IndyCar »

Indy 500: Newgarden wins IndyLights Freedom 100

Carb Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway saw the last two big events prior to the Indy 500 itself: the IndyLights Firestone Freedom 100 and the IndyCar pit stop challenge
Sam Schmidt Motorsports must be hoping that they can pull off the same success in the Indy 500 as their man Josef Newgarden was able to do in the IndyLights Firestone Freedom 100 held on Friday (Carb Day.)

Just as Alex Tagliani will start the Indy 500 on pole for the IndyCar part of the operation, another Sam Schmidt driver, Bryan Clauson, had started on pole for the support race based on owner points after qualifying had proved a washout. But Newgarden and Team Moore's Victor Garcia got the better of him into turn 1 at the start. Newgarden's team mate Esteban Guerrieri was also never far from the lead and would eventually eclipse Garcia for second.

"The team was able to make me quick and I got up to speed right away," Newgarden said. "This is the biggest win I think I have ever had. To win the Firestone Freedom 100 in front of this crowd at this famous racetrack is incredible.

"It's an unbelievable achievement for the team," he said, after becoming the first American to win the Freedom 100 since Ed Carpenter won the inaugural event in 2003. Last year, New Zealander Wade Cunningham won the race for Sam Schmidt ahead of Charlie Kimball and James Hinchcliffe, boh of whom have since made the step up into IndyCar this year. Another Indy 500 entrant, Britain's Pippa Mann, was the polesitter - the first woman to take pole in a major race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The end of the race was marred by a scary-looking accident on lap 34 which meant the race finished under caution. Belardi team mates Jorge Goncalvez and Anders Krohn were running three-wide through turn 1 with Clauson when Krohn (running on the bottom) spun and hit the outside wall, prompting Goncalvez (in the middle) to spin as well, making contact with the outside SAFER barrier before rebounding and making a nasty, hard hit with the inside wall.

It took some time to extricate both drivers. Goncalvez was dispatched to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital and Krohn checked at the IU Health Emergency Care Center. Both were released a few hours later with no significant injuries.

The incident was blamed partly on cold weather conditions, with temperatures down in the 50s Fahrenheit at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which caused set-up and handling problems with cold tyres. By contrast, the forecast for the Indy 500 itself is for temperatures in the 80s, although thunderstorms could make an appearance.

The crash delayed the finish of the race and pushed back the rest of the day's schedule which included the IZOD Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge, which offered a $50,000 top prize to the fastest driver/pit crew combination to execute a four-tyre/ simulated fuel stop. Participants were decided by competitions at IndyCar races over the last year together with a final series of 'play-offs' held in pit lane last week during the morning of practice days.

Team Penske have won for the last six years is has been contested, with Helio Castroneves in the driving seat for the last four, but this time Helio Castroneves's Penske crew fell at the first round against Ryan Hunter-Reay and the Andretti Autosport team. Instead, it fell to Ryan Briscoe and his crew to come up trumps by completing each simulated stop in under 8s through the three rounds.

"This win means a lot," said Briscoe's crew chief, Matt Jonsson. "It adds confidence for Sunday, of course, and we're planning on doing the same thing on Sunday and trying to move up through the field."

Briscoe's crew beat Justin Wilson and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in round 1 and then Tony Kanaan and KV Racing Technology in round 2, before facing Dario Franchitti and Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the final. Briscoe's time of 7.882s beat Dario's 8.481s.

Firestone Freedom 100 race results

1. #11 Josef Newgarden Sam Schmidt Motorsports 00:55:38.9881 (Laps 40 - Running)
2. #7 Esteban Guerrieri Sam Schmidt Motorsports + 0.4443s (Laps 40 - Running)
3. #22 Victor Garcia Team Moore Racing + 0.8010s (Laps 40 - Running)
4. #5 Stefan Wilson Andretti Autosport + 1.3053s (Laps 40 - Running)
5. #77 Bryan Clauson Sam Schmidt Motorsports + 2.077s (Laps 40 - Running)
6. #36 Peter Dempsey O2 Racing Technology + 3.1123s (Laps 40 - Running)
7. #17 Rusty Mitchell Team E + 4.4603s (Laps 40 - Running)
8. #16 David Ostella Jensen MotorSport + 5.3442s (Laps 40 - Running)
9. #75 Chase Austin Willy T. Ribbs/Starting Grid, Inc./BAR + 6.1744s (Laps 40 - Running)
10. #63 Mikael Grenier O2 Racing Technology + 7.4065s (Laps 40 - Running)
11. #4 Jorge Goncalvez Belardi Auto Racing + 6 laps (Laps 34 - Contact)
12. #9 Anders Krohn Belardi Auto Racing + 6 laps (Laps 34 - Contact)
13. #28 Duarte Ferreira Bryan Herta Autosport + 11 laps (Laps 29 - Contact)
14. #32 Brandon Wagner Davey Hamilton Racing + 12 laps (Laps 28 - Contact)
15. #2 Gustavo Yacaman Team Moore Racing + 20 laps (Laps 20 - Contact)
16. #12 Juan Pablo Garcia Jensen MotorSport + 20 laps (Laps 20 - Contact)
17. #26 James Winslow Andretti Autosport + 20 laps (Laps 20 - Contact)
18. #3 Victor Carbone Sam Schmidt Motorsports + 33 laps (Laps 7 - Contact)



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Belardi Auto Racing`s Anders Krohn spins during the Firestone Freedom 100 IndyLights race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Carb Day, Friday May 27 2011. [Picture credit: Tim Holle for IndyCar Media]
Ryan Briscoe and Dario Franchitti in the final of the IZOD Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Carb Day, Friday May 27 2011. [Picture credit: Dan Helrigel for IndyCar Media]
Sam Schmidt Motorsports`s Josef Newgarden celebrates victory in the Firestone Freedom 100 IndyLights race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Carb Day, Friday May 27 2011. [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates with team owner Roger Penske after winning the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, and his team perform the traditional kissing of the bricks after racing to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, drinks the traditional bottle of milk while celebrating his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, crosses the finish line as he races to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finishes second. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Andy Frame/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya is congratulated by his Penske team mate Helio Castroneves after clinching victory in the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Penske team mates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power race side-by-wide during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya crosses the line ahead of Penske team mate Will Power to win the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Josef Newgarden in pit lane on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start on the outside of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagenaud will be joined in the front row by by polestar Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest for the May 24 race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start in the middle of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power will be joined in the front row by pole sitter Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.