IndyCar sees rare feat that hadn’t been achieved since 1970

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, Iowa Speedway, IndyCar - Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, Iowa Speedway, IndyCar - Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports /

For the first time since 1970, an IndyCar driver has won five consecutive oval races, with Josef Newgarden sealing the deal at Iowa Speedway.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden did what most IndyCar fans assumed he would do this past weekend at Iowa Speedway: sweep the lone doubleheader on the 2023 schedule.

Newgarden earned his fifth and sixth wins at the four-turn, 0.894-mile (1.439-kilometer) Newton, Iowa oval. In doing so, he clinched this year’s oval championship, even though there is still one oval race remining on the calendar.

The driver of the No. 2 Chevrolet has won all four oval races this season, and because he also won the race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway last August, he has become the first driver to win five straight oval races since Al Unser in 1970.

Aside from Newgarden and Unser, the only other driver in IndyCar history to record five straight oval wins is A.J. Foyt.

Foyt and Unser are both four-time Indy 500 winners. Foyt was the first driver to pull off this feat, when he won a record seven straight oval races to start the 1964 season. Unser pulled off the feat twice, once in 1968 and again in 1970. Both of his streaks lasted for five races.

Newgarden’s oval win streak includes victories at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, Texas Motor Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Iowa Speedway (twice). If not for a shock failure in the second race of last year’s Iowa Speedway doubleheader, he would be riding a seven-race oval win streak, matching Foyt’s record.

Newgarden won the first race of the doubleheader last year and was well on his way to winning the second before the mechanical issue. He owns eight wins in the last 10 oval races, and he would be sitting at nine of 10 if not for that crash.

Prior to this year’s Indy 500, Newgarden had earned three wins at each of these other oval tracks since 2019 alone. He finally secured his first career Indy 500 victory in May.

Of the 32-year-old Hendersonville, Tennessee native’s 29 career victories, 14 have come at the four oval tracks currently on the schedule, including four — and three in a row heading into 2023 — at the site of this season’s final oval race.

Next. All-time IndyCar wins list. dark

The final oval race on the 2023 IndyCar schedule is the Bommarito Automotive Group 500, which is scheduled to take place at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway on Sunday, August 27. There are two races, one street course race and one road course race, on the schedule between now and then. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don’t miss any of the upcoming action!