Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing team boss Sarah Fisher. hailed rookie Josef Newgarden's IndyCar debut in St Petersburg, which ended with the 21-year-old finishing 11th despite the team having come into the weekend with just four days of testing under its belt.
The team's preseason track time was severely limited by the late arrival of its Honda engine, but Fisher said that reigning Indy Lights champion Newgarden had done an excellent job in his first race at the top level.
"It was a great day for Josef," Fisher exclaimed. "It's a lot to ask of a rookie, to go and do what he did today, but he showed up more prepared and ready for this opportunity than anybody I've ever seen. We're just happy to be able to give him the proper tools that he'll need to move forward, and we'll have to work to continue to provide him with those opportunities."
Fisher, herself a veteran of 81 IndyCar races between 1999 and 2010, also believes that having another race as soon as next weekend will give Newgarden the best possible chance to build on his performance, as the series moves straight on to Barber Motorsports Park.
"It will do a lot for Josef's confidence," she said. "He's finished an IndyCar race, he knows he can do it, and he's only had three weeks in a big car. So to keep him on a roll and in a rhythm is really important."