Newgarden goes for the milk at Indy
He’s the 2017 NTT IndyCar Series champion and the points leader at this writing this season. A nice addition to Josef Newgarden’s resume would be an Indianapolis 500 victory.
And he’ll have that opportunity Sunday, May 26, when he and 32 other drivers take to the 2.5-mile quad oval of Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, airing live on NBC.
For the 28-year-old Tennessean, this is his eighth start in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and his third for Team Penske. His best showing came in 2016, when he dueled Carlos Munoz for the lead in the race’s final laps before being forced to pit for fuel, which opened the way for then-rookie Alexander Rossi to drive to victory. For his trouble, Newgarden finished third.
Asked afterward whether he regretted his decision to not conserve fuel, he replied, “It’s Indy. You gotta go for it.”
This season after four races, Newgarden sits atop the IndyCar points standings thanks to a win in the St. Petersburg season opener and four top-five finishes. The 500 comes in the midst of a critical four-week stretch for these drivers, that started with the May 11 Grand Prix of Indianapolis followed by the double-points Indy 500 on Sunday and the twin races of the Detroit Grand Prix on June 1-2. Performing well at this time of year can set up a championship run.
Full name: Josef Nicolai Newgarden
Birth date: Dec. 22, 1990
Birthplace: Hendersonville, Tenn.
Height/weight: 6 feet/177 pounds
Car: No. 2 Dallara/Chevrolet
Team: Team Penske
IndyCar wins: 11
Top 10s: 65
Previous series: Skip Barber Southern Regional (2006-07), Skip Barber National (2007-08), Formula Palmer Audi (2009), British Formula Ford (2009), GP3 Series (2010), Indy Lights (2011)
Honors and achievements: 2017 NTT IndyCar Series championship; 2011 Indy Lights series championship