NEWTON, IA — Josef Newgarden put on a Josef Newgarden performance on Saturday afternoon in Iowa. He led 208 of 250 laps in the HyVeeDeals.com 250 from the Central Iowa short track to prevail for his 4th victory of the 2022 NTT INDYCAR Series season.
However, despite 4 wins on 4 different types of race tracks, the Tennessee native still sits 15 points out of the lead after 11 rounds in the championship. That’s because he has as many finishes of 13th or worse (4) as wins (4).
“It’s been a frustrating year in some regards,” he said after his 24th victory of his career. “But it’s been tempered with great results. I mean, to your point, we’ve had four wins. I feel like we’ve showed up at most of these weekends capable of winning the race.
“Fortunately four of them have worked out pretty nicely. But, yeah, it’s either working out like that or it’s just going sideways to some degree. I don’t know that I want to put that on any one specific thing. It’s been kind of bad timing in a lot of respects this year. Mid-Ohio was bad timing, qualifying and the race. Toronto we had bad qualifying with P2 going out, hampered qualifying. Bad positions on the pit stop. Even the pit cycle before that was bad timing on when we pit.
“I don’t really think it’s anyone’s fault. I don’t think we have a problem in any part of the team. For whatever reason, we have odd timing on most of these weekends. The other weekends where there is no odd timing, we win the race. I think if we could find the middle ground there, we’d be handily in the points lead. We can’t seem to find that balance right now.
“You have to be careful trying to find it. We can’t change much. It’s just the way it is. 2018 was similar to this year, we won three races, finished fifth in the championship. We had four poles, super good. We were either winning the race or something weird was happening.”
In the races it went right, it really went right. He led 32 of 85 laps in his Long Beach win. He led 26 of 55 laps in his Road America triumph. He went toe-to-toe with Scott McLaughlin with a thrilling Texas finish.
However, he also only has 5 top 5’s in 11 races and 7 top 10’s. By comparison, his teammate Will Power has 8 top 5’s and 8 top 10’s. The only reason as to why Newgarden is 7 points ahead of Power is because of him having 4 wins to 1.
Ericsson has 5 top 5’s but 9 top 10’s.