Motor Sports

Newgarden Captures IndyCar Opener In St. Pete

Josef Newgarden’s middle stint on Sunday propelled him to win in Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, his first on the street course and his first in 2019.

Josef Negarden celebrates in victory lane on Sunday in St. Petersburg, Florida. (The Edwardsville Intelligencer)

Holding off a hard-charging 2018 IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, Newgarden led the final 59 laps in his No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet en route to his 11th career IndyCar victory. “I feel like we executed today,” Newgarden said in victory lane “We were very patient in the beginning of the race. We had a right-to-left, different tire strategy again today, and it really paid off. I actually think it’s what helped us create the opportunity.” (NBC Sports)

Newgarden on his way to victory on Sunday, his first on the streets of St. Petersburg. (IndyCar)

Scott Dixon, who charged back from seven seconds down, rallied to make it a tight race towards the end but finished second only three seconds behind Newgarden. Pole winner Will Power finished in third, while rookie Felix Rosenqvist finished a solid fourth in his IndyCar debut.

“It’s a lot to take in and I’m worn out. These cars are tough to drive. I’ve never driven anything like it, but it’s a dream come true just to be here,” Rosenqvist stated after the race. Rosenqvist led 31 laps in the early stages of the race on his way to a top-five finish. Rookies Colton Herta and Santino Ferrucci would also impress in their season debuts, finishing eighth and ninth respectively.

The series will next compete in the INDYCAR Classic at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, March 24. The race airs live at 1 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Photo credits: IndyCar and the The Edwardsville Intelligencer

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