Josef Newgarden: “It’s great to start third”

Josef Newgarden is looking to convert his excellent third place on the grid at Barber Motorsports Park into a good result on Sunday for Ed Carpenter Racing.

The popular American racer admitted the team struggled during the early part of the weekend’s running but worked hard to find the pace necessary firstly to make it into the Fast Six shootout, and then to qualify on the second row of the grid in Alabama.

Newgarden feels the team may struggle for outright pace during the race, but hopes to be in contention for the victory by playing to his strengths of consistency throughout.

“Our guys have been working so hard, I’m glad we found a little pace over the weekend,” said Newgarden. “We’ve been in the top 10 but not quite in that top group; however, we found a little bit on that last change heading into qualifying.

“It’s great to start third, that’s right where we need to be to try and win this race tomorrow. It’s the last time we’re going to be running this 100th Running Commemorate Bottle Fuzzy’s Vodka car, so it would be nice to get a strong result here for those guys.

“I think we’re going to have a race car to do it. We haven’t had the ultimate outright pace, but we’ll have longevity here – we always have.”