Newgarden Wins At Road America

Dixon Maintains Championship Lead With Podium Finish

Scott Stiller
June 24, 2018 - 8:31 pm
Josef Newgarden, Ryan Hunter-Reay And Scott Dixon

Chris Jones

Categories: 

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden is back in victory lane after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series KOHLER Grand Prix Sunday at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Newgarden started from the pole position in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet and led 53 of the 55-laps to pick up his series-leading third victory of the season.

“It was a hard-fought day, it was not as easy as it looked,” said Newgarden, the defending series champion.  “I was looking at my mirrors half the day with Ryan closing in on me".

Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay finished 3.3759-seconds behind Newgarden to finish in second place. Hunter-Reay started third and easily passed second-place starter Will Power, who suffered an engine issue on the first lap.

“I thought the car was really good,” said Hunter-Reay.  “I thought we had the pace for him early on, but after he took that second to last set of reds (Firestone alternate tires), I could keep up with him for a little bit but then in dirty air I just couldn’t do anything with him”.

PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon finished third after starting in the eighth position.

“The PNC Bank car had a ton of speed, at the end there it was just track position,” said Dixon.  “Had we been able to crack in front of those guys I think we could have stayed there.  All in all great points day for us, lead in the championship, which is important”.

The finish was Dixon’s 5th podium finish in the last 6-races, extending his series championship points lead to 45-points over Hunter-Reay (393 to 348), who is now tied with his teammate Alexander Rossi for second in points.

Rossi started fourth but had a suspension issue on the No. 27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda forcing him to the pits for repairs.  Rossi managed to stay on the lead lap but finished 16th.

“I definitely think we had a car to fight for a podium finish,” said Rossi.  “It wasn’t enough to win today, but halfway through the second stint we had some camber shims fall out of the left front tire which made it pretty undriveable”.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Takuma Sato finished fourth followed by Robert Wickens.  Sato’s teammate Graham Rahal finished sixth.

Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud, Ed Carpenter Racing's Spencer Pigot and Dixon’s teammate Ed Jones rounded out the top 10.

The series is off next week and returns to action Sunday, July 8 with the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway, the 0.894-mile oval.

___
Follow KDKA Radio: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Listen to KDKA Radio on the Radio.com App - Download Now