Josef Newgarden put himself in position to battle his Australian teammate Will Power to the end of the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
He didn’t need to with Power finishing 14th at Barber Motorsports Park.
Team Penske’s Newgarden moved to the front for the first time on lap 76 when Power – who started on pole and led for 60 of the 90 laps – was forced to pit with a punctured left rear tyre.
“The car was awesome, so fast and I just feel bad,” Power said. “I don’t know what to say.”
Power didn’t want to pit initially but he finally yielded to the wishes of his crew and the harsh reality.
“I could feel (the car) starting to bottom and then having issues in some fast corners,” Power said.
“I tried to tell (the team) for as long as I could that it was alright but it was going down, you could feel it.”
Newgarden made the most of Power’s misfortune and didn’t allow Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon an opening over the final stretch to give Chevrolet their first win of the season – and secure his second victory in three years in Alabama.
Simon Pagenaud finished third, Helio Castroneves fourth and Alexander Rossi fifth.
Power, the 2014 IndyCar series champion, has started on pole twice in three races this year but has been unable to capitalise on race day and has yet to post a top-10 finish. He is 14th in the drivers’ standings on 50 points.
Sebastian Bourdais, of Dale Coyne Racing, leads the standings on 117 points, from Dixon on 111 points, Newgarden 110 points, Team Penske’s Pagenaud on 106 points and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchliffe rounding out the top five on 102 points.