Ed Carpenter Racing’s Josef Newgarden has had an incredible 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series. The American, who drives the No.21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet had a strong start the season taking a six place finish in Phoenix following a retirement at St Petersburg due to a mechanical issue.
At the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Newgarden started the race in ninth place and finished in 10th.
At Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, Newgarden started the race from third place and that is where he finished claiming his first podium of the season behind race winner Simon Pagenaud and Graham Rahal in second place.
Newgarden headed into the month of May in eighth place in the series points standings. At the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, he started the race from 25th place and came home in 21st place. At the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, Newgarden driving the No.21 Preferred Freezer Chevrolet started the race on the front row in second place alongside pole sitter James Hinchcliffe.
In the race, Newgarden did really well and secured a third place finish for Ed Carpenter Racing and went to the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit in fourth place in the series points standings.
In the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Race 1, Newgarden started from 14th place and that is where he finished while in the second race he started from 17th place and came through the field to finish the race in 4th place.
At the following race, the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 11, Newgarden was involved in a crash with Dale Coyne Racing’s Conor Daly which resulted in Newgarden fractured his wrist and his clavicle. The American underwent surgery and was back in the car for the very next race.
At the Kohler Grand Prix at the Road America circuit, Newgarden started the race from 20th place and finished in eighth moving up to fifth place in the series points standings
At the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway he started from the front row alongside pole sitter Simon Pagenaud, Newgarden took the lead straight away and never looked back completely dominating the race to take his first win of the season.
The win in Iowa brought Newgarden up to second place in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings as the circus headed across the border to Canada for the Honda Indy Toronto.
However Newgarden had a tough race in Toronto retiring on lap 54 as a result of contact having started the race from eighth place as a result he fell to fifth place in the points.
At the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, Newgarden started the race from third place and finished it in 10th moving him up to fourth place. The ABC Supply 500 from Pocono Raceway saw Newgarden start the race from second place and finish in fourth place moving him up to third place in the series points standings.
Newgarden missed the Firestone 600 race at Texas Motor Speedway which had been rescheduled as a result of poor weather in June, At the IndyCar Grand Prix at Watkins Glen presented by Hitachi Newgarden started the race from 12th place on the grid and came through the field to finish the race on the podium in second place behind race winner Scott Dixon.
Speaking to Paddock Eye after the race, Newgarden commented by saying:
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.