Josef Newgarden was 10th fastest on Auto Club Speedway’s 2-mile oval Friday in IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying action. The 22-year-old driver for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) turned a two-lap average of 217.871 mph.
“I think we did a really good job,” Newgarden said. “We went as aggressive as we were comfortable going today and I think we pushed it pretty far.”
Newgarden reached 218.134 mph on his first timed lap, and turned his second lap at 217.608 mph.
“I wasn’t quite able to keep up with the speed on the second lap especially through Turns 1 and 2,” he said. “The car is good, but we we’re definitely on the edge and pushing it. I think that’s about what we could run today and if you’re looking to maximize then that’s good.”
Fuel strategy, pit stops and other factors will come into play during Saturday evening’s MAVTV American Real 500.
“The most important thing is that we are good to go for all 500-miles tomorrow night and that’s the goal,” Newgarden said. “It’s a long race and I think we have a good car for it.”
SFHR’s sights are set high for the 2013 season ending race and Newgarden believes Auto Club Speedway’s D-shaped oval is a good venue for the finale.
“The track is great,” he said. “I think it will be a fun race tomorrow night and should be exciting for the fans. I think the entire field is a little bit better than last year. All the cars seem to be running quicker. I think you will see really close racing tomorrow night.”
The green flag will drop on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 8:50 p.m. ET and live coverage will begin at 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. For the latest team news and photos, like Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing on Facebook and follow @SFHRindy on Twitter and Instagram.