The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host its first Verizon IndyCar Series road course race this weekend, creating even more excitement for Josef Newgarden and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) during the renowned Month of May.
Newgarden and the rest of the Verizon IndyCar Series field will compete in the inaugural 82-lap Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the brand-new 14-turn, 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) road course Saturday, May 10.
“Adding the Grand Prix of Indianapolis feels more like the full Month of May that IndyCar used to be,” Newgarden said. “I think fans will get a much better view of what Indy cars are all about from a bigger scale and not just the Indianapolis 500. There’s a lot more to offer with IndyCar, and fans will get to see that first-hand.”
SFHR tested on the road course for the first time last week. Newgarden turned a lap of 1 minute, 10.9278 seconds in the No. 67 Klipsch Dallara/Honda/Firestone entry, 1.3309 seconds behind leader Scott Dixon.
“We’re a little bit more behind than we’d like to be for the Grand Prix course,” Newgarden said. “We didn’t have a stellar test, but it was our first time out there, and we learned what we needed to. We are going to push as hard as we can this weekend because it’s Indianapolis and we are excited to have Klipsch Audio behind us. I feel confident that we’re going to be able to figure out what we need to in practice and that we will be quick on Saturday.”
Newgarden is 10th in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship point standings after placing in the top 10 in St. Petersburg and at Barber Motorsports Park.
Nashville-area native Newgarden thinks fans will experience exciting IndyCar racing in the Grand Prix of Indianpaolis due to the layout of the circuit that runs through the inside of IMS’ notorious oval.
“I think it’ll be challenging to get away from anyone at the race because there’s such long straightaways and really good brake zones, which should not allow one person to be able to break away from the field.” Newgarden said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of passing, a lot of drafting down the straights. I think it will be wheel to wheel with a lot of the field for the whole race.”
When the checkered flag flies at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday evening, IMS will undergo a transformation to oval configuration in less than 24 hours before Opening Day of the 98th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 11.
“It will be more challenging for the teams going straight from the Grand Prix to Opening Day for the ‘500’ because the cars have to be turned around immediately,” Newgarden said. “The drivers have to mentally switch over to the different challenge of running on the oval, but I think it’ll be tougher on the teams.”
Practice for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis begins at 10:00 a.m. (ET) Thursday, May 8. The race will air live on ABC at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 10.
For the latest updates from the No. 67 Klipsch Audio car, follow @SFHRindy on Twitter and Instagram and like Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing on Facebook.
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, iPod® 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).