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Josef Newgarden Storms to Victory at World Wide Technology Raceway

Josef Newgarden wins at WWTR
Josef Newgarden wins at WWTR
Josef Newgarden collected his third consecutive win at WWT Raceway on Saturday night. Image courtesy of James Black / Penske Entertainment

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Josef Newgarden came out victorious in an eventful Bommarito Automotive Group 500 on Saturday night at World Wide Technology Raceway.

A two-hour, nine-minute red flag due to rain set up a restart on Lap 224 of 260, where Newgarden’s No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet came to life and surge by teammate Scott McLaughlin to assume the race lead. From there, the 31-year-old Tennessee native was on cruise control, managing the gap to the field en route to winning by 0.470s. It marks the third consecutive year – fourth overall – that Newgarden has won on the 1.25-mile oval. Additionally, it marks his fifth win of the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season – a career-best tally in one campaign.

The runner-up spot came under fire as McLaughlin was left to fend off numerous attempts by the charging No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports Honda driven by rookie David Malukas. In the end, Malukas, who was fifth on the restart, managed to pull off a dramatic outside pass entering Turn 1 on the final lap to get by McLaughlin to earn a career-best second-place finish.

McLaughlin, driver of the No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet, collected third for his six podium results on the year.

The No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet of Pato O’Ward finished fourth, ahead of Takuma Sato in the No. 51 Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda.

Pole-sitter Will Power, who led a race-high 128 laps, finished sixth in the No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet. Marcus Ericsson led a Chip Ganassi Racing train, finishing seventh ahead of teammates Scott Dixon and Alex Palou in eighth and ninth, respectively.

The No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda of Graham Rahal was the final car on the lead lap in 10th.

While the rain delay was part of the story, the other significant part was after caution came out on Lap 145 when Jack Harvey’s incident in Turn 4. This shook up the field as Newgarden and McLaughlin, among others, elected to change the strategy game and pit while Power, leading at the time, opted to stay out.

The result unraveled quickly moments later. The restart came on Lap 157 and Newgarden charged from seventh to the lead just eight laps later. Meanwhile, Power, who lost the lead to O’Ward on Lap 158, was on the wrong end of the strategy never regained the lead or track position to be in a contending position.

Other notables include Rinus VeeKay, who started 23rd but made contact with the inside wall right at the start of the contest and never recovered. The Dutchman’s No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet retired after 53 laps due to a mechanical issue.

 

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