Hinchcliffe wins in Iowa as Newgarden gets trapped by Caution

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Monday 9th July, 2018 - 9:55am

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James Hinchcliffe takes the finish under Caution

James Hinchcliffe has won the Iowa Corn 300 as Josef Newgarden gave up a chance to challenge when he pitted during a late Caution from which the race did not restart.

The race was a fight between those two for much of the afternoon and it was Hinchcliffe in the #5 Schmidt Peterson Honda who had the upper hand when the race was neutralised for the final time on Lap 294 of 300.

Newgarden and Robert Wickens (#6 Schmidt Peterson Honda), who were running second and third respectively, filed into pit lane but the green flag never appeared and they ultimately finished fourth and fifth.

Spencer Pigot inherited second and Takuma Sato third, while Will Power took the chequered flag in sixth position.

Hinchcliffe had only qualified 11th but made rapid progress during the first stint to run second to Newgarden, albeit eight seconds in arrears, on Lap 40.

Power, who started from pole in the #12 Team Penske Chevrolet, ran third but dropped back to 12th when he took his first pit stop later than most on Lap 79.

Newgarden waited until Lap 80 to pit the #1 Team Penske Chevrolet, four laps later than Hinchcliffe, but still led by over four seconds.

The margin between the top two remained fairly steady through the second stint of the race but Power dropped off the lead lap on Lap 112.

Zach Veach set off the second cycle of pit stops when he hit the wall and caused the first Caution on Lap 139.

Only the top four of Newgarden, Hinchcliffe, Pigot, and Sato had been on the lead lap at that point but another six joined them during the yellow, including Power in seventh and Wickens in eighth.

Hinchcliffe prevailed over Pigot in a brief duel for second position after the race restarted, before the latter lost a position to Sato on Lap 171.

The Japanese driver put on a big move at Turn 3/Turn 4, during which his #30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda nearly made side-to-side contact with the #21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet.

The top two had cleared out by that stage, with Newgarden leading fairly comfortably, before more pit stops from Lap 221.

Pigot was the first of the top four into the lane and he jumped two positions in the cycle, relegating Hinchcliffe to third, from Wickens and Sato.

Hinchcliffe re-passed Pigot on Lap 251, when Newgarden was just over a second up the road.

However, the defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion came up on team-mate Power again and as the Australian tried to stay on the lead lap, Hinchcliffe took the opportunity to go underneath Car #1 and lead for the first time on Lap 256.

Wickens got by Pigot on Lap 279 before the second and final Caution came for debris, caused when Sato touched Ed Carpenter as the pilot of the #20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet half-spun, with seven laps remaining.

When the green flag never came, Hinchcliffe was able to roll across the finish line for his first win of the season.

Seventh through 10th were Graham Rahal (#15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda), Simon Pagenaud (#22 Team Penske Chevrolet), Alexander Rossi (#27 Andretti Autosport Honda), and Carpenter.

Scott Dixon could only manage to finish 12th in the #9 Chip Ganassi Honda, four laps down, but still leads the series by 33 points over Newgarden.

Ryan Hunter-Reay fell from second to fourth in the standings, swapping with Newgarden, after mechanical problems with the #28 Andretti Autosport Honda consigned him to 19th.

The IndyCar Series continues this weekend (July 13-15 local time) with the Honda Indy Toronto on the streets of the Canadian city.

Race results: Iowa Speedway

Pos Num Driver C/E/T Race time/Split Pit stops Status Grid pos
1 5 James Hinchcliffe D/H/F 1:47:32.4666 3 Running 11
2 21 Spencer Pigot D/C/F +2.6491 3 Running 18
3 30 Takuma Sato D/H/F +3.2506 3 Running 10
4 1 Josef Newgarden D/C/F +4.5296 4 Running 2
5 6 Robert Wickens (R) D/H/F +6.3214 4 Running 7
6 12 Will Power D/C/F +1 lap 3 Running 1
7 15 Graham Rahal D/H/F +1 lap 4 Running 12
8 22 Simon Pagenaud D/C/F +1 lap 4 Running 4
9 27 Alexander Rossi D/H/F +2 laps 4 Running 5
10 20 Ed Carpenter D/C/F +2 laps 4 Running 9
11 18 Sebastien Bourdais D/H/F +3 laps 3 Running 15
12 9 Scott Dixon D/H/F +4 laps 4 Running 6
13 10 Ed Jones D/H/F +5 laps 5 Running 8
14 23 Charlie Kimball D/C/F +5 laps 3 Running 17
15 59 Max Chilton D/C/F +6 laps 5 Running 21
16 98 Marco Andretti D/H/F +7 laps 4 Running 19
17 14 Tony Kanaan D/C/F +8 laps 4 Running 13
18 19 Zachary Claman DeMelo (R) D/H/F +9 laps 6 Running 20
19 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay D/H/F +17 laps 6 Mechanical 3
20 26 Zach Veach (R) D/H/F +21 laps 5 Running 14
21 88 Gabby Chaves D/C/F +201 laps 1 Handling 16
22 4 Matheus Leist (R) D/C/F +260 laps 0 Mechanical 22

(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone

Series points

Pos Driver Pts
1 Scott Dixon 411
2 Josef Newgarden 378
3 Alexander Rossi 370
4 Ryan Hunter-Reay 359
5 Will Power 358
6 Robert Wickens 304
7 Graham Rahal 304
8 James Hinchcliffe 280
9 Simon Pagenaud 279
10 Sebastien Bourdais 254
11 Marco Andretti 246
12 Takuma Sato 237
13 Ed Jones 222
14 Spencer Pigot 211
15 Tony Kanaan 186
16 Charlie Kimball 167
17 Zach Veach 165
18 Gabby Chaves 158
19 Matheus Leist 156
20 Max Chilton 149
21 Ed Carpenter 148
22 Zachary Claman DeMelo 106
23 Jordan King 88
24 Jack Harvey 53
25 Carlos Munoz 53
26 Kyle Kaiser 45
27 Helio Castroneves 40
28 Rene Binder 39
29 JR Hildebrand 38
30 Stefan Wilson 31
31 Oriol Servia 27
32 Santino Ferrucci 18
33 Conor Daly 18
34 Danica Patrick 13
35 Jay Howard 12
36 Alfonso Celis Jnr 10
37 Sage Karam 10
38 James Davison 10
39 Pietro Fittipaldi 7

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