Race 1 at the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston was cut short for Josef Newgarden when the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing driver brushed the wall in Turn 10 on the Lap 32 restart of the 1 hour and 50 minute timed race.
The incident resulted in a broken right rear suspension on the No. 67 Strike SFHR Dallara/Honda/Firestone car.
“It’s a shame to have a day like today.” Newgarden said. “I made a mistake coming into the restart. I clipped a puddle on the outside coming into Turn 10, and spun the rear. That put me on the left side of the Turn 10 wall and then sent me to the outside of the Turn 10 wall. I clipped the rear of the car.”
The SFHR crew fixed Newgarden’s suspension and sent the No. 67 Strike car back on track, but the damage also included a broken differential in the gearbox, which caused Newgarden to retire from the race on Lap 42. The 23-year-old was later credited 20th place.
“The guys worked really hard and got the car patched up as best as they could, but there was some further damage inside, and it showed its head about 10 laps later. We weren’t able to finish but we definitely had a strong car today.”
Newgarden, who started 12th on the 1.683-mile, 10-turn temporary street circuit, is looking forward to fighting for redemption in part two of Houston’s doubleheader on Sunday.
“The good thing about a doubleheader is that we get another shot,” he said. “I think we have a really fast car so I’m excited for that. The team has a good package ready for tomorrow, we just have to try to make it a better day. Everyone at SFHR is doing a great job so hopefully we can have a much better result in Race 2.”
Rookie Carlos Huertas won Race 1, capturing his first Verizon IndyCar Series victory. Juan Pablo Montoya and Carlos Munoz placed second and third, respectively.
To watch Newgarden and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing in Race 2 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston, tune into NBC Sports Network at 3 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, June 29. The race will also air on the IMS Radio Network, broadcast on the Sirius 213 and XM 209 channels.
For the latest trackside updates from the No. 67 Strike car, follow @SFHRindy on Twitter and Instagram and like Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing on Facebook.
Strike is a leading single-source energy services provider, known for its high safety and quality standards. Strike’s integrated network of energy services ranges from upstream production, processing and gathering facilities to high-pressure transmission and distribution lines. Strike is committed to ensuring the safety and health of its employees, the general public, environment and its customers through the industry leading Safety program. Fulfilling a need in the Midstream Energy sector led to the creation of Strike, LLC in 2003, and Strike’s foundation is built on the pillars of Safety, Quality, Accountability, and Integrity through partnering. Over the past 10 years, Strike has created various business units with numerous locations throughout the Gulf Coast region. For more information about Strike, please visit www.strikeusa.com