clear
Wednesday October 18th, 2017 11:33PM

Josef Newgarden gives Team Penske hope in Iowa

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — IndyCar powerhouse Team Penske has never won at Iowa Speedway, even though the open-wheel series has been running at the track for more than decade.

This offseason, Penske brought in the driver who last year executed perhaps the most impressive run that Iowa had ever seen.

Josef Newgarden broke an IndyCar record in Iowa for Ed Carpenter Racing, leading 282 out of 300 laps to win despite a broken right clavicle and a fractured right hand.

Newgarden will return Sunday, this time in the No. 2 car for Penske.

Newgarden is race in the standings, behind teammates Simon Pagenaud (second) and Helio Castroneves (third) and ahead of Will Power (sixth).

"We've got the Iowa king on the team now this year. So if we don't win it this year, we're in trouble," Power joked about Newgarden

Power will start from the pole, giving Penske three straight qualifying wins on the 0.894-mile oval. But none of the previous 10 race winners in Iowa started first.

Newgarden started second last season and slipped by Pagenaud, the pole sitter, early on to seize the control he never relinquished.

"I think I'm as surprised as everybody that Team Penske hasn't won a race here. It's not like they haven't been strong here," Newgarden said. "They've got great equipment (and) they've got good knowledge around here. But, coupled with what I learned last year, I think can help a little bit. Hopefully that's enough to get one of us in victory lane."

Four-time series champion Scott Dixon hasn't won at Iowa, either— and he might have a tough time changing that Sunday.

Dixon was docked 20 minutes of practice timer Saturday after IndyCar cited his No. 9 Chip Ganassi team for three minor violations during his winning weekend at Road America two weeks ago.

Dixon will start 17th, by far his worst position on the starting grid this year.

"Definitely a tough day when you lose that much running time in one day," Dixon said.

One of the bigger reasons that Penske has never won at Iowa is because Andretti Autosport has been so dominant, winning six of the last seven races.

History suggests that this could be the weekend that Andretti's Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2012 series champion, turns his season around.

Hunter-Reay has recorded just two top-10 finishes in 2017 — and it's been five races since he's been better than 13th.

But Hunter-Reay won at Iowa in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Two years ago his win in Newton kicked off an impressive finishing stretch that pushed him from 14th to sixth in the standings.

J.R. Hildebrand will join Power on the front row despite hitting the wall in qualifying. Hildebrand has never won in 55 career starts.

"So much credit to the team for giving me something I could be confident in out there," said Hildebrand, who will remain in his primary car after repairing the back wing that brushed the wall. "I will never question (my crew) getting the car back together again."

___

More racing news at www.racing.ap.org

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Auto Racing, Indy Car Racing
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Josef Newgarden gives Team Penske hope in Iowa
IndyCar powerhouse Team Penske has never won at Iowa Speedway, even though the open-wheel series has been running at the track for more than a decade
5:37PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Indians' Francona out of hospital after heart procedure
Indians manager Terry Francona resting at home after procedure for irregular heartbeat
5:35PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Jury: Newlywed had husband killed to get his insurance money
A newlywed accused of soliciting her firefighter husband's killing to collect $100,000 in insurance money has been convicted of aggravated murder in a scheme that was flawed from the start: His ex-wife was still the beneficiary of his policy
5:34PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Kyle Busch repeats as Xfinity Series winner at Kentucky
Kyle Busch goes back-to-back with Xfinity Series win from the pole at Kentucky
4:38PM ( 1 hour ago )
Former Wimbledon finalists Kerber, Muguruza set to meet
Former Wimbledon finalists Angelique Kerber, Garbine Muguzura meet for spot in quarterfinals
4:25PM ( 1 hour ago )
Champ Amanda Nunes hospitalized; UFC 213 main event scrapped
Bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes hospitalized, scratched UFC title defense
4:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Bottas beats Vettel to take pole position for Austrian GP
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas beat Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to take pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday.
9:34AM ( 8 hours ago )
Vettel fastest in 3rd and final practice ahead of qualifying
Ferrari gets a boost as Sebastian Vettel posts the fastest time ahead of both Mercedes cars in the third and final practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix ahead of qualifying later Saturday
6:29AM ( 11 hours ago )
Kyle Busch earns Kentucky pole with track-record speed
Kyle Busch sets track record to earn first Kentucky Speedway pole
9:39PM ( 20 hours ago )
AP Online Auto Racing
Scott Dixon spoils Penske party to win at Road America
Scott Dixon won the IndyCar race on Sunday at Road America to spoil the Team Penske party on the rural road course
6:00PM ( 1 week ago )
Tony Kanaan back on familiar IndyCar ground at Road America
Tony Kanaan feels like a veteran again this weekend at Road America after being treated like a rookie last week at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
5:54PM ( 1 week ago )
Turmoil for IndyCar with the pack back at repaved Texas
IndyCar drivers quickly worked in a second groove at the repaved Texas track and turmoil prevailed
2:31PM ( 3 weeks ago )
Indy Car Racing
Indians' Francona out of hospital after heart procedure
Indians manager Terry Francona resting at home after procedure for irregular heartbeat
5:35PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Jury: Newlywed had husband killed to get his insurance money
A newlywed accused of soliciting her firefighter husband's killing to collect $100,000 in insurance money has been convicted of aggravated murder in a scheme that was flawed from the start: His ex-wife was still the beneficiary of his policy
5:34PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Schoop, Trumbo homer as O's top Twins 5-1, stop 5-game skid
Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo each homered for Baltimore, Wade Miley produced his best start in more than five weeks and the Orioles beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 to stop a five-game losing streak
5:30PM ( 19 minutes ago )
'True Blood' actor Nelsan Ellis dead at 39
Actor Nelsan Ellis, best known for playing the character of Lafayette in 'True Blood,' has died
5:18PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Trump, Asian allies seek counter to North Korean 'menace'
President Donald Trump is calling North Korea a 'problem and menace' as he wraps up his second trip abroad
4:43PM ( 1 hour ago )