Josef Newgarden won his third race of the 2022 IndyCar season at Road America, claiming $1million in the process.
Team Penske driver Newgarden’s victory completes a triple threat of victories on a road course, street circuit and oval – the three circuit types on the IndyCar calendar – which means he wins the new PeopleReady Force For Good Challenge.
Newgarden will earn $500,000 for himself, and split $500,000 between the Wags and Walks dog charity in Nashville and the SeriousFun Children’s Network.
It was especially fitting as he’s led more laps at Road America than anyone else in this field but only has one win and lost one last year with three laps to go after a gearbox issue cost him glory.
There were three cautions in the first eight laps to start the race as first Jimmie Johnson ran out of track and spun, followed by Marcus Ericsson clipping his Ganassi team-mate Alex Palou at Turn 5 which broke Palou’s steering and put him out of the race.
Then erstwhile points leader Will Power closed the door at Turn 4 on Devlin DeFrancesco, and after hitting Power twice at that corner, DeFrancesco finished the job and spun Power out into the wall at Turn 5.
Polesitter Alexander Rossi and Newgarden both expected Rossi to be better on the hard tyre and Newgarden better on the softs. However Rossi held the lead on the softs to the first stop when he was held up by Scott McLaughlin coming into the pits ahead of him.
Newgarden assumed the lead and carved through traffic to gap Rossi by over seven seconds, despite his pre-race assumption Rossi would be better on the hard tyre which both drivers ran for the rest of the race.
Rossi was hindered by being jumped by Ericsson initially before Ericsson went off on his out-lap on the straight to Turn 7, giving the spot back to the Andretti driver.
Newgarden maintained the lead through the second stops, pitting a lap earlier than Rossi and Ericsson, and held a 4.5-second lead after their stops.
Rossi ate into the margin but you got the feeling Newgarden was managing the gap, until Pato O’Ward pulled up with an engine issue from ninth with nine laps to go and triggered a late yellow.
Newgarden had more push to pass on the restart than Rossi with six laps remaining, and nailed the most perfect restart until Helio Castroneves spun as the leaders reached Turn 1, setting up a four lap showdown.
Newgarden launched into a phenomenal lead once again to jump clear as Rossi lost second to new points leader Ericsson at Turn 1 on the restart while Rossi and his Andretti team-mates Colton Herta and Romain Grosjean attacked with Felix Rosenqvist in tow.
Grosjean went off on the run to Turn 5 but repassed Rosenqvist, and then passed Herta with two to go to finish fourth behind Rossi, who started on pole but was mugged by Ericsson at the last.
Indianapolis 500 Ericsson managed his best qualifying of the season in fourth, which set-up his strong day, but will have awkward conversations with Palou post-race, apologising on TV following the finish.
Herta narrowly held off Rosenqvist on the last lap for fifth.
Herta drove the second half of the race with dirt on his face and had to ask for a towel in his pitstop to clean up, while Rosenqvist pitted in the early cautions and had to heavily fuel-save, before almost stealing a top five at the last.
It was a fourth top 10 in a row for the Swede who is still racing for his Arrow McLaren SP future.
Scott McLaughlin had a clean race after issues in the last four, ahead of Graham Rahal who ran the same strategy as Rosenqvist but came from 22nd on the grid to eighth.
Scott Dixon and rookie Christian Lundgaard rounded out the top 10.
Power finished 19th after his early drama, with Johnson 24th and Palou 27th after getting going, though Palou couldn’t reclaim the laps lost to repairs following his clash with Ericsson.
|Pos||Name||Team||Car||Laps||Laps Led||Total Time||Fastest Lap||Pitstops||Pts|
|1||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||Dallara DW12-Chevrolet||55||26||1h53m02.809s||1m46.621s||3||53|
|2||Marcus Ericsson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara DW12-Honda||55||3||+3.371s||1m47.305s||3||41|
|3||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||Dallara DW12-Honda||55||16||+5.635s||1m46.862s||3||37|
|4||Romain Grosjean||Andretti Autosport||Dallara DW12-Honda||55||1||+5.849s||1m47.632s||3||33|
|5||Colton Herta||Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian||Dallara DW12-Honda||55||0||+8.766s||1m47.318s||3||30|
|6||Felix Rosenqvist||Arrow McLaren SP||Dallara DW12-Chevrolet||55||7||+9.284s||1m48.782s||3||29|
|7||Scott McLaughlin||Team Penske||Dallara DW12-Chevrolet||55||0||+9.307s||1m48.333s||3||26|
|8||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Dallara DW12-Honda||55||0||+9.373s||1m48.625s||3||24|
|9||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara DW12-Honda||55||0||+9.71s||1m47.796s||3||22|
|10||Christian Lundgaard||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Dallara DW12-Honda||55||1||+10.043s||1m47.753s||3||21|
|11||Callum Ilott||Juncos Hollinger Racing||Dallara DW12-Chevrolet||55||0||+10.603s||1m47.983s||3||19|
|12||Simon Pagenaud||Meyer Shank Racing||Dallara DW12-Honda||55||0||+11.744s||1m48.372s||3||18|
|13||Jack Harvey||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Dallara DW12-Honda||55||0||+13.466s||1m48.428s||3||17|
|14||Conor Daly||Ed Carpenter Racing||Dallara DW12-Chevrolet||55||0||+14.761s||1m47.827s||3||16|
|15||Takuma Sato||Dale Coyne Racing with RWR||Dallara DW12-Honda||55||1||+15.085s||1m48.526s||3||16|
|16||David Malukas||Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsport||Dallara DW12-Honda||55||0||+16.14s||1m48.771s||3||14|
|17||Rinus VeeKay||Ed Carpenter Racing||Dallara DW12-Chevrolet||55||0||+16.651s||1m48.864s||5||13|
|18||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||Dallara DW12-Honda||55||0||+16.803s||1m47.477s||5||12|
|19||Will Power||Team Penske||Dallara DW12-Chevrolet||55||0||+17.209s||1m47.359s||5||11|
|20||Kyle Kirkwood||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||Dallara DW12-Chevrolet||55||0||+18.684s||1m48.62s||4||10|
|21||Simona De Silvestro||Paretta Autosport||Dallara DW12-Chevrolet||55||0||+20.255s||1m49.997s||4||9|
|22||Hélio Castroneves||Meyer Shank Racing||Dallara DW12-Honda||55||0||+21.437s||1m48.268s||3||8|
|23||Dalton Kellett||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||Dallara DW12-Chevrolet||55||0||+23.31s||1m49.511s||4||7|
|24||Jimmie Johnson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara DW12-Honda||54||0||+1 lap||1m49.533s||4||6|
|25||Tatiana Calderón||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||Dallara DW12-Chevrolet||54||0||+1 lap||1m49.88s||6||5|
|Patricio O'Ward||Arrow McLaren SP||Dallara DW12-Chevrolet||46||0||DNF||1m47.38s||3||5|
|Alex Palou||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara DW12-Honda||36||0||DNF||1m47.182s||3||5|