Beyond the race track, Josef Newgarden’s big personality and
keen sense of humor make him a go-to guy for talking about
the sport he loves. After racing, does a TV career beckon?
51 home-grown new wAve | indycar.com
osef Newgarden’s 2015 Verizon
IndyCar Series season didn’t work
out as expected. As in, it didn’t work
out as expected in a good way.
A young, steadily improving driver, who’s
yet to win his first race or finish higher than
13th in points; a small team in transition;
new aerodynamic packages that should
play to the strengths of the larger, better-resourced operations. Pre-season verdict
for 2015: good things on the horizon, but
that horizon’s still relatively distant.
And then Newgarden only goes and
wins two races, is disappointed not to have
won two more, and finishes seventh in the
final points. Time to reset expectations...
Heading into 2016, Newgarden will be
driving under a different team name, but
still surrounded by most of the same
people. That internal continuity, he says,
is one of his greatest assets as he looks
toward taking his Ed Carpenter Racing
Dallara-Chevrolet to Victory Lane.
“What’s been cool is that through
American young gun Josef newgarden won two races and came close to two more
different iterations of the team, it still feels
like I’m with the same group I started with,”
says Newgarden. “There’s been a lot of
changes with ownership, but I’m working
with the same engineer, Jeremy Milless,
who I was working with back in 2012 when
he was my assistant engineer. Things like
that have really helped our progress.
“We seem to be getting better each
season, and I can really see where we
make gains, why we make them, and how
we’re going to be able to implement them
each year. So I feel very confident that
we’re going to be just as good as 2015, if
not a tick better at a lot of places. And if
that’s the case then I think we can win
races again – and maybe more than two.”
Aged 25, Newgarden is a relative outlier
in any talk about 2016 title contenders.
Championship success in the IndyCar
Series requires an unusually broad
skillset, so experience counts a lot. Yet, in
only his fourth season in the series, the
Tennessean’s wins and seventh in points
– one of only three drivers under 30 to
finish in the top 10 – showed the potential
for a breakout season is there. And it
doesn’t hurt that he’s American, either.
“There is some importance to carrying
the flag along with some of the other
Americans,” he says. “There are a lot of
home-grown drivers coming through now
who have the potential to be IndyCar
champions, and that can only be good for
the series and for the fans. It’s definitely
cool to be a part of that group.”
in 2015. he believes he could go even better this time around, so stay tuned...
Words mark glendenning mAIn ImAge Shawn gritzmacher/ImS
“i feel confident that we’ll be
just as good as 2015, if not a
tick better at a lot of places”
ovAL LeArnIng CUrve
With four seasons of Verizon IndyCar Series racing under his
belt, Josef Newgarden’s growing experience is reflected in his
increasing competitiveness on ovals. Could he win on one in 2016?
YEAR AVG. OVAL FINISH BEST OVAL FINISH
2012 19. 6 13th (Texas)
2013 14. 5 5th (Pocono)
2014 11 2nd (Iowa)
2015 10 2nd (Iowa, Pocono)