Tag: IZOD IndyCar Series
Newgarden Posts Career Best Finish in Brazil
In the birthplace of the legendary racing driver Ayrton Senna lies an 11-turn temporary street circuit that hosted Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) and the rest of the IZOD IndyCar Series today. The 2.535-mile asphalt and concrete track for the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 bumps and bruises more than just about any course on the series calendar and two things are needed to survive - patience and time.
Starting dead last today in 25th position as a result of a penalty extended for an engine change, Nashville-resident Josef Newgarden and his team thought they might have to count on healthy doses of patience and time as their only strategy. But a record number of cautions at the São Paulo circuit gave the Speedway, Ind.-based team the opportunity they needed to get Newgarden the best finish of his brief IZOD IndyCar Series career.
"I thought we had a really strong race and a top-five is really good going into Indy," said Newgarden. "Given where we started, that's exactly what we wanted to do, score solid points and get some momentum going into the 500. I think we've absolutely done that."
A late-race charge by Newgarden after a restart put him in position to battle for the lead. The 22-year-old racer made several attempts to put his Honda-powered Dallara chassis on point, but he ultimately yielded to James Hinchcliffe, the eventual winner. Newgarden hung on to his fading tires to squeeze out a fifth-place finish for his SFHR team to take back to their new racing headquarters in Indiana.
"It was a little bit of a disappointment," Newgarden said. "I think we had a better car than fifth. You have to take what you can sometimes. We're really pleased at all of the hard work that gets put in from everyone here. It's good to get representative results. We'll try to take that momentum and do well at the 500."
The SFHR team heads home to Speedway for a short walk from the race shop to the 97th Indianapolis 500 where Newgarden put the No. 67 in a seventh-place starting position last year. To get the latest news from SFHR, follow @SFHRindy on Twitter.
SFHR "Animado" for the Spirit of Sao Paulo
Racing and soccer do not typically coincide, but for Brazilian sports fans both are top-notch entertainment, and definitely provide a reason to be "animado," or very excited as we would say in English.
Josef Newgarden, driver of the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) Dallara/Honda/Firestone car, is traveling more than 5,000 miles south of Indianapolis for the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300, the only IZOD IndyCar Series race outside of North America.
Sao Paulo's steadfast soccer fans leave no shortage of enthusiasm when they take over the track, according to Newgarden.
"The big difference with racing in Brazil compared to racing in the States is that the fans are very, very passionate," he said. "It's almost like racing during a soccer match. They're super passionate about soccer down there and I think they bring that same sort of energy to the weekend, which is pretty cool. Going anywhere where you have fans that are that appreciative and that excited to have you there is always fun."
The Streets of Sao Paulo also presents an opportunity for team bonding , as most of the crews stay on the race compound for the entire weekend.
"Last year Hinch (James Hinchcliffe) was supposed to shave his beard but he ended up not doing it, so I slapped him in the face with a handful of shaving cream," Newgarden said laughing. "I don't think it made it on the air anywhere but it was on tape, so it's out there somewhere!"
The sophomore driver can always be counted on for a funny Sao Paulo story, but even more important is Newgarden's reverence for the street circuit itself.
"I like the track a lot," Newgarden said. "I like the way it's laid out, and it's very different than anywhere else we go. It has the longest back straight that we will go to at any point this year, which is very unique."
The 22-year-old relishes the challenge the 2.536-mile street circuit brings.
"We have to run very low down force, which is not typical for a street course," Newgarden said. "Normally on street courses you run a lot of down force, but in Brazil you can't because the straights are so long. That makes it difficult to balance but I think it's really fun."
In his rookie season, Newgarden qualified ninth and drove the fastest lap of any competitor before making contact with a wall that cut his race short. The second year star hopes to take what he learned last year and use it to his advantage.
"We have a great setup that I think will start the weekend on a good note," Newgarden said. "It is straight from the setup we learned and developed last year. If anything we just need to do a good job of scoring solid points because I know we will have a good car."
