Penske’s Josef Newgarden was victorious in IndyCar race at Road America from CGR’s Marcus Ericsson and Andretti’s Alexander Rossi.
It’s safe to say Josef Newgarden feels like a million bucks after winning the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America presented by AMR on Sunday. Newgarden drove to his third victory of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season in the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet and earned the $1 million PeopleReady Force for Good Challenge bonus.
The Challenge rewards the first driver to win on all three types of circuits – road courses, street circuits and oval tracks – in 2022. The $1 million is shared, with $500,000 going to Team Penske and Nashville-area native Newgarden and $500,000 donated to Newgarden’s chosen charities. Newgarden, who previously won this season on the Texas Motor Speedway oval and the Long Beach street circuit, selected two charities to split the $500,000 portion – SeriousFun Children’s Network and Wags and Walks Nashville.
2022 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Marcus Ericsson finished second in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, 3.3710 seconds behind Newgarden. It was Ericsson’s fourth consecutive top-seven finish, and he regained the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship lead by 27 points over previous leader Will Power, who finished 19th in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.
NTT P1 Award winner Alexander Rossi finished third in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda. A second consecutive podium result this month continued a strong surge for Rossi, who has three straight top-five finishes this season. Romain Grosjean finished fourth in the No. 28 DHL Honda, with teammate Colton Herta rounding out the top five in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda after starting 11th.
Andretti Autosport placed three cars in the top five – Rossi, Grosjean and Herta. Newgarden, who started second, prevailed despite two cautions in the last 10 laps of the race that evaporated his 2.8-second lead over Rossi. The first restart, on Lap 50, lasted less than half a lap because four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves spun in his No. 06 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda exiting the final turn on the uphill climb to the green flag. That bunched the field again on the 14-turn, 4.048-mile road course for a restart on Lap 52, with Newgarden leading Rossi, Ericsson, Herta and Grosjean.
Two-time series champion Newgarden rocketed away from the field on the second restart, just as he did the first. Those rapid restarts built too big of a gap for any challenges, helping Newgarden avoid a repeat of his heartache in last year’s race at Road America, when he lost the lead to Alex Palou due to a mechanical problem on a restart with two laps to go.
Newgarden led a race-high 26 of 55 laps, taking the top spot for good during rivals’ pit stops on Lap 43. While Newgarden was locked into a winning groove over the last three laps, a mad scramble for the next four positions unfolded behind him. Ericsson dove under Rossi in Turn 1 on Lap 53 after the restart to take second.
Then Grosjean passed Herta for fourth place while crossing under the flag stand with the white flag unfurled to signal the final lap. The runner-up finish for Ericsson came despite contact with teammate and reigning series champion Palou while racing for third in Turn 5 on Lap 4. Palou finished 27th in the No. 10 The American Legion Honda.
Here’s race result: http://www.imscdn.com/INDYCAR/Documents/5911/2022-06-12/indycar-officialraceresults.pdf
[Note: The above is as per press release with no edits made]