Josef Newgarden has established himself as one of the true stars of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES as he has produced 25 victories and a pair of series championships since he joined Team Penske in 2017. Newgarden captured the series title in his first year with the team and he earned his second championship just two years later in 2019. Last season, the popular American racer nearly secured his third title as series runner-up.
By claiming the INDYCAR championship in his first season with Team Penske, Newgarden joined some elite company. Rick Mears, Al Unser Sr., Al Unser Jr., and Gil de Ferran are the only other drivers to accomplish that feat in the team’s storied history. Winning the title at 26, Newgarden also became the youngest series champion since Scott Dixon won it at 23 in 2003, and he was the first American-born driver to claim the crown since Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2012.
Newgarden began his racing career when he was 13 years-old at New Castle (Ind.) Motorsports Park where he won numerous karting titles between 2006-2008. After racing in Europe for a few years, he returned to the United States in 2011 and captured the Indy Lights championship for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, as he posted five wins and 10 podium finishes in 14 starts. The performance earned Newgarden an opportunity at Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing for the 2012 INDYCAR SERIES season.
After scoring his first two career INDYCAR SERIES wins in 2015, Newgarden produced one of the most dominating victories in series history while driving for Ed Carpenter Racing during the 2016 season. He led a series-record 282 of 300 laps after starting second on his way to victory at Iowa. Adding to the impressive performance was the fact that the race came just four weeks after Newgarden suffered a fractured clavicle and right hand in a dramatic accident at Texas Motor Speedway. Overall in 2016, Newgarden recorded six top-five and 11 top-10 results as he finished fourth in the championship standings, just behind the three Team Penske drivers that would become his teammates later that year – Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Helio Castroneves.
As he begins his 12th season in the series in 2023, Newgarden hopes to guide the No. 2 Hitachi team to another NTT INDYCAR SERIES title and his first Indianapolis 500 victory. A former high school baseball player who loves to play ping pong when he’s away from the track, Newgarden and his family reside in Nashville, Tenn.
Newgarden Key Accomplishments
- Two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion, claiming titles in 2017 - his first season with Team Penske and again in 2019
- Earned 25 INDYCAR SERIES wins entering 2023
- Won 16 career pole positions entering the 2023 season
- His dominating win at Iowa in 2016 set an INDYCAR record for most laps led by a race winner
- Nominated for the 2018 ESPY Best Driver Award after winning the 2017 INDYCAR SERIES championship
- Recipient of the 2012 Rising Star Award
- A graduate of the Road to Indy, he won the 2011 Indy Lights championship with five race victories
- Recipient of INDYCAR’s Tony Renna Rising Star Award in 2012