Newgarden apologizes for opening lap chaos at Barber

Two-time IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden has apologized for causing the first-lap crash that took out Ryan Hunter-Reay and Colton Herta in the season-opener at Barber Motorsports Park.

Team Penske-Chevrolet driver Newgarden lost control on the exit of Turn 4, touched the grass and spun in front of the pack on the opening lap and was subsequently hit by the Andretti Autosport-Hondas of Herta and then Hunter-Reay. Arrow McLaren SP-Chevy driver Felix Rosenqvist also flew into the air after further contact with Max Chilton as the field scattered.

“I just got loose coming over the hill,” Newgarden told NBC. “I had a good start, we were lining in pretty nicely, but I just got loose in the wake. I felt I had [control of] the car, and touched the grass, and once I touched the grass it pitched me sideways.

“I feel really bad for everyone involved. My mess created a bigger mess behind, so I’m really sorry as it was obviously us who tipped it off. It was a shame, I felt like we had a really good car. We just have to bounce back at the next one.”

Read Also:

Herta, who like Rosenqvist later rejoined the race in a rebuilt car to gain positions, said: “Man, that sucks. I was waiting for Newgarden to find a direction to spin in, I had Conor [Daly] on my right, and he kept spinning in the same place. It’s such a disappointing start. I’m ready to get out of here and go straight to St Pete.”

Both Newgarden and Hunter-Reay’s cars were too badly damaged to continue. The most impressive escapee from the crash was Rinus VeeKay, who was completely sideways in avoidance but recovered to finish sixth.

 

shares
comments

Related video

Barber IndyCar: Palou holds off Power, Dixon for first win

Previous article

Barber IndyCar: Palou holds off Power, Dixon for first win

Next article

Power: Palou’s pace, fuel mileage “blew my mind”

Power: Palou’s pace, fuel mileage “blew my mind”
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Event Birmingham
Author Charles Bradley
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Prime

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021
Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy Prime

Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy

Tino Belli, IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development, believes the changes to the underside of the cars will allow them to run closer at Indy and make passes. The moment of truth comes on its biggest stage, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
May 10, 2021
Colton Herta – America's next racing hero Prime

Colton Herta – America's next racing hero

Last Sunday, Colton Herta demolished his IndyCar opposition in the second round of the season. David Malsher-Lopez explains why Andretti Autosport’s youngest ace bears all the hallmarks of becoming the country’s next homegrown motorsport hero.

IndyCar
Apr 29, 2021
How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival? Prime

How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021
Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call Prime

Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call

The fight for supremacy in the NTT IndyCar Series will be as intense as ever. David Malsher-Lopez is your guide to the main contenders and six intriguing sub-plots.

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight? Prime

Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight?

With Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up, 2021 could be the year Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet joins the IndyCar elite, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team Prime

Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team

Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 10, 2021
Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed Prime

Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed

Last Friday, Marco Andretti announced he is withdrawing from fulltime IndyCar racing. David Malsher-Lopez explains how this third-gen racer was a puzzle in the car, but a straight shooter off-track.

IndyCar
Jan 19, 2021