Josef Newgarden triumphs in IndyCar's return to Gateway
Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden has won the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 race at the Gateway Motorsports Park to extend his championship lead in the IndyCar Series to 31 points over Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) with two more races on a calendar.
Newgarden led for 170 of 248 laps in the IndyCar’s return to Gateway Motorsports Park’s 1.25-mile oval after fourteen years. This is his fourth win of the season and seventh IndyCar victory in a career.
Sebastien Bourdais returned to racing
Newgarden made a decisive move on lap 218, passing a teammate Simon Pagenaud for the lead. After that, Pagenaud lost a momentum to drop for one more place, behind Scott Dixon. Helio Castroneves gave Team Penske three of the top four finishers. During the race, Castroneves led 52 laps to become the fourth driver in Indy car history to surpass 6,000 laps led in a career.
AJ Foyt Racing’s Conor Daly finished fifth, ahead of Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport) and Charlie Kimball (Chip Ganassi Racing). James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Motorsport), Carlos Munoz (AJ Foyt Racing) and Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing) completed the top 10. Bourdais led for five laps in his return to racing after he missed nine races following nasty accident at Indy 500 practice.
Short race for polesitter Will Power
Few accidents happened in the race, one of the victims was the polesitter Will Power. He spun in Turn 2 on lap 6, hitting the wall. The cars of Ed Carpenter and Takuma Sato touched as they slowed to avoid Power, sending both into the wall as well. None of the drivers was injured but their races were over.
In the championship standings, Josef Newgarden is in the lead with 547 points, Dixon follows with 516, Castroneves is third at 505, Pagenaud fourth at 504 and Power fifth with 464. Graham Rahal (436 points), Alexander Rossi (422) and Takuma Sato (410) also remain mathematically alive for the championship as well.
The next race is the Grand Prix at The Glen on September 3. The season finale, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, is scheduled for September 17.