• Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Josef Newgarden overcomes rain delay, wins Gateway

ByBrenden Martin

Aug 21, 2022
Josef Newgarden wins Gateway

Photo courtesy of Sean Birkle

Team Penske No. 2 driver Josef Newgarden won the rain-delayed Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology, his fifth win of the 2022 season and third straight win at Gateway. A light sprinkling appeared on Lap 214 of 260 and gradually picked up until the red flag came out on Lap 217, pausing the race for over two hours.

Newgarden’s race almost ended in disaster as his car would not start up once the red flag was put away. Luckily for him, he got his car fired before the pace car came around with the rest of the field, keeping him in the lead.

“All I can say is I think this [No.] 2 car crew has been very patient with me,” Newgarden said. “I’ve lost my cool probably a couple of times in closed doors out of frustration for us.”

Team Penske No. 12 driver Will Power’s championship points lead shrunk to 3 points over Newgarden, who moved from fourth to second in the point standings thanks to his win.

Had the race ended in the rain, Power’s championship lead over Newgarden would have been 17 points. Power had a championship lead of 32 points over Chip Ganassi Racing No. 9 driver Scott Dixon as they ran on Lap 86.

Power started on pole for a record-tying 67th time and led for most of the opening stretch of the race. He was in fourth when the red flag came out and fell to sixth at the end.

Team Penske No. 3 driver Scott McLaughlin was in line for his third IndyCar win and first career oval win had the red flag ended the race. He cycled in front of Newgarden on the pit stop cycle right before the red flag.

Instead of winning a rain-shortened race, Newgarden passed him with 34 laps to go.

Despite losing the lead late, McLaughlin thinks his team is as strong as ever.

“We’re going to the moon,” McLaughlin said. “I don’t know. I’m feeling good. I’m loving IndyCar. I’m just very proud of everything.”

Dixon finished eighth and fell to third in the championship, 11 points behind Newgarden. Dixon’s teammate, Chip Ganassi Racing No. 8 driver Marcus Ericsson, fell to fourth in the championship by finishing seventh and lost five points to Power, down 17 in total.

No. 10 driver Alex Palou, the defending champion, held on to fifth in points after a ninth-place finish.

Dale Coyne Racing No. 18 driver David Malukas secured a career-best second-place finish, passing McLaughlin on the final lap. Malukas was leading a few laps before the caution came out for rain but he came down to pit road mere seconds before the first drop of rain hit the track.

Malukas was set for a career-best fifth-place finish had it continued to rain. When the track was finally dry, Malukas decided to pit with only 10 cars on the lead lap. His fresh tires allowed him to cut through the field and track down the two Penske leaders.

“We ended up getting around O’Ward and then we ended up getting past a lap car and I just see two Penske’s and I was like ‘Oh my God they’re Penskes,’ and they were tough,” Malukas said.

“They were tough to even get any sort of suck to get close to them. Unfortunately with two laps to go, that was the one lap decided to go on the outside lane and it worked so well. If I would have done that a bit sooner maybe we could have done something for Newgarden.”

Malukas gained 30 points on Rahal Letterman Racing No. 30 Christian Lundgaard on the rookie standings, now trailing him by 11 points.

“Overall, that is a win for me, a win for the team. Man, they deserve that so much,” Malukas said.”

Arrow McLaren SP No. 5 driver Pato O’Ward finished the race fourth, keeping him in seventh in the championship standings at 58 points behind Power.

Overall, the race was much cleaner than last year’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 with only two cautions coming out all race, one of which was for the rain delay.

The start of the race saw some very brave moves, but no notable contact between any cars. Arrow McLaren SP driver No. 7 Felix Rosenqvist gained 11 spots on the opening lap and made it up to 13th from 26th by Lap 4.

The only caution from a wreck came from Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing No. 45 Jack Harvey who touched the outside wall on Lap 144. Harvey suffered a broken toe link and ended the race 24th.

The seven drivers in the championship hunt restarted in the top seven following the caution.

Other drivers had major issues despite the lack of cautions. Andretti Autosport No. 27 Alexander Rossi ran out of fuel coming to pit lane and could not get the car to fire up. It took a handful of laps to finally get the car running again. He finished 34 laps down in 25th.

Juncos Hollinger Racing No. 77 Callum Ilott underwent a 30-second time penalty for hitting a pit crew member on Lap 65, relegating him to a 21st-place finish.

Ed Carpenter Racing No. 21 driver Rinus Veekay was the only retirement in the race, shutting the car down on Lap 78 after his dashboard froze and shut down completely.

It was a long day for EC Racing, No. 20 Conor Daly came down to pit road after a shifting issue on Lap 206.

The championship battle consists of seven drivers that are all within 58 points of each other, setting up an exciting battle in the final two races of the season.

The 2022 NTT IndyCar Series will continue with the penultimate race of the season, the Grand Prix of Portland at Portland International Raceway on Sunday, Sept 4 at 3:00 p.m. ET. The race can be watched on NBC and the NBC Sports App.

Race Results:

IndyCar WWT results

Championship Standings:

IndyCar points standings WWT