Third-placed Newgarden on Texas trials: “I feel like we won!”

Defending NTT IndyCar Series champion and defending Texas Motor Speedway winner Josef Newgarden says that a podium finish in the Genesys 300 on a troubled night felt like a victory for the #1 Team Penske-Chevrolet team.

Third-placed Newgarden on Texas trials: “I feel like we won!”

The polesitter led 41 of the race’s 200 laps, but consistently fought with tire problems that left him easy prey for the dominant Chip Ganassi Racing-Hondas of eventual winner Scott Dixon and Felix Rosenqvist.

“I feel like we won the race with how bad we were!” he told NBC after leading the first 32 laps and then another eight mid-race thanks to an exceptional stop by his crew. “My team fought: if there’s anything we have it’s an incredible fighting spirit. We do everything we can to finish the races as good as possible.

“But we were just struggling. I was really struggling with vibrations on the tires. For whatever reason, our setup philosophy kind of fell apart on us. It wasn’t favoring the race conditions. 

“Congrats to Scott, the Chip Ganassi cars were amazing tonight. They definitely deserved to win. I’m happy we were able to fight for a podium.

“I feel bad for [new sponsor] Xpel. We got pole, they were pumped to try and win this race, I said, ‘Hey, we gotta do the best we can to try and win’. We’ll have another race with them and try and get a victory at some point. Team Chevy did a great job. We were close but we didn’t have what it took to fight for the win tonight.”

Read Also:

Firestone had had to bring 2019-spec tires to the race, thanks to their Akron, OH plant being shutdown during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Given the extreme heat in Texas and the new weight distribution of the cars with their aeroscreens, Firestone had a consultation with IndyCar and it was decided to impose a 35-lap limit on each tire set. This was in marked contrast to the stint lengths seen in 2019, of around 60-65 laps.

Nonetheless, the Penske cars of both Newgarden and second-placed finisher Simon Pagenaud suffered severe tire vibrations from early in a stint, and the drivers were only too keen to foreshorten their stints by two or three laps for several stints.

“There were times I felt like I was gonna wreck the car but I kept it off the wall, came home with a podium finish, which is really good,” said Newgarden who won the 2017 and 2019 IndyCar titles. “That’s what have you have to do all year long.

“If I can win the race, I’m gonna go for the win, but tonight was not that night. So we tried to pick up the pieces and finish as strong as possible. That’s what this team is capable of.

“They execute at every stop for me, I’ve got the best of the best on my car Tim [Cindric, Penske team president] is always calling a great race, and that’s why we’re able to finish up front on a tough night.

“We’ve gotta regroup. I’m not pleased with third, I wanna go win a race, and I know all these guys do behind me, so we’ll figure out what wasn’t right tonight, we’ll fix it and we’ll come back for a win.”

shares
comments
Rosenqvist accepts blame for late-race shunt in Texas

Previous article

Rosenqvist accepts blame for late-race shunt in Texas

Next article

Dixon says Honda simulator work was key to “amazing car” at Texas

Dixon says Honda simulator work was key to “amazing car” at Texas
Load comments
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021
IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet Prime

IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet

The ace 20-somethings in IndyCar have risen to become title contenders, but the best of the series veterans are digging deep and responding – and will continue to do so over the next couple of years, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021