Josef Newgarden will start 21st in the Pocono INDYCAR 500 on Sunday, July 6 after a crash in single-car qualifications Saturday at Pocono Raceway.
Newgarden’s No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) Dallara/Honda/Firestone machine made contact with the wall in Turn 1 on the triangular oval. He was unable to complete his two-lap qualifying run.
“It was a very strange crash, probably the strangest crash I’ve ever had in an Indy car,” Newgarden said. “The front end felt like it skipped. It felt like something caught under the front of the car. As soon as that happened, the front was completely gone, and I went straight into the wall. We don’t know exactly what happened, but we are going to try and find an answer before tomorrow.”
The race Sunday on the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle” is 500 miles, 100 more than the Verizon IndyCar Series event in 2013.
“When you’re good you’re good, and because it’s a 500-mile race, qualifying doesn’t play as big of a role,” Newgarden said. “I think we have a fast car. We are really confident in what we were doing in practice. We did a lot of race running and race setup, so we will come back fighting tomorrow.”
Race conditions at Pocono Raceway look to be similar to Saturday, with temperatures in the mid-70’s.
“The track temperature is a little cooler this year compared to last,” Newgarden said. “It won’t make much of a difference, but it could provide a little more grip for the drivers.”
The green flag for the Pocono INDYCAR 500 will drop at 1:08 p.m. (ET) Sunday. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the 200-lap race beginning at noon (ET). The 500-mile race also will air on IMS Radio Network on channels XM 209 and Sirius 213.
For the latest news and photos from the No. 67 car, follow @SFHRindy on Twitter and Instagram and like Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing on Facebook.