After a difficult race on Friday night, Josef Newgarden put on a clinic to dominate the second race of the Iowa IndyCar 250s doubleheader at Iowa Speedway and win his first race of the season.
Newgarden started on the pole for this race and right from the drop of the green flag he pulled away from the pack. The ARCA Menards Series stock cars put rubber down as they raced earlier in the day, allowing cars to run three wide through turns one and two
One driver who was able to take advantage of this was Santino Ferrucci who gained eight spots from his starting position of 16th in the very early stages of the race.
Lap 37 began a very rough night for Colton Herta, as he slid up the track coming off of turn four and luckily kept it off the wall. He was quickly passed by Ferrucci, Tony Kanaan, and more as he continued to slide, finishing a miserable day in 19th place. A weekend to forget for the 20 year old who was sent airborne in a crash with Rinus Veekay during Friday’s race.
Much like Friday night, Takuma Sato and Simon Pagenaud would be the first to hit pit road, a strategy that allowed Pagenaud to win from last place. Some would follow them in, including the likes of Colton Herta and Felix Rosenqvist the very next lap.
As the pit stops finished, Josef Newgarden would cycle back to the lead, but the big winner would be Patricio “Pato” O’ Ward, who after jumping Conor Daly for third place and then passing Will Power on lap 67, would attempt to hunt down the race leader.
By lap 104 O’Ward would have the gap at less than half a second, but a few laps later on lap 107 Newgarden would dive for the pits, with O’Ward following suit the very next lap. During this cycle we saw the first case of the “Pit Accident Plague” back up to its old tricks again as Rinus Veekay stalled on his pit stop on lap 107.
Lap 114 saw the first caution of the night, as Ed Carpenter got up in the marbles in turn two avoiding traffic and smacked the wall, bringing out the first caution of the night. This would trap the likes of Conor Daly a lap down, who came into the pits just two laps earlier.
It was beneficial however for Graham Rahal, who would be able to pit and stay in the top ten in a lofty fourth place.
Newgarden would bring the field back to green on lap 127 and would continue to fend off Pato O’Ward, who drew closer to the defending series champ with his superior long run speed.
Newgarden would continue to fend off the charging Mexican until the pit stops, where O’Ward and the Arrow McLaren SP team would be the next victims of the “Pit Accident Plague”. The left rear tyre didn’t have it’s nut tightened enough, and just as Pato was ready to peel away he had to stop, get pushed back to his stall, and have it tightened. Newgarden was wise to Pato’s pit problems and promptly came in for service the next lap to cover him off and maintain his lead.
The caution flag would fly once again on lap 180 as Ryan Hunter-Reay would become the next victim of the “Pit Accident Plague” as he had a left front tyre come off exiting pit lane, smacking the inside wall in almost the exact same place as he did last night. Sadly, he wasn’t able to get away with it this time, ending his night. This would trap Pato O’ Ward one lap down, and instead of fighting for a race win, O’Ward would come home 12th, unable to get back on the lead lap.
After the pit stops cycled out under yellow, it would be Newgarden, Power, and Daly leading the field to the restart on lap 193 just like they did at the very start of the race. Just like the start, and also every subsequent restart, Newgarden would blast into the lead, and wouldn’t give it up, winning the second race of the doubleheader with teammate Will Power second.
Conor Daly would have to pit with 34 laps to go, as it would have been a bit of a stretch to make it to the end from his previous stop on lap 166. This would promote Graham Rahal to third after starting 19th, giving him his first podium finish in over a year.
This win would be historic for Newgarden, becoming the first IndyCar driver to start on the pole and win at Iowa. This was also the fourth race in six years at the course that he would lead over 200 laps.
Simon Pagenaud was able to pull off another strong performance from dead last, finishing fourth and gaining 19 positions. Another impressive drive for the Frenchman who was unable to set a qualifying time for either race due to fuel pressure issues in qualifying.
Other strong performers included Pato O’Ward’s teammate Oliver Askew, who after getting his first career podium on Friday night would come home a strong sixth place tonight. Jack Harvey of Meyer Shank Racing was the model for consistency this weekend as he came home with another seventh place finish.
Marco Andretti would recover from a dismal Friday night race marred with issues to finish in the top 10, and Tony Kanaan would finish as the last car on the lead lap, finishing 11th in his last race at the track.
After four races in the span of two weeks, the teams and drivers now get a well-deserved break and will meet up once again at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on 9 August for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
|1||1||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||01:38:40.518|
|2||12||Will Power||Team Penske||-2.786|
|3||15||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||-3.564|
|4||22||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||-6.124|
|5||9||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||-6.575|
|6||7||Oliver Askew (R)||Arrow McLaren SP||-16.000|
|7||60||Jack Harvey||Meyer Shank Racing||-16.618|
|8||27||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||-17.886|
|9||8||Marcus Ericsson||Chip Ganassi Racing||-18.520|
|10||98||Marco Andretti||Andretti Herta Autosport w/ Marco Andretti & Curb-Agajanian||-20.017|
|11||14||Tony Kanaan||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||-20.742|
|12||5||Patricio O’Ward||Arrow McLaren SP||-1 Lap|
|13||59||Conor Daly||Carlin||-1 Lap|
|14||55||Alex Palou (R)||Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh||-1 Lap|
|15||10||Felix Rosenqvist||Chip Ganassi Racing||-2 Laps|
|16||4||Charlie Kimball||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||-2 Laps|
|17||21||Rinus Veekay (R)||Ed Carptenter Racing||-2 Laps|
|18||18||Santino Ferrucci||Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan||-3 Laps|
|19||88||Colton Herta||Andretti Autosport Steinbrenner Autosport||-3 Laps|
|20||26||Zach Veach||Andretti Autosport||-3 Laps|
|21||30||Takuma Sato||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||-3 Laps|
|22||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Crash|
|23||20||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||Crash|