Under caution on Lap 284 of the Iowa Corn Indy 300, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) called Josef Newgarden into pit lane for a fresh set of tires. The decision paid dividends as Newgarden charged from 11th to second in the final 10 laps at Iowa Speedway, tying his career best Verizon IndyCar Series finish.
Ryan Hunter-Reay crossed the checkered flag just .5814 seconds in front of the Nashville-native driver.
“I saw Ryan (Hunter-Reay) in front of me and I thought ‘if this is going to play out, it will be between us,'” Newgarden said. “Ryan got a good jump, and I got a good jump, and we kept carving up to the top. I knew the laps were clicking down. With about five to go, I realized ‘OK, this is going to get really good.’ There just wasn’t enough time to get Ryan, but it’s great to finish on the podium.”
Newgarden started the race on Iowa Speedway’s .875-mile short oval 21st, gaining 19 total positions in the No. 67 Wichita State/SFHR Dallara/Honda/Firestone car. His second place finish is his second career IndyCar podium, and first on an oval track.
“It’s a great job for everyone at Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing,” Newgarden said. “Our team did an amazing job tonight, we were just solid. We had such good pit stops, really good strategy and kept our head in the game the entire way.”
As Newgarden charged to the front of the field on the final restart of the race, he set the fastest lap of the race at 180.029 mph on Lap 298.
“We didn’t have the best balance all race long, but there were parts when we were really fast,” he said. “We just kept with it and at the end there, we made it when it counted.”
SFHR will look to continue its positive momentum at the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader July 19-20. To keep up with the latest news and photos from the team, follow @SFHRindy on Twitter and Instagram and like Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing on Facebook.