Newgarden looks to break through — finally — at Indy

Newgarden seeks elusive Brickyard win

Josef Newgarden

Josef Newgarden knows all about disappointment at Indy. He’s been there 10 times.

Indeed, the two-time NTT IndyCar Series champ and (at this writing) leader in the Series standings is one of the best drivers in the business but you wouldn’t know that by his record in the Indianapolis 500.

Since his first race in 2012, the 31-year-old Nashville native’s best finish in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing was third in 2016, his worst a 30th place DNF (did not finish) in 2014, to go along with a few top-fives, top-10s and DNFs. Yes, he hasn’t exactly distinguished himself on the 2.5-mile quad oval at the Brickyard.

But if there is a glimmer of hope for him to latch onto in 2022, it’s this: In recent testing, the driver of the No. 2 Chevy turned in a blistering lap averaging 229.519 mph to lead a 31-car field.

Many drivers usually don’t pay much attention to testing times because they know the only ones that actually mean anything are on qualifying day. And last year he qualified at 21st even though he had a leading test time of 226.819 mph a few weeks earlier. But Newgarden will take his small victory and hope for the best.

He and the likes of past race champs Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud will be in the 33-car field when the Indianapolis 500 is run for the 106th time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday, May 29, on NBC.

Player Profile

Name: Josef Newgarden

Birth date: Dec. 22, 1990

Birthplace: Nashville, Tenn.

Height/weight: 6 feet/177 pounds

Car: Dallara Chevrolet

No.: 2

Owner: Team Penske

Honors and achievements: Two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion (2017, 2019); has 22 wins and 15 poles since joining IndyCar in 2012

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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