Josef Newgarden didn’t mince words after a late collision with Romain Grosjean in the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix.
The two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion led 12 Laps just past the midway mark. He found himself in a hornet’s nest as four yellow flags flew during the final half of the 80 lap contest.
He saw a chance to pick up some valuable spots on the Lap 76 restart and dove to the inside of Grosjean for fifth. The pair collided and sent Grosjean into the concrete barrier.
The former Formula 1 driver voiced his displeasure with Newgarden, making several irritated gestured under the yellow.
Newgarden stood firm in a post race interview with NBC Sports Dillon Welch citing Grosjean had no room to talk.
“Welcome to IndyCar; it gets tight,” Newgarden said. “He’s been on a worse end of that. I don’t know what to tell him. Good thing I was ahead. That’s the biggest thing. You’re going to want to be ahead of this guy at this type of moment, but yep, it’s tight street course racing.
“Let me tell you what – I about got taken out six times myself. I probably need to have some discussion with some of the younger guys, but they’re aggressive. They’re very aggressive and if you’re not aggressive back, then you get run over. That’s IndyCar racing. You’ve got to learn that pretty quick. I don’t like it, but that’s the game that we’re in.”
The 24-time race winner alluded to Grosjean’s feuds throughout the season – including one with teammate Alexander Rossi at Mid-Ohio and Graham Rahal at Barber.
Newgarden wasn’t the lone ranger upset with the Frenchman. 2022 Indy 500 champion Marcus Ericsson took to Twitter also conveyed his annoyance with Grosjean. Ericsson fell out of the race and pointed the blame at Grosjean.
Newgarden salvaged a sixth place finish and now lies 22 points behind Team Penske teammate Will Power in the championship hunt.