Newgarden holds off O’Ward for back-to-back wins at Texas

Newgarden holds off O’Ward for back-to-back wins at Texas


FORT Really worth, Texas — Josef Newgarden and Pato O’Ward swapped the lead about and around, every driver refusing to give an inch at Texas Motor Speedway.

With two laps to go to achieve victory lane, they even touched wheels.

“We’re heading wheel to wheel like 226 miles an hour or a little something,” O’Ward mentioned. “It’s rather crazy, I have to say.”

Their thrilling race came to an abrupt finish when Romain Grosjean crashed with a person lap remaining, moments immediately after Newgarden had surged forward of O’Ward. Newgarden crossed the complete line below warning for a second consecutive victory at Texas, the 3rd of his profession.

“We had a excellent vehicle. I really don’t know what else to say other than our motor vehicle was quick,” Newgarden claimed even though carrying Texas’ traditional celebratory cowboy hat presented to the winner. “I never know if it matches suitable. I apologize to any cowboys that would make pleasurable of my healthy.”

Newgarden and O’Ward ended up so dominant Sunday — they merged to direct 214 of the 250 laps — that at a single level in the race, they have been the only two motorists on the guide lap. They frantically swapped the guide around the last third of the race, and neither showed any inclination to carry off the gasoline in the fight for the gain.

There were periods of white-knuckle pack racing, three-large passes and jaw-dropping bravery, as motorists were unafraid of Texas’ superior speeds. IndyCar on Saturday utilised the entire industry to particularly operate a second significant line around the 1.5-mile speedway in an work to build a passing lane.

The result was 482 passes for posture — approximately 200 a lot more than in very last year’s race. The 26 direct improvements was the most at Texas since 2001, a span of 26 IndyCar races.

Newgarden credited the spirited racing to 7-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, who past calendar year created his IndyCar debut on an oval at Texas and completed sixth. Johnson received a NASCAR-report 7 Cup races at Texas.

“I imagine it’s the Jimmie Johnson result,” Newgarden explained. “We were being below past year, individuals have been like, ‘This Jimmie man, search at him, he can do it.’ I imagine Jimmie Johnson basically gave everybody self esteem this weekend.”

The possibility for one final thrilling lap finished when Grosjean crashed though working fifth as the leaders took the white flag. Newgarden led a race-higher 123 of the 250 laps in his Chevrolet for Group Penske. And it was a reliable bounce back from past month’s year opener, when Newgarden’s engine caught on fireplace on the downtown streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

“We are playing a very little bit of catch-up. Got a lengthy way to go,” Newgarden stated. “We are on the board. We were not on the board leaving St. Pete. We’re on the board now.”

O’Ward, in a Chevy for Arrow McLaren, opened the new IndyCar period with back-to-back again second-put finishes. He approximately won the opener at St. Petersburg right up until an engine blip permitted him to be handed by Marcus Ericsson for the victory.

O’Ward, who led 91 laps on Sunday and used a few-large moves to remain at the front, is IndyCar’s new points leader.

“It’s been a hell of a start out to the year,” O’Ward said.

Alex Palou finished 3rd for Chip Ganassi Racing and was adopted by David Malukas of Dale Coyne Racing and Ganassi driver Scott Dixon in a pack of Honda-driven motorists.

Scott McLaughlin of Penske was sixth and followed by Colton Herta, in his to start with race without the need of his father, Bryan, as his strategist in a personnel improve made at Andretti Autosport. Only 7 motorists finished on the lead lap.

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