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Newgarden wins title as Herta holds off Power in finale

Speedcafe.com

Monday 23rd September, 2019 - 11:38am

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Josef Newgarden

Josef Newgarden has won the 2019 IndyCar Series by finishing eighth at Laguna Seca, while Colton Herta beat Will Power to victory in the season finale.

Herta had qualified on pole in the #88 Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda and led all the way but for his three pit stops.

Power started seventh and emerged fifth from the first pit stop cycle in his #12 Team Penske Chevrolet.

He found himself briefly second after taking his second stop but could not keep Scott Dixon at bay and let Simon Pagenaud, team-mate and a series contender, go as well.

Power got those spots back when he ran slightly longer before pitting for a final time, taking up the chase just behind Herta.

The Queenslander ultimately crossed the finish line 0.5878s back after 90 laps, which included one Caution that fell right at the halfway mark.

Dixon (#9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) had run in an effective second position until the final stint and got home in third position, barely a tenth ahead of Pagenaud (#22 Chevrolet), after managing to stave the Frenchman off.

It still was not enough for either to jump Newgarden in the standings, although Pagenaud took the runner-up position off Alexander Rossi by a single point.

That was because Newgarden grafted his way to eighth in the #2 Team Penske Chevrolet.

The 2017 champion tailed his nearest series rival, Rossi (#27 Andretti Autosport Honda) in an early battle for third but found himself sixth soon after the first stops as their tyre strategies diverged.

Rossi came back to Newgarden as his alternate tyres wore out and they pitted together on Lap 36, at which time the Andretti driver was released just ahead of the Penske steerer.

That left them down in seventh and eighth respectively, before each gained a position in the third pit stop cycle.

Rossi was not a worry as long as they remained in those positions, and the threat of Pagenaud eventually passed, meaning there was no harm done when Sebastien Bourdais (#18 DCR w/ Vasser-Sullivan Honda) got by Newgarden on Lap 85.

Fifth on the day went to Felix Rosenqvist (#10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda), from Rossi, Bourdais, and Newgarden.

The series top five ended up Newgarden from Pagenaud, Rossi, Dixon, and Power.

Next year’s season starts in St Petersburg on March 13-15.

Race results: Laguna Seca

Pos Num Driver C/E/T Race time/Split Pit stops Status Grid pos
1 88 Colton Herta (R) D/H/F 1:53:56.9845 3 Running 1
2 12 Will Power D/C/F +0.5878 3 Running 7
3 9 Scott Dixon D/H/F +6.2404 3 Running 2
4 22 Simon Pagenaud D/C/F +6.3545 3 Running 6
5 10 Felix Rosenqvist (R) D/H/F +9.5206 3 Running 14
6 27 Alexander Rossi D/H/F +10.3637 3 Running 3
7 18 Sebastien Bourdais D/H/F +10.6831 3 Running 19
8 2 Josef Newgarden D/C/F +19.0447 3 Running 4
9 5 James Hinchcliffe D/H/F +22.8186 3 Running 5
10 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay D/H/F +24.7944 3 Running 9
11 7 Marcus Ericsson (R) D/H/F +25.7806 3 Running 11
12 15 Graham Rahal D/H/F +26.6517 3 Running 8
13 59 Max Chilton D/C/F +27.0743 3 Running 10
14 98 Marco Andretti D/H/F +54.4314 3 Running 22
15 23 Charlie Kimball D/C/F +56.5862 3 Running 20
16 14 Tony Kanaan D/C/F +1:05.8739 3 Running 21
17 4 Matheus Leist D/C/F +1:06.5640 3 Running 23
18 26 Zach Veach D/H/F +1:07.9267 3 Running 17
19 60 Jack Harvey D/H/F +1:10.7956 5 Running 24
20 21 Spencer Pigot D/C/F +1 lap 3 Running 15
21 30 Takuma Sato D/H/F +1 lap 5 Running 16
22 25 Conor Daly D/H/F +1 lap 4 Running 13
23 20 Ed Jones D/C/F +39 laps 4 Mechanical 18
24 19 Santino Ferrucci (R) D/H/F +42 laps 2 Contact 12

Race winner: 90 laps
(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone

Series points

Pos Driver Pts
1 Josef Newgarden 641
2 Simon Pagenaud 616
3 Alexander Rossi 608
4 Scott Dixon 578
5 Will Power 550
6 Felix Rosenqvist 425
7 Colton Herta 420
8 Ryan Hunter-Reay 420
9 Takuma Sato 415
10 Graham Rahal 389
11 Sebastien Bourdais 387
12 James Hinchcliffe 370
13 Santino Ferrucci 351
14 Spencer Pigot 335
15 Tony Kanaan 304
16 Marco Andretti 303
17 Marcus Ericsson 290
18 Zach Veach 271
19 Matheus Leist 261
20 Ed Jones 217
21 Jack Harvey 186
22 Max Chilton 184
23 Ed Carpenter 161
24 Conor Daly 149
25 Charlie Kimball 117
26 Patricio O’Ward 115
27 Sage Karam 39
28 James Davison 36
29 Helio Castroneves 33
30 Ben Hanley 31
31 Pippa Mann 28
32 Kyle Kaiser 22
33 JR Hildebrand 20
34 Oriol Servia 16
35 RC Enerson 13
36 Jordan King 12

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