Team USA Scholarship graduate Josef Newgarden earned an emotional victory this afternoon at Rockingham in England, for Joe Tandy Racing, mere weeks after the team's young owner died in a road car accident.
The month of May has been a roller-coaster ride for 18-year-old Newgarden. The 2008 Team USA Scholarship winner returned to his home in Tennessee for a brief break earlier in the month, then learned the shattering news that his UK Formula Ford team owner Joe Tandy had died in a road accident. Tandy was just 26 years old. The pair had forged a close bond since joining forces this year.
Newgarden traveled back to his UK base in Oxford this week with a heavy heart, and was intent on doing his best to honor Tandy’s memory when the MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain reconvened this weekend at the Rockingham road course which is situated close to Joe Tandy Racing’s base in Bedford.
He did just that. After qualifying second fastest, Newgarden moved his No. 21 JTR/Robo-Pong Mygale SJ09 into the lead at the start. The gifted young American lost his advantage moments before a full-course caution but promptly regained the lead at the restart and then pulled away to score his second Formula Ford victory of the season.
"This win was for Joe," declared Newgarden. "It was a very emotional time for the whole team. First of all, it was nice to get back and be with everyone because it’s a big family team. We’ve still got a long way to go this weekend, with two more races tomorrow, but this was definitely a very positive day.”