Newgarden overcomes rain delays to capture Iowa 300

Newton (United States) (AFP) –


Josef Newgarden roared to his fourth victory of the season on Sunday, winning the weather-hit Iowa 300 which took over seven hours to complete due to two rain delays.

Newgarden dominated the 300 lap race on the IndyCar Series' smallest track, leading for 245 laps in Team Penske's No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet to extend his overall points lead.

The American claimed his second win in the past four years to go with a 2016 triumph on the Iowa oval.

"It is great be back here in victory lane," said Newgarden, who led for 229 laps last year but didn't get the win.

"This is a team effort. I was down yesterday because I felt like we had the pole car and we didn't get it right. Today we got it right."

He took the checkered flag at 1:14am local time (6:14am GMT) because of a pair of rain delays. The start of the race was delayed for four and a half hours due to thunderstorms followed by another delay at lap 55 after it started raining again.

"I tried to bide my time. Once I got by Will (Power) it was a matter of managing my tyres and trying to make the most of the traffic. You got to get through the traffic," said Newgarden.

Scott Dixon finished second 2.85 seconds behind Newgarden, while his Honda teammate James Hinchcliffe placed third. Simon Pagenaud, who started from the pole position, was fourth and Spencer Pigot rounded out the top five.

The victory allowed Newgarden to extend his series points lead to 29 over Alexander Rossi, who finished sixth. Newgarden has finished sixth or better in his last six Iowa races.

Chip Ganassi Racing's Dixon finished second for the fifth time this season.

Next up is the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.