Newgarden is hoping for a solid result in Brazil that would give his team positive momentum heading into the next IZOD IndyCar Series race, the Indianapolis 500.
"Momentum is a big deal and Indianapolis is coming up right afterwards, so momentum coming into Indianapolis right after Brazil is crucial and we have to do a good job there," he said.
The Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 will air live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 5. For updates from the No. 67 car follow @SFHRIndy on Twitter.
Streets of Long Beach Leave SFHR Longing for More
Josef Newgarden and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) had a tough day swerving through the Streets of Long Beach after a pit stop glitch halted the progress of the No. 67 SFHR/Dallara/Honda/Firestone car.
“We shot ourselves in the foot on both ends,” Newgarden said. “We had a slow stop and then I ended up stalling the car. So we had a double foul all around. I feel bad, we were already slow in the stop and then I pretty much finished us off with the stall.”
Newgarden, who fell from 12th to 20th-place after stalling the No. 67 car, fought his way back into the mix finishing the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach 13th overall.
“We had an ok recovery from the slip-up,” he said, “But thinking about where we could have been if we didn’t have the mistake is disappointing. We probably would have gone straight to the front with the decision we made if the stop would have been cleaner. It’s a shame, but we will learn from it and move on.”
The sophomore driver, who holds 19th-place overall in the IZOD IndyCar Series Championship, understands that every second in a race is crucial with the competitive field of drivers surrounding him.
“Anytime you have an error like that, it pretty much ruins your day,” Newgarden said. “It’s tough to come back that late in the race from a mistake. Those are things you have to minimize, so we’re going to try to not have as many of those slip-ups in the future because they can be detrimental. Luckily it didn’t bite us too bad today.”
The 22-year-old Nashville-native is keeping a positive outlook on the long season that lies ahead.
“The positive is that the car is in one piece and we finished 13th, which is not horrible,” Newgarden said. We’re not satisfied with a mediocre finish, but I’m excited to go to Brazil in a few weeks and get another shot.”
A.J. Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato took first place on the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach podium, making him the first Japanese driver to win an IZOD IndyCar Series race. Rounding out the top five were Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson, Dario Franchitti and JR Hildebrand.
The next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the Sao Paulo Indy 300 on May 5 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. To get the latest news from SFHR, follow @SFHRindy on Twitter.
SFHR Ready For Redemption in Long Beach
Josef Newgarden and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) are ready for redemption in Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Newgarden will start the race in the 16th position after turning a lap of 1 minute, 8.2579 seconds at 103.795 mph during qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
The sophomore driver is extra hungry for success on the Streets of Long Beach after starting second in 2012 and getting knocked out of competition on the first lap after contact with veteran driver Dario Franchitti.
“What happened last year was horrible for us,” Newgarden said. “I think everyone on the team wants to have a good result tomorrow and that’s what we are all very focused on.”
The No. 67 SFHR Dallara/Honda/Firestone car ran as high as first during the first round of qualifying before slowly slipping into eighth near the end of the 20-minute session.
"Our strategy was to get out early and run two sets [of red tires],” he said. “I think we were a little behind with pace and the red flag kind of slowed us down. We definitely didn't maximize our strategy, so I think we have to find some pace in the car tomorrow.”
The SFHR team is prepared to climb through the 80-lap race along North America’s longest running street circuit.
“It’s incredibly important to finish races and pacing yourself does that,” Newgarden said. “It’s not easy to do. This is a two-stop race so we have to stay out of trouble at the start and then we have to keep a clean nose from all the guys around us.”
The 39th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, April 21, at 4 p.m. ET. To catch live action from the No. 67 car along the 1.968-mile street circuit, follow @SFHRindy on Twitter.
SFHR Soars To Ninth, Motivated to Push For More
Josef Newgarden jumped 13 positions to finish ninth in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on Sunday, April 7, claiming his first ever top-10 finish in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing’s second-year driver started the 90-lap race in 22nd and, chipped away at his opponents one by one.
