Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden took his fourth win of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series in a dramatic Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park on Saturday night.
Newgarden took the lead on the start of the race from pole sitter Will Power who spun his No.12 into the wall effectively ending his championship hopes.
Newgarden said he had an awesome race, with a good battle with Simon (Pagenaud). The Tennessee native took the lead from Pagenaud after the pair clashed shortly before the end of the race.
Newgarden has now extended his lead in the championship to 31 points with just two race to go from Scott Dixon.
Scott Dixon finished the race in second place in the No.9 NTT DATA Honda just ahead of reigning series champion Simon Pagenaud in the No.1 Menards Chevrolet who was not at all happy with Newgarden telling NBCSN that if Newgarden had been any other driver he would have been in the wall.
Helio Castroneves in the No.3 Shell Rewards Chevrolet ended the race in fourth place just ahead of AJ Foyt Racing’s Conor Daly who scored his best finish of the season to date in the No.4 ABC Supply Chevrolet.
Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi finished the race in sixth place just ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Charlie Kimball.
James Hinchcliffe in the No.5 Arrow Honda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports had been challenging for a top five finish until an incident with Graham Rahal on pit-road which meant that Hinch finished the race in eighth place.
Carlos Munoz capped off a great weekend for AJ Foyt Racing as the Colombian finished the race in ninth place while on his return to the Verizon IndyCar Series, Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the top ten for Dale Coyne Racing in the No.18 Unifin Honda.
In his last race for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Sebastian Saavedra finished the event in 11th place just ahead of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal who recovered after being sent to the back of the pack for a fuel hose violation on pit-road to finish the race in 12th place in the No.15 Fifth/Third Bank Honda.
It was another strong race for Dale Coyne Racing’s rookie driver Ed Jones who finished the race in 13th place in the No.19 Boy Scouts of America Honda.
Marco Andretti in the No.27 Oberto All-Natural Beef Jerky Honda finished the race in 14th place rounding out the order. Ryan Hunter in the No.28 DHL Honda was forced to retire from the race as did Chip Ganassi Racing’s Tony Kanaan in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda, the Brazilian refused to speak to the media following his retirement leading to suggestions that the retirement was forced upon him by the team.
Max Chilton retired from the race after hitting the wall. It was an extremely disappointing day for Ed Carpenter Racing as both JR Hildebrand and Ed Carpenter were involved in big crashes ending their races early.
Takuma Sato, Ed Carpenter and pole sitter Will Power were all caught up in a first corner accident which led to the three drivers retiring from the race.
The Verizon IndyCar Series moves on to Watkins Glen next weekend for the penultimate race of the season, the IndyCar Grand Prix at the Glen.