Newgarden to have 6 spot grid penalty for Portland

INDYCAR officials have announced a six-position starting grid penalty for the entries of No. 2 Team Penske and No. 4 A.J. Foyt Enterprises for unapproved engine changes following the Saturday, Aug. 20 race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

The teams were in violation of:

Rule 16.2.3.2 A fifth (5th) Engine is eligible to earn Engine Manufacturer points if a Full Season Entrant has completed the Full Season Entrant Engine Mileage with its first four (4) Engines. Otherwise, a fifth (5th) or more Engine does not earn Engine Manufacturer points and will be considered an Unapproved Engine change-out. According to Rule 16.6.1.2, the penalty is a six-position starting grid penalty on road and street course events and nine positions at oval events and will be served at the series’ next event, which is the Grand Prix of Portland Sunday, Sept. 4 at Portland International Raceway.

Newgarden enters this weekend just 3 points behind in the championship. But to have to start no better than 7th is big because 10 of the last 11 races at Portland have been won from a top 3 starter. Also, 21 of the last 23 races here in Portland were won from a starter in the top 5 at that.

He won’t be in the top 3 rows now.

That also puts him right in the middle of danger of the likely Turn 1, Lap 1 carnage that will probably ensue. Can he avoid that or does this grid penalty cost him a shot at a championship?

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