Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden agrees to new Team Penske deal

ByABC News
June 1, 2024, 2:39 PM

Josef Newgarden, six days after winning the Indianapolis 500 for the second straight year, has agreed to a multiyear extension with Team Penske, the team announced Saturday.

"I don't think I have any words for what this has been like," Newgarden said. "Team Penske has been my family for eight years, and I can't imagine being anywhere else."

He was entering the final year of his current deal, and the agreed-to extension was an expected move to keep Newgarden in his No. 2 car.

Newgarden has experienced extreme lows and highs already this season. He was disqualified after winning the season-opening race in Florida when IndyCar later discovered Penske's three cars had an illegal version of the push-to-pass software installed that allowed their drivers to use the horsepower boost when no one else in the field had access to the advantage.

Team owner Roger Penske suspended several team members after the disqualifications, leaving Newgarden with a mix-and-match crew last weekend at the 500.

But while that scandal still reverberates in the IndyCar Series, Newgarden shook off the situation and moved past Pato O'Ward in the third turn of the final lap to win his second consecutive Indianapolis 500, giving Team Penske its record 20th victory in the race.

"Josef Newgarden is a true winner, and we are excited that he will continue as a part of Team Penske for years to come," Penske said in a statement. "What he did Sunday in the Indianapolis 500 shows how Josef consistently delivers for our team and our partners on the track, and he is just as impressive off the track as well. We are proud to have Josef continue with our organization as his skill and passion embody what it means to be a Team Penske driver."

After Newgarden's latest Indy 500 win, he said he was grateful for everything during this turbulent season.

"It's an experience that it's got to either break you or tough you up, and for me, that's all I'll say about it," he said. "We've been moving forward. We've never worked together more as a group, and I thought that was difficult to do.

"This is the most tight-knit team I've ever seen."

Newgarden, the series champion in 2017 and 2019, made his 200th start this season and has finished in the top five in the season standings in each of the past eight years. He qualified third for Sunday's Detroit Grand Prix.

Indianapolis was Newgarden's 30th career win, and, at age 33, he thinks he could move the number significantly higher.

"I'm not writing anything off," he said when asked if he could get to 60. "I'm staying with a great team, so I've got a chance to do a lot more."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.