Race Weekend Central

Mechanical Failure Denies Josef Newgarden Shot at Iowa Sweep

Josef Newgarden looked set to win Sunday’s (June 24) Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 before a mechanical failure swept an Iowa Speedway sweep from under the two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion’s feet.

Newgarden proved indisputably dominant during Saturday’s (June 23) Hy-veedeals.com 250, leading most of the race and taking his fourth career win at 0.875-mile short track Iowa. Much like Saturday’s race, Sunday’s contest was boiling down to a chase between Newgarden, Pato O’Ward, and championship contender Will Power, with Newgarden looking firmly in control for the whole of the race’s middle section.

However, Newgarden’s No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet experienced an undetermined mechanical failure in the right rear coming through turn 4, sending the man in charge of the race spinning back end first into the wall on lap 236.

Newgarden emerged from the infield care center unscathed, but visibly confused and frustrated.

“Man, I want to cry … I don’t know, something went wrong there,” Newgarden told NBC’s Dave Burns.

“Everything felt fine to me, up to that point … Totally unexpected when it happened. It caught me by surprise, I didn’t know what the heck happened until I was in the wall.”

Despite this shock exit from what looked like an easy fifth win of the season, Newgarden continued to direct his focus toward the larger picture of a third IndyCar championship.

“Team Penske’s the best. I never have this stuff, maybe we were due, we can’t afford it for this year. But we’ll fight back, we’ve got a great team here,” the Nashville native concluded.

Had Newgarden’s end of things gone unaltered, the championship standings would now be topped by the No. 2 team. However, Newgarden left Iowa chasing the points lead with five races remaining this season.

About the author

Alex joined Frontstretch in March of 2021 and currently serves as the IndyCar editor, as well as contributing to Formula 1 coverage.

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