Although Team Penske teammate Will Power swept both pole positions at Iowa Speedway early Saturday morning and led the first 121 laps of today’s race, it was all Josef Newgarden until the checkered flag. Coming into this weekend as the clear-cut favorite after nearly sweeping last year’s Iowa doubleheader, qualifying in third place behind both of his Penske teammates could be seen as a disappointment for the Tennessee native.
Power gassed the field for about the first 100 laps before the #3 of Scott McLaughlin started to fight with his teammate. Power retained his well-earned lead until Newgarden took over the lead as aforementioned on Lap 121. Soon after that, Newgarden and the other leading cars of Power, McLaughlin, and Pato O’Ward dove into the pits, setting the tone for the rest of the 250-lap contest.
The Hendersonville, Tennessee native pulled away from the rest of the field until the last 10 laps, where McLaughlin roared to within 1.5 seconds of his teammate before lapped cars stood in his way, preventing the Kiwi driver from having a shot at making the pass. The “Bus Bros” ended up finishing 1-2, as Newgarden bested McLaughlin by just over three seconds when the checkered flag flew on the Hy-Vee Homefront 250.
However, the victory didn’t come without frustration for JoNew. In his post-race interview, the now five-time Iowa winner complained about the traffic around the 7/8-mile oval, calling it the “…worst it has ever been.” Newgarden has a point, as this weekend’s 28-car field is the largest Iowa Speedway has seen in its 16-year reign on the IndyCar schedule.
The only caution of the race occurred on Lap 152 when Graham Rahal careened into the barrier coming out of Turn 4, ending his day 101 laps early as he was already three laps down. A minor incident occurred later on in the race when Benjamin Pedersen was released into the path of Devlin Defrancesco in pit lane, resulting in minor contact between the two and momentarily preventing Pedersen’s teammate Santino Ferrucci from exiting his pit box.
With an eighth-place finish, Alex Palou retains an advantage of over 100 points in the championship standings. Newgarden slides up to second-place in the standings after his win, with Scott Dixon slipping back to third, followed by O’Ward and Marcus Ericsson in fourth and fifth place respectively.
|1||Josef Newgarden||2||Team Penske|
|2||Scott McLaughlin||3||Team Penske||+3.3755|
|3||Pato O’Ward||5||Arrow McLaren||+9.6072|
|4||Marcus Ericsson||8||Chip Ganassi Racing||+14.6385|
|5||Will Power||12||Team Penske||+22.4025|
|6||Scott Dixon||9||Chip Ganassi Racing||+1 lap|
|7||Kyle Kirkwood||27||Andretti Autosport||+1 lap|
|8||Alex Palou||10||Chip Ganassi Racing||+1 lap|
|9||Takuma Sato||11||Chip Ganassi Racing||+1 lap|
|10||Alexander Rossi||7||Arrow McLaren||+1 lap|
|11||Romain Grosjean||28||Andretti Autosport||+1 lap|
|12||David Malukas||18||Dale Coyne Racing||+2 laps|
|13||Felix Rosenqvist||6||Arrow McLaren||+2 laps|
|14||Helio Castroneves||06||Meyer Shank Racing||+2 laps|
|15||Callum Ilott||77||Juncos Hollinger Racing||+3 laps|
|16||Agustin Canapino||78||Juncos Hollinger Racing||+3 laps|
|17||Rinus Veekay||21||Ed Carpenter Racing||+3 laps|
|18||Jack Harvey||30||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||+3 laps|
|19||Colton Herta||26||Andretti Autosport||+4 laps|
|20||Christian Lundgaard||45||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||+4 laps|
|21||Conor Daly||60||Meyer Shank Racing||+5 laps|
|22||Devlin DeFrancesco||29||Andretti Autosport||+5 laps|
|23||Ryan Hunter-Reay||20||Ed Carpenter Racing||+6 laps|
|24||Ed Carpenter||33||Ed Carpenter Racing||+7 laps|
|25||Sting Ray Robb||51||Dale Coyne Racing||+ 8 laps|
|26||Santino Ferrucci||14||A.J. Foyt Racing||+9 laps|
|27||Benjamin Pedersen||55||A.J. Foyt Racing||+ 15 laps|
|28||Graham Rahal||15||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||+ 101 laps (Crash)|