Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) rookie driver Josef Newgarden had a clean drive in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, but his hands were tied when the event turned into a fuel strategy race that left him the odd man out.
Newgarden brought the No. 67 SFHR Dallara/Honda/Firestone car home to 12th in the caution-free race.
Starting from the ninth position, Newgarden got a jump on his competitors and climbed to sixth on the first lap. On lap two he passed Ryan Hunter-Reay for fifth.
Newgarden and the team then settled in and systematically ticked off solid lap times and quick pit stops.
“I thought we had a very strong car today and turned out some really strong laps,” Newgarden said.
However, for the second IZOD IndyCar Series race in a row, there were no caution periods. SFHR strategized for three pit stops while several other teams made only two.
“We got unlucky with our strategy,” Newgarden said. “We ended up doing a lot of work for very little reward in the finish today. The strategy was really the only thing that hindered us.”
In July, team co-owner Sarah Fisher set out a goal for Newgarden and her team to complete every lap remaining in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season. Newgarden came one step closer to accomplishing Fisher’s goal in Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
“I’m glad we finished the race today because it’s my job to make sure we finish each race,” Newgarden said. “Unfortunately we just couldn’t quite seal the deal for a top-10 finish at the end because we had to pit for more fuel.”
Scott Dixon of Ganassi Racing won the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, which marked his fourth victory at the track.
Will Power of Team Penske finished second and moved up to first in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series’ driver point standings.
Simon Pagenaud, Sebastien Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe rounded out the top-five at Mid-Ohio.
The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio was the second consecutive caution-free race for the IZOD IndyCar Series, which has not happened since 1987.
The IZOD IndyCar Series returns to action at the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on August 26th.