The weekend just got tougher for championship contender Josef Newgarden after officials announced a six-position starting grid penalty for this weekend’s penultimate round at Portland International Raceway.
The penalty comes as a result of unapproved engine changes to the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet following Newgarden’s victory at the most recent race on August 20 at World Wide Technology Raceway. The No. 4 A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet of Dalton Kellett also received the same penalty for unapproved engine changes.
Newgarden, a two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion, currently sits second in this year’s overall standings by a narrow three points behind teammate and 2014 series champion Will Power (482-479).
Per a release by IndyCar, the teams were in violation of “Rule 220.127.116.11 A fifth (5th) Engine is eligible to earn Engine Manufacturer points if a Full Season Entrant has completed the Full Season Entrant Engine Mileage with its first four (4) Engines. Otherwise, a fifth (5th) or more Engine does not earn Engine Manufacturer points and will be considered an Unapproved Engine change-out.
“According to Rule 18.104.22.168, the penalty is a six-position starting grid penalty on road and street course events and nine positions at oval events and will be served at the series’ next event, which is the Grand Prix of Portland Sunday, Sept. 4 at Portland International Raceway.”