Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Penske Signs Newgarden

Team Penske officially announced Wednesday morning the signing of Josef Newgarden to the team's Verizon IndyCar Series effort in 2017.

“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's open seat comes at the expense of 2015 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya.  Montoya, who wasn't expecting to be back with Penske, has several possible landing spots including Ganassi, Andretti and Newgarden's old ride with Ed Carpenter Racing. Penske wants Montoya back, but only on a very limited basis as an Indy 500 and possible sports car driver, so that remains an unlikely but possible landing spot as well.

“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.”

Newgarden, who will run the No. 2 car, will team alongside defending series champ Simon Pagenaud, former champion Will Power, and it's likely 3-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will return as well.


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