Newgarden dominates Iowa Corn 300

Josef Newgarden
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the checkered flag
Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing

Despite a broken hand and clavicle, Josef Newgarden put on a clinic in Iowa Sunday afternoon before about 10,000 fans to win the Iowa Corn 300. Newgarden led 282 of 300 laps and no one threatened him all day long.

Will Power was 2nd 4.28 sec. behind but it wasn't really that close as Newgarden eased off the gas the last several laps.

Scott Dixon was 3rd with Simon Pagenaud and Mikhail Aleshin coming home third.

Starting the 300-lap race second in the No. 21 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka/ECR Chevrolet, Newgarden bolted past pole sitter Simon Pagenaud on the opening lap and never looked back. The only time the 25-year-old surrendered the lead came when he made pit stops for fuel and tires. His 282 laps led are the most ever by a driver in an Indy car race, surpassing the 250 by Ryan Hunter-Reay when he led every lap to win at Milwaukee in 2004.

The top rookie and Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi started 17th and came home 6th, not bad given that Honda can't keep up on the short ovals and road courses because they are towing a parachute behind the car by having their butt bumpers closed off compared to the open butt bumpers on the Chevys.

The race on the high-banked 0.894-mile short oval – the 10th Verizon IndyCar Series event at Iowa Speedway – was slowed three times by full-course cautions. Hunter-Reay saw his chances for a third consecutive Iowa win and fourth in five years end when he stopped on Lap 109 with smoke trailing from his No. 28 DHL Honda. Juan Pablo Montoya had a similar ending in the No. 2 DeVilbiss Team Penske Chevrolet on Lap 179. Rookie Max Chilton brought out the final caution on Lap 246 when he spun exiting Turn 2 in the No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

This is the first win for Josef Newgarden in 2016 and the third win of his Indy car career. He is the seventh different winner in 10 Verizon IndyCar Series races.

This is the seventh Indy car win for Ed Carpenter Racing. It’s last win was with Newgarden at Toronto in 2015.

Newgarden said his car was fantastic

"I think we had a car like that last year. Man, it's hard to not get emotional after these things! What a great car! Fuzzy's Vodka…they enable us to do what we are doing here. Have a great team with Ed Carpenter Racing. Great team owner in Ed Carpenter. It is great, man. Best car I've ever had. Happy for my team. For my owner – he is a good dude. He takes good care of me. Just happy. This is so cool. Thanks to everyone in Iowa. I love this place. Love coming to Iowa. Love the fans here. Love running Indy cars around this place. I hope we come back here for many, many years."

There was never a question about when Newgarden would make his final pitstop.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]"No. These guys are the best. I have the best crew out there. We learn from past deals. We watch the tapes and everyone learns what we need to do for this year. I had total confidence that we were going to have a good stop. We had a little bit of a buffer, that we were going to get back out there on that last stint and just run away with it. The car was just incredible. I could put it anywhere. It really helped. My right hand was killing me, but having an amazing car helps a lot. It is all credit to this team, Ed Carpenter Racing, they did an amazing job today."

"I forgot about that [finally winning on an oval). We've been so close to winning on an oval with this team. We've had seconds and…I hate having a cop-out. I don't want people to think that I'm having a harder time because of the injuries. It was tough. This place is already difficult, it is one of the most difficult places we go to. But I wasn't going to lose control of this thing. When you are leading the race and you have your team watching your back, man, you have to bring it home. I wanted to do it for all of these guys and girls. Just so happy for my group. The injuries – it doesn't mean anything. It is all about the car and how good of a team we are. I think that is what got it done for us today."

How the race unfolded

Lap 1: 22-Pagenaud leads the field into Turn 1. 21-Newgarden completes the pass for the lead in Turn 3. 83-Kimball apparently of the pace mid-pack.

Lap 5: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by .0983 of a second.

Lap 15: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 1.0775 seconds. Leader already working lap traffic.

Lap 21: 19-Chaves on pit road for four tires and fuel.

Lap 25: Working lap traffic: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 3.5220 seconds.

Lap 35: Working lap traffic: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 1.3375 seconds.

Lap 45: Working lap traffic: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 2.2662 seconds.

Lap 47: 3-Castroneves on pit road for four tires and fuel.

