For the third time this year, it was Josef Newgarden going to victory lane as he took the victory in the Sukup 100 at Iowa Speedway.
“We put a really good, strong car together for that race,” Newgarden, drove of the No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/SSM car, said. “It felt so good I could go anywhere on the track, and that’s just a tribute to the team. I was so disappointed that we didn’t qualify a little bit better. At least we didn’t put ourselves too far back. We just came in with a conservative approach but still aggressive enough to get in the lead early on and just hold it all the way through. Great job by the Sam Schmidt Motorsports guys and everyone else that supports us.”
Newgarden was able to take the lead on lap 26 and never looked back as he scored the win, 5.4724 seconds over Gustavo Yacaman. The second place finish marks his best finish in his career.
“For the (Lap 6) restart, I just didn’t have the pace to keep up with Esteban and Newgarden was attacking me so he was able to get by,” Yacaman said. “I stuck with Newgarden when he overtook Esteban, and he pulled me through. Then it basically was a battle for second with Bryan.
“We’ve worked so hard and we’ve had a good car so many times, so it’s good to capitalize on the equipment Mark Moore has given me.”
Meanwhile, it was Bryan Clauson finishing third for his best finish of the three starts that he’s made this year.
“We didn’t give each other an inch and it was just good, hard racing,” Clauson said of racing with Yacaman. “We just didn’t have quite a good enough car to slip underneath (Yacaman). We were a little bit tight. We just didn’t have enough to finish the corner on the outside.
“It was a lot of fun. I threw everything I had at him, and I just didn’t have quite enough. I spent the last 40 laps trying to get a run and doing something. I tried high, I tried low, I tried diving under. I tried throwing everything I could at him, but just never got quite the run I needed to beat him off the corner and take the spot.”
With the victory, Newgarden expands his points lead from 13 to 46 over Esteban Guerrieri. Guerrieri finished in 12th place after having mechanical issues.
Victor Garcia and Duarte Ferreira rounded out the top 10.
“The team won this race last year (with Sebastian Saavedra), and I knew in coming here that we would have a good car,” Ferreira said. “The start was a little crazy but I was able to make up the positions that I lost. I want to thank everyone at BHA for the great job and my sponsors for supporting me.”