NEWTON, Iowa – Josef Newgarden was seething after a fifth-place finish in the opener of the IndyCar doubleheader at Iowa, insisting he had the best car of the night and it was merely misfortune that cost him the win.
The two-time series champion left nothing to chance Saturday night.
Newgarden started from the pole and led nearly wire-to-wire to win Race 2, giving team owner Roger Penske a sweep of the two IndyCar races after Simon Pagenaud's win in the opener. It also gave Team Penske its fourth victory across three series this weekend with the NASCAR Cup Series drivers still to come Sunday.
“I don't know what we have to do to keep the bad luck off us, but hopefully this is a start,” Newgarden said. “I was so disappointed for the guys yesterday. I was angry for them because I thought we had the best car. So I thought everyone was determined to come back and have a good race.”
More like a dominant one. The Tennessee driver led 214 of the 250 laps to became the first to win an Iowa IndyCar race from the pole.
“I heard that stat and I don't think I've ever been on the pole here before,” he said, “so I was sitting there thinking, ‘I don’t know why we can't do that. We can convert from the pole.' I was totally confident.”
Will Power finished second after wrecking out of the doubleheader opener. Graham Rahal was third for his first podium in more than a year, while Pagenaud again came from the back to finish fourth and series leader Scott Dixon was fifth.
“It feels good just to have a solid day,” said Power, who doused himself with bottled water after stepping from the car on a night where the heat index hovered around triple digits. “We'd loved to have the win, of course, but seeming like if you do a good job in this series you get screwed. I'm glad for once we actually got a good result out of it.”