Newgarden sweeps Iowa weekend with dominant victory in second race


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Josef Newgarden’s mastery of the Iowa Speedway continued on Sunday, as he completed a sweep of the weekend’s two races with a dominant win in the second 250-lap encounter at Iowa.

The Penske driver had more than enough to hold off team mate Will Power and McLaren’s Felix Rosenqvist in a three-lap shootout to decide the winner. A sluggish restart from Rosenqvist gave championship leader Alex Palou the opportunity to slide up into third place in the final laps and maintain an 80-point lead in the IndyCar championship with five rounds to go.

A 0.709-second margin of victory didn’t tell the full story of Newgarden’s dominance in Sunday’s race. He first took the lead from pole winner Power on lap 31, then drove away from the field and proceeded to lead 212 out of the remaining 220 laps on the way to his fourth win of the season. All those have come on ovals, after his victories at Texas Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500.

A late caution when Ryan Hunter-Reay tagged the wall out of turn four might have been the only potential pitfall in Newgarden’s quest for victory, once the Safety Car was withdrawn with three laps remaining. But the two-time series champion nailed the final restart to secure the win.

Penske also made it a one-two finish for the second straight race as Power finished second. Palou went from fifth to third on the final restart. The IndyCar points leader fell off the lead lap multiple times in another fast-paced race, but his Chip Ganassi Racing crew made the right calls on strategy and adjustments to help him get back towards the front – aided by some key wave-arounds after cautions.

Palou’s lead in the championship was reduced by 37 points over these two races, from 117 to 80 – but the last-lap dash to the podium did mitigate some of the damage, and he still has more than a race’s worth of points over the field.

Rosenqvist slipped to fourth at the end while McLaughlin, the last car to finish on the lead lap, came home in fifth.

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Scott Dixon finished in sixth place, ahead of Colton Herta, David Malukas, Marcus Ericsson and Pato O’Ward in tenth. Dixon sits third in the championship standings, with O’Ward in fourth, and Ericsson in fifth, all of them over 100 points in arrears.

Rookie Agustin Canapino brought out the first caution of the race when he clipped the wall out of turn two on lap 87. Canapino finished the race, 14 laps down in 26th. Takuma Sato also had a strike against the wall at the same corner and went to the pits for repairs – he ultimately finished 25th, 13 laps down. Canapino is 29 points behind the absent Marcus Armstrong in the Rookie of the Year standings.

On lap 157, there was a bizarre incident involving rookie Sting Ray Robb, who was released from his pit stall with his right-rear wheel not fully secured. The wheel rolled loose and bounced right in front of several cars, and the caution flag came out for the second time to retrieve the loose wheel. Robb was disqualified from the race for his team’s infraction.

Robb wasn’t the only rookie to have a woeful Sunday afternoon: Benjamin Pedersen was disqualified by race control for falling below the minimum 105% speed late in the race.

Newgarden recorded his sixth career win at Iowa to extend his personal record at the short oval. With two wins in two races, he becomes the first IndyCar driver to sweep a double-header weekend since Graham Rahal at Detroit Belle Isle in 2017.

The series moves on to Newgarden’s home round on the Nashville Street Circuit in Tennessee on August 6th, which in its short history on the calendar has never failed to produce an eventful race.

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Iowa 250 (Race 2) results

12Josef NewgardenPenskeChevrolet
212Will PowerPenskeChevrolet
310Alex PalouGanassiHonda
46Felix RosenqvistMcLarenChevrolet
53Scott McLaughlinPenskeChevrolet
69Scott DixonGanassiHonda
726Colton HertaAndrettiHonda
818David MalukasCoyne/HMDHonda
98Marcus EricssonGanassiHonda
105Pato O’WardMcLarenChevrolet
1127Kyle KirkwoodAndrettiHonda
1228Romain GrosjeanAndrettiHonda
1345Christian LundgaardRLLHonda
1477Callum IlottJuncos HollingerChevrolet
157Alexander RossiMcLarenChevrolet
1606Helio CastronevesMeyer ShankHonda
1760Conor DalyMeyer ShankHonda
1821Rinus VeeKayCarpenterChevrolet
1930Jack HarveyRLLHonda
2015Graham RahalRLLHonda
2129Devlin DeFrancescoAndrettiHonda
2214Santino FerrucciFoytChevrolet
2333Ed CarpenterCarpenterChevrolet
2420Ryan Hunter-ReayCarpenterChevrolet
2511Takuma SatoGanassiHonda
2678Agustin CanapinoJuncos HollingerChevrolet
27 (DQ)55Benjamin PedersenFoytChevrolet
28 (DQ)51Sting Ray RobbCoyne/RWRHonda

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Author information

RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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7 comments on “Newgarden sweeps Iowa weekend with dominant victory in second race”

  1. CD (@clipperdael)
    24th July 2023, 8:59

    Seems like the prudent thing to do for these Iowa races is to bet the farm on Newgarden making the podium. It’s essentially free money at this point.

  2. Supreme performance by Newgarden. He may sweep the oval races of the season, which is an absolutely incredible performance seeing how tight the competition is!
    A great but silent performance by Palou, and probably a bit of disappointment for Power.

    But the weirdest – and somewhat disappointing thing – was that there were no crashes at all. How on earth did that happen on such a tiny-error-amplifying track?? Drivers did an amazing job. Even the loose wheel going onto the track couldn’t stop anybody!

    1. Depends how you define ‘crash’. RHR did go into the wall hard enough (although perfectly square on) to retire but I would struggle to define it as a ‘crash’ given he made the pits easily under his own steam.

      Ignoring the pedantic nature of my previous comment, you are right that it is quite amazing that no-one hit the wall hard enough at any angle to be stranded on track.

  3. I’ve only seen the highlight it it looked like both races drew a decent crowd which is good to see.

    1. The track also loaded up the weekend up with 2 major concerts each day, including Ed Sheeran and Carrie Underwood. Looks like it worked!

  4. Newgarden is definitely the King of Corn!

  5. I would die to see Liberty Media to have a chat with Penske to see if they can persuade Josef into testing a car (But not a Big 4 car – Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, Or McLaren).

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