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NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report - Iowa Race 2
July 23, 2023

DATE: JULY 23, 2023

START - 7TH     
FINISH - 1ST     
POINTS - 2ND (-80) 

RACE RUNDOWN: Josef Newgarden cemented himself as perhaps the best NTT INDYCAR SERIES oval racer of his generation in Sunday's Hy-Vee One Step 250 at Iowa Speedway as he drove his No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet to Victory Lane to complete the sweep of the weekend doubleheader. In winning his fifth-consecutive oval race, Newgarden joined A.J. Foyt and Al Unser, Sr. as the only drivers to accomplish that feat in series history. Additionally, he became the first driver to sweep both races at Iowa, and the first to sweep any weekend doubleheader since 2013. Newgarden qualified his Hitachi Chevrolet in the seventh position for Sunday's race but wasted no time in once again proving his circle track mettle. The 2023 Indianapolis 500 Champion powered past both of his Team Penske teammates, Will Power and Scott McLaughlin, in one move on Lap 31 and never looked back. A late-race caution made things interesting as INDYCAR moves all lead-lap cars to the front of the field when a caution flies with 20 laps or less remaining on a short oval. In addition, INDYCAR implemented a discretionary "abandonment procedure" where pit lane is closed in an effort to set the lineup as quickly as possible to ensure fans see a green flag finish. When racing resumed Newgarden drove away for his sixth Iowa win and the 29th of his career. Newgarden's domination at Iowa included leading 341 of 500 total laps and keeps alive his opportunity to win all five oval races on the schedule. Next month's race at World Wide Technology Raceway is the last remaining oval in 2023, a track where he owns four wins and currently holds a three-race winning streak. 

NEWGARDEN'S THOUGHTS: "For us, we knew we had a great car, and the pressure was there because we wanted to execute on it and make sure it was a great weekend.  I am happy now.   When you finish the first race, its great to have a doubleheader, but you feel incomplete until you get through today.   To be able to come back and do it again, and make our car a little bit better, I am super proud of the team.  Luke and the entire group.   Chad leading the boys, it's just a fantastic effort from everyone.   Hitachi has been with most of my victories I think, so to be with them and have them on the car is fantastic.  And Team Chevy.  We almost got a repeat of that 1-2-3 for Chevy.  So, sorry we didn't get that done but they were phenomenal this weekend."

START - 2ND     
FINISH - 5TH      
POINTS - 5TH (-148) 

RACE RUNDOWN:  Scott McLaughlin kept his No. 3 XPEL Chevrolet at the front of the field for the entirety of Sunday's Hy-Vee One Step 250 at Iowa Speedway, ultimately finishing in the fifth position to score a pair of top-five finishes over the doubleheader weekend. As he did in Saturday's race, McLaughlin started Sunday's 250-lap event from the second position, and he made life difficult for teammate Will Power over the initial laps before settling into the second position. Working all of the tools at his disposal inside the cockpit while receiving air pressure and/or front-wing adjustments on each pit stop, McLaughlin stayed in the second position until late in the event. When a late-race caution brought the high-speed action to a halt, INDYCAR rules state that all lead-lap cars are moved to the front of the field when a yellow flag flies with less than 20 laps to go on a short oval. This rule was coupled with a discretionary "abandonment procedure" where pit lane is closed to ensure a quick lineup set to get back to racing in a timely manner. With extremely worn Firestone tires and three laps remaining when racing resumed, McLaughlin was dealt a tough blow in his run to the checkered. Despite his lack of grip on the worn-out Iowa circuit, McLaughlin was able to hang on for a fifth-place finish. 
MCLAUGHLIN'S THOUGHTS: "It's more mental than anything. I have no idea how I finished that last stint. I had burned the right rear off and I was just hanging on. It was a sprint car there. So, out on the cush and having a lot of fun, but I am happy to bring the XPEL Chevrolet back with two top fives. A podium is not a bad deal. I would have loved to have joined my teammates at the podium today, but we just tried something different, and it didn't quite work."

START - 1ST     
POINTS - 7TH (-161)
RACE RUNDOWN: Starting Sunday's Hy-Vee One Step 250 from the front of the field thanks to his record-extending 70th NTT P1 Award, Will Power nearly scored the win before crossing the finish line in the second position in his No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet. Power led the first 30 laps of the 250-lap event before teammate Josef Newgarden made a pass for the lead. Once in "dirty" air, the two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion had to fight the handling of his Chevrolet until pitting for the first time on Lap 54. Power and his Verizon crew executed a flawless pit sequence - something they would do all afternoon - as he cycled up to the fourth position following the stop. Race strategist Ron Ruzewski, lead engineer Dave Faustino and Power all did their part to continue to improve the Verizon 5G machine throughout the race. When INDYCAR moved all five lead-lap cars to the front of the field following a caution on Lap 238 it gave Power a shot at the win, despite the "abandonment procedure" that kept him from pitting for fresh Firestone tires. With a great launch, Power was able to move into the second position but was unable to mount an attempt to pass for the lead. 

POWER'S THOUGHTS: "Yeah, it was a very good restart. We struggled massively at the beginning and my engineer made a really good change. Taking wing out helped me so much. I had a really fast car, we just needed to pit a couple of laps early so that we could be P2 to Josef and I think we might have had a shot at it. It's the best car that I have had here, and I was really happy with it and enjoyed the race.  Not the first stint though. Man, I was like white knuckling it the whole time, so I am stoked to get the Verizon Chevy to P2. It's pretty tough to beat Josef here, but we will do it one day."

WHAT'S NEXT: Following an off weekend, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will head to Nashville, TN for the Music City Grand Prix - the 13th round of the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season - on Sunday, August 6. 

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