CFH RACING EARNS BEST CHAMPIONSHIP FINISH IN TEAM HISTORY
Team Ends 2015 Season With Two Wins, One Pole Position, Two Other Podiums And A 1-2 Finish
(SONOMA, Calif.) August 30, 2015 – Race Notes
- Though the season finale did not turn out the way CFH Racing had hoped, the team has much to be proud of after a wildly successful 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Full-time driver Josef Newgarden finished the season 7th in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship, the team’s best championship finish in it’s history.
- The 85-lap race got off to a clean start and Newgarden retained his second place starting position. Luca Filippi, despite never having ran a lap at Sonoma Raceway, improved from his 13th place starting position and moved all the way up to 8th by Lap 14.
- Newgarden came into the pits with race leader Will Power on Lap 14. Power was pitted just in front of Newgarden and as Newgarden attempted to exit his pit box, he found Power’s teammate Simon Pagenaud stopped in the middle of the pit lane, blocking his exit. Newgarden’s front wing made contact with Pagenaud’s and he was forced to drive through Pagenaud’s pit box to get around him. However, Newgarden managed to stay with Power and cycled back into the second position once the rest of the field had completed their first round of stops.
- The No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka car of Filippi slowed suddenly coming out of the final turn on Lap 32. The sensor malfunction forced Filippi into the pit lane for repairs. The crew worked feverishly and Filippi was able to rejoin the race, albeit five laps down.
- Everything went wrong for Newgarden when he came in for a pit stop on Lap 61. While attempting to leave his box after pitting from the second position, the No. 67 GoPro Chevrolet stalled. While the team reached for the starter, a small fire ignited on the side pod of the car from drops of fuel reaching the exhaust. It was immediately extinguished and no crew members or Newgarden were harmed. The team attempted to bump start Newgarden by pushing him down pit lane, but the car would not fire. The crew brought the car back to the pit box and used the backup starter to re-fire the car. Newgarden re-entered the race one lap behind the field.
- Newgarden was credited with a 21st place finishing position; Filippi was behind in 24th. Newgarden dropped from 6th to 7th in the championship but beat his previous best championship finish of 13th from 2014.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 67 GOPRO CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST: “It was a good day in a lot of ways, we definitely had a podium car. You never know, we may have even had a winning car. We had to fight through a little bit of an issue with our first stop after clipping Pagenaud. I really sealed our fate when I stalled the car and we just weren’t able to get it re-fired. It put us pretty far back and pretty much ended our day. It was hard to throw away a podium car, maybe even a winning car. I am proud of our effort all year, I feel really bad for putting us in a bad position at the end there.”
LUCA FILIPPI, NO. 20 FUZZY’S VODKA CHEVROLET, FINISHED 24TH: “It was an unlucky day for both cars. Our car was very strong, very consistent and had a good pace, we were coming through the field. Then we had an issue with the sensor which wasn’t anything we could predict, it just happened. The guys fixed it as quickly as they could but we lost a few laps. We were one of the fastest cars out there even at the end of the race when we weren’t able to compete with anyone. I have to thank everyone on the team. It was a very special season for me. For sure I have to thank Ed, Sarah, Wink and Fuzzy’s Vodka for taking a chance on me and believing in me.”
Josef Newgarden finished 7th in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, the best finish of his career and the best finish for CFH Racing. He ran in second place for much of today’s 85-lap race.
Filippi ran as high as 8th in today’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma despite never running at the track untilFriday. Repairs for a sensor malfunction dropped Filippi five laps behind the leaders, but he was able to complete the event.