IndyCar Series: Newgarden wins at Texas, defends championship lead
Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) has won the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, the ninth round of the 2019 IndyCar Series. For the driver of the #2 Dallara-Chevrolet, it’s his third win of the season and 13th in a career.
Newgarden reached the Victory Lane at Texas for the first time in his IndyCar career after a shootout against Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport) in the closing laps of the 248-lap race at the 1.5 mile oval. Graham Rahal (RLL Racing) finished third, what was his first podium this year.
Newgarden led the final 47 laps, banging wheel to wheel with Rossi numerous times in the closing ten laps. Newgarden managed to defend the lead and crossed the finish line 0.8164 seconds ahead of Rossi.
Behind their back, Graham Rahal finished third while rookie Santino Ferrucci (Dale Coyne Racing) and veteran Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport) completed top 5. Hunter-Reay led a race-high 90 laps but was forced to make an extra stop for fuel.
Pole sitter Takuma Sato (RLL Racing) was leading for the first 60 laps until making his first pit stop when he slid into the pit stall and made contact with crewman Chris Welch. Sato has assessed a stop-and-go penalty for hitting crewman. Welch was evaluated and released from the track’s infield care center.
The first half of the race was caution-free until Zach Veach (Andretti Autosport) brushed the SAFER Barrier exiting Turn 2 on Lap 135. The race’s second caution came when James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Moorsports) slid wide into the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier on Lap 219. The final yellow flag waved when the cars of defending champion Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) and rookie Colton Herta (Harding Steinbrenner Racing) touched while battling for third place in Turn 3 on Lap 229, sending both into the SAFER Barrier. All the drivers were unhurt from the incidents.
The third win of the season allowed Josef Newgarden to extend his championship lead. He has 367 points, 25 points over Alexander Rossi. Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske), who finished sixth at Texas, is third in the championship with 319 points.
The next IndyCar Series race is the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America on Sunday, June 23.
Photos: IndyCar Series /Chris Jones,