JOSEF NEWGARDEN SET TO JOIN TEAM PENSKE INDYCAR PROGRAM IN 2017
25-Year-Old American Will Be the New Driver of No. 2 Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (October 5, 2016) – Team Penske announced today that American open-wheel driver Josef Newgarden will join the organization in 2017 to pilot the No. 2 Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
The signing of Newgarden comes on the heels of a successful 2016 season for Team Penske, which included a series championship with driver Simon Pagenaud – the team’s 14th IndyCar Series title – and a 1-2-3 finish in the point standings.
“When you look at the top talent in the series, both from a driving and commercial perspective, Josef is near the top of the list,” said Roger Penske. “We are always looking to build toward the future and when we had the opportunity to talk with Josef, we knew that he would be a great fit with our program. He is a fantastic driver on the track and will be great with our partners off the track. He is hungry to win more races and win championships and we hope to give him that opportunity as part of our team.”
Newgarden, who was born in Tennessee, finished the 2016 season with one win, four podiums and 11 top-10 finishes driving for Ed Carpenter Racing. He placed fourth in the championship point standings after finishing sixth in the season-finale at Sonoma Raceway last month. His lone win in 2016 came at Iowa Speedway, where he dominated the field, leading 282 of 300 laps. Over the course of his IndyCar Series career – which began in 2012 – the 25-year-old Newgarden has earned three wins (Iowa, Barber and Toronto) and 10 podium finishes. He’s led a total of 679 laps in his career.
He began his career in karting, eventually moving to Skip Barber and various other road racing series in Europe before returning to North America to compete in the Indy Lights division in 2011, where he won in his series debut. He earned five wins en route to winning the Indy Lights title that season before moving to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2012 with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.
“For any open-wheel racer – or any racecar driver in general – Team Penske is a dream job,” said Newgarden. “Roger Penske is a legend in the motorsports community and his team has done just about everything they’ve ever set out to do. I look forward to working with all of Team Penske’s great partners. To get an opportunity to work with Simon (Pagenaud), Will (Power) and Helio (Castroneves), along with the rest of the team, will just help make me a better driver.”
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016, Team Penske earned its 14th IndyCar Series title with Pagenaud last month at Sonoma Raceway. Along with Will Power and Helio Castroneves, the team finished 1-2-3 in the point standings for the first time since they accomplished the same feat in 1994 with Al Unser Jr., Emerson Fittipaldi and Paul Tracy. During the course of the 2016 season, Team Penske earned 10 wins – five for Pagenaud, four for Power and one for Juan Pablo Montoya – 11 poles and 22 podium finishes. The team led an astonishing 811 laps over the course of the season.
The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season kicks off March 12 on the Streets of St. Petersburg.