Penske Wins Second Night in Iowa, Rahal Third

Newton — Without a repeat of last year’s major weather delays (and your author tragically getting soaked from shirt to flip-flops), the second half of the NTT IndyCar race in Newton went off with another good crowd on hand. Simon Pagenaud and Scott Dixon again climbed the scoring tower but it was last year’s winner Joseph Newgarden who kept ahead of the field and proved his dominance of the Newton oval.

The start saw Joseph Newgarden lead into turn one as the field spread out across the tarmac. Connor Daly settled into second though he was able to hold his own behind Will Power, unlike Friday night. Again, the Arrow McLaren cars were strong, as they used the momentum from last night early in the race. Simon Pagenaud was again on the move early, moving quickly from last to top-10 as was Scott Dixon, also into the top half. Jack Harvey was also making some moves early along with Marcus Ericcson.

The race settled into a good rhythm as the green-flag laps ticked by 18 seconds apiece. Takuma Sato once more led the early pit group, which also featured Santino Ferrucci, who had some slick moves in the first 50-60 laps. After the cycle, the Arrows of Pato O’Ward and Oliver Askew were running fast and closing on Newgarden, but could not find a way around the number one car.

The yellows though did come again to ruin some of the strategies, as first, oval expert Ed Carpenter lost it into the grey at the top of turn two, causing the first caution. The restart was clean this time and again everyone began to circulate towards the next phase of stops.

O’Ward came in under green for tires and fuel but the left rear was not tight as he started to roll away, costing him double the average stop length. He was quickly multiple laps down but he was saved from total disaster.

A second yellow would come out soon after when Ryan Hunter Ray had a slide which led to contact with the inside wall coming out of the pit lane. This let O’Ward go to one lap down but he was out in terms of hunting for the win. After the stops, Newgarden found himself in the lead, having been cycled down the order a bit. Daly gave Power a run at third but could not pull it off when racing resumed.

It was Graham Rahal that was the stallion in stride on the night, as he was pushing all race long after discovering pace in his final stint Friday. Starting 19, he took a run at Power for second starting with about 30 to go. Tony Kannan, on his final season and after terminal problems Friday, also showed his veteran guile by reaching ninth with 20 to go.

Newgarden was too strong tonight though. With over 1,000 laps led at Iowa now, he flashed by to take the win for the second time in three races at Iowa. While he did not lap the field as he has in previous editions, he certainly would not let Power catch him.

Power and Rahal went at it all the way to the checkered flag but Power had just enough to hold on, leaving Penske with a 1-2 on the night. Pagenaud finished in a very good fourth, with Dixon behind in fifth. Harvey improved one place from race one in sixth. Askew finished seventh and it was another quiet night for Alexander Rossi, who got eighth. A ninth for Kannan lit up his face and the crowd while Ericsson rounded out the top-10. Marco Andretti came home in 11th after a terrible Friday.

“It feels really good. Don’t’ know what it will take to get the bad luck off our team but this helps,” said Newgarden. “We ran hard all day.”

“I have complete confidence that we can win any race with Tim on the stand and the guys behind me at work.”

Posted by on Jul 20 2020. Filed under Professional Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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