TOP 10 STARTING POSITION FOR JOSEF NEWGARDEN IN THE STREETS OF LONG BEACH
Newgarden Will Roll Off 9th In Tomorrow’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
(LONG BEACH, Calif.) April 16, 2016 – Qualifying Notes
- Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka driver Josef Newgarden qualified 9th for tomorrow’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet will roll off from Row 5 in Newgarden’s 5th start at the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street circuit in downtown Long Beach, Calif.
- With a lap of 67.4141 seconds in Practice 3, Newgarden sat 7th on the combined timing sheet for the weekend leading up to qualifications.
- Newgarden was assigned to Group 2 for the first round of qualifications. On his first timed lap, he shot up to the top of the scoring sheet. After two laps on scuffed black tires, Newgarden came into the pit lane for a switch to sticker red Firestone Firehawks. On his first flying lap, he again went to 1st. He advanced to Round 2 of qualifications with the 4th fastest lap.
- For the start of Round 2, Newgarden began the session on scuffed black tires, then switched to another set of sticker reds. He jumped to 4th, where he remained until the end of the session. Unfortunately, timing and scoring went down and the timing sheets did not update. After a refresh to the system, Newgarden was scored with the 9th fastest lap at 67.2548 seconds and did not advance to the Firestone Fast 6.
- Ed Carpenter Racing won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach two years ago with Mike Conway behind the wheel. Newgarden was leading the 2014 race when second place Ryan Hunter-Reay caused a seven-car incident as he attempted a pass. Conway was able to avoid the melee and was fourth following the accident, moving into second place on the ensuing restart. Race leader Scott Dixon was forced to pit for fuel with three laps remaining, handing the lead and the win to Conway.
- Newgarden started on the front row in the 2012 race in only his third career Verizon IndyCar Series event. He ran in the top five for most of the 2015 event before he was blocked into his pit box by another car, losing precious seconds. He dropped to 7th, but still claimed his best finish in the historic street race.
- For the first four events of 2016, Newgarden’s No. 21 will feature a special paint scheme depicting the newest addition to the Fuzzy’s Vodka portfolio. The Commemorative 100th Running Limited Edition bottle, which celebrates the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, will be available nationwide this weekend.
- The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend will begin with practice on Friday, April 15. The 80-lap race through streets of the California city will take place on Sunday, April 17 with a live broadcast beginning on NBC Sports Network at 4 p.m. ET.
JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 21 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA CHEVROLET, QUALIFIED 9TH: “We didn’t qualify as high as we were all hoping for. We’ve got a good racecar and we’ve been fast on old tires. We’ve been really in the mix all weekend, we just can’t seem to get that last little bit. It would have been nice to get in the Firestone Fast 6 and put the Fuzzy’s Vodka car a little closer to the front! We have a little more work to do tomorrow. It was a weird session, I didn’t have any timing and scoring in the car or any split times, I was just trying to go as hard as I could and get the most I could out of the thing! It makes it a little bit harder, but at the end of the day we didn’t have enough to advance. Tomorrow, we’ll try and do better. I have a lot of confidence in the Fuzzy’s crew, we’ll have a fast racecar!”