NEWTON, Iowa — The Hy-VeeDeals.com 250 brought racers of all stripes to the oval track Saturday.
Some of the best drivers in IndyCar made the most of their time on the so-called "fastest short track in the world." And in under two hours, Josef Newgarden walked away with the win.
Newgarden is no stranger to Newton — he has won three other races at the Iowa Speedway. But over the years, the competition hasn't gotten any easier to deal with.
"It's just gotten harder, it feels like everyone's just figuring it out. You just can't have some mega advantage somewhere on people forever," Newgarden said.
"They will slowly just start to figure it out."
The Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend is the biggest racing event ever to come to Newton.
Other drivers with less experience still came away from the race satisfied with Newton's track. Pato O'Ward, who finished second, had plenty of praise for the race.
"I think it's the approach that everyone else and every single IndyCar Event should be like. I think we can learn a lot about this weekend and about how well they've done it," O'Ward said.
The competition was fierce, with 332 position changes throughout the race. That's only 34 fewer than the previous IndyCar from 2018, according to IndyCar officials.
With the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 race less than a day away, drivers are studying what they learned from Saturday and getting ready to start their engines again.
"It just doesn't feel like it's an easy beatdown anymore. If we miss that, we will get beat 100%," Newgarden said. "And that will happen tomorrow if we're not on our game."
Gates open at 9 a.m. July 24 for the second day of the action, and the 300-lap race starts up at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.
Watch interviews with IndyCar racers