Wheel Gun Failure Leaves Newgarden 20th in Race 2 in Houston
It looked as though Josef Newgarden might finally catch a break during Race 2 at the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. Then the nut on the right front tire of the No. 67 Strike/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car fell off on Lap 62, resulting in a lost tire in Turn 5.
The incident ended Newgarden’s race. He was credited with 20th place.
Newgarden started the 90-lap race on Houston’s 1.683-mile, 10-turn temporary street circuit from the back row and fought his way as high as eighth with an aggressive pit strategy.
SFHR called in Newgarden for his fourth and final pit stop on Lap 61, but a wheel gun failure in the pits led to the incident that ended Newgarden’s day halfway through his out lap.
“Just a tough day,” Newgarden said. “In the first part of the race, I think we were doing a good job on strategy. We had great calls and good pit stops. The guys were solid on everything. But if you look at the little things, we got bit by silly stuff.
“There was an incident in qualifying that I didn’t agree with that sent us to the back. We tried a bit of an aggressive strategy, but then we had a (wheel gun) failure in the pits, so it’s just a shame to not be able to put anything together while having good pace.”
The Verizon IndyCar Series field will continue a busy midseason stretch of racing Sunday, July 6 at Pocono Raceway. Newgarden hopes his team’s luck will turn around on the unique, 2.5-mile oval known as the “Tricky Triangle.”
“It’s getting a little old saying that we just have to catch a break, but leaving here that’s what it is,” Newgarden said. “We just can’t seem to catch the breaks, and it’s always something little that’s biting us. We can’t do anything different. Sometimes things don’t go your way, and you get in ruts like this. We will eventually get out of it.”
Simon Pagenaud won Race 2 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston. Rookies Mikhail Aleshin and Jack Hawksworth rounded out the top three.
To stay up to date with the latest SFHR news, follow @SFHRindy on Twitter and Instagram and like Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing on Facebook.
Strike is a leading single-source energy services provider, known for its high safety and quality standards. Strike’s integrated network of energy services ranges from upstream production, processing and gathering facilities to high-pressure transmission and distribution lines. Strike is committed to ensuring the safety and health of its employees, the general public, environment and its customers through the industry leading Safety program. Fulfilling a need in the Midstream Energy sector led to the creation of Strike, LLC in 2003, and Strike’s foundation is built on the pillars of Safety, Quality, Accountability, and Integrity through partnering. Over the past 10 years, Strike has created various business units with numerous locations throughout the Gulf Coast region. For more information about Strike, please visit www.strikeusa.com
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