Tough start to the 2016 IndyCar season for Ed Carpenter Racing

Josef Newgarden finishes 22nd following electrical issue

St. Petersburg, Fla. - Race Notes

Things did not go according to plan for Ed Carpenter Racing and driver Josef Newgarden in today's Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. An electrical issue with the No. 21 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet dropped Newgarden to the back of the field, ultimately causing him to retire from the race early and finish in the 22nd position.

Newgarden would start the 110-lap race from 11th on the grid, gaining a spot on his 12th place qualifying position after the No. 12 car was moved to the rear of the field following a driver change.

As the twenty-two car field funneled into Turn 1 at the drop of the green flag, contact with another car required Newgarden to make a pit stop for a new front wing. After topping off with fuel and a switch to a new set of alternate Firestone Firehawks, Newgarden rejoined the race in the 20th position.

It's a shame, we brought a first class effort with the Fuzzy's crew, but it just wasn't our day.

Josef Newgarden

Just prior to his third pit stop, Newgarden reported a sputtering coming from the car. He immediately came in to the pits and the crew removed the bodywork, trying to find the source of the issue. Ultimately, the Fuzzy's Vodka crew took the car back to the paddock to continue repairs.

Though 34 laps down to the leader at the time, Newgarden returned to the race and experienced no further issues with the car. Once the possibility of gaining any more positions had passed, the team elected to bring the car in and conclude their race. Newgarden would be credited with a 22nd place finishing position.

The team now turns their focus to next week's test at Barber Motorsports Park, a track where Newgarden is the defending race winner. After the test session, the team will return to their Speedway, Ind. headquarters to prepare for the second race of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series.

Phoenix Raceway is the next destination for the Verizon IndyCar Series, where team owner Ed Carpenter will join Newgarden on track. Carpenter, the only owner/driver in the series, will drive the No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka
Chevrolet during all oval events in 2016.

Practice and qualifying for the Phoenix Grand Prix will take place on Friday, April 1. The 250 lap race will follow on Saturday, April 2 with a live broadcast beginning on NBC Sports Network at 5:30 p.m. MST.

Josef Newgarden, No. 21 Fuzzy'S Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet, finished 22nd: "We didn't have the start we wanted. We were playing the catch up game right from the beginning, but I felt confident in what we could do to catch up and make a good day out of it. Instead, we ran into an electrical glitch and it ended up putting us out for the day. It's a shame, we brought a first class effort with the Fuzzy's crew, but it just wasn't our day. You're going to have bumps in the road and this was one of those bumps; we just have to try to minimize how many of these we have a year. Now we have bounce back and focus on Phoenix."

Ed Carpenter Racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Event St. Pete
Sub-event Sunday post-race
Track St. Petersburg Street Course
Drivers Josef Newgarden
Teams Ed Carpenter Racing
Article type Race report