Death, taxes, and Josef Newgarden dominating at Iowa Speedway. Some things in life are just that simple and predictable. Newgarden’s victory today was a surprise to no one, as he collected his fourth victory at the 0.875-oval. It is the fourth win of the season for Newgarden, who moved into 2nd place in the championship standings.
Newgarden led 208 of the 250 laps today, bringing his total to 1,358 over the last eight races at Iowa. That is more than the rest of the field combined, with no driver leading more than 110 laps over that stretch.
“I’m glad I wore this cool suit,” Newgarden exclaimed. “It was pretty nice and easy in there to be honest. I felt cool today and this car was good. I was surprised by how hard these guys were pushing on restarts. This was a long-game day.”
“I was disappointed after qualifying. I just hate losing and I felt we had enough to get the job done and it motivated me to win this race. It’s one of my favorite tracks so to win here again is always very special.”
The championship is clearly the main focus for Newgarden and his team. “We’re in the fight, we’re relatively there. We’ve just got to figure out how to have more consistency, because it’s either winning or going sideways on our weekends. I know we can do better than this, consistently, and I have faith in Team Penske.”
Pato O’Ward had a great second half of the race and was able to catch Newgarden, but could never find a way around him. His tires eventually wore down and finished 6.1 seconds behind Josef. The Arrow McLaren SP driver earned his third podium of the season and his first top-ten finish since Detroit.
With temperatures scorching in the high 90’s for most of the day, O’Ward was understandably exhausted once he got out of the car. “Thought we had something for Josef but he was strong. I’m going to go get some electrolytes now. I’m pretty wasted.”
“I was pushing Josef there at the end, but we didn’t quite have it,” O’Ward continued. “We kept making the car better and better each stint. There at the end, I think we took a little bit out of them getting by Will and getting by Palou and getting back the lappers trying to catch Josef.”
Joining Newgarden and O’Ward on the podium was pole sitter Will Power. He led the first 23 laps of the race but when Newgarden got by him on the first restart, he was unable to reel him back in. Rinus VeeKay had a solid afternoon with a 4th place finish and Scott Dixon rounded…