The front row at next weekend’s Indianapolis 500 could have a little Kansas flair. The 67 car driven by Josef Newgarden and partially owned by Wichita businessman Wink Hartman has advanced to Sunday’s ‘Fast Nine’ of pole qualifying day. Which means Newgarden is one of nine drivers who will be given a shot to run for the pole position on Sunday.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in,” Newgarden told ESPN. “I was prepared not to make it, I didn’t know if we were going to make it down there in the line. Just happy that we have a shot now tomorrow."
Newgarden sat 12th for most of the qualifying session, but his team made a late decision to give up that time and run again for a shot at the ‘Fast Nine.” The 67 was the third to last car to take time on Saturday and he shot up to eighth, good enough to keep him in contention for the pole.
“That was pretty cool,” said Newgarden. “ The best thing was it wasn’t my decision. It’s just incredible. It’s really all about the car and the work that’s put in.”
A spot in the ‘Fast Nine’ is a huge accomplishment for a small time like SHF Racing.
“We need a little bit more for pole day, but at least we are in the show right?” said Newgarden. “We can tweak on it tonight now we can go for it tomorrow. It’s pretty exciting for our little group.”