ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin – Josef Newgarden left little doubt whose day it was at the KOHLER Grand Prix, leading all but two laps to win going away at Road America.
Newgarden, driving the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, won by 3.3759 seconds over Ryan Hunter-Reay to pick up third victory of the 2018 season and 10th of his seven-year career. It also edged the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion closer to the points lead, as he unofficially moved into fourth in the standings, 50 points behind leader Scott Dixon.
Starting from the pole position, led the first 13 laps before making his first pit stop. Dixon, in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, led two laps before also stopping, with Newgarden reassuming the point and never relinquishing it the rest of the way on the 4.014-mile permanent road course.
Newgarden wound up leading 53 of the 55 laps to give Team Penske its fifth win at Road America and victory No. 202 for the team in 51 years of Indy car competition.
Hunter-Reay, in the No. 28 DHL Honda, secured his best Road America finish in five tries with the runner-up finish. It also helped the Andretti Autosport driver move into second place in the unofficial standings, 45 points behind Dixon. Alexander Rossi, Hunter-Reay’s teammate, finished 16th in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda and fell to third in the standings, also 45 points behind Dixon.
The race ran caution-free for the ninth time at Road America, but the first time since 2000.
The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to action July 8 with the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. The race from the 0.894-mile oval airs live at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.