cars and clashed with Grosjean at Turn 9. With Grosjean still alongside him at the corner exit, Newgarden sent the Andretti driver into the concrete wall, which triggered a late red flag.

The two-time IndyCar champion felt there was nothing wrong with his manoeuvre, telling NBC Sports: “I was alongside him fully if not fully ahead. I haven't seen it from the outside.”

Then after watching the replay he said: “I'm already ahead of him at that point. Welcome to IndyCar: it gets tight. The big thing was that I was ahead at that moment. It's tight street course racing and I almost got taken out six times myself.

“Probably need to have a discussion with some of the younger guys, they're just aggressive. And if you're not aggressive back, then you get run over. You've got to learn that pretty quick. I don't like it, but that's the game that we're in.

"Ultimately we had a big fight back with the PPG car, that's all I can say.

“So that has built frustration for me, because it's hard to see it happen to this crew. I hate it too, I'm very competitive. Happens a couple of times per year, that's part of it, but it's just happened one too many times - and today was another unlucky day with how it played out."

Former IndyCar championship leader Marcus Ericsson took to Twitter to express his lack of sympathy with Grosjean, who he felt was responsible for his retirement from the Nashville race, after being struck by the Andretti car and losing drive.

Following Grosjean posting ‘angry face’ emojis, the Indy 500 winner responded: “What goes around comes around.”

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Power survives to keep championship lead

Power retained his IndyCar championship lead after Graham Rahal pushed Pato O’Ward’s car into the rear of the #12 Penske, causing Power’s gearbox to go into emergency mode on lap 26.

He would eventually salvage 11th, but his lap times were off by 1.5s-2s.

“We had the gear thing pretty early,” said the 2014 champion. “Probably not even 30 laps in, we got hit from behind. Whatever they have on the gearbox, I’ve had it a couple of times and multiple people have, so maybe they should change it.

“If you get hit from behind, it knocks out your shifting so you have to manually shift. You have to lift [on upshifts] and you have to blip the throttle. That makes it an interesting day. I sat back and watched so much mayhem.

“We thought this would be a bit of a wildcard race, like there was going to be a lot of mayhem so you just needed to survive it somewhat, which we did.

“We’re still in a great place and still digging deep. We’ll see what we can do in the last three races.”

After Scott Dixon’s win in Nashville, Power’s lead has shrunk from eight to six points, but his nearest competitor is now Dixon, with Ericsson 12 points back, Newgarden 22 down, and defending champion Alex Palou 33 in arrears.

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IndyCar Nashville: Dixon triumphs through the chaos
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