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Hot Competition April 2! Texas IndyCar Race Coming up Fast- Here is What to Expect- Pay Back!

Expect a wild race- if last year's race is any indicator of the level of competition we can expect. If the tack is there you have to race it.. right? That is what Josef Newgarden did!

"You are the man!" is heard on the radio as Josef Newgarden barreled to the finest in a drag race over the finish line, out of the blue, on the final lap of 2022 Texas Motor Speedway Indy race.

Newgarden, a very polite and well-spoken gentleman, passed other racers and swept victory at the last moment without flinching- unapologetically.

It's racing. It is not time to be nice.

And the finish raised up some goosebumps for anyone who was paying attention. There is no way anyone could watch that last lap and not be in awe. That was racey! Newgarden crushed his own teammate, awesome Scott McLaughlin... but all is fair in racing. Indy car is not like F1.

Newgarden also set a milestone for boss Roger Penske that day.

Newgarden Delivered Win No. 600 for Team Penske in Texas Photo Finish as the 2022 champ, in FORT WORTH, Texas, Sunday, March 20, 2022.

This was simply no ordinary win.

Newgarden rocketed his No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet past the No. 3 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet of teammate Scott McLaughlin on the outside of Turn 4 on the final lap and won a drag race to the checkered flag, hanging on for victory by .0669 of a second in the first oval race of the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.''

The win was Team Penske’s 600th across all racing disciplines, and team owner Roger Penske was ecstatic to lay six crisp $100 bills on Newgarden’s palm in Victory Lane as a special bonus. Newgarden led just three of the 248 laps, while a dominant McLaughlin led 186 trips around the high-banked, 1.5-mile oval.

“Unbelievable,” Newgarden said. “I think Scott led 95 percent of the laps. I hate doing that to a teammate, but I was going for it, just like he was.“Man, I was loose; I was driving the thing sideways off (Turns) 3 and 4. I was trying to get a win.I’m just so pleased for everybody. Last lap, last corner – that’s what it’s all about at Texas.”

The two champs remained buds- all is good.

A little competition is good. And it will be for sure be on the mind of McLaughlin who may want to get some pay back this year. As the race approaches their close finish is on the minds of NTT IndyCar- for sure, who set this up:

Texas Motor Speedway released a statement about this year's race saying they are proud to once again host the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2023. The April 2 race, the first in a multi-year partnership with INDYCAR, will be the 27 th consecutive year, and 36 th race overall, that the country’s best open-wheel racing will compete side-by-side at more than 200 mph on the 1.5-mile oval.


On Sunday, April 2, the PPG 375, the second race of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, begins at 11:15 a.m. (TV: NBC, Radio: SiriusXM, INDYCAR Radio Network). The race length is 248 laps and 372 miles. Driver introductions begin at 10:30 a.m.

More flashback from the 2022 press release from NTT:

Marcus Ericsson finished third in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, 1.3537 seconds behind Newgarden. It was Ericsson’s career-best finish on an oval. Will Power finished fourth in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, as Penske drivers earned three of the top four spots in the race. Team Penske also has won both races this season, as series points leader McLaughlin triumphed Feb. 27 in the Firestone Grand Prix of St.Petersburg presented by RP Funding. Six-time series champion and five-time Texas winner Scott Dixon finished fifth in the No. 9 PNCBank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson achieved a career-best finish with ease by placing sixth in his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES oval race after starting 18th in the No.48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Johnson’s previous best finish was 17th last year as a rookie, when he only raced on road and street courses.

“I hoped to qualify in the top 10 and race in the top 10,” Johnson said. “Missed the qualifying mark a bit, but once we hit the halfway point of the race, I really could sense and feel the car. It became second nature, and off I went. We knew going oval racing would help, and today got us into the competitive mix.”McLaughlin, who started second next to pole sitter Felix Rosenqvist, grabbed the lead on Lap206 when rookie Callum Ilott pitted from the lead after trying to stretch fuel well beyond the normal pit cycles in his No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet.

McLaughlin put himself in a position to inherit the lead a lap earlier by passing Rinus VeeKay’s No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet for second in Turn 1. Newgarden, who started seventh, drove to second and pulled to within .462 of a second of McLaughlin with 25 laps to go.

McLaughlin expanded that lead to .914 of a second with five laps remaining as both drivers diced through lapped traffic. New Zealand native McLaughlin tried to manage the gap between his car and the slower cars ahead of Ilott and fellow rookie David Malukas as the final laps ticked down, and Newgardenpounced. The gap between the top two was .315 of a second at the white flag.

As McLaughlin slowed slightly with Malukas’ car ahead, Newgarden moved up half a lane inTurns 3 and 4 and pulled outside of and even with McLaughlin exiting Turn 4.

The slingshot-likewhip around the final corner gave Newgarden the momentum he needed to win the drag race tothe finish line.“I was livid in the car because we had all this traffic and it wasn’t helping me, and then right whenI needed it to help me, it helped me,” Newgarden said.

“Literally last corner, last lap, the traffic helped me out.”Said McLaughlin: “Second is a great day, but unfortunately, we made a little lapse and at the end of the day lost. If you’re going to lose to anyone, your teammate is the guy you want to lose it to.

Gutted I couldn’t get it done for XPEL and Chevy. But at the end of the day, we’re there, and I learned a lot in the race that going to help us go in May to the Speedway.“But I’m gutted. It still hurt. It’s how it is. But I’m pretty proud of how we’re running. My car wasn’t probably as good as it had been in traffic as it had been the whole race. I knew I was building push, I was building tightness. Once he (Newgarden) got on the outside there, I couldn’t come up above the line. I was stuck. I thought about going outside on Malukas there, but I was worried I would push up into the gray and into the fence. You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

Newgarden averaged 165.467 mph in a race slowed by four cautions for 52 laps. Two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Newgarden also gained a leg up on the thePeopleReady Force for Good Challenge with his victory. The challenge offered by the industrial staffing giant is a bonus of $1 million to be awarded to the first NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver who can win on all three unique styles of tracks – street circuits, road courses and ovals – this season.

Newgarden is an excellent dude, and was a new Dad last year. He had a great win. it was thrilling. It is impossible not to like him.

And McLaughlin would be right to put his foot down in 2023. Check out this awesome fan-made video about McLaughlin.. hard not to cheer for him.

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It's true that racing season is very much upon us which actually means many different things to many different people. Fans will yet again make their annual pilgrimages to take in the sights and sound

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