Newgarden, SFHR Finish Fifth at Milwaukee Mile


Josef Newgarden finished fifth in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 on Sunday with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR), rallying from a late pit stop to earn a top-five result.

Newgarden entered the pits for a splash of fuel and tires on Lap 236 of the 250-lap race on the historic 1-mile Milwaukee Mile oval. He lost nine positions during the late stop and drove his way back to fifth when the checkered flag flew.

SFHR didn’t bring in Newgarden for fresh rubber during the only caution period earlier in the race (Lap 131-139) — a strategy call that looked to favor the No. 67 Direct Supply Honda for some time.

Newgarden strived to save fuel, but there was not enough left in the tank to make it 250 miles without an extra pit stop.

“I was trying so hard to save fuel, leaning out as much as I could, and I was lifting,” Newgarden said. “Even then it was hard for (Tony) Kanaan to get around me, and he was one of the strongest guys today.

“(Milwaukee) is just a tough place. It’s very dependent on aero, so when you get behind someone with the same mechanical grip and you’re limited by aero, it’s kind of what you got. I thought we had a really good car today relative to the cars around us. We took a gamble, and it didn’t work out for us, but I’m happy we got back in the top five because I think we deserve that.”

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Nashville native Newgarden gained seven spots in the final 14 laps of the race.

“We had to stop for fuel, and we weren’t planning on it,” Newgarden said. “I was thinking we were going to run in third place until the end. It turned out we had to stop, and that put us all the way a lap down and in 12th place, so we had to take tires.

“Those tires ended up being the advantage — getting the tires on and trying to smoke as many people as we could. I can’t even believe we made it back up to fifth. That’s awesome that we didn’t lose as much as I thought we would.”

The No. 67 Direct Supply car was the top Honda-powered finisher of the race, and Newgarden set the fastest lap speed on Lap 188 at 161.696 mph.

Will Power won the race, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Kanaan, respectively. Only seven cars finished on the lead lap.

The Verizon IndyCar Series field will race next Sunday, Aug. 24 on the natural road course at Sonoma Raceway. To keep up with the latest team news and photos, like Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing on Facebook and follow @SFHRindy on Twitter and Instagram.