Josef Newgarden remains optimistic in the IndyCar title race, despite Alex Palou’s recent impressive winning streak. Palou has won three out of the last four races, extending his lead to more than a full race win’s worth of points. Currently, Palou leads with 324 points, followed by his teammate Marcus Ericsson with 250 points. Newgarden, who won this year’s Indianapolis 500, trails behind in third with 243 points, 81 points behind Palou.
Palou has already matched his championship-winning performance from 2021, where he won three races. In comparison, at this point last year, he had only won once out of eight races. When asked about the challenge of beating Palou, Newgarden commented, “Probably winning nine races straight with a 200-point lead would do it. It’s still wide open at this point.”
Newgarden acknowledges that Palou and his team have had a strong run so far, without any major setbacks. He believes this is expected in a competitive series like IndyCar. Newgarden points out that they had an engine failure in the first round, but every team has their own story. The fact that Palou and his team have not had a single bad race in eight consecutive races has contributed greatly to their lead in the standings.
While it’s impossible to predict what will happen in the final nine races of the season, Newgarden doesn’t think Palou’s cushion guarantees him the championship. He emphasizes that there is still a lot of racing left, and anything can happen in IndyCar.
In the most recent race at Road America, Newgarden finished second behind Palou. Despite a strong performance, he was disappointed not to secure his third win of the season. Newgarden believes that Palou had the race under control and that there was little chance of overtaking him in the final stint. However, there was a missed opportunity in the middle of the race that could have changed the outcome.
Newgarden expresses mixed feelings about the race, as Team Penske had a challenging start to the weekend but made significant progress. He is proud of the team’s recovery and their qualifying performance but disappointed that they couldn’t capitalize on their chances to win. Overall, Newgarden acknowledges that it was a great job by the team.
The next race in the IndyCar Series will take place at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 2-3. Scott Dixon, the most successful active driver at the track with six victories, will be one to watch.
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Hasibur Rahaman is a passionate sports journalist. He covers everything from cricket to field hockey, delivering up-to-the-minute updates and in-depth analysis of sporting events, both within India and on the international stage.