Josef Newgarden. (Penske Entertainment/Chris Jones photo)

Newgarden Dealt Six-Position Grid Penalty In Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. — Championship contender Josef Newgarden of Team Penske was issued a six-position grid penalty for exceeding its five-engine limit by IndyCar on Friday.

That means Newgarden, who trails teammate Will Power by just three points in the battle for the NTT IndyCar Series championship, will have to start six positions further back from where he qualifies on Saturday at Portland International Raceway.

Johnson’s No. 2 Team Penske crew had an engine issue in Toronto back in July that required installing engine No. 4 earlier than planned. When that engine hit its mileage limit, the team had to install engine No. 5 earlier than anticipated.

That engine also reached its mileage limit, so the team had to use engine No. 6, which triggers the penalty.

“It’s not ideal, but I don’t want to complain,” Newgarden said Friday at Portland. “I don’t think it’s a huge negative. It’s not make or break, but it’s not ideal.

“It was just a mileage situation for us. We made that engine change in Toronto, so it was inevitable. It’s good to have a fresh Chevy engine in there and we’ll make good use of it.”

Dalton Kellett’s No. 4 crew at AJ Foyt Racing also was penalized six grid positions for another engine change.

The teams were in violation of:

Rule A fifth (5th) Engine is eligible to earn Engine Manufacturer points if a Full Season Entrant has completed the Full Season Entrant Engine Mileage with its first four (4) Engines. Otherwise, a fifth (5th) or more Engine does not earn Engine Manufacturer points and will be considered an Unapproved Engine change-out.

According to Rule, the penalty is a six-position starting grid penalty on road and street course events and nine positions at oval events and will be served at the series’ next event, which is the Grand Prix of Portland Sunday, Sept. 4 at Portland International Raceway.

Newgarden is a two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion.

He enters Sunday’s Grand Prix of Portland three points behind the leader and teammate Will Power.