Josef Newgarden passed polesitter and Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate Esteban Guerrieri on lap 2 and went on to a 5.4724-second victory in the Sukup 100, the Firestone Indy Lights Championship race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday.
Newgarden, earning his third victory of the season, improved his championship points lead from 13 to 46 over Guerrieri, who retired midway through the race with a mechanical issue (steering) and was credited with 12th place.
"I think it was really exciting for everyone at the beginning," related Newgarden. "Unfortunately, I think it got a bit processional throughout the race. We put a really good, strong car together for that race. It felt so good I could go anywhere on the track, and that's just a tribute to the team. I was so disappointed that we didn't qualify a little bit better. At least we didn't put ourselves too far back. So, starting from fourth, we just came in with a conservative approach but still aggressive enough to get in the lead early on and just hold it all the way through. Great job by the Sam Schmidt Motorsports guys and everyone else that supports us."
Gustavo Yacaman, driving the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling car, recorded a Firestone Indy Lights-best runner-up finish. Clauson, competing in his third Lights oval race, was 5.8 seconds back but also finished a season-high third.