Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) clinched its fourth top-10 finish in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season tonight at Texas Motor Speedway. Through ups and downs amid the 228-lap race, sophomore driver Josef Newgarden drove his way past the checkerd flag in 8th place.
“We had a good result considering we got hosed a little bit on some of the yellows, which pushed us back a little,” Newgarden said. “I think we had a top-5 car, but we were pretty good in the mix and I think to secure decent results is satisfying. We definitely want more but I think we learned a lot tonight.”
On SFHR’s second pit stop, the crew made changes to allow Newgarden more downforce on the No. 67 SFHR Dallara/Honda/Firestone car.
“We really struggled in the middle of the race with chronic understeer and then it shifted to chronic oversteer at the end of the race,” Newgarden said. “So there were a lot of mixed feelings in the car. We just did our best to work it out and keep it as balanced as possible.”
The 22-year-old driver started the contest 7th on the grid, and steered his way around Texas Motor Speedway as the sun set behind the 1.5-mile oval.
“The transition from day to night was actually fine,” Newgarden said. “Most of the track was shielded so it was actually a pretty easy transition. It was a little disorienting running under the lights so often.”
The 550-km race had just three caution periods and no crashes. Driver Helio Castroneves finished on pole and is first in the series championship standings. Rounding out the top-5 were Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Ed Carpenter and Marco Andretti.
With lessons learned at the end of the night, Newgarden and SFHR continue to seek improvement and consistency.
“I think we got decent points tonight, but we need to get better points,” Newgarden said. “We will go to the next race and try to do better.”
SFHR holds onto 15th place in the series championship standings with 11 races remaining on the 2013 schedule. Next weekend the No. 67 Honda-powered car will be back on the track for the Milwaukee IndyFest. The race will air live on NBC Sports Network at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 15th. For the latest team updates, follow @SFHRindy on Twitter.