Newgarden Heads Championship after Mid-Ohio Triumph

Josef Newgarden won at Mid-Ohio to take over the lead of the IndyCar championship - Credit: Joe Skibinski / IndyCar

Josef Newgarden secured a second consecutive victory and his third win of the season with a dominant drive around the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday.

The Team Penske driver started on the front row of the grid alongside polesitter Will Power, and maintained position at the start, sliding into position behind his team-mate.

However, it was not long before Newgarden started to apply the pressure on Power, and he pulled off a great move into turn four to inherit the lead just before the first round of pit stops, a position he would maintain for the remainder of the race.

The only moment of worry for Newgarden was at a restart following the races one and only caution period, but the lapped car of Esteban Gutierrez enabled him to edge away again, and he remained unchallenged to the chequered flag, with the win taking him to the top of the championship standings.

Power’s attention towards the end of the race was not on Newgarden but on Graham Rahal, who kept the pressure on and made a couple of attempts to pass into turn four, only to be denied by the Australian.

Simon Pagenaud made it three Team Penske machines inside the top four, finishing on Rahal’s tail, while Takuma Sato converted his strong qualifying performance into a strong race result in fifth for Andretti Autosport.

Alexander Rossi started ninth for Andretti Herta Autosport and drove well, getting as high as fourth before finishing sixth, surviving contact with his team-mate Ryan Hunter-Reay early on that spun the former series champion down the order.

Helio Castroneves was seventh in the final of the four Penske machines ahead of Hunter-Reay, who made a great recovery from his spin to take eighth, while pre-race championship leader Scott Dixon could only manage ninth, with the Chip Ganassi Racing driver complaining about the handling of his car mid-race.

His team gambled on bringing him in early during the second pit stop window but the gamble could only finish down in ninth, which moves him down to third in the championship standings behind Newgarden and Castroneves.

The top ten was completed by Conor Daly of AJ Foyt Racing after the American made a move late in the day on James Hinchcliffe of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, who ended up eleventh ahead of Marco Andretti.

The only caution period was caused by a spin for Ed Jones, although the rookie was able to return to the race albeit down at the back of the field, with he and Dale Coyne Racing team-mate Gutierrez ending up at the rear of the pack.

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Race Result

12Josef NewgardenUSATeam Penske90 Laps
212Will PowerAUSTeam Penske+5.1556s
315Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing+6.3129s
41Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske+6.8807s
526Takuma SatoJAPAndretti Autosport+7.3092s
698Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport+9.0266s
73Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske+11.6809s
828Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport+12.3623s
99Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing+18.1857s
104Conor DalyUSAAJ Foyt Enterprises+20.5661s
115James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports+27.3241s
1227Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport+29.9928s
1383Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing+31.1248s
147Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports+32.5958s
158Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing+33.1095s
1610Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing+36.1997s
1721JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing+1:00.8248s
1814Carlos MunozCOLAJ Foyt Enterprises+1 Lap
1920Spencer PigotUSAEd Carpenter Racing+1 Lap
2018Esteban GutierrezMEXDale Coyne Racing+1 Lap
2119Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne Racing+2 Laps