Josef Newgarden saw a glimpse of victory vanish in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday, Aug. 3 after a mix-up in pit lane resulted in the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) Honda receiving a drive-through penalty for a pit safety violation.
Newgarden entered pit lane leading the race for his third and final stop on Lap 65 after posting the fastest leader lap time on Lap 63 – 67.1493 seconds (121.056 mph). Newgarden ran over an air hose, which caused the penalty. He returned to the track and finished 12th.
“It was a shame that it didn’t work out,” Newgarden said. “I think everyone knew we were strong today and definitely had a shot at winning the thing. And that’s all you can ask for. We’ve had a couple of those this year, and we’ll have a couple more before it’s done.”
SFHR’s strategy and tire choice throughout the 90-lap race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course looked to be working before the fumble occurred in pit lane.
“We had a heck of a car and killer strategy,” Newgarden said. “The yellow even fell just right for us. You don’t always stick with your plan, but we did that today, and it was looking to unfold perfectly for us.”
Newgarden ran in second place for most of his second stint on Firestone primary black tires, trailing pole sitter Sebastien Bourdais, who was on alternate red tires.
“All we had to do was hang on to Bourdais there,” Newgarden said. “We knew he was going to be stronger on reds. We just hung with him, and it fell right into our seat.”
Scott Dixon won the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, followed by Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe in second and third, respectively.
SFHR will head west for a test day Thursday, Aug. 7 at Sonoma Raceway. The team, along with the rest of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, will be back in racing action Sunday, Aug. 17 at the Milwaukee Mile.
For the latest team news and updates, follow @SFHRindy on Twitter and Instagram and like Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing on Facebook.