Scott Dixon entered Sunday's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio with five Verizon IndyCar Series wins in 10 races at the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course nestled in Ohio's Amish Country.
Despite starting from second position Newgarden looked feisty from the green flag, storming up the inside of team-mate and pole sitter Will Power at Turn 4 during the early stages of the race.
Rahal agreed. "As Will said, this championship is too competitive for a race to be decided like Toronto, in my opinion". "I just didn't want to wait until the pits".
Added Rahal: "Like today, he [Power] could be on push-to-pass at times and I'd be in a really good tow behind him, and it would be similar".
The next race on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule is the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on August 20. He maintained his lead on the restart and held off Power and OH driver Graham Rahal despite being on slower tires for the final stint. Half have come this season, his first driving for the high-profile Team Penske. I think we'll all be fighting on who gets to drive this vehicle. Overall, we did a great job and the guys had a good strategy. "We have to keep after it, make sure we keep our head down and get the most out of it in the next races".
The win helped Newgarden jump from fourth place in the series standings to first with just four races left to go.
The race was not without a spot of controversy. A lap 67 caution for a spinning Ed Jones erased the gap between the two, which might have given Power an advantage, as he was on the red alternate tires while Newgarden was on the primary blacks. Newgarden is one of the next faces of IndyCar both on and off the track, and honestly the league couldn't ask for a better representative, both in how he carries himself and how well he races. "I don't really take enough time to sit down and think a different way". "I would say Gutierrez was damn close to taking out the leader". I'm sure you saw it. But we'll talk about it behind closed doors.
"I was wondering where Dixon was, " Newgarden said.
Josef Newgarden knew he had a good auto and didn't waste time showing it. He's not even leading.
"Then it hit me: You can have all the talent in the world, it's getting the team working together and that's what we have here". "When they give me a good vehicle like this, I don't want to say it is easy but it is easier at least".
"The Verizon vehicle was really hooked up", Power said. Aside from the Power vs. Newgarden battle, we had Simon Pagenaud trying to mix things up with Power, and then we had the Andretti Autosport boys. We have two cars up there on the front row. "We probably need to have a discussion about how we handle it again".