O’Ward wins in Iowa after Newgarden crash

It was as crushing a performance as we’ve ever seen as Josef Newgarden nearly raced through the whole field, but a breakdown in the rear of his car and a big crash on lap 236 of 300 brought it closer to double that. ‘Iowa Speedway wide open as Team Penske driver won’t pick up back-to-back wins.

IndyCar officials said after the race: “Following an on-track incident at Iowa Speedway, Team Penske driver Josef Newgarden has been assessed and released from the on-field care facility. After At the end of today’s race he fell and returned to the field care center and is awake and alert was transported for further evaluation.

The big beneficiary after the Newgarden incident was Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward, second to Newgarden on Saturday, who led the 250 lap restart and pulled away from Penske’s Will Power to take his second win of the season.

Winning by 4.2 seconds, O’Ward held Power and Penske’s Scott McLaughlin by 9.4 seconds at the checkered flag as the Chevy team completed a podium sweep and filled all six spots for the weekend. end.

“Great weekend for us,” O’Ward said. “We knew we had to perform this weekend to have a chance of winning the championship. The guys were great in the pits. I did my job in the car and I knew we had to go fast to win one.

“The problem was just trying to get closer to Josef – and one thing is getting closer to him, and one thing is getting past him. I’m glad he’s doing well. We took advantage of the opportunity that presented itself and just got by. I knew we had the rhythm to do it. just to be in the right situation.

Newgarden led 148 laps and was poised to take the championship lead by 10 points until the crash; his misfortune pushed the Iowa specialist from second to fourth in the standings. O’Ward’s victory was helpful to his championship aspirations as he moved from sixth to fifth, just 36 points behind leader Marcus Ericsson.

Power entered Iowa with a 35-point deficit over Ericsson, who came in sixth and came away with a narrowed gap to eight.

“Great weekend, points-wise for us,” he told Power.

There wasn’t much to report before Newgarden’s crash that went beyond his racing proficiency. Going all the way back to fifth place at one point, there was no hope for O’Ward, Power or anyone else to catch the #2 Chevy to the surreal image of Newgarden sliding backwards with the rear of his car in a worrying state. appeared.

“It was definitely a shock,” he said. “I want to cry. I’m so sad for my team. I don’t know what happened. It was a good race. It’s just a race but I feel bad for us. the Chevy and Hitachi team did a great job. Something went wrong there.

Outside of the podium, Chip Ganassi Racing had a good day with most of its riders as Scott Dixon overcame a poor start from 18th to take fourth, the first Honda rider to return home. His stablemate Jimmie Johnson put in his best IndyCar performance to date, looking fast and decisive on his way from 13th to fifth. The aforementioned Ericsson, lacking some of his podium speed from race one, persevered to finish sixth as the only CGR to struggle was Alex Palou who never competed and finished a distant 13th.

Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports’ David Malukas produced their best performance of their rookie season with a determined run to eighth place; teammate Takuma Sato pushed him hard in the closing laps but Malukas didn’t acquiesce to the two-time Indy 500 winner. Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean ended an impressive debut weekend in Iowa with an eighth place to add to his seventh place the previous day, and the last big success was Callum Ilott of Juncos Hollinger Racing who improved from his 12th on Saturday with another clean race on Sunday. claim 11th place.

Aside from Kyle Kirkwood making contact with the Turn 1 wall alone on lap 117 and the surprising exit from Newgarden, the 300 laps were uninterrupted.

The Hy-Vee IndyCar weekend in Iowa was a resounding success with a cheering crowd for race one and a larger audience for race two. If half the IndyCar events each year that lack large, high-energy crowds followed Iowa’s new plan, the series would be the richest and most popular we’ve seen in decades.

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