Hinchcliffe grabs Iowa win as late error costs Newgarden second


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Josef Newgarden looked on course to repeat his crushing 2016 Iowa win until it all unravelled in the final stint.

The Penske driver took the lead and ran away with it at the start of the race. He passed team mate and pole sitter Will Power early on and strode away from the field as he pleased. At one point the reigning champion had lapped everyone outside the top four.

But James Hinchcliffe began to work his way rapidly through the field from his 11th place on the grid. The Schmidt driver looked a threat on pure pace. But he tended to suffer higher degradation towards the end of the typically 80-lap long stints on the 1.4-kilometre track.

A mid-race caution period caused by Zach Veach offered the few drivers on the lead lap the opportunity to pit at low cost. After the restart Hinchcliffe picked off Spencer Pigot, who was having an otherwise superb first Iowa appearance for Ed Carpenter Racing. He then drew quickly onto Newgarden’s tail.

Hinchcliffe’s caused was aided by Power, who was now on the verge of falling a lap down. As Power fought to stay on the lead lap, Newgarden was briefly delayed, and Hinchcliffe brilliantly capitalised.

However a late twist came when Ed Carpenter lost control of his car and was clipped by Takuma Sato. The contact had the beneficial effect of keeping Carpenter out of the barrier, but debris on track forced a late caution period.

This threw the race leaders’ strategic situation into disarray. A final burst on fresh tyres could offer the opportunity to make up positions, but with the laps ticking down behind the pace car it wasn’t clear how many laps of green flag running they would get.

When the answer came, it was zero. But that came too late for the likes of Newgarden and Robert Wickens, who had already gambled on pitting for fresh rubber. Hinchcliffe therefore took the chequered flag under caution, with Pigot promoted to second ahead of Sato, Newgarden and Wickens.

Power collected useful points for sixth ahead of Graham Rahal and Simon Pagenaud. Carpenter claimed ninth despite his late crash.

The Andretti team deserved a result in a sad week following the death of Dee Ann Andretti, wife of Mario and grandmother of driver Marco. However a slow pit stop for Alexander Rossi due to a stall left him 10th, and a radio-less Ryan Hunter-Reay retired with technical problems.

boutlink came in 11th ahead of Scott Dixon, who endured a frustrating day. The Ganassi driver had to cope with a gearbox problem and, late in the race, his front tyres were fitted to the incorrect sides, causing a serious handling imbalance.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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5 comments on “Hinchcliffe grabs Iowa win as late error costs Newgarden second”

  1. Lots of passing through out the field. Too bad they couldn’t have went green for the last lap.

    Congrats to Hinch. I’m sure that feels great after the 500 misfortune.

  2. Great win for Hinch, especially after the disappointment he had at Indy. Adjusting the car at each stop helped him compete with what looked like a Newgarden only show. With Newgarden nearly lapping all but a handful of drivers, it shows how important it is to have a team that understands oval setup for their driver. Some managed to keep the performance as the tyres used up, so they stayed in contention.
    If McLaren can think they can jump into Indycar and win on these tracks straight out, then I’d be very surprised if they manage it. Just watching Chilton and Carlin trying to figure these cars out throughout the season is an indication of the challenge.

    1. Just watching Chilton and Carlin trying to figure these cars out throughout the season is an indication of the challenge.

      I’m not too sure Max Chilton is a good example for how difficult it is for his car to be competitive …

  3. Once again 2 races in a row now this page has ruined an Indy car race for me, Please stop putting the winners in the headline or pictures of your race recap. I should be able to come on an F1 page and not have the result of other category’s spoiled for me. and don’t give me that crap Keith that this is an all motorsport page now, your an F1 page deal with it.

    1. @crazycarts twice now lol, I think you should blame yourself. I always stay off the race sites and even news pages until after I have caught up on all my motorsports. Seriously so little going on in your life that you just have to come to racefans.net despite still having to watch a race. I am only tearing you a new one because your are crapping on Keith for your own lack on self control regarding surfing.

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