(BIRMINGHAM, AL) – Josef Newgarden added to the growing bank of fond memories he is accumulating at Barber Motorsports Park, driving to victory in the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama.
Newgarden’s win by 1.0495 seconds over Scott Dixon is his second on the 2.3-mile, 17-turn permanent road course and comes two years after he secured his first career Verizon IndyCar Series victory at the same track.
It also is the 26 year-old American’s first win since joining Team Penske, which took three of the top four finishing positions in the 90-lap race.
Driving the No. 2 Chevrolet, Newgarden took the lead for the first and only time on Lap 77 when teammate Will Power was forced to pit in the No. 12 with a punctured left rear tire.
— Team Penske (@Team_Penske) April 23, 2017
“This is a good one to have, I think we earned it,” said Newgarden, who started the race seventh. “This was a great car this weekend. We were on it. I think it was shaping up to be a really great battle for me, Dixon and Will, and it ended just being between Dixon and me.“
Dixon finished second for the fifth time at Barber and for the 34th time in his Indy car career, tying Michael Andretti for fourth all time. He has reached the podium seven times in the eight races on the Alabama track, but has never won.
Dixon jumped two spots in the season standings to second place and is within six points of the championship lead after the third of 17 races this season. But, the driver of the No. 9 Honda lamented the pass Newgarden made on him for second place on a Lap 69 restart.
“I saw him late coming into (Turn) 15 or 16 on the last restart and I tried to turn down, but the car was just so neutral I just didn’t have the rear grip to pull it off,” Dixon said. “Kudos to Josef. He drove a hell of a race and the win was well deserved.”
Simon Pagenaud, last year’s Barber race winner and Verizon IndyCar Series champion, placed third in the No. 1 Chevrolet, just ahead of teammate Helio Castroneves in the No. 3 Chevrolet.
Alexander Rossi, winner of last year’s historic 100th Indianapolis 500, gained the most positions from start to finish of any driver, going from 18th on the grid to wind up fifth in the No. 98 Honda.
Power, bidding for his third win at Barber, led 60 laps but wound up finishing in 14th place.
Barber officials announced a three-day attendance of 82,745, which equated to a ticket revenue increase of more than 10 percent from last year.
Barber Race Results
- (7) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 90, Running
- (4) Scott Dixon, Honda, 90, Running
- (3) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 90, Running
- (2) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 90, Running
- (18) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 90, Running
- (6) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 90, Running
- (10) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 90, Running
- (12) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 90, Running
- (14) Takuma Sato, Honda, 90, Running
- (8) Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, 90, Running
- (5) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 90, Running
- (9) Max Chilton, Honda, 90, Running
- (21) Graham Rahal, Honda, 90, Running
- (1) Will Power, Chevrolet, 90, Running
- (15) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 90, Running
- (11) Ed Jones, Honda, 90, Running
- (16) Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, 90, Running
- (20) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 90, Running
- (19) Zach Veach, Chevrolet, 90, Running
- (17) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 89, Running
- (13) Marco Andretti, Honda, 87, Running
IndyCar Series Point Standings
- Bourdais 117
- Dixon 111
- Newgarden 110
- Pagenaud 106
- Hinchcliffe 102
- Castroneves 84
- Hunter-Reay 65
- Sato 65
- Jones 62
- Rossi 60