Newgarden a two-way threat
Call him Josef Newgarden, two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion and accomplished tweeter.
On Sunday, Feb. 16, the veteran driver of the No. 2 Dallara Chevrolet for Team Penske took to Twitter to offer snarky and often hilarious commentary during the rain delay of the Daytona 500, the NASCAR Cup series season opener.
“Before we run the Daytona 500, we must run the Daytona 500 of pace laps,” was one Newgarden remark while another asked, “I’ve got 10 mins. left in ‘The Irishman’ … . Is the race starting soon?”
And then came his list of things he could be doing during the interminable delay, which included solving a Rubix Cube, getting several online degrees, rewatching the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and building a barn. The race eventually would be rescheduled for the following day, but Newgarden had made his point with his followers. He was frustrated and he wanted everyone to know it. Those on his feed ate it up.
He’ll make his presence felt at his own season opener Sunday, March 15, on NBC Sports Network, when he and 23 other drivers take to the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street course in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
He won here a year ago, riding a smart pit strategy to a commanding early lead from which he never looked back to beat Scott Dixon and Will Power to the checkered flag. The victory was his first of four on his way to the 2019 Series title.
It’s a performance and a season the 29-year-old Tennessean wouldn’t mind repeating.
Name: Josef Newgarden
Birth date: Dec. 22, 1990
Birthplace: Nashville, Tenn.
Height/Weight: 6 feet/177 pounds
Car: Dallara Chevrolet
Owner: Team Penske
Honors and Achievements: Two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion (2017, 2019); has 14 wins and eight poles since joining IndyCar in 2012