Josef Newgarden admitted he was dreading IndyCar’s title-deciding race at Laguna Seca, knowing the double points on offer made his championship lead more vulnerable.
“I’ve been dreading the last couple weeks because I don’t think it really hits you until you get finally to Laguna or after Portland I should say, two weeks to go, because then you really realise the points situation.”
Newgarden went into the final round with a 41-point lead over his closest rival Alexander Rossi. An IndyCar race win is usually worth 50 points but the top seven all scored more than 50 at the season finale.
“It’s just such a stressful deal with double points,” said Newgarden. “I hated it. I hated thinking about it.
“I know we didn’t build up enough of a gap to make it super-easy on ourselves and I was just kind of dreading it to be honest with you. Just didn’t know what was going to happen.”
Newgarden started the race fourth behind Rossi. Both slipped back during the race but another title contender, Newgarden’s team mate Simon Pagenaud, overtook both and closed on the leaders. He finished fourth, six seconds away from beating Newgarden to the championship.
“I just wanted to make sure we secured the championship because I felt like our guys deserved it,” said Newgarden. “Everyone works really hard in this paddock. It doesn’t matter which team or what driver you are. I think everyone works really hard.
“I’m pretty intimate with my guys and know how hard they work personally, and I just wanted them to be rewarded with the championship. That was weighing on me a lot. I was just happy we were able to get through today.”
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10 comments on “Newgarden “hated thinking about” double points title-decider”
24th September 2019, 7:53
How long have IndyCar been using double points? Also, seeing the extremely negative reactions that double points generated in F1, what was their reasoning to introduce it? (or have they had it even prior to 2014?)
24th September 2019, 11:39
IndyCar has double points for the season finale and the Indy 500. They’ve been doing it for the finale a few years now, but I think they’ve been using double points for the 500 much longer.
24th September 2019, 12:33
Link. tl;dr: Double points have been a thing since 2014. Double points for the final race of the season were introduced in 2015, which was coincidentally the first, and thus far only, time they decided the title.
(Also doubles up as a useful reminder of the fact that there are people out there working hard to make a worse job than the FIA)
24th September 2019, 13:01
Thank you Dane and nase, I appreciate your answers.
24th September 2019, 14:22
There were double points for the final race also in 2014, but in that case IndyCar gave double points for all 500-mile races, one of which was the final race at Fontana.
24th September 2019, 7:56
I’d love to see him in F1. This guy has talent.
26th September 2019, 18:38
24th September 2019, 14:25
I still really hate the fact they use double points for the final race, There’s just no reason for it.
Doing it for the Indy 500 is more acceptable as it’s the special, centerpiece race that’s also longer than any of the others. But why should the final race be double points just because it’s the final race? It’s just something I really can’t stand because there’s just no valid reason for it.
24th September 2019, 14:50
There is a valid reason. It is to make sure the final race is relevant and that the championship is still up for grabs.
I don’t agree with it and think it is stupid way to end the season. They would be better off with a three round playoff of oval, street course and road course.
24th September 2019, 18:48
“There is a valid reason. It is to make sure the final race is relevant and that the championship is still up for grabs.”
To ensure that this is always the case, maybe they should just go all the way and keep the amount of points available for the final race flexible, the number to be determined by however many points it will take to keep the top 4 (8? 10?) drivers in with a chance.
Comments are closed.