Newgarden: "It just sucks that we didn't have a shootout"
Josef Newgarden finished third in the Indianapolis 500 and laments it came down to fuel-mileage instead of a true sprint to the checkered flag.
"What I wanted was an opportunity to race those guys at the end, but we didn't get that," he said after the race. "No fault to my guys. It's just how the race fell... Sometimes it just doesn't fall your way and today was a day it didn't fall our way.
"Congrats to (Alexander) Rossi, but I wish we had an opportunity to race those guys straight up. I really think we would have had something for them."
With about five laps remaining, race leaders Carlos Munoz and Newgarden dove to pit road for a splash of fuel. They thought that they would emerge as the race leaders when the field cycled through.
However, that never happened as Rossi never pitted. They were just over four seconds behind the rookie when he coasted across the finish line.
Not the ending he was expecting
Newgarden was clearly frustrated that he was robbed of a shot to race for the win.
"It just sucks that we didn't have a shootout where we could have raced each other, because I would have really liked to race people," Newgarden said. "I would have been high side and doing something crazy to win the thing and I think that would have been a lot cooler."
And there are plenty who would agree with Newgarden. The No. 98, which has been fielded as a collaboration between Andretti and Herta, went 36 laps on a single tank of fuel. So why didn't more frontrunners gamble on that?
"For us, it would have been silly to do that," explained the Ed Carpenter Racing driver. "That's why none of the leaders did it. When you have fast cars and you got cars that can win, you got to go flat-out and try to win the thing as you would. And those guys, to put it politely, I don't think they were quite as strong as us today. So you gotta mix it up and they mixed it up and it really paid off big for them."
An understandably dejected Newgarden tried to reflect on the positives too, joking that he wouldn't have to go on the nationwide Media Tour.
"I don't think I have a pity card to play," Newgarden added. "This is really the first time I could have won this race and it didn't happen. This is really the first time I ever felt that way.
"I can't be sour about it."
About this article
|Location||Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|Teams||Ed Carpenter Racing|