Josef Newgarden dominated at Iowa Speedway to take his first IndyCar oval victory and end six years of Andretti success at the circuit.
The Ed Carpenter Racing driver put his Dallara-Chevrolet on the front row alongside championship leader Simon Pagenaud in qualifying, and after passing Pagenaud at the end of the first lap, controlled the race from the front.
By lap 84 of 300 Newgarden had put everyone in the field except Pagenaud a lap down, and maintained the lead through each of the four pit phases.
Pagenaud looked to be the only one able to challenge in the first half of the race, before Scott Dixon found some form at two-thirds race distance to pass the fellow Chevys of Tony Kanaan, Will Power and Pagenaud and move into second.
Newgarden sealed his strong oval return after the dramas of Texas – where a violent crash left him with broken bones – by crossing the line 4.7 seconds ahead of Power, who made a late surge past Pagenaud and Dixon into second in the last 10 laps.
Dixon and Pagenaud had to settle for third and fourth.
The race was largely a clean one, with two of the three caution periods triggered by engine failures for three-time Iowa winner Ryan Hunter-Reay and Juan Pablo Montoya, before a final yellow was caused by Max Chilton spinning on the high line.
Kanaan and Helio Castroneves had been running on the fringes of a podium position for much of the race, but pitting one lap before Chilton’s spin meant they lost out when the rest of the field pitted under the ensuing yellow.
They eventually finished seventh and 13th respectively, allowing the Honda-powered pair of Mikhail Aleshin and Indianapolis 500-winner Alexander Rossi to score strong points in fifth and sixth.
RESULTS – 300 LAPS:
|1||Josef Newgarden||Ed Carpenter Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||1h52m16.3613s|
|2||Will Power||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||4.2828s|
|3||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||5.5085s|
|4||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||6.1827s|
|5||Mikhail Aleshin||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Dallara/Honda||7.0386s|
|6||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Herta||Dallara/Honda||1 Lap|
|7||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||1 Lap|
|8||Sebastien Bourdais||KVSH Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||1 Lap|
|9||James Hinchcliffe||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Dallara/Honda||1 Lap|
|10||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||1 Lap|
|11||Takuma Sato||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Honda||2 Laps|
|12||Carlos Munoz||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||2 Laps|
|13||Helio Castroneves||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||2 Laps|
|14||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||2 Laps|
|15||Jack Hawksworth||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Dallara/Honda||2 Laps|
|16||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Dallara/Honda||3 Laps|
|17||Gabby Chaves||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara/Honda||7 Laps|
|18||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||16 Laps|
|19||Max Chilton||Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara/Chevrolet||26 Laps|
|20||Juan Pablo Montoya||Team Penske||Dallara/Chevrolet||Mechanical|
|21||Conor Daly||Dale Coyne Racing||Dallara/Honda||Mechanical|
|22||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Dallara/Honda||Mechanical|