Josef Newgarden’s second season in the IZOD IndyCar Series has featured better results, but both he and the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing team are determined to find even more improvements.
The Tennessee native has the first three top-10 finishes of his career banked, with a best of fifth in Brazil. Still, as he admitted in an interview Thursday, he still has some way to go.
“This year hasn’t been stellar but has been significantly better on a lot of fronts,” he said. “We’re securing results better and making fewer mistakes all around compared to last year. We have done a great job on strategy and results. But within myself, there’s still stuff to work on. I need to elevate our qualifying. At least now I’ve learned how to run a full race and put myself in position for the best possible result.”
Going into Texas, Newgarden doesn’t have the backdrop of the old Dallara chassis for reference, and has enjoyed the way this car races here with reduced downforce and tires falling off over the course of a stint.
“I loved watching the old races at Texas, but I also like the minimal downforce running we’re doing now,” he said. “Fontana last year was fun to be a part of. We weren’t in the mix there because of an electrical issue, but we were pace-wise. I thought the cars were a lot of fun to drive there.”
Newgarden’s quirky persona and social media savvy – along with, you know, racing – will be highlighted in the next episode of INDYCAR 36, which airs at midnight ET June 8 on the NBC Sports Network, produced by IMS Productions. Newgarden drove the No. 21 Century 21 Honda at Indianapolis and is now back in his normal No. 67 for the SFHR team.