Josef Newgarden was on his way to a fantastic finish at Long Beach before it all went awry while leading the race.
Long Beach, Calif. (13 April 2014) – Rising Star Racing driver Josef Newgarden delivered one of his best weekends yet as the Verizon IndyCar Series visited Long Beach, California for the second round of the 2014 championship.
Newgarden ran among the top-five throughout the entire race and had taken over the race lead when he sustained significant damage to his No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda when he was hit from behind and sent hard into the wall which ended his race early.
Newgarden opened the event from fourth on the grid after a stellar qualifying run saw him take his best starting spot since the 2012 Long Beach event when he qualified second. Despite issues with rear grip, Newgarden managed to keep the No. 67 machine in the top-five lap after lap.
A crucial pit stop took place under green flag conditions as Newgarden took to pit lane from the race lead. A brilliant stop by the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing crew saw Newgarden return to the track just in front of the race leaders. With the second-place machine of Hunter-Reay on hot tires and eager to return to the point, he made an overly ambitious move into Turn 4 and sent Newgarden into the wall, creating a multi-car pileup.
“The team did a great pit stop and I made it out in front of the leaders,” said Newgarden. “Hunter-Reay just surprised the heck out of me. I was on cold tires and he was on hot and would probably get by me. But there is so little room in Turn 4, you normally can’t make a pass there. I tried to give him a little room and next thing I know, I’m in the wall. I didn’t expect that to happen. When you’re running with good company, that shouldn’t happen. It’s a tough day. Honda was doing a great job – they had been phenomenal all weekend long. It’s just a tough day for the whole team and all the work that we put into this weekend’s effort. But we ran really strong all weekend and now we’ll take what we learned and take it with us to Barber.”
It was a disappointing race result for the Rising Star Racing driver, but now the focus turns to Barber and delivering a big result at the picturesque Alabama road course.
Rising Star Racing