This weekend is a great opportunity for Josef Newgarden to earn a shot at a second consecutive series championship. In arguably his best track already, the NTT INDYCAR Series added a second race to the Iowa race weekend. Instead of one 300 lap race, we get a pair of 250 Lap events in consecutive nights on the 7/8-mile short track.
Newgarden, has led at least 200 laps in three of the last four years including a dominant performance of leading 245 of 300 laps last year. He has four top twos in his last six starts there and has led 100 or more laps in all but one try since 2015.
Meanwhile, Scott Dixon is 0-for-13 at Iowa while his Penske teammates of Will Power and Simon Pagenaud are 0-for-11 (Power) and 0-for-8 (Pagenaud).
Pagenaud has six top eight finishes in eight tries but none of them have seen him even finish on the podium.
Power, has three top six finishes in his last four tries, but he just can’t find the setup to win.
Throw in Alexander Rossi with no lead lap finishes in four Iowa tries and no top fives and hit get a great shot for Newgarden this weekend.
He needs it. He’s marred back in fifth in the standings right now.
“Last weekend, we had some great moments, but ultimately things did not go our way,” said Newgarden. “We left Road America with that behind us and are looking forward to Iowa. We had such an awesome race there last year in the Hitachi Chevy, so I think we have a good shot to turn it back around with two shots for a win.”
Newgarden, says Iowa is a place that he feels the most comfort at.
“It’s just one of those places that tend to fit my driving style, so I always feel great racing there,” Newgarden continued. “Speedways like Iowa can lead to a lot of close, wheel-to-wheel racing, so the guys have worked hard to put together a great car to help with that. I’m also looking forward to once again seeing fans at Iowa this weekend. They help provide different energy that all of us drivers feed off of, so we’re always happy to see them back at the track!”