No. 1 XPEL Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 1st (Ninth-career INDYCAR SERIES pole)
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 41
Points Position: 3rd (-16 pts)
It was a strong start to the 2020 INDYCAR Season for Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 XPEL Dallara/Chevrolet, as the defending series champion finished third at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday evening at the NTT INDYCAR SERIES returned to action for the first time since September of last year.
Newgarden jumped out to an early lead as the race went green and paced the field over the first portion of the race, keeping the No. 1 XPEL Chevrolet near at or near the front of the field all night long.
After complaining on and off throughout the race about understeer issues, team strategist Tim Cindric called Newgarden to the pits for one final front wing adjustment on lap 122. The team would pit a total of five times with the last stop coming at lap 180 for just fuel and tires.
Despite falling back to as far as seventh in the late part of the race, the last stop allowed Newgarden to jump the field and get ahead of those who waited a few additional laps to pit, putting him back up into third, where he would ultimately finish.
Newgarden also sits in the third spot in the INDYCAR Series championship points following the first race of the delayed 2020 season. The team will next compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course for what is sure to be a historic weekend in racing as the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and the INDYCAR Series will race together at the same track for the first time during the Fourth of July weekend.
Quote: “Tonight was just a night for just hanging on for the No. 1 XPEL Chevrolet. We came home with a podium finish and that is what we needed to do. You have to have nights like this. Tonight was a night to swallow your pride and get the best out of what you got. If I can go out there and win the race, I’m going to try and do it. But tonight wasn’t that night. We weren’t good enough throughout a tire stint to challenge Scott. He was just so, so good all night. But that is what this team is capable of doing. They are the best in the business and give me everything they can to put me up front. Now, we just got to regroup. I’m not pleased with third because I want to go win a race. But tonight, third place for us almost feels like a win.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!