Josef Newgarden of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) turned a two-lap average of 180.987 mph Friday evening at Iowa Speedway and will start 21st on the grid in the Iowa Corn Indy 300 on Saturday, the fourth oval race on the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.
Newgarden showed speed during two short practice sessions, placing 11th and 12th on the speed charts, respectively. But he struggled with the rear of his No. 67 Wichita State SFHR Dallara/Honda/Firestone car during qualifications.
“It turned into a tough day for us,” Newgarden said. “We had a good day going, and we were looking strong on race trim. In all honesty, I’m still really happy with where the car is right now. I think we have a really good race car to work with tomorrow night. We just got caught out in qualifying. We made some decisions and stuck to them, and we ended up struggling with the rear end.”
Nashville native Newgarden started from the back row last weekend at Pocono Raceway and drove his way to an eighth-place finish, leading seven laps of the 500-mile race. He once again will focus on moving forward on Iowa Speedway’s .875-mile high-banked oval.
“It’s not fun starting from the back in Iowa,” Newgarden said. “This is one of those places where you like to start up front. We will need to make some moves early, and I think we have the car to do that.
Scattered showers caused practice time Friday to be limited.
“I wish we could have had more on track time, but I’m glad we did get some laps in,” Newgarden said. “It was looking like we weren’t going to get any lap time. Regardless I feel confident going into tomorrow night.”
NBC Sports Network will broadcast the Iowa Corn Indy 300 beginning at 8 p.m. (ET). The race will also air on IMS Radio Network on channels XM 209 and Sirius 213.
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