Temperatures north of 85 degrees Fahrenheit along with 70 percent humidity did not stop Josef Newgarden’s determination to battle to the very end of Race 2 on the Streets of Toronto. The second year driver for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) crossed the checkered flag in 11th place.
“It was physically demanding for everyone out there with all of the heat and humidity,” Newgarden said. “We had a long day but we got through the start just fine and ran some clean laps. We got a little unlucky with fueling, but other than that we fought to the end. Not a stellar day but something that we can build off of.”
Under caution, Newgarden was in 15th place with only two laps remaining. When the green flag dropped for the final restart, the 22-year-old kicked the No. 67 SFHR Dallara/Honda/Firestone car into full force, swerving by Simon Pagenaud and Will Power. A collision between Ryan Hunter-Reay and Takuma Sato in the closing laps also helped Newgarden gain ground.
“We finally were able to run full rich at the end,” he said. “We didn’t have to save so much on fuel and we just ran to the finish. We were able get a couple of spots and made up even more spots on that wreck, which pushed us up in the order a little bit.”
SFHR raced the Honda Indy Toronto double-header weekend without the presence of chief engineer Nathan O’Rourke. O’Rourke flew to Indianapolis early Saturday morning to be with his wife Nikki for the birth of their second child.
“It was tough losing Nathan, he’s kind of like my right arm,” Newgarden said. “Everyone is so crucial on this team, so losing one team member is like breaking a link in the chain. Nathan was on the phone with us the whole weekend, doing everything he could to help us. I’m really happy that he got home in time to see his new baby and to help Nikki, so it’s one of those deals that we just had to work through.”
The IZOD IndyCar Series will take a breather before the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on August 4. Newgarden is looking forward to a much-needed break.
“It’s going to be nice to have a couple weeks off to re-gather all of our thoughts and go through everything we’ve done in June and early July,” he said. “I think that will do wonders for us to try and figure out what we need for these last races so that we can maximize points and do well in the final stretch of this championship.”
Scott Dixon swept the Streets of Toronto, winning both Race 1 and Race 2. Helio Castroneves and Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the top three in today’s race.
Newgarden will enter the last part of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series 15th in championship standings. For all of the latest updates from the No. 67 car, follow @SFHRindy on Twitter and Instagram.