Photo: IndyCar

Newgarden leads Penske top three sweep in DXC Technology 600 qualifying

Leave a comment

Josef Newgarden captured the pole in what was a Team Penske sweep of the top three in positions in qualifying for Saturday night’s DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Newgarden posted a two-lap average 220.613 mph, bettering teammates Simon Pagenaud (220.311 mph) and Will Power (220.194). Power actually appeared to be on a pole run on his first lap, but hit the hard rev limiter entering Turn 3, which cost him valuable time.

Newgarden’s pole is his second of the year, and his third since joining Team Penske last year – it’s also the fourth of his Verizon IndyCar Series career.

“We fought all weekend. To come here and have speed in all the race cars is really nice,” Newgarden said afterward. “I think it comes down to a lot of things, the team, the personnel we have. We have some of the best people in the paddock. You can see that. When you have cars go 1-2-3, it shows the competitiveness of all the cars.”

Robert Wickens, who tied Tony Kanaan for the fastest time in practice, posted a lap of 219.561 mph to qualify fourth.

Sebastian Bourdais (219.302 mph) rounded out the top five.

Kanaan (219.157 mph) was unable to back up his practice speed and qualified sixth. Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato, and Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the top 10.

Other notables include James Hinchcliffe (15th) and Graham Rahal (19th), both of whom struggled mightily in qualifying.

Results are below.

 

 

 

Indy 500 analyst role part of looking forward for Danica Patrick

Getty Images
1 Comment

It’s been 10 months since Danica Patrick last competed in an auto racing event and she is completely fine with that.

Patrick was last seen in a cockpit in last May’s Indianapolis 500, part of her mini-retirement tour from racing that also included a run in the Daytona 500.

Now she’ll be back at the track, serving as an analyst for NBC’s broadcast of the 103rd Indy 500 on May 26.

It will be an interlude to her post-racing career.

“I really don’t miss racing,” Patrick said during a teleconference Wednesday.  “I’m really happy. I selfishly set out (with) the intention I wanted to travel a lot. I’ve definitely done that. Also working on my other businesses.”

Without racing, Patrick is able to look over her “Warrior” clothing line and her Somnium wine. She’s also been a host of ESPN’s Espy Awards show.

“I’m not a look-back kind of person, I’m a look-forward (person),” Patrick said. “This is something that’s part of looking forward. This is something totally new and different for me. It’s coming at a place where I have a lot of history, but it hasn’t been my job, which is why I’m going to work really hard to make sure I’m ready, like anything else I do that’s different.

Since retiring, Patrick said she watches racing “when I can.”

“I’m not going to lie, I’m happy doing what I’m doing,” Patrick said. “It’s allowed me new opportunities like this.”

This won’t be the first time Patrick has served in an analyst role for a race. She did the same for some Xfinity Series race broadcasts in the last few years of her NASCAR career.

“It’s very good to have had that experience,” Patrick said. “Obviously I was giving my driving experience sort of perspective and that insight, which is something I’m going to be doing again. But it was a guest spot.

“This is firm and established, part of a small team of two with Mike (Tirico) and I. I think there’s going to be a lot more preparation involved, I’m going to need to know a lot more information.”

Patrick said there will be one difference in her Indy 500 experience this year compared to the eight times she competed in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“I didn’t purposely look at the buildup of the day,” Patrick said. “I didn’t want to see the fans rolling in, all the pomp and circumstance. I really liked to keep it quiet. I wanted to just walk out there and have it be the event, not let myself get built up too much in my head with nerves, just the platform, the iconic event that it was, the millions of people. I just wanted to stay focused and go do it.

“This time, I’m sure I will see the buildup. I’m sure I’ll see the place fill in and turn from a quiet, peaceful, magical place, (and) at the shot of a cannon it’s going to start unraveling. That will be a cool perspective for me that I purposely haven’t really watched closely.”

and on Facebook