Newgarden moonlights at Barber, wins feature

Verizon IndyCar Series driver Josef Newgarden set a lap record for Formula F in winning the SCCA Summer Speedfest Formula F 45th Anniversary feature race Aug. 10 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

The third-year Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing driver from Hendersonville, Tenn., competing in a Honda Performance Development Piper DF-5, won the 2008 Formula Ford Festival (Kent class) as a Team USA Scholarship recipient. He spent a season racing in the British Formula Ford championship.

Newgarden noted the importance of the class in the motorsports development ladder.

"Formula F is one of those training grounds that should never go away," he said. "Honda is obviously very involved in this and for them to invite me down here to do this, I can't thank them enough."

"This is the most fun I’ve had this racing season," Newgarden said. "You just can’t race any better than this. You can drive the car sideways. You can go three-wide into the brake zones. You can race the guys for two- to three-corners at a time. It’s just the most fun you can have in an open-wheel car.

"Tim Kautz and Max Mallinen were really good – they drove really clean. I ran them really hard. I had to. They were strong at latching on, and it was hard to get rid of them once I was up there. I knew if I could break away, we’d be in good shape, but I just couldn’t. They kept battling. Really clean, good drivers. It was fun to mix it up with them."

"Today was really cool," high school junior Mallinen said. "We were all fighting really hard, but still respecting each other. There were a lot of opportunities to catch wheels, but I’m glad that everyone was able to keep it clean. At one point, the three of us went three-wide into the chicane. That was exhilarating!"

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