Newgarden triumphs again in Toronto

Henrietta Brewer
July 17, 2017

Josef Newgarden took another step toward proving why Roger Penske hired him previous year, winning his second Verizon IndyCar Series race for Team Penske.

Vettel was never in realistic contention for victory Sunday, but he was still third entering the penultimate lap - a finish that would have ensured 10 points still separated him from Hamilton.

And it was another great day in Hinchtown.

Oakville, Ontario native James Hinchcliffe, meanwhile, told that he just enjoys running the Honda Indy Toronto, regardless of the track's layout: "It should be pretty similar to previous year".

"I love beating Hinch in Canada", Newgarden joked. "The yellow for sure helped us win this race".

"It's insane to think for so many years I was the kid with a card and a Sharpie chasing drivers around the paddock", he said.

"After that, it was just a matter of managing the race, making good fuel mileage and staying ahead of everybody".

Newgarden now has two wins at this venue and two at Barber, a permanent road course east of Birmingham, Ala.

Newgarden came out in front on Lap 25 after a crash by Tony Kanaan caused a caution and maintained an advantage of more than two seconds for most of the rest of the race. Pagenaud and Rahal also had yet to pit so when they did, they went to the bottom half of the field. "Now we can go to chase more wins", Rossi told NBCSN's Katie Hargitt post-race.

Andretti admitted a bit of luck in ending fourth, but couldn't express how much it was needed for both himself and the No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda team, led by strategist Bryan Herta. "But the engineers know how to work and I'm confident we're going to roll off with a decent auto". "I think it had to be hard to pass people today".

"We have no problem racing in the rain, if anything I think it might make the racing better. It was nice to have a very straightforward race". JR Hildebrand's runner-up finish at Iowa was overshadowed by Helio Castroneves' drought-busting win, but the performance was almost as critical for Hildebrand, who is trying to build confidence and momentum after a tough first half of the season. He was able to get back into the race on Lap 60, moving into fourth spot but finished 10th. He noted at the end of the race that his vehicle was so hard to handle that he was simply happy his day didn't end in a wreck.

The win puts Newgarden in the championship hunt as he is now just 23 points behind Dixon.

Rossi climbed from eighth to second, his best showing since his memorable win since the 2016 Indianapolis 500.

The race featured two caution flag periods for a total of nine laps.

"We were really at the bottom of the barrel, staring into the bottom of the barrel, I guess, Friday afternoon". "We had some soul-searching on Friday night".

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