Newgarden unrepentant over Grosjean Nashville IndyCar clash

Josef Newgarden said “Welcome to IndyCar” in response to his clash with Romain Grosjean, while teammate Will Power felt lucky to finish the race after his gearbox was damaged in a clash.

Newgarden unrepentant over Grosjean Nashville IndyCar clash
Listen to this article

After a fuel strategy didn’t work out well with the way the cautions fell, Newgarden made a late pitstop under yellow, and had to climb from 14th, which he did with a great jump into 10th. Then at the next restart, he made a bold dive up the inside of three cars on the penultimate restart, and as Grosjean’s Andretti Autosport-Honda approached the apex of Turn 9, the #2 Penske-Chevrolet drew fully alongside.

However at the speed he was going on cold tires, Newgarden required the full width of the track on corner exit and that wasn’t available to him since Grosjean was there. That sent the AA-Honda hard into the concrete wall, which brought out a yellow flag, then the red flag to ensure the race finished under green.

The 2017 and ’19 champion felt there was nothing wrong with his maneuver, telling NBC Sports, “I was alongside him fully if not fully ahead. I haven't seen it from the outside.” Then after watching the replay he said, “I'm already ahead of him at that point.

“Welcome to IndyCar: it gets tight. The big thing was that I was ahead at that kind of moment. It's tight street course racing and I almost got taken out six times myself.

“Probably need to have a discussion with some of the younger guys, they're just aggressive. And if you're not aggressive back, then you get run over. You've got to learn that pretty quick. I don't like it, but that's the game that we're in.

"Ultimately we had a big fight back with the PPG car, that's all I can say. This has been a really frustrating year in a lot of ways – we've won a ton of races and not had a ton of good luck. All thanks to the team and the effort that they've put in, but more often than not we're either winning the race or things are going completely against us.

“So that has built frustration for me, because it's hard to see it happen to this crew. I hate it too, I'm very competitive. Happens a couple of times per year, that's part of it, but it's just happened one too many times - and today was another unlucky day with how it played out."

Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

Marcus Ericsson, former championship leader, hit Twitter to express his lack of sympathy with Grosjean, who he felt was responsible for his DNF, after being struck by the Andretti car and losing drive. Following Grosjean posting “angry face” emojis, the Indy 500 winner responded, “What goes around comes around.”

 

Despite Dixon’s win, Power retained his championship lead despite Graham Rahal pushing Pato O’Ward’s car into the rear of the #12 Penske causing the gearbox to go into emergency mode on Lap 26 of the 80-lap race. He would eventually salvage 11th, but his lap times were off by 1.5-2sec.

“We had the gear thing pretty early,” said the 2014 champion. “Probably not even 30 laps in, we got hit from behind. Whatever they have on the gearbox... I’ve had it a couple of times and multiple people have, so maybe they should change it.

“If you get hit from behind, it knocks out your shifting so you have to manually shift. You have to lift [on upshifts] and you have to blip the throttle. That makes it an interesting day. I sat back and watched so much mayhem…

“We thought this would be a bit of a wildcard race, like there was going to be a lot of mayhem so you just needed to survive it somewhat, which we did.

“We’re still in a great place and still digging deep. We’ll see what we can do in the last three races.”

Power’s lead shrunk from eight to six points, but his nearest competitor is now Dixon, with Ericsson 12 points back, Newgarden 22 down, and defending champion Alex Palou 33 in arrears.

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

shares
comments

Related video

Palou sure he has fair title shot, despite Ganassi conflict
Previous article

Palou sure he has fair title shot, despite Ganassi conflict

Next article

Nashville winner Dixon feared his race was ruined by shunt

Nashville winner Dixon feared his race was ruined by shunt
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
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