Josef Newgarden: “I think we were all just trying to get to the end”


Josef Newgarden finished second for Team Penske on Sunday - Credit: Bret Kelley / IndyCar

Josef Newgarden finished second in race two around the streets of Detroit on Sunday but admitted that he was unable to do anything about Graham Rahal in the final stages of the race, with the final few laps of the race just a case of hanging on and getting to the finish.

The Team Penske driver was the best of those who attempted a three-stop strategy and when the red flags came out with just three laps to go, the six-second gap between Rahal and Newgarden was closed to nothing.

But on the restart, Rahal pulled a gap almost instantly, and in the end Newgarden was just hanging on as he struggled with the grip of his Firestone tyres, and ultimately he was forced to settle for second place.

“I’ll be honest, I think we were all just trying to get to the end,” said Newgarden. “There were just two laps to go and we had marbles all over the tyres.

“In that type situation, there’s not much you can do. You want to say you’d be able to go race this guy and try to beat him. And I would have done that if he messed up; if he made a mistake, I would try to capitalize.

“But if everyone stays steady, we are just trying to hold on to the race car. It’s very difficult to do that at the end. When it’s your weekend, it’s your weekend. (Race-winner Graham) Rahal did a great job. It’s a good bounce back for us at Team Penske in the hum by Verizon Chevrolet.

“It’s good to be in Detroit. Thanks to all the fans that came out and Chevrolet for all they do. It’s fun to be in this city. I was trying to get Chevrolet that win but just didn’t have enough today.”