“It was a huge team effort,” Newgarden said. “In IndyCar, with it being so tight, everything has got to go right, everyone’s got to do their part, and when that happens I think we’re going to put good results together and that’s really what you saw today.”
With only one full-course caution flag on the 2.38-mile, 15-turn road course, SFHR was able to precisely perform its plan of attack.
“Today was a great day,” Sarah Fisher, co-owner of SFHR, said with a grin. “We finally executed the plan and pulled it off the way we all worked on and intended it to be. It just gives us a really good feeling going into Long Beach, Brazil and then Indy. We really need to keep this momentum going and I think we can.”
Even with a solid top-10 finish, Newgarden’s mindset is nowhere near complacent. The 22-year-old Nashville-native cited two mistakes he made in Turn 13, where the No. 67 car turned too wide and slid into the marbles.
“I really think we should have been sixth or seventh,” he said. “I’m disappointed, but even so we still finished with a good top-10, but there’s definitely more to be gained.”
2012 IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay took first place on the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama podium, leading a total of 53 laps.
Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon finished second, followed by Helio Castroneves, Charlie Kimball and Will Power.
With two races packed away, Castroneves leads the series championship with 79 total points. Newgarden is 16th overall with 29 points.
The next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, Calif. on April 21. Follow @SFHRindy on Twitter for the latest updates.
Newgarden, SFHR Looking to Bounce Back at Barber
After a tough day on track for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR), sophomore driver Josef Newgarden will battle his way back to the top of Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama from the 22nd starting position. Newgarden turned a lap of 1 minute, 7.7830 seconds at 122.155 mph in qualifying on Saturday morning.
“It’s been a really rough day for us,” Newgarden said. “Things haven’t exactly gone our way. I had a little trouble trying to find some spacing in qualifying.”
The No. 67 SFHR Dallara/Honda/Firestone car did not make it to the Firestone Fast 6, but Newgarden is keeping a positive attitude about Sunday’s competition.
“We’re definitely better than where we are starting tomorrow,” he said. “A top-10 qualifying is what we were looking for, and I think that’s probably where we were so it gives us something to look forward to tomorrow in the race.”
Sunday will be a fresh start, with factors such as heat and length of race taken into consideration. Newgarden believes it is important for his team to conserve and to continue fighting the small battles along the 2.38-mile, 15-turn road course.
“It’s going to be a long day and it’s going to be hotter than what we’ve seen the last couple of months,” he said. “Everyone has been focusing on short runs and trying to find their car’s optimal performance, but tomorrow is going to be all about lasting all the way through to the end.”
Newgarden’s focus has turned to getting proper rest, knowing how mentally and physically taxing the 90-lap race will be on Sunday.
“I think tomorrow we have the potential to do something big,” he said. “I think we could race to the podium to be honest, but a good top-10 solid points day is what we’re looking for.”
The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, April 7, starting at 3 p.m. ET. Follow @SFHRindy on Twitter for live trackside updates.
Lights, Camera, Action on "Take Two" for SFHR and Newgarden at Barber Motorsports Park
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) and Josef Newgarden are ready for "take two" on-track at Barber Motorsports Park for the second IZOD IndyCar Series race of the 2013 season.
The first take in St. Petersburg was cut short after 50 laps due to a mechanical issue.
"I think we really just had a hiccup," Newgarden said. "It's one of those things that happens sometimes to teams and I don't think it will slow us down. I still think we have a great package going into Barber and the next couple of races afterwards."
With a new stage set for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, the SFHR crew is prepped for action.
"We learned a lot at St. Pete with the new tires that Firestone has brought on this year," Newgarden said. "The compound is very different on the street courses compared to last year. It's difficult figuring out the balance between the front and rear tires and making them work optimally. We learned a lot from that aspect for the future street courses of the season, which is going to be crucial for us."
