By: Spencer Neff
August 29, 2020
Continuing his dominance on short ovals, Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden won the second race of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway for his 16th career win.
For the two-time champion, it is his second win of 2020 and second at the track, becoming the first two-time winner at the 1.25-mile oval in Madison, Illinois.
After finishing 12th in Saturday’s first race, the 2017 WWTR Gateway winner held off Arrow McLaren SP’s Patricio (Pato) O’Ward to win. Despite finishing second again, O’Ward was the only driver to finish on the podium in both races.
After running the first two laps under caution, the remainder of the race ran under green until Lap 197. In Turn 2, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato brushed the wall. With no time left to restart the race, Newgarden coasted to the win under the yellow flag.
Concluding the podium was Newgarden’s teammate Will Power, who started on the pole yesterday.
After yesterday’s race saw a multi-car pileup before the race started, Sato’s contact with the wall was the only incident today. Prior to the race, an extended cleanup delayed the green flag and prompted the first two laps to be run under caution.
In finishing fifth, Dixon keeps his points lead but the gap to Newgarden has narrowed to 96.
With Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course expected to run a doubleheader in two weeks on September 11-13, Dixon will have another opportunity to add to his stellar season at a track where he’s won a record six times, including last year when he beat Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Felix Rosenqvist.
With the conclusion of today’s race, the oval portion of the 2020 schedule has concluded. Although this year was expected to be the last season A.J. Foyt Racing’s Tony Kanaan,
Kanaan’s 2020 oval slate will likely not be his last due to the circumstances throughout the year. Look for Kanaan to add to his 383 career starts in 2021 and beyond.
Despite veterans like Newgarden, Power and Dixon running up front, their experience was matched by the series’ youth movement.
Three drivers under the age of 22 joined them in the Top six in O’Ward (21), Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay (19) in fourth, as well as the sixth-place finisher Colton Herta of Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport (20). This has the makings of an interesting future, with long-term and short term for the NTT IndyCar Series.
In addition to Mid-Ohio, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host a doubleheader on the Road Course on October 2-3.
Three weeks later, the rescheduled Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will take place on October 25. WIth two doubleheaders and the only street course race left on the schedule, it will be an interesting end to an exhausting season.
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Header Image By James Black/INDYCAR