Josef Newgarden held off a hard-charging Graham Rahal at the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in Birmingham on Sunday for his first
Newgarden got his milestone win at Barber Motorsports Park a few hours from his hometown of Hendersonville, Tenn., with most of the major drama coming behind him.
Rahal finally slipped past Scott Dixon on the final lap after several tries, giving the American drivers a 1-2 finish.
Dixon had his sixth podium finish in as many years in Alabama. He had picked up the 36th win of his career last week at Long Beach, moving into sole possession of fifth place in the series. He still couldn't quite breakthrough in Alabama.
Newgarden had posted second-place finishes in each of the past two years before finally finishing up front for CFH Racing, a merger of
Rahal's strong finish Sunday, meanwhile, gave Honda a boost after Chevrolet fielded the seven fastest cars in qualifying, with
Rahal flirted with his first victory since becoming the youngest IndyCar winner in 2008 at 19 years old and picked up considerable ground in the final laps.
He made an outside pass of Ryan-Hunter Reay with 10 laps to go, went by pole-sitter Helio Castroneves and then took on Dixon, the veteran from New Zealand. Rahal finished 2.2 seconds behind Newgarden.
Two-time defending champion Hunter-Reay, the 2014