Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing’s day ended before it started due to an engine sensor malfunction that was out of the team’s control.
Sophomore driver Josef Newgarden first noticed the issue as the 24-car field filed in line for the IZOD IndyCar Series’ first attempt at a standing start.
The safety team restarted the No. 67 SFHR Dallara/Honda/Firestone car after Newgarden radioed that he was stuck, but the car failed again in Turn 5, leaving the 22-year-old behind for the drop of the green flag.
“We haven’t had the smoothest weekend so far but we have another day and another race that we need to put full focus on,” Newgarden said.
The SFHR crew rolled the No. 67 car back to the garage where the team worked rapidly to fix the issue. After missing 52 laps, Newgarden found his way back on the track, running 33 laps and gaining one position ahead of driver Takuma Sato.
“What happened was out of our control and it made things difficult on us, but we just kept digging,” Newgarden said. “Nobody ever gives up on this team. We ended up getting one spot back, which is not a lot, but we kept fighting and we took what we could today.”
SFHR will move forward and look to bounce back in tomorrow’s second race of the Honda Indy Toronto.
“The good news after this is that we have a fast race car, we just weren’t able to show that today,” Newgarden said. “I think we are plenty capable of coming home at the end of the day tomorrow with great points and finishing on a high note, so that’s what we are all focused on doing.”
Live coverage of Race 2 on the streets of Toronto will begin at 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. For the latest team updates, follow @SFHRindy on Twitter and Instagram.
Of Note: SFHR’s chief engineer, Nathan O’Rourke, was unable to make Race 1 due to his wife going into labor for the birth of their second child. O’Rourke has been in constant contact with the team via telephone from Indianapolis.