By: Spencer Neff
July 21, 2019 | 1:56 AM
After qualifying third yesterday at Iowa Speedway, 2016 race winner Josef Newgarden was left frustrated. On Saturday night, he more than made up for it with a dominant win in the Iowa 300, the 14th victory of his career.
In his series-high fourth win of 2019, the Team Penske driver led 245 of 300 laps and won by 2.8527 seconds over Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon.
With the win, Newgarden extends his points lead over Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi to 29 points with five races remaining.
Following a four-hour, 35-minute delay for rain and lightning, fans were treated to the night race they had yearned for at the 0.894-mile bullring in Newton, Iowa.
Early on, Will Power jumped out to the lead ahead of teammate and pole-sitter Simon Pagenaud.
As Power’s Penske teammates fell back, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato jumped as high as second. After starting 12th, Dale Coyne Racing’s Santino Ferrucci ran as high as seventh in the early running.
On Lap 16, Carlin Racing’s Sage Karam spun on the front stretch. As Karam spun, Felix Rosenqvist made light contact with his spinning car. Although Karam continued on without much fanfare, the caution flag flew for the first time on the night.
Following the Lap 25 restart, Power remained upfront. On Lap 56, a sprinkle in Turns 1 and 2 prompted a red flag. After another delay, the race resumed. Three laps later, the leaders made their first pit stops of the night.
After the Lap 66 restart, Newgarden continued to lead through the second cycle of green flag stops. Despite two cautions in the first 56 laps, the next 133 laps were run under green.
On Lap 189, Takuma Sato checked up to avoid colliding with Power. Behind Sato, Karam made contact with the No. 30 and sent the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver spinning.
Although he was able to continue, Sato’s night took a major hit. By Lap 206, Karam was the first driver officially out of the race shortly after being assessed a drive-through penalty for the avoidable contact. Following Karam, Marco Andretti and Takuma Sato also retired from the race.
During the final round of pit stops, Power had to swerve late to avoid making contact with the pit attenuator. Following his mistake, Power lost a spot on the track to his teammate Pagenaud.
As he served his stop-and-go penalty for improper pit entry, the yellow flew once again. Exiting Turn 2, Ed Carpenter lost control and made contact with the wall, bringing out the yellow flag.
On Lap 275, the race restarted for the final time. While Dixon and two-time Iowa winner James Hinchcliffe of Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports battled back for second, Newgarden pulled away. Rounding out the top five were Pagenaud and Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot.
Despite a long night at Iowa, teams will not have much downtime before the next round of the championship.
With the first short oval race wrapped up, the NTT Indycar Series returns to a natural terrain road course next week: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
First practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will begin at 11:20 AM Eastern time, while the second practice is slated for a 3:15 PM start this Friday.
On Saturday, a 45-minute final practice begins at 10:30 AM Eastern time. At 2:35 PM, three rounds of knockout-style qualifying will begin. Before Sunday’s race, drivers will be given a 30-minute warmup at 12:00 PM.
As is the case with all practices, there will be streaming available via the NBC Sports Gold app. At 3:30 PM Sunday, prerace coverage begins on NBC. The green flag for next weekend’s 90-lap race is scheduled for 4:05 PM Eastern.
Have a great week and stay with Open-Wheels.com and our platforms for more coverage on the Iowa 300 and the NTT IndyCar Series.
Header Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR