At the end of the Honda Indy Toronto, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) team co-owner Sarah Fisher said that her team needed to focus on one thing for the remainder of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season: finishing every lap of every race.
In Sunday’s Edmonton Indy SFHR driver Josef Newgarden came one step closer to accomplishing the goal set out by his team owner. He completed all 75 laps of the race and finished 17th.
Newgarden started in 13th position and struggled with low-speed understeer in the first stint of the race. The SFHR crew worked diligently to improve his car throughout the day, but the caution-free race made it difficult for Newgarden to make up tack position.
“No one really made much progress on the track,” Newgarden said. “You kind of had to get lucky cycling through the pits to pass people.”
The No. 67 team was further hindered when Newgarden was issued a pit speed violation on lap 52.
Once back out on track however, Newgarden put the hammer down and turned the quickest lap of the race on lap 68 at 103.491 mph.
“After I served the drive-through penalty, I just focused as hard as I could on laying down the best possible laps to make up my lost ground,” he said.
On the final lap of the race, Newgarden chased down and passed Tony Kanaan for 19th position. An incident in the final corner on the last lap between Charlie Kimball and Simon Pagenaud bumped Newgarden up to his finishing spot of 17th.
“I think we really lost the battle for today’s race in qualifying,” Newgarden said. “We just didn’t have the right combination, which is all part of the learning curve. Some weekends we’re going to get it right and some weekends we’re going to get it wrong. I’m learning a lot with the way you need to set cars up though.”
Helio Castroneves won the Edmonton Indy to claim his second victory of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Season. Castroneves led 22 laps and managed to keep Takuma Sato at bay in second position.
Will Power, Graham Rahal and Alex Tagliani completed the top-five.
Ryan Hunter-Reay remains the points leader after the Edmonton Indy with 362. Helio Castroneves gained ground on Hunter-Reay in the championship chase with his Edmonton Indy victory and now trails by only 23 points.
The next round of IZOD IndyCar Series action is the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday, August 5.