"We've been so close to winning an oval race with this auto".
Josef Newgarden cruised to victory in the IndyCar race at Iowa Speedway on Sunday, setting a series record by leading 282 of 300 laps. His margin of victory was 4.28 seconds, which would have been larger without a few caution flags mixed in.
Brad Keselowski became the first three-time victor at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night, overtaking Kevin Harvick on lap 201 and holding on for the Sprint Cup Series victory.
It also was the first win of the season for Newgarden, who finished second in Iowa in 2014 and 2015.
Sunday's win was all the more remarkable considering he was driving with a fractured clavicle, suffered during his horror crash in Texas last month. Rossi's win is the team's only trip to victory lane this season after three wins a year ago.
Next year's Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 is scheduled for Sunday, July 9, 2017. "I love this place and I love coming to Iowa", Newgarden said in Victory Lane. It really helped. My right hand was killing me, but having an unbelievable vehicle helps a lot.
Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud was fourth and maintains his overall lead although it has been reduced to 64 points by Newgarden.
Andretti Autosport had Iowa figured out in the past, with seven wins in the nine previous races here. He's third in the championship, 75 behind Pagenaud.
Matt Kenseth grabbed the lead with six laps remaining but soon pitted for fuel to hand the top spot back to Keselowski, who had just enough gas in reserve to edge Carl Edwards by.175 seconds in a tense finish.
Newgarden moved past Simon Pagenaud early and, despite mid-race charges from fellow championship contenders Scott Dixon and Will Power, didn't look back. He now is second in series points behind leader Simon Pagenaud.
Ryan Hunter-Reay had one of the most hard races of his career, which was in stark contrast to winning the past two races at this track and three of the past four.
Hunter-Reay qualified 20th (of 22) and wasn't any better in the race. "The auto is so good.' That was enough motivation for me to get through it". He was coming out of Turn 2 on the backstretch, bringing out the first caution of the race on Lap 109.
"Iowa is certainly one of the highlights on the schedule for our team", Hunter-Reay said. You have very high g-force loading and there is always a lot of action on that little bullring-style track.
"I think we all felt we had Indy Lights (cars) and he had an IndyCar", Tony Kanaan said.
"Wow, this was really bad today". "The vehicle was so good".
The event comes at an important time for the team also employing Carlos Munoz and Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi, a series rookie. In the race, Chevrolet took the top four finishing positions, with Aleshin tying his career best in fifth.
Rookie Alexander Rossi, the shocking victor of the Indianapolis 500 in May, finished sixth on the second short track he's ever raced upon and was the top finisher at Andretti Autosport, which fields the entry in a partnership with Bryan Herta Autosport. Then Castroneves had it happen to him again when Max Chilton spun.