Lap 50: 21-Newgarden on pit road for four tires and fuel. New leader is 22-Pagenaud.

Lap 51: 10-Kanaan on pit road for four tires and fuel.

Lap 52: 41-Hawksworth, 20-Carpenter on pit road for four tires and fuel.

Lap 53: 2-Montoya on pit road for four tires and fuel.

Lap 55: 7-Aleshin on pit road for four tires and fuel.

Lap 57: 9-Dixon on pit road for four tires and fuel.

Lap 58: Leader 22-Pagenaud on pit road for four tires and fuel

Lap 59: 8-Chilton is leader. First lap led.

Lap 61: 8 pits. New leads is 98 Rossi

Lap 65: 21 Newgarden passes 98 Rossi for the lead in Turn 4. 98-Rossi pits for four tires and fuel

Lap 66: Green flag stops complete 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 13.1802 seconds.

Lap 75: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 12.8122 seconds. There are only three cars on the lead lap.

Lap 85: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 12.9911 seconds. They are the only cars on the lead lap.

Lap 95: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 14.4533 seconds.

Lap 105: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 12.2494 seconds.

Lap 109: YELLOW. Smoke trailing from 28-Hunter-Reay. Car stops in Turn 4. Leaders under caution are 21, 22, 3, 9 and 2.

Lap 113: Pits are open. 21-Newgarden and 22-Pagenaud are on pit road as the only lead lap cars. Newgarden wins race of pit road.

Lap 125: 11-Bourdais on pit road for four tires and fuel.

Lap 128: GREEN. 21-Newgarden leads the field into Turn 1.

Lap 140: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 1.4853 seconds.

Lap 150: Halfway: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 3.5297 seconds.

Lap 160: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 3.6458 seconds.

Lap 170: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 2.4763 seconds.

Lap 171: 15-Rahal on pit road for four tires and fuel.

Lap 176: 3-Castroneves on pit road for four tires and fuel.

Lap 179: YELLOW. Smoke trailing from 2-Montoya. Leaders under caution are: 21-Newgarden, 22-Pagenaud, 9-Dixon, 10-Kanaan and 12-Power.

Lap 182: Pits are open. Lead lap cars on pit road for four tires and fuel. 21-Newgarden wins race of pit road followed by 22-Pagenaud, 10-Kanaan, 12-Power and 7-Aleshin.

Lap 188: GREEN. 21-Newgarden leads the field into Turn 1.

Lap 200: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 1.9488 seconds.

Lap 210: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 2.9732 seconds.

Lap 220: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 2.7303 seconds.

Lap 230: 21-Newgarden leads 22-Pagenaud by 1.4853 seconds.

Lap 231: 9-Dixon passes 22-Pagenaud for second place in Turn 4.

Lap 237: 15-Rahal on pit road for four tires and fuel.

Lap 241: 21-Newgarden leads 9-Dixon by 9.9496 seconds. 10-Kanaan on pit road for four tires and fuel.

Lap 242: 3-Castroneves on pit road for four tires and fuel.

Lap 246: YELLOW. 8-Chilton spins off Turn 2. Leaders under caution are: 21-Newgarden, 9-Dixon, 22-Pagenaud, 7-Aleshin and 12-Power.

Lap 250: Pits are open. Lead-lap cars are on pit road for four tires and fuel. 21-Newgarden wins race of pit road followed by 9-Dixon and 22-Pagenaud.

Lap 260: GREEN. 21-Newgarden leads the field into Turn 1. There are six cars on the lead lap.

Lap 265: 21-Newgarden leads 9-Dixon by 0.7003 of a second.

Lap 270: 21-Newgarden leads 9-Dixon by 1.2087 seconds.

Lap 275: 21-Newgarden leads 9-Dixon by 2.6351 seconds.

Lap 280: 21-Newgarden leads 9-Dixon by 2.9728 seconds.

Lap 290: 21-Newgarden leads 9-Dixon by 4.1826 seconds.

Lap 295: 21-Newgarden leads 9-Dixon by 2.6351 seconds.

Lap 296: 12-Power passes 9-Dixon for second.

