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Mar 11, 2014 - 06:10 AM
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Newgarden Tests at Barber to Prep for 2014 IndyCar Season
Posted by: newsla on Mar 11, 2014 - 06:07 AM
IndyCar News
Newgarden Tests at Barber to Prep for 2014 IndyCar Season


The feel of spring and the sound of Indy were in the air today as IndyCar series driver Josef Newgarden and his Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing team spent the day testing at Barber Motorsports Park. Newgarden and his team worked in a steady rhythm of adjustments and runs to fine-tune the #67 Honda to the unique characteristics of the 2.38-mile course.

 

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"I love the undulations of this track," offered Newgarden. "It’s an elevation track. There’s constantly changing elevations from every corner that you are going through. That adds a difficult element to get the car to work because the car wants to behave differently when it hits compressions and hills. I find that enjoyable, kind of like a rollercoaster. You are in a big bowl and to me it feels mostly like a rollercoaster more than any other track we go to."

Last time Newgarden was on the track at Barber Motorsports Park he posted a 9th place finish in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, advancing from a 22nd place start. He finished out the 2013 season 14th in the IndyCar standings, recording four top-five finishes and is entering into his third season with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.

"There’s been an evolution with this team for sure. Each year we make progress on a lot of different fronts. Just as a driver, I’ve learned how to work better with engineers to build a racecar that’s fast. I’ve made a lot of strides in learning how to work better with the team to build a good car and get the most out of it each weekend. On the team side we constantly improve. We get better pit stops, make better strategy calls and we have more experience now from running two full seasons. With all that brings continuity, and having that continuity gives you more consistency and more results."

As one of the younger IndyCar drivers, Newgarden is focused on improving with each race. Every time he hits the pavement he’s battling experienced veterans of the sport and is well aware of the challenges that brings. He is also aware that being a younger driver has some advantages.

"When you are young, you are obviously very hungry for success. I would think that might fade a little with time, where as young guys are very eager to do well and you have that drive and that hunger. That’s an advantage I think in it’s own right. Trying to build the sport of IndyCar back up, you are one of the new kids on the block that’s trying to be that next generation. You can’t beat experience in racing though. Experience is king of everything."

New for Honda drivers this season is the switch from the single turbo engine to the twin turbo, bringing an added challenge for the drivers to adjust to and even more reason to test in the off-season.

"Honda’s done an incredible job going to the twin turbo from 2013. We had a really good engine with the single turbo. Honda had put so much work into it making it very drivable. We had good success with it, especially winning the championship with Scott Dixon last year. I think we have the potential to have even more success, if not more than the single turbo, with the twin turbo. I’m excited from that aspect. It’s a little more difficult to make the car drivable with the twin turbo, so that’s something we’ve been working on. Honda’s already done a really good job over three months of development, so I’m encouraged. I think we have a really good base package to work from, and the twin turbo is going to be even stronger than what we had last year."

Newgarden and his team will return to Barber Motorsports Park for the 2014 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, April 25-27. Tickets for the 5th annual event start as low as $15. Kids 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult for the exciting race weekend.

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