No. 1009
August 14, 2019

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The Line


JULY 24, 2019

(Photo by Chris Owens/INDYCAR)
Josef Newgarden 
(No. 2 Team Penske Hitachi Chevrolet Turbo V6) won the weather-delayed Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway, the NTT IndyCar Series' smallest track. The start of the race was delayed four and a half hours due to severe weather, including lightning and heavy rain. The green flag finally waved at 11:45 p.m. ET, but a brief shower at 12:12 a.m. ET stopped the race at Lap 55. Newgarden was leading then, having passed teammate Will Power (No. 12 team Penske Verizon Chevrolet Turbo V6) amid traffic in Turn 1. Newgarden finally took the checkered flag - his fourth of the season and the 14th of his career - at 2:14 a.m. ET. Newgarden admitted being pissed-off after qualifying third Friday behind his teammates, polesitter Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Team Menards Chevrolet Turbo V6) and Power. But he refocused and got ready to race. "I'm much happier tonight, I can tell you that," Newgarden said. "I was really a little bit frustrated yesterday just because I knew we had a pole-winning car. We didn't put it together. It's competitive." The victory allowed Newgarden to extend his series points lead to 29 over Alexander Rossi (No. 27 Andretti Autosport NAPA Auto Parts Honda Turbo V6), who finished sixth. Newgarden lapped Rossi on Lap 185, although Rossi battled back to make it interesting for a few laps. Scott Dixon (No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing PNC Bank Honda Turbo V6) finished second for the fifth time this season after falling a lap off the pace early in the race. The recovery came as a result of smart pit strategy initiated by his crew - they gave him new tires on Lap 268 - and it keyed Dixon's 45thcareer second-place finish. The five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion has now finished first or second in 90 of his 316 career starts (28.4 percent). "Huge credit to the team," Dixon said. "They (left) me out pretty long before the last caution. It enabled us to stay on the lead lap, get that lucky yellow, get new tires. (We) had a good restart, were able to (pass) some cars. ... We were actually probably going to be happy with a top 14 or 15 (finish), so that was pretty stellar." James Hinchcliffe (No. 5 (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Arrow Honda Turbo V6) finished third. "For all the fans that stayed out, weathered the storm - literally - huge thanks," Hinchcliffe said. "I think it was well worth the wait. Hopefully everybody that did come and stayed for the race enjoyed the show. It felt pretty exciting from where we were sitting." Next up is the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. The race will air July 28 on NBC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network at 3:30 p.m. ET. (Thanks to INDYCAR Media)
Scott Dixon (No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing PNC Bank Honda Turbo V6)
 stretched his next-to-last stint on track - taking advantage of a late-race caution flag to pit for fresh tires - and finished second in the rain-delayed Iowa 300. Dixon started eighth and struggled with difficult handling throughout the first two-thirds of the race, running as far back as 16th and a lap down on the leaders. But Dixon charged through the final laps, passing both Simon Pagenaud and James Hinchcliffe, closing to within 2.8 seconds of winner Josef Newgarden at the end of the race.
(Chip Ganassi Racing)
Richard Westbrook (No. 67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT/Michelin) moved inside of Earl Bamber (No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR/Michelin) with six minutes and 32 seconds remaining and went on to win the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on Saturday. It was the first IMSA WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) victory of the season for him and his Ford Chip Ganassi Racing co-driver, Ryan Briscoe. After taking the lead from Bamber, Westbrook quickly pulled away. He went on to win by 7.003 seconds, snapping the Porsche GT Team’s five-race win streak in the process. “It’s tough to beat a Porsche this year,” Westbrook said. “So, I think we can all give ourselves a pat on the back.” “I had to pick my moment,” Westbrook continued. “There was a lot of marbles off-line. I just got it right. It was just an amazing race to be part of, fighting with two Porsches and my teammate, it was really close out there. I just had to be patient with the 912 and when the opportunity came, it was a matter of taking it.” “This place is just so tough,” said Briscoe, who makes his home in nearby Hartford, Connecticut. “We didn’t think we’d have the pace, so we went into the race with the goal of doing a three-stop strategy. We knew the tire life on two stops was going to be really difficult for everyone, so we just committed to it and knew we had to put the lap times in on fresh tires when everyone else was falling off and it worked out. It’s really great, especially, to do it here at Lime Rock. I’ve got a lot of friends here, a lot of family and it’s special to stand on the podium in front of all of them.” It was the eighteenth career IMSA victory for Briscoe and Westbrook’s fifteenth. Bamber and co-driver Laurens Vanthoor wound up second for their fifth podium result in seven races in 2019. They extended their lead in the WeatherTech Championship GTLM standings to eight points, 218-210, over their No. 911 Porsche teammates, Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet. Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller finished third in the No. 66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT/Michelin. 
(Michelin Motorsport)
Zach Robichon and Dennis Olsen (No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R/Michelin) won their first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD Victory race with a photo finish at Lime Rock Park on Saturday. The No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche ran in the top five for the early half of the race after Robichon qualified the car fourth. The car then moved up into second place for nearly 80 laps, with Olsen keep the leading No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3/Michelin of Mario Farnbacher within a second of his sights. With five minutes remaining, the perfect opportunity presented itself for Olsen. Two lapped cars blocked the paths of both drivers, with Farnbacher in the outside lane and Olsen on the inside. As luck would have it – which Pfaff hasn’t had much of this season – the inside lane opened up as the two dove into a corner and Olsen capitalized, sliding by and in front for the lead.The drama wasn’t done yet, however. A tire puncture slowed Olsen on the final lap, allowing Farnbacher to reel him back in. it was a drag race on the front straightaway to the checkered flag, which Olsen nipped by a mere .010 seconds. “It was pretty tight, all of the moves,” said Olsen. “The last one was just the Acura got held up by a bit of traffic in the front, I don’t know what was going on. I just prepared myself to get around and gambled to go between and it worked out. I think it was a millimeter on each side, but it worked out.” “I mean it was pretty stressful, definitely,” said Robichon. “Dennis did such a great job. Usually I’m not at a loss of words like this. He did a great job. He was aggressive when he needed to be, but didn’t take any unnecessary risks and I think with the traffic it all played out perfect. He didn’t put a wheel wrong… He did a great job to stay in the lead and definitely well-deserved from the Pfaff Motorsports crew.” Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley (No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3/Michelin) rounded out the podium with their third top-three in as many races.  (Thanks to IMSA Media)
(Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang) was winless in 2019 until he held off Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry) on older tires to win Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The victory was Harvick’s fourth at the “Magic Mile,” most among active drivers and tied with Jeff Burton for most all-time. It was Harvick's second straight race win at the 1.058-mile flat track and his third in the last five events. On the final circuit, Hamlin got to Harvick’s bumper in Turn 1 and gave him a tap, but Hamlin’s Toyota Camry couldn’t clear Harvick, who pulled ahead on the backstretch. Harvick hugged the bottom through Turns 3 and 4 as Hamlin moved to the outside, trying to take advantage of the traction compound in the higher lane. But when Hamlin pulled alongside, Harvick drove to the right, hitting Hamlin and slowing his momentum. Harvick crossed the finish line .210 seconds ahead of Hamlin, who had led 113 laps before making his final pit stop. Erik Jones (N0. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry) finished third. The Gander RV 400 is next Sunday (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Pocono Raceway.