HOUSTON (Oct. 5, 2013) - Josef Newgarden fought his way through the Streets of Houston in blazing heat to finish fifth in Race One of the Grand Prix of Houston's doubleheader weekend. The Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) driver gained 13 positions in the No. 67 Strike car to capture his fourth top-five finish of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season.
Newgarden started the 90-lap race 18th on the grid after having very little time during Friday's two practices.
"We started behind the eight ball today after I made a mistake in practice on Friday that cost us some time," Newgarden said. "It was really important to get a good result and I think we're back on track now. Hopefully we can qualify well tomorrow and have an even better race."
Temperatures north of 90 degrees made driving through the 1.683-mile,10-turn temporary street circuit even more challenging.
"It's a very physical and demanding track," Newgarden said. "You have to have a lot of mental concentration, but it's really hard to stay focused when you get fatigued out there. This is what we train for, but I'm definitely going to have to recover and drink a lot of water to rehydrate for tomorrow."
The 22-year-old is thrilled to have Strike as SFHR's primary sponsor for both of Houston's races.
"The people at Strike are awesome and we're so happy to have them onboard," Newgarden said. "They're just a great group and really supportive. They love this event and they really loved the car too. It was really important to us to make a good looking car and I think we succeeded."