No. 2 XPEL Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 1st – 14th-career NTT INDYCAR SERIES P1 Award
Finish: 1st – 19th-career NTT INDYCAR SERIES win
Laps Completed: 80/80
Laps Led: 73
Points Position: 4th (-69 pts)
On a beautiful Fourth of July Sunday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, American driver Josef Newgarden helped his No. 2 XPEL Chevrolet team rid the “bad luck demons” that had plagued them the last two races, en route to scoring their first NTT INDYCAR SERIES win of the 2021 season.
The win was Newgarden’s 19th-career series victory, making him the winningest-active American driver in the series, and helped put the disappointment of winning the pole and leading the most laps in the last two races before coming up empty behind he and the No. 2 team.
During Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session, Newgarden propelled his No. 2 Chevrolet to its third-consecutive pole position, giving him 14 NTT P1 Pole Awards in his career. As the race began, Newgarden wasted little time in showcasing the strength of his Chevrolet machine.
The 80-lap event was easily accomplished on two pit stops, with those trips to pit lane the only time Newgarden relinquished the lead throughout the race. Yet, with just a handful of laps remaining, the two-time series champion found his rearview mirror full of the No. 8 of Marcus Ericsson.
Hitting his marks over the course of the last two laps, Newgarden was able to hold Ericsson at bay to give Team Penske its first victory of the season as the series heads into the inaugural race on the streets of his hometown, Nashville, TN.
Quote: “I don’t know what to say other than this team has been doing the job. Everyone has been giving me a hard time asking what’s up with us not winning a race. But I don’t think these people at Team Penske could have done anything different. We’ve been in the game almost every race and had great performance and obviously, great support from our partner in Team Chevy. It’s my first win with XPEL and I’m very happy to have them onboard. So, it’s great to seal a win here finally on the year. We’re going to need, probably, three or four more of these if we’re going to win this championship. But this team is capable of it. I’m just excited to be back. Two weeks off was enough. And to come back and finally get a win, I’m happy for our whole group.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!