By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Josef Newgarden used a two stop strategy to score his career best finish of fourth on the Raceway of Belle Isle Park in race two of the Chevrolet Duel in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.
The 25-year-old started the day mired back in 17th, dodging calamity early with a three car accident in front of Newgarden on the opening lap.
With cautions falling on lap 35 and again on lap 50, the running order shuffled amongst the frontrunners as Helio Castroneves and race one winner Sebastien Bourdais pitted for fuel.
While eventual race winner Will Power battled Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud, a battle of Americans took place with Newgarden and Ryan Hunter-Reay for third. The No. 21 Preferred Freezer/Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet didn’t have enough to make the pass late in the going on Hunter-Reay, but the valiant charge to come within striking distance of the podium was strong enough to move Newgarden to fourth in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings.
The Ed Carpenter Racing driver was still all-smiles after the race, acknowledging the positive result despite narrowly missing out on the podium.
“It was a good day,” said Newgarden, who set fastest lap of the race at 113.471 mph around the 2.35-mile street circuit.
“I love being here in Detroit and racing at this track, it’s a challenging place with all the bumps. It’s a lot of fun to wrestle Indy cars here, they’re hard to keep off the walls!
“We had a great car with Preferred Freezer and Fuzzy’s Vodka, ECR worked really hard this weekend. I’m happy with what we did, I would have liked to have had a win but you can’t get them all.”