Lap 299: WHITE: 21-Newgarden leads 12-Power by 4.4844 seconds

Lap 300: CHECKERED. 21-Newgarden wins the Iowa Corn 300 by 4.2828 seconds.

QUOTES

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 DeVilbiss Team Penske Chevrolet): "The DeVilbiss Chevy was running so well today. We struggled a little bit in qualifying because we couldn't get a clear assessment on the assimilations there, but we knew that we had a strong car for today's race and I really thought we had a shot at the win. As we adjusted the car, it was getting better and better. So, obviously disappointed with how things ended. Again, I just want to thank DeVilbiss, Chevrolet and Verizon for supporting us and we'll look ahead to better results in Toronto."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): "The Hitachi Chevrolet was a top-five car here at Iowa Speedway, especially after we made some changes in the third pit stop. However, we got caught under the caution, unfortunately. We couldn't catch a break and we tried everything to stay out and every time we stopped the caution came out. It was not a good day for us after that, but we can't give up. We have to move on and look forward to Toronto."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): "I think we can be pretty pleased with that. To start shotgun on the field and end up in the top 10 without really any lucky breaks or lucky yellows. It was just on pace, we had quick stops from the guys and stayed out of trouble. There weren't a lot of cautions or a lot of guys going out today, so we kind of just had to race our way up there. Big credit to the No. 5 crew and everybody on the Arrow Electronics team. The car was good all weekend, other than that issue with qualifying obviously, so it sucked to start back there but to be able to work our way back up showed the strength that we have. Obviously congrats to Mikhail (Aleshin) with his top five, it was a great day for the SPM team."

MIKHAEL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Honda): "Fifth is definitely a decent result and really good for the whole team. The guys did an amazing job to put the SMP Racing car together overnight after some technical issues we had yesterday. The car was pretty good to drive compared to most of the field. We were moving up in position constantly during the race, and I was pretty patient. I knew that we were going to be up there, but at the same time. I knew that we had to be aggressive with some things. Overall, we put everything together today and P5 was definitely good."

MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): "It was definitely a character-building day for us and the Gallagher team. It was a learning experience with all the lapped cars and wave-arounds. The car was good and I was trying to keep up with the changes I could make. We had a vibration of some sort and I spun. We wanted to get out and continue and get the maximum laps and experience we could."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): "Considering how the weekend started it was pretty dang good. We were in a hole as of Friday so we had a wholesale change for the race today. So it took us a little while to get the balance closer – but we had too much understeer and fell off a lot towards the end. It almost seemed like (Josef) had another set of wings on that car – huge credit to him and everybody at the team there. They did a helluva job. I knew all day that he was running very fast, but it wasn't until the end that I got up to the pointy end of the field. I kind of hurt my race toward that latter part there – I was trying to keep up with Josef and burned the front tires up."

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet): "I think we had a top-three car for sure, but things just wouldn't go our way today. We had some issues with our power and then that last stop really hurt us when we came in a littler earlier than we expected we'd have to and the yellow came out two laps later. Those situations are frustrating, but you just can't control them. The No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet was obviously faster than seventh-place considering how much we were running up front with (Scott) Dixon and (Will) Power."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing Chevrolet): "It was a very average day although the result was pretty decent considering we started 16th. The Hydroxycut Chevy machine was way too slow. We went conservative on the downforce and had way more downforce than anyone else. Overall we just weren't competitive pace-wise. We got a little lucky, although we created some of our luck. We stayed out late on many stints, which was the result of running a lot of downforce so we were taking pretty good care of the tires. We were getting passed early, but we passed a couple of cars toward the end of the runs. There was just no speed in the car, which is always frustrating when you are behind the wheel. On top of that I stalled the car on the last pit stop. I am not quite sure what happened there. So it was just a tough day at the office, but the Team Hydroxycut – KVSH guys did a good job and we got some decent points."

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "It was a really good run. I think we had a very good long run car. We had people come back to us at the end of the stint so I was very happy that it went full green there at the end. That allowed us to get up to second. I'm just stoked to finish well at Iowa. It was tight racing cause those two guys I was racing against are guys we're definitely racing in the championship. Obviously I didn't want to get passed but I wanted to get by them. They're very trustworthy drivers and very good to race with."

TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): "We'd been struggling here in Iowa but we tested here and it helped. We tried a different philosophy which brought some different ideas so we're getting better results. The team is making real progress."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Mi-Jack/RLL Honda): "It was a frustrating day. We were really hard on the tires; they were vibrating like nothing I have ever experienced before. It was vibrating so bad that I couldn't hold onto the steering wheel any longer near the end of the stint so we had to pit earlier than we wanted. We have to reboot and come back stronger at Toronto."

CONOR DALY (No. 18 Jonathan Byrd's Hospitality Honda): "Today was not what we expected at all, the car was beyond difficult to drive. As much as we tried to work on it to fix it, the problem seemed to be deeper than what we could adjust so the safest thing to do was to retire the car. I'm confident we'll be able to do our homework and come back stronger."

GABBY CHAVES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): "It was a tough day for us. We've had races where we don't finish where we want to, but we're confident that the car we have during the race has the potential to be better and we see the progress. Today was just one of those races where we're just trying to make it to the finish. It's racing, we have those days. We'll look to see why we struggled so much, particularly on our tire life and then take it from there and learn."

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka Chevrolet): "It was a great day for the team. We tested here last week, we knew we had really strong race cars. Josef (Newgarden) drove excellent, especially with the conditions of his hand hurting. I really felt like one of us would win, and there was a really good chance both of us would be here (on the podium). Didn't know we would have quite the dominant day that Josef had, but we needed to get back in victory lane for the team, for Chevrolet. It's good to contribute some points for Josef and the No. 21 entry. Second in points right now, so we are in a really good position there. We just have to keep doing the same thing we are doing, and keep rounding into form. Hopefully next race we will have two of them on the podium."

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 21 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka/ECR Chevrolet): "I'm just so happy for Iowa. I love coming here and happy we'll be here for the next two years. We've got great support from all these people. I love staying in Des Moines and getting to race at this awesome racetrack. It's one of the best for INDYCAR. I'm just so elated that we were able to get that oval win. We've been so close finishing second here twice the last couple of years and second at other ovals but this team, they got it done. They gave me an amazing car and made it easy on me. I could go anywhere with the thing so it made it easier with everything I was dealing with. I'm just so happy for Fuzzy's Vodka. They do such a great job. It's just a privileged to be here with these guys. Thanks to Firestone for giving us the ability to race these guys like we do. We could just hang in a little bit better than everyone else it felt like."

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): "It was a great day overall for the Menards Chevy. We had a really good car at the start and unfortunately we ran an adjustment pretty quickly when the track changed with the Firestone rubber coming down halfway through the race. We ended up having to deal with what we had. We just didn't have enough pace at the end to contend for the win. So, fourth today I think is a great day, honestly. I'm very pleased with second in Phoenix and fourth here. Our short oval program has improved massively compared to last year. I'm proud of everyone at Team Penske and the 22 team did a fantastic job again."

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): "Man, that was the longest race of my career in INDYCAR. We struggled a lot for grip. I didn't have any confidence in the car. We were just chasing the car the whole race, changing and never could get the balance in the car. We have to now think about Toronto. This was a tough race for the whole team."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Snapple Honda): "Another disappointing result. I had to come from the back and it was hard to pass. We gave it all we had. We took a risk on strategy, which of course didn't pay off – so here we are with a 14th-place finish."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): "It [the engine] just popped without warning but that was the least of our problems today. That was the most out of shape I think we have ever been. I'm not really sure. We're going to have to look at it. I couldn't get out on my own way out there on a track that I absolutely love and that this team has historically been so good at. It just goes to show you that you can never get ahead of yourself. You always have to keep working. You always have to find a way to be faster. We came here for a test and it was a pretty productive test and had some hard times there but wow this was really bad today. It was something I just couldn't find a solution to. We tried some significant changes. Not huge but significant ones trying to settle the rear. My big problem was I could not get around a car at all. If I got around a car it felt like I lost two thousand pounds of downforce. On mid to late tires I was just skating around on top of the track like I had no wings on the car. It was amazing. I had never felt anything like that."

JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 41 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): "Stuff didn't fall our way today – we got caught out by yellows twice but the car was pretty quick especially on old tires. If we'd been a little more fortunate with the timing of these yellows, I think we'd have been in the top 10. It's a shame we couldn't catch a break but the car performed well today."

