IZOD IndyCar Series rookie Josef Newgarden and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) have struggled to find speed at the raceway in Sonoma, but Newgarden is prepared to dig deep and move up on race day in Sunday’s GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Newgarden qualified the No. 67 SFHR Angie’s List Dallara/Honda/Firestone car in the 23rd position with a speed of 107.666 mph on Saturday.
“We’re struggling here,” Newgarden said. “We started off on bad footing last week for the test in Sonoma, and we just haven’t been able to take the right steps to get closer to where we need to be. It’s just one of those confusing instances, but we’re trying to figure it out.”
The SFHR team takes an open approach to finding speed and welcomes ideas from all of its engineers and team members for ways to look for an edge on-track. Team members will put their heads together this evening and work to find a solution for race day.
“Not knowing where we’re missing the speed is the frustrating part,” Newgarden said. “Normally a lack of speed comes down to something that you can find and pinpoint, but we haven’t been able to do that. We’ve tried a lot of different things that have made sense, and it’s just not working for us. We’ve just got to try and take what we can get this weekend.”
Will Power of Team Penske claimed the pole position for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma with a lap of 111.116 mph, which is his fourth pole of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season.
Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske qualified second with a lap of 110.881 mph and Sebastien Bourdais of Dragon Racing qualified third with a lap of 110.431 mph.
Helio Castroneves of Team Penske and Scott Dixon of Ganassi Racing round out the top-five of the starting grid for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma.
The GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, an 85-lap race around the 12-turn, 2.52-mile Sonoma road course, will air live on NBC Sports Network, Sunday, Aug. 26 at 4 p.m. ET.