A victory and runner-up finish has initiated Josef Newgarden’s best start of his eight-year NTT IndyCar Series career.
This weekend, the Team Penske driver will seek to bolster his series points lead in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park, where he’s won three of the past four races.
“Barber is an awesome track … it’s one of my favorite tracks we travel to on the circuit. It also helps that we’ve had some success there in the No. 2 Fitzgerald Chevy,” the 2017 series champion said. “But we’re hungry for more. This season is off to a great start for our team and Barber is a track we know we can continue that momentum at.”
Chevrolet Racing has won six of the seven races on the challenging 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course since its return to NTT IndyCar Series competition in 2012.Ten drivers powered by Chevrolet’s 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 engine are entered in the 82-lap race April 7 (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN) at the scenic race course in Birmingham, Alabama, that has hosted an INDYCAR event since 2011.
Newgarden scored his maiden career victory in a CFH Racing Chevrolet at Barber Motorsports Park in 2015, starting fifth and leading a field-high 46 laps, including the final 20, of the 90-lap race. Teammate Simon Pagenaud, driving the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet this weekend, won from the pole in his 2016 championship season.
Newgarden earned a podium finish in that race and has won the past two years, starting seventh and first, respectively.
“We want to win races, but if we can’t win races, we need to at least be on the podium to keep this championship run up,” Newgarden added.
Teammate Will Power, who’s claimed the pole in both races this season in the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet, started with a third-place finish on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. He then led 45 laps at the outset of the inaugural INDYCAR Classic at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, before a mechanical issue curtailed his opportunity to post career win No. 36 that would break a tie with Bobby Unser for seventh on the all-time list.
“Something broke in the rear driver line of our car, which led to a DNF in a race I think we had a great shot at winning,” he said. “I’m still really disappointed, but the team has been hard at work since they got back from the race to give me a No. 12 Verizon Chevy that will be really strong at Barber. We’ve shown to be strong at two different types of tracks to start the year – a street course and a permanent road course. So, we just want to keep that momentum going.”
Power won at Barber Motorsports
Park in 2012 to give Chevy Racing its second consecutive victory to start the season.
Returning to the Chevrolet lineup this weekend is Ben Hanley, driving the No. 81 10 Star entry for first-year team DragonSpeed. Hanley finished 18th in the season opener at St. Petersburg.
Team Chevy will be well represented by:AJ FOYT RACING:Matheus Leist, No. 4 ABC Supply ChevroletTony Kanaan, No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet
CARLIN:Patricio O’Ward, No. 31 Carlin ChevroletMax Chilton, No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet
DRAGONSPEEDBen Hanley, No. 81 10 Star ChevroletED CARPENTER RACING:Ed Jones, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa ChevroletSpencer Pigot, No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet
TEAM PENSKE:Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Fitzgerald ChevroletWill Power, No. 12 Verizon ChevroletSimon Pagenaud, No. 22 Menards Chevrolet
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (all times ET)· NTT IndyCar Series Practice 1: 12:15 p.m., Friday, April 5· NTT IndyCar Series Practice 2: 3:50 p.m., Friday, April 5· NTT IndyCar Series Practice 3: 11:45 a.m., Saturday, April 6· NTT IndyCar Series Qualifications: 4 p.m., Saturday, April 6· NTT IndyCar Series Warmup: 12:10 p.m., Sunday, April 7· Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama: 4 p.m., Sunday, April 7· TV/Radio/Other: NBCSN will telecast the three rounds of qualifications at 4 p.m. April 6 and the 82-lap/195-mile race on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course live at 4 p.m. April 7. Qualifications and the race will also be broadcast on INDYCAR Radio Network affiliates, RaceControl.IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com, the INDYCAR Mobile app, Sirius 214 and XM209. Practice sessions will be streamed on NBC Sports Gold.
Driver/entrant points top five through two of 17 races (Chevrolet in bold) 1. 93 — Josef Newgarden, No. 2 Team Penske2. 75 – Colton Herta, No. 88 Harding Steinbrenner Racing3. 57 – Scott Dixon, No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing4. 53 – Alexander Rossi, No. 27 Andretti Autosport5. 50 – Graham Rahal, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan RacingManufacturer points
162 – Honda156 – ChevroletChevrolet IndyCar V6 Year-By-Year Results
2019 – 1 win, 2 poles in 2 racesWin – Josef Newgarden (St. Petersburg). Pole – Will Power (St. Petersburg, Circuit of the Americas)2018 – 6 wins, 9 poles in 17 racesWins – Josef Newgarden (Phoenix, Barber, Road America), Will Power (Indianapolis RC, Indianapolis 500, Gateway). Poles – Newgarden (Barber, Texas, Road America, Toronto), Power (Indianapolis RC, Iowa, Pocono, Portland), Ed Carpenter (Indianapolis 500)2017 – 10 wins, 11 poles in 17 racesEngine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Josef Newgarden/Roger Penske)2016 – 14 wins, 13 poles in 16 racesEngine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Simon Pagenaud/Roger Penske)2015 – 10 wins, 16 poles in 16 racesEngine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Scott Dixon/Chip Ganassi);Indianapolis 500 win (Juan Pablo Montoya). First manufacturer to capture all titles since Chevrolet returned to INDYCAR in 20122014 – 12 wins, 13 poles in 18 racesEngine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Will Power/Roger Penske)2013 – 10 wins, 11 poles in 19 racesEngine Manufacturer Championship; Indianapolis 500 win (Tony Kanaan)2012 – 11 wins, 10 poles in 15 racesEngine Manufacturer Championship; driver/owner titles (Ryan Hunter-Reay/Michael Andretti)Total – 74 wins, 85 poles in 120 races
Team Chevy PR