BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Josef Newgarden applauded IndyCar’s decision not to risk 16 more minutes on a treacherous, rain-soaked track, even though he could have been the biggest beneficiary.
Other drivers weren’t so happy with earlier calls.
Newgarden will remain up front at Barber Motorsports Park on Monday for the completion of the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Drivers got in just over 44 minutes of a scheduled 2-hour, or 90-lap, race Sunday under heavy rain that caused some cars to hydroplane and affected visibility.
The race was called before it was halfway through, and thus official.
“I was calling for us not to run and I was in the easiest situation,” Newgarden said. “I was leading the race, had the best viewpoint. We do another (16) minutes under caution and we call the thing halfway from a time standpoint, we pick up the win. It’s more advantageous for us to get it in, but I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t think conditions were right.”
The 2-hour limit of total race time will remain in place.
Newgarden started on the pole position and led the first 22 laps of a race he has won two of the past three years. The race restarted after a 37-minute delay because of the track conditions, but only got another few laps in before parking the cars again. The race was called after another 1-hour, 23-minute wait.
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