Newgarden Net $1 Million Win At Road America

Josef Newgarden celebrates a $1 million win at Road America. [Pete Gorski photo]

Josef Newgarden celebrates a $1 million win at Road America. [Pete Gorski photo]

Elkhart Lake, WI – Josef Newgarden won his third race of the NTT IndyCar Series season, beating the field to capture the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America presented by AMR.

But it wasn’t just another win and it wasn’t just redemption for last season’s defeat at this track for the two-time series champion.

Winning on the 4.048 natural terrain road course made Newgarden the first driver this season to win on all three types of tracks that IndyCar races on. Newgarden had previously won the oval race at Texas Motor Speedway and the street course race at the Streets of Long Beach. The win today allowed the Team Penske driver to claim the PeopleReady Force for Good Challenge which rewards $1 million for the accomplishment. Newgarden, Team Penske and Newgarden’s designated charities, Wags and Walks of Nashville and SeriousFun Children’s Network, will split the prize.

Newgarden started the race on the front row after qualifying second and led the race three times for a race high 26 of the 55 laps. While leading the final 13 laps, Newgarden had to endure two restarts after caution periods, the same situation that caused him to lose last season’s race. After dominating the 2021 race, a restart in the closing laps saw leader Newgarden have mechanical issues letting Alex Palou fly by and capture the victory. This time Newgarden survived the restarts and victory was his.

The battle for the race was really between the top qualifiers, Newgarden and pole sitter Alexander Rossi in particular. Rossi led 16 laps including the opening fourteen laps. Newgarden had Rossi on his mind throughout the race.

“I didn’t feel like we were lights out better than anybody. But I felt like we were just as good. I felt we were kind of toe-to-toe with Rossi today,” explained Newgarden. “It was just about managing the tires the best. I think raw pace on the primaries, we were probably similar. It was a matter of when you wanted to push them.”

“Rossi was not going to be easy to beat today. I felt like he was very strong. I felt like we were a little bit better than him, but he was by no means going to be simple to go by,” said Newgarden. “That first stop is really what set the tone for us. Once we got in position, it was about getting through the lap markers, the alternate strategy quicker than him, building a gap, maintaining it.”

From Rossi’s perspective a slightly unbalanced car and a slower first pitstop after leading gave Newgarden the advantage for most of the race, but there still was a chance for him in the final two restarts.

“Ultimately I don’t know that we would have been able to win,” said Rossi. “Got held up with Scott McLaughlin a little bit coming into the pits when we were trying to leave on the first sequence. From there on it was trying to close the gap that got started there.”

And with the final two restarts, “He went pretty early on the first one”. But, a spin by Helio Castroneves brought out the final caution and a final chance for Rossi “I went with him on the second and actually got too close. Yeah, he executed well. It was my mistake, which allowed Marcus [Ericsson] to get by. You got to try in those situations to go for the win,” Rossi explained.

Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson was able to hold on to second as the checkers flew and with that finish, increased his lead in the point standings to 27 points.

Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America presented by AMR Race Results
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Results Sunday of the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America presented by AMR NTT INDYCAR SERIES event on the 4.048-mile Road America, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 55, Running
2. (4) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 55, Running
3. (1) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 55, Running
4. (6) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 55, Running
5. (11) Colton Herta, Honda, 55, Running
6. (7) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 55, Running
7. (8) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 55, Running
8. (22) Graham Rahal, Honda, 55, Running
9. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 55, Running
10. (13) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 55, Running
11. (12) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 55, Running
12. (10) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 55, Running
13. (20) Jack Harvey, Honda, 55, Running
14. (18) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 55, Running
15. (19) Takuma Sato, Honda, 55, Running
16. (14) David Malukas, Honda, 55, Running
17. (17) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 55, Running
18. (21) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 55, Running
19. (15) Will Power, Chevrolet, 55, Running
20. (24) Kyle Kirkwood, Chevrolet, 55, Running
21. (27) Simona De Silvestro, Chevrolet, 55, Running
22. (16) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 55, Running
23. (23) Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet, 55, Running
24. (26) Jimmie Johnson, Honda, 54, Running
25. (25) Tatiana Calderon, Chevrolet, 54, Running
26. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 46, Mechanical
27. (3) Alex Palou, Honda, 36, Contact

Race Statistics
Winner’s average speed: 117.174 mph
Time of Race: 01:53:02.8097
Margin of victory: 3.3710 seconds
Cautions: 5 for 9 laps
Lead changes: 10 among 7 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Rossi, Alexander 1 – 14
Ericsson, Marcus 15 – 16
Sato, Takuma 17
Rosenqvist, Felix 18 – 24
Newgarden, Josef 25 – 27
Rossi, Alexander 28 – 29
Grosjean, Romain 30
Lundgaard, Christian 31
Newgarden, Josef 32 – 41
Ericsson, Marcus 42
Newgarden, Josef 43 – 55

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Point Standings: Ericsson 293, Power 266, Newgarden 261, O’Ward 248, Palou 246, Dixon 224, Rossi 218, Rosenqvist 203, McLaughlin 199, Pagenaud 197.

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