A strategically timed pit stop put Josef Newgarden in the lead, and the Team Penske driver had just enough fuel to finish the 75-minute timed first race of the Dual in Detroit.
The result gives Newgarden his second victory of the 2019 IndyCar season.
“How about that call by Tim (Cindric),” asked Newgarden after the race. “It was the perfect call to get us in position that we needed. I was hoping it would dry up, I thought that would give us more opportunity to do something. But our Hitachi Chevy car was awesome. The Chevy engine was perfect. I had the horsepower I needed. The fuel mileage; the drive-ability. In Chevy’s backyard, this was a big one.”
Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi won the pole earlier in the day and finished second. Takuma Sato of Rahal Letterman Lanigan finished third, mirroring his Indianapolis 500 finish last weekend.
“These yellows are tough,” said Rossi. “They’ve killed our race three times this year, but it’s part of the game in INDYCAR, (and) it’s the same for everyone.
“Josef (Newgarden) did a good job. I tried to push him into a mistake, but it didn’t come. It’s hard. I’m frustrated. I think we had the best car again today.”
“I think the rain definitely helped us and then made some good position gains,” said Sato. “In the end, I think fighting for the podium, on the wet parts and dry parts, were certainly exciting.”
IndyCar drivers will suit up again Sunday for the second race in the Dual in Detroit, set to go green at 3:50 p.m.