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IndyCar: Newgarden Wins Race 1 In Dominant Fashion at Iowa

Josef Newgarden continued his dominance in Iowa. With this victory, he has now won 4 out of the last 6 races held at the Iowa Speedway.

Qualifying was dominated by Team Penske, Will Power took pole with Scott McLaughlin in second, and Josef Newgarden in third. The race started out in exciting fashion. IndyCar veteran Ryan Hunter-Reay went four-wide at the start and moved up six places. Colton Herta and Pato O’Ward raced hard and swapped positions. O’Ward then also made the pass on Scott Dixon to take fourth.  After that, the pack began to spread out, and it stayed that way for the majority of the race.  Power caught up to the back of the field and began lapping cars by lap 17

After the start, Herta experienced problems with tire wear. His hopes of a good result were completely dashed when a nightmare pit stop caused him to go several laps down. Several drivers like Rinus Veekay, Romain Grosjean and Alexander Rossi went for an undercut attempt. When the green flag pit stops fully cycled through, Veekay temporarily moved into the top 5. While that didn’t last long, the Ed Carpenter Racing driver did remain in the top 10 for the next stint.

Penske continued to show their dominance throughout the first 60 laps of the race, lapping all but the top 10 cars.

Newgarden takes charge of the race

Newgarden took the lead on lap 121, when teammate Power was compromised on the exit of Turn 2 while going through a pack of back markers. The two-time IndyCar Champion followed it up by building a lead which he would never relinquish. However, the only threat to Newgarden’s victory was Graham Rahal who hit the wall on right in front of the race leader on lap 153, bringing out the race’s one and only caution.

Toronto race winner Christian Lundgaard and Veekay were collateral damage as they fell into the caution trap. Having pitted a lap prior to Rahal’s accident. The front-runners all came to pit road under caution with just over 90 laps to go. After all was said and done, Newgarden led the field to the restart and never looked back. The Nashville native won the race, with teammate Scott McLaughlin in second and Pato O’Ward taking the last spot on the podium.

IndyCar Championship leader Alex Palou came into the race, with a lead of 117 points. The Spaniard finished in eighth place after a fairly anonymous race. This gives the Chip Ganassi Racing driver a 98 lead over Newgarden heading into Race 2.

Far behind the leaders, an incident between Devlin DeFrancesco and Benjamin Pedersen occurred on pit road. The pit crew gave Pedersen an unsafe release right into the path of DeFransesco this resulted in a drive-through penalty for Pedersen who would finish the race in last place 15 laps down.

The teams will study the data and try to improve for Race 2. Can anyone stop Newgarden from sweeping the weekend?

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