2022 IndyCar at Iowa: Pato O'Ward holds off Will Power to win Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300

Pato O'Ward
Getty Images

Josef Newgarden was living life at the speed of light. On his way to a second dominating performance in as many days at Iowa Speedway, the Team Penske driver felt something go "pop" at the back of his car, and just like that he was into the wall at Turn 4 and his race was over.

The benefactor of his misfortune was Pato O'Ward, who managed to hold off Newgarden's teammate, Will Power, to capture the win Sunday at the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300.

As dominant as Newgarden was, O'Ward wasn't that far off him. Neither was Power, who started the race from the pole but had Newgarden, then O'Ward, get past him as the race wore on.

"The guys in the pits were awesome," O'Ward said. "I did my job and kept it safe. It was different every lap out there. We knew we had a great car, and we were able to capitalize on things.

"The best thing to do is just do your thing. ... Hopefully we can win a coupe of more. We dumped two wins in the past couple of months. It's been frustrating, but now rewarding, the past few weeks."

As the track temperature came down, the Arrow McLaren SP driver just seemed to get faster. The win is his second of the season and fourth of his IndyCar career, and he stands fifth in the chase for the drivers' championship behind leader Marcus Ericsson, Power, Newgarden and Scott Dixon.

As for Newgarden, he can only wonder.

"It was a bit of a shock," Newgarden said. "I don't know what happened. I just feel terrible for us. Something went wrong." 

About 40 to 50 laps before his accident at Lap 235, Newgarden radioed his pit crew that he was feeling a vibration but was told the telemetry looked good and to ignore it. There's no telling if that was the issue, but the fact remains that something broke and Newgarden was done.

"I'm not sure if the vibration had anything to do it," Newgarden admitted when asked about it. "It's wasn't abnormal. ... Diabolical. It just caught me by surprise."

He only has a week to push it out of his mind, as the series now returns to the road course at Indianapolis on Saturday, July 30 for the Gallagher Grand Prix.

Unofficial finishing order

  1. Pato O'Ward, Arrow McLaren SP
  2. Will Power, Team Penske 
  3. Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske
  4. Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing 
  5. Jimmie Johnson, Chip Ganassi Racing
  6. Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing
  7. Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren SP
  8. David Malukas, Dale Coyne Racing
  9. Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport
  10. Takuma Sato, Dale Coyne Racing
  11. Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger
  12. Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport
  13. Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing
  14. Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
  15. Devlin DeFrancesco, Andretti Autosport
  16. Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing
  17. Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing
  18. Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport
  19. Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing
  20. Jack Harvey, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
  21. Helio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing
  22. Dalton Kellett, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
  23. Simon Pagenaud, Meyer Shank Racing
  24. Josef Newgarden, Team Penske
  25. Kyle Kirkwood, A.J. Foyt Racing
  26. Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan

What we learned

Forget the misfortune on Sunday. Newgarden put everyone on notice that he will go down fighting in the chase for the 2022 IndyCar Series drivers' championship. Including the upcoming race on the Brickyard's road course, there are five events remaining (streets of Nashville, the 1.25-mile oval at Worldwide Technology Raceway, the 1.964-mile road course at Portland International Raceway and the season ender at the 2.238-mile road course at Laguna Seca) and Newgarden is comfortable on all of them. Fighting right there with him and the rest of the field will be his teammate, Power, who just needs to convert some better qualifying efforts on street and road courses to be in better positions to finish well.

But Ericsson, Dixon and Chip Ganassi Racing isn't going to just step aside and let them on through. After winning the Indianapolis 500 and vaulting to the top of the table, Ericsson has been Mr. Consistent with finishes of seventh (Detroit), second (Road America), sixth (Mid-Ohio), fifth (Toronto), eighth (Iowa No. 1) and sixth (Iowa No. 2). Dixon has been right there with him, mixing in a win at Toronto to boot. CGR doesn't have time for any driver contract controversy with Alex Palou, himself still sixth in the standings. They are in the championship hunt.

Likewise with O'Ward, who would be in an even better situation if not for two forgettable results at Road America (26th) and Mid-Ohio (24th). He and Arrow McLaren SP can't afford any more bad finishes if he wants to win his first IndyCar drivers' title.

Live updates
(80)
See New Posts
Pinned

Final toll on Newgarden: Led 148 laps. Has nothing to show for it.

Johnson carries some momentum and is able to slide under Ericsson and into fifth. Johnson now sets has Dixon in his sites.

Pinned

With 15 to go and O'Ward is cruising now as it seems Power will be happy to take home the points from second. McLaughlin also has settled in at third. 

Behind them, Dixon leads teammate Ericsson, closely followed by another teammate, Johnson. 

Pinned

With 40 laps to go O'Ward has stretched out his lead to over a second on Power. McLaughlin is another half-a-second behind in third.

Pinned

Green-green-green at Lap 250 and O'Ward is the leader with Power looking to make a move. Dixon loses a spot to McLaughlin and falls to fourth with Johnson in fifth, hanging on with worn tires.

Behind him was Ericsson in sixth, followed by Grosjean, Herta, Malukas and Sato completes the top 10.

Pinned
@IndyCaronNBC via Twitter
July 24, 2022, 9:04 PM
Pinned

That puts O'Ward into the lead at Lap 240, followed by Power. Making up the top 10 are McLaughlin, Ericsson, Johnson, Rosenqvist, Ilott, Grosjean and David Malukas.

The lead group is pitting.

Pinned

Josef Newgarden has crashed. The second yellow of the day was alone on the track and as he entered Turn 4 the rear-end locked up and he was spun around and into the wall.

What a shame for Newgarden, who was just dominating the field.

Replays show that something may have broke at the back of the car.

Pinned
@IndyCaronNBC via Twitter
July 24, 2022, 8:56 PM
Pinned
@IndyCar via Twitter
July 24, 2022, 8:56 PM
Pinned

Rosenqvist is running ninth but is having issues with his brakes. The fronts are gripping but he feels nothing from the rear brakes, and that may make things a bit tricky when he tries to bring his car to a full stop in the pits.

Pinned

Lap 200 and the order is NewGarden, O'Ward, Power, Daly (who has not pitted), McLaughlin, Ericsson, Dixon, Johnson, Ilott and Herta (a lap down) in 10th.

Pinned

O'Ward gives up the chase on Power for now, pits for tires and fuel. He likes the balance on the car.

Newgarden and Power now pitting, with Newgarden locking up to get down to pit lane speed at the entrance.

Newgarden's crew gets him out ahead of Power again, but in front of Newgarden is Rosenqvist, who is trying to not go a lap down. He is not going away easily and proving to be difficult to pass. 

And Power will have to figure a way to get around O'Ward now, who used a great pit stop to come out ahead of Power.

See More