Josef Newgarden’s second-place finish at Sonoma on Sunday was enough to clinch the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series title.
Newgarden was beaten to the finish line by Team Penske teammate and defending IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud, but was ahead of Scott Dixon. And that’s all that mattered.
Newgarden, 26, entered Sunday’s IndyCar finale three points ahead of Dixon, who finished third. The gap was so narrow because Newgarden crashed coming out of the pits after a pit stop at Watkins Glen two weeks ago. His crash allowed Dixon to cut what was a 31-point gap by 28 points.
Pagenaud’s win is the 10th in 17 races for Team Penske in 2017. And Newgarden is the first American champion in the IndyCar Series since Ryan Hunter-Reay won the 2012 championship for Andretti Autosport.
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