Race Weekend Central

Josef Newgarden Wins at Road America While Championship Contenders Face Hardships

Josef Newgarden won Sunday’s (June 12) Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America for his third victory of the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season and took home an extra $1 million in the process.

Behind Newgarden, Marcus Ericsson secured a runner-up finish while Alexander Rossi took the final step on the podium in third place. Ericsson now leads the points standings once again, jumping 27 points up on Will Power.

Rossi managed the opening stint of the race effectively. He kept a safe lead over Newgarden until the first round of pit stops, when a superb in-lap and blitzing stop put the No. 2 car ahead of Rossi on pit exit. Newgarden never relinquished the net lead from that point.

“It’s what makes IndyCar so tough, it’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen!” Newgarden told NBC Sports, referencing the challenge of winning on an oval, street circuit and road course in one season.

“That’s just what makes this series so difficult, and it makes it fun to be in. You’ve got to be on your toes at all times.”

By virtue of winning on these three track types in one season, Newgarden will split a check for $1 million with a charity of his choosing, provided by the PeopleReady Force for Good Challenge.

The final battle to the checkered flag was set up by Pato O’Ward falling victim to a sudden engine failure on lap 48, grinding to a halt approaching turn 13. The distance between O’Ward’s stranded McLaren and the closest AMR Safety crew triggered a caution, eliminating Newgarden’s nearly three-second lead.

The first attempt at a restart with five laps to go was cut short when Helio Castroneves spun and stalled coming to the green flag. Castroneves promptly refired the car and was back on his way to catch the tail end of the field.

On the following restart, Rossi was jumped by Ericsson and had to fend off an attack from Colton Herta to stay on the podium. With Rossi busy playing defense, Newgarden was able to waltz into the distance for an easy win.

Rossi and Newgarden controlled the race from the drop of the green flag. Though the two front row starters got away cleanly, the first 10 laps of the race were a series of unfortunate events for those running deeper in the field.

Jimmie Johnson opened the race with a spin through the gravel trap, stalling in the grass just past turn 3. Johnson had been attempting a pass around the outside of the No. 11 car of Tatiana Calderon when Calderon drifted to the left and pushed Johnson off track.

On the next restart (lap 4), defending champion Alex Palou brought out the second caution of the day after being shoved wide by his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Ericsson. Palou’s car was recovered from the turn 5 gravel trap under caution, although he wound up retiring after 36 laps.

Most controversially, then-points leader Power was spun into the wall on approach to turn 5 on lap 8 after being hit from behind by Devlin DeFrancesco. Power was able to lock up the brakes and shave off considerable speed before hitting the wall, but the Verizon Chevrolet required a new nose nonetheless.

DeFrancesco was later assessed a stop-and-go penalty for causing a collision with Power, though the 2014 champion still made a point of giving the rookie a quick sideswipe on the cool-down lap.

The NTT IndyCar Series will next visit the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 3 for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Television coverage will be provided by NBC beginning at noon ET.

Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America Results

1. Newgarden
2. Ericsson
3. Rossi
4. Romain Grosjean
5. Herta
6. Felix Rosenqvist
7. Scott McLaughlin
8. Graham Rahal
9. Scott Dixon
10. Christian Lundgaard
11. Callum Ilott
12. Simon Pagenaud
13. Jack Harvey
14. Conor Daly
15. Takuma Sato
16. David Malukas
17. Rinus VeeKay
18. DeFrancesco
19. Power
20. Kyle Kirkwood
21. Simona De Silvestro
22. Castroneves
23. Dalton Kellett
24. Johnson
25. Calderon
26. O’Ward
27. Palou

About the author

Alex is the IndyCar Content Director at Frontstretch, having initially joined as an entry-level contributor in 2021. He also serves as Managing Director of The Asia Cable, a publication focused on the international affairs and politics of the Asia-Pacific region which he co-founded in 2023. With previous experience in China, Japan and Poland, Alex is particularly passionate about the international realm of motorsport and the politics that make the wheels turn - literally - behind the scenes.

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