Ed Carpenter Racing’s Josef Newgarden in the No.21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet started Sunday’s IndyCar Grand Prix at Watkins Glen presented by Hitachi from 12th place and came through the field to finish on the podium.
Newgarden finished the race on the podium in second place just behind race winner Scott Dixon and just ahead of Helio Castroneves.
Following his podium, Newgarden remains in fifth place in the series points standings with the just the season finale, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma remaining this year. Speaking to Paddock Eye in the post race press conference when asked:
Josef, how are you feeling with your result today going into Sonoma?
Well, I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t think we were going to be on the podium today. Not to sound like I was pessimistic going into it, but we just didn’t have a smooth weekend. I came into the weekend thinking we could win here after we had our test. We were very fast at the test, felt really good about things with the whole team. The weekend started going along, and on Friday we were kind of around sixth, seventh, eighth. We were just in that top-10 region, and it just wasn’t enough. Scott clearly had a pretty big edge on anyone this weekend for the most part.
Then we kind of progressed through qualifying, and we lived through that, and we didn’t have a great qualifying result with 12th. I think it’s one of the worst we’ve had this year. So going into the race, it was like, man, we’ve got a lot of work, so we did a lot this morning on the setup of the car in the warmup to try to make it better, and I was really surprised. I think we had a great car in the race. Wasn’t as good as Scott’s; I think he was just clearly ahead of everyone this weekend, but I really think we were a solid top-five car, not considering how the yellows fell or anything like that. I think we had a very strong car pace-wise and we executed well. We could save fuel just as good as anyone, and that’s what got us second place ultimately, so I feel great about it. It was a great result for us. Now that we can go try and win the race in Sonoma, we’ll see where we end up in the end.