2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champion, Josef Newgarden has taken his second victory of the season in Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Penske driver dominated the whole race despite a late wet condition.
The race started yesterday with a heavy-rain conditions which caused the suspension of the race, that has been postponed for Monday April 23.
Newgarden was starting in the lead of a 1h 15minutes timed race. He immediately escaped from Sébastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing). Newgarden pit for the first lap with 40 minutes remaining, he was 10 seconds in front of the race, and he clearly focused on a two stops strategy race.
Meanwhile, Bourdais and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport) who was running third, continued on track for only one pit-stop.
Then, Newgarden increased his lead up to 25 seconds which allowed him to pit and rejoin the track in the lead but the rain started to fall in the remaining 20 minutes, this was helpful for Bourdais who was cutting the gap with those mixed conditions.
Newgarden decided to make his last pit stop with 14 minutes remaining and he put wet tyres in his Penske number 1 car. American driver saw how in the first two laps the slick tires were quicker, with Hunter-Reay overtaking him for second.
Hunter-Reay joined the pits with 9 minutes to go. Meanwhile, Bourdais team crew told him to stay out, but the Frenchman lost a lot of time and saw how he was outplaced from podium positions as Schmidt Peterson Motorsports drivers James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens overtook him because they stopped before for wet compound.
At the end, Newgarden took first the checker-flag in the same place where he took his maiden victory in the series back in 2015. It’s is 9th win in IndyCar, his third in Alabama and his fourth consecutive podium in this track.
In the championship battle, Josef Newgarden takes the lead of the standings with 158 points, 13 more than Alexander Rossi. Third in the standings is Graham Rahal while in fourth place with 40 points less than Newgarden are Sébastien Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe.