Senior staff writer
Team co-owner Sarah Fisher correctly labeled the 1-2 finish of Carpenter Fisher Hartman drivers Sunday in the Verizon IndyCar Series road course race in Toronto, Canada as “amazing.”
Josef Newgarden brought the No. 67 Hartman Oil Chevrolet Dallara home first for his second win of the current season to join superteam double winners Juan Pablo Montoya of Team Penske and Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi racing. Newgarden’s road racing teammate Luca Flippi who challenged for the lead briefly was second by 1.4485 seconds in the No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka Chevrolet Dallara.
Fisher’s description of the team’s achievement in Canada was definitely on target after a string of disappointments at Indianapolis, Belle Isle Park in Michigan and two blown engines at Texas Motor Speedway that followed Newgarden’s first career triumph April 26 at Barber Motorsports Park.
“I’m just really proud of everybody on this team,” Fisher said. “I’m proud of Josef; I’m proud of the 20 car guys…A 1-2, I never would have thought that would have happened.”
Newgarden who has been with Fisher for all four years of his IndyCar career is considered one of the series’ rising young stars. The veteran driver is beginning to believe this is his breakout season.
“Probably,” the Tennessean said. “I think last year we had more of a breakout in my opinion. We were close to wins last year. We just could never get it done which was tough on everyone because we knew we had the potential to win. I’m just happy that we were able to do it this year and now do it twice.”
Newgarden professed that his next goal is to put back-to-back wins together.
At Toronto, the race winner weathered early rain and seven lead changes among six drivers. Newgarden started 11th and pitted for two tires and fuel on Lap 28 just before the first caution. He stayed in the top five through his final stop on Lap 58 and reclaimed the lead on Lap 72 when other leaders pitted.
“I got a little lucky on that yellow,” said Newgarden, the sixth American driver to win an IndyCar race in Toronto. “It was a great call and it was an amazing effort by this team and the crew who gave me amazing pit stops.”
Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and pole winner Will Power were third and fourth respectively. Series leader Montoya was seventh and holds a 27-point lead over Power with a 500-mile race ahead June 27 at Auto Club Speedway in California.
Newgarden discussed the team’s slump after his first series win in Alabama.
“May is the biggest month for IndyCar and it was arguably our worst month so far and that was tough for us,” Newgarden recalled. “We weren’t able to rebound in Detroit and definitely weren’t able to rebound in Texas. So now it was cool that we were able to get back in rhythm and hopefully we can continue to do that instead of falling into a slump again.”
CFH Racing is in its first year after team owners Fisher, Wink Hartman and Ed Carpenter combined their teams after the end of the 2014 season.
Fisher’s husband, Andy O’Gara of Beech Grove, serves as team manager at headquarters on Main Street in Speedway. The couple has two children and lives in Franklin Township.