The No. 67 SFHR Dallara/Honda/Firestone car took practice shots at Barber on March 12 and 13 for open testing.
"The track changed at Barber because they did a re-surfacing of the entire track, which added a substantial amount of grip, very different to 2012," Newgarden said. "So getting some laps before we go there was pretty crucial to figuring out what we need from a race car around the place and learning how to deal with that large of a grip increase."
Newgarden is excited to race at the 15-turn, 2.38-mile track at Barber Motorsports Park, one of his favorite sets to work on.
"I love the facility. It's probably one of the nicest if not THE nicest facility that we'll go to this year for a racing event," he said. "I also love the fans that come to Barber because they are super passionate about not only racing, but IndyCar specifically. It's always nice to go to an event that is so popularly supported by people."
The Nashville, Tenn. native spent most of his time between takes in St. Petersburg and Barber relaxing and rejuvenating in his hometown. Many of his family and friends will be in Barber due to the close proximity of the race to Nashville.
"I really hope to see some more Nashville natives down in Birmingham for the race because it is the closest event to my hometown."
The No. 67 car will spring into action for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on NBC Sports Network at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 7. Newgarden will begin practice on Friday, April 5 at 1:45 ET and will qualify at 11:25 ET on Saturday, April 6. Follow @SFHRindy on Twitter and Facebook for real-time updates from Barber Motorsports Park.
SFHR Amps Up 2013 with New Partner Klipsch
The No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) Dallara/Honda/Firestone car of Josef Newgarden produces sounds that inspire excitement at every turn of the track, and in 2013 Klipsch, a leading global manufacturer of premium speakers and headphones that capture the power and passion of live performances, will back SFHR.
Indianapolis-based Klipsch will outfit the brand new SFHR state-of-the-art facility in Speedway, Ind. with top end speakers in every room to ensure premium sound and amp up SFHR's ability to entertain sponsors and host events.
"Working together with Klipsch, we look forward to entertaining visitors and hosting large events at our new race shop with the enhanced sound of an SFHR experience," said Sarah Fisher, co-owner of SFHR. "It is very important to the growth of our company to continue building relationships with partners like Klipsch, who believe in the value of our team and our program with the IZOD IndyCar Series."
SFHR's new 40,000 square foot race shop will feature Klipsch's high power speakers used at large indoor and outdoor venues. In addition, Klipsch will arrange the speakers to create an acoustic layout with ideal sound absorption and projection specifically designed for SFHR's space.
"As the team continues to grow and take its spot as one of the most competitive teams in the IZOD IndyCar Series, welcoming partners like Klipsch to the SFHR family is crucial to continued success," said Wink Hartman, co-owner of SFHR.
Klipsch will also outfit Josef Newgarden and the entire SFHR team with premium headphones as they trek to races across North and South America, including the famed Indianapolis 500.
"Klipsch and SFHR are proof that Indiana organizations are leaders of industry and sport," said Steve Klipsch, Senior Vice President of Klipsch. "Klipsch has built its legacy from a grassroots approach, outperforming larger organizations by producing the best products. Sarah Fisher has taken the same approach in building her team. I see this as a beneficial relationship for Klipsch, SFHR and the great state of Indiana."
About Klipsch Premium Speakers:
For over 65 years, Klipsch has designed premium speakers for those who are passionate about great sound. Company founder Paul W. Klipsch started this legacy in 1946, and it continues today with sheer commitment to innovation and delivering the world's most powerful, detailed and emotional sound reproduction. Today, the brand's diverse product portfolio encompasses home theater, professional cinema, installed whole-house contracting, commercial, computer speakers, iPodR docks and headphones. As one of the first U.S. loudspeaker companies, Klipsch continues to be the high-performance brand of choice for audiophiles and home theater aficionados around the world. Klipsch Group, Inc. is also a wholly-owned subsidiary of VOXX International (NASDAQ: VOXX).