Race: Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix
Date: August 14, 2021
No. 2 XPEL Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 2
Points Position: 4th (-55 pts)
Starting Saturday’s Big Machine Spiked Coolers from the 20th position was not what Josef Newgarden envisioned when he arrived at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for this weekend’s tripleheader with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and NASCAR. However, he was the biggest mover in the 85-lap event as he carved his No. 2 XPEL Chevrolet through the field for an eighth-place finish.
A frustrated Newgarden finished Friday’s qualifying session with the 14th-fastest lap of the session, but he also knew that a six-position grid penalty was forthcoming for an engine change after last weekend’s race in Nashville.
Led by Newgarden and race strategist Tim Cindric, the No. 2 Chevrolet team developed their usual solid strategy to make up ground and attack the race. That strategy, along with a fast car, allowed Newgarden to methodically work his way up the scoring pylon throughout the race.
As he began to move his way into the top 10, Newgarden briefly grabbed the lead of the race at lap 65 before relinquishing the top spot as he made his way to pit road. Newgarden’s rise through the competitive field plateaued just after entering the top 10 as he crossed the finish line in the eighth position.
Quote: “Finishing eighth today was not what we were dreaming of, but a pretty good result after having to start 20th. There was some chaos to avoid in the beginning after thinking I was going to get sideswiped by several cars on the start. I felt like I had to save the car for later in the race and that put us back a little bit. After that we just started marching forward and finally got into the top 10 and finished eighth. Again, a pretty good day for us. It was a fun race with XPEL and Team Chevy, and we moved forward in points a bit so that is great.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!