• Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Josef Newgarden wins IndyCar thriller at Texas

ByStaff Contributions

Apr 2, 2023
Josef Newgarden celebrates in Victory Lane

Photo courtesy of Chris Graythen | Getty Images

Are you not entertained?!

The racing across 250 high-octane laps around Texas Motor Speedway in the early afternoon Sunday left the motorsports world with its jaw dropped as 28 drivers went to battle around the 1.5-mile oval.

In the end, it was Josef Newgarden surging ahead of a dominant Pato O’Ward to win his second race in a row at Texas after a wreck by Romain Grosjean with two laps to go halted the race.

The win marked Newgarden’s 26th in the NTT IndyCar Series.

“Pato gave me all the respect in the world when he was racing next to me and it was just hard, it was really hard to fight those guys,” Newgarden said in Victory Lane. “I think [Alex] Palou was super strong too so there’s just no gimmies. It was just packed up today. Very difficult to get away. There were parts where we were really good and parts where we were weaker and then when we needed to be good, the car was there at the end.”

At the midway point of the race on a long green-flag stint, O’Ward showed his talent and the speed his No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP had as he lapped all but Newgarden.

Newgarden led the most laps of the day with 123 but O’Ward looked impossible to beat as he was able to use the second groove better than anyone else.

However, a Felix Rosenqvist caution with 71 laps to go shook up the field and allowed drivers like Romain Grosjean, Palou, David Malukas and Scott Dixon to get back on the lead lap.

From the Lap 194 restart on, the race delivered edge-of-your-seat thrills as the lead exchanged many times as drivers looked to conserve fuel and their tires to get to the checkered flag.

A pair of yellow flags came out during the final stint. One for a solo crash from Sting Ray Robb and then a scary crash between Devlin DeFrancesco and Graham Rahal as DeFrancesco slid back up the track after trying to get to pit road and Rahal had nowhere to go, hit the rear of DeFrancesco and went airborne.

O’Ward finished runner-up for the second time in a row to start the 2023 season. While winless, the Mexican moves into the points lead with a seven-point gap ahead of St. Petersburg winner and defending Indianapolis 500 champion Marcus Ericsson.

“I was timing the tow but it’s been a hell of a start to the year,” O’Ward said. “The guys gave me an absolute rocket ship. Everybody that was watching the race midway through I’m pretty sure saw that. It’s been an absolute joy to drive. I guess we’ve had two second-places so we’re still waiting for that win this year. But that’s a great start to the championship like I said and that’s what we need.”

Palou, Malukas and Dixon rounded out the top five while Scott McLaughlin, Colton Herta, Ericsson, Callum Ilott and Helio Castroneves made up the top 10.

IndyCar will take next weekend off and return on Sunday April 16 for the Long Beach Grand Prix in Southern California (3 p.m. ET, NBC, Peacock).


Texas IndyCar results


IndyCar points