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Chevrolet): "Overall it was a really fighting day for the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team. The pit stops were solid all day – I think we made up time every time we came into pit lane. I really appreciate the work they've done all weekend, and really all year. The car wasn't great to start with, but we just kept making it better. We slid back early and had to fight almost our whole race from a lap down. It was really just a fighting day and happy to add another solid top-ten finish."

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 Castrol Edge/Curb Honda): "Starting 17th made our life hard. I think we were unlucky in terms of the yellows when they came out because our strength today was in the second half of our tire life. We had really, really good tire life and everyone else was struggling. We were able to stay out but we were never able to take advantage of that. None-the-less a good result from where we started and we're looking forward to Toronto."

Results

Pos No Name Laps Diff Gap Pits FTime Led ST Engine
1 21 Josef Newgarden 300 0.0000 0.0000s 4 17.932 282 2 Chevy
2 12 Will Power 300 4.2828 4.2828 4 18.126 8 Chevy
3 9 Scott Dixon 300 5.5085 1.2257 4 17.981 1 10 Chevy
4 22 Simon Pagenaud 300 6.1827 0.6742 4 18.036 11 1 Chevy
5 7 Mikhail Aleshin 300 7.0386 0.8559 4 18.170 9 Honda
6 98 Alexander Rossi 299 1 LAPS 13.6870 4 18.341 4 17 Honda
7 10 Tony Kanaan 299 1 LAPS 6.4400 4 18.104 6 Chevy
8 11 Sebastien Bourdais 299 1 LAPS 1.7336 5 18.231 16 Chevy
9 5 James Hinchcliffe 299 1 LAPS 5.5964 4 18.374 22 Honda
10 83 Charlie Kimball 299 1 LAPS 0.2894 4 18.134 5 Chevy
11 14 Takuma Sato 298 2 LAPS 6.1245 4 18.383 13 Honda
12 26 Carlos Munoz 298 2 LAPS 0.9070 5 18.462 15 Honda
13 3 Helio Castroneves 298 2 LAPS 7.8210 4 18.028 3 Chevy
14 27 Marco Andretti 298 2 LAPS 2.0898 4 18.375 19 Honda
15 41 Jack Hawksworth 298 2 LAPS 1.2078 4 18.366 14 Honda
16 15 Graham Rahal 297 3 LAPS 5.6155 4 18.323 12 Honda
17 19 Gabby Chaves 293 7 LAPS 4 LAPS 5 18.375 18 Honda
18 20 Ed Carpenter 284 16 LAPS 9 LAPS 4 18.145 7 Chevy
19 8 Max Chilton 274 26 LAPS 10 LAPS 3 18.463 2 4 Chevy
20 2 Juan Pablo Montoya 179 7 LAPS 2 LAPS 3 18.082 11 Chevy
21 18 Conor Daly 141 9 LAPS 3 LAPS 4 18.830 21 Honda
22 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 105 2 LAPS 2.8945 1 18.604 20 Honda

Race Statistics
Winners average speed: 143.330 mph
Time of Race: 1:52:16.3613
Margin of victory: 4.2828 seconds
Cautions: 3 for 42 laps
Lead changes: 10 among 5 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Newgarden 1-49
Pagenaud 50-58
Chilton 59-60
Rossi 61-64
Newgarden 65-112
Pagenaud 113
Newgarden 114-181
Pagenaud 182
Newgarden 183-249
Dixon 250
Newgarden 251-300

UNOFFICIAL VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES POINT STANDINGS

  1. Simon Pagenaud 409
  2. Josef Newgarden 336
  3. Will Power 334
  4. Scott Dixon 321
  5. Helio Castroneves 318
  6. Tony Kanaan 306
  7. Alexander Rossi (R) 286
  8. Carlos Munoz 280
  9. Graham Rahal 275
  10. Charlie Kimball 275

UNOFFICIAL SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE YEAR STANDINGS

  1. Alexander Rossi 286
  2. Conor Daly 195
  3. Max Chilton 186
  4. Spencer Pigot 97
  5. Matt Brabham 37
  6. Stefan Wilson 14

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