No luck for Will Power in Alabama, Josef Newgarden wins the race
Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) wins the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, the third round of the 2017 IndyCar Series season. For the 26-year-old Tennessee native it’s the first victory since joining Team Penske, his second win at Barber Motorsports Park and the fourth IndyCar victory in a career. On the 2.3-mile circuit in Birmingham, Alabama, Newgarden scored his maiden victory in 2015 while driving for CFH Racing.
For Team Penske, Sunday’s win in Alabama is the 188th victory in the illustrious history of the team. Roger Penske’s squad dominated at Alabama’s road course, with four drivers in Top 6 until pole-sitter Will Power faced tyre problem on lap 77 and had to made an unscheduled late pit stop, which relegated him down to the field. He finished in the 14th place.
At the end, other three Penske’s drivers occupied positions among four best-placed drivers. Josef Newgarden took the lead from Power and stayed in front until the checkered flag in the 90-lap race. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon finished second, ahead of Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves. Alexander Rossi (Andretti Herta Autosport) rounded the top five.
Besides regular rookie Ed Jones in Dale Coyne Racing’s car, there was one more rookie in Alabama’s round, as 22-year-old Zach Veach replaced injured JR Hildebrand in Ed Carpenter Racing’s #21 Chevrolet. Jones finished 16th, Veach was 19th.
After three races in 2017, Sebastien Bourdais leads the championship standings with 117 points, six more than Scott Dixon and seven more than Josef Newgarden. The next Verizon IndyCar Series round is scheduled for April 28-29. It would be the first oval race of the season, the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway.