Free Agent Newgarden Uncertain About Future
Josef Newgarden is the IndyCar Series’ most-prized free agent and rumors are circulating in the Texas Motor Speedway paddocks this weekend. (Photo courtesy of INDYCAR)
By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
Relegated to the role of reluctant spectator, Josef Newgarden will meet-and-greet fans attending Saturday night’s Firestone 600 (The Resumption) at Texas Motor Speedway before watching his already slim Verizon IndyCar Series championship hopes fade into the late-summer darkness.
It’s a scenario that has amped-up speculation about Newgarden’s future at Ed Carpenter Racing once the 2016 season ends and he becomes the series’ most coveted free agent.
“Our season ends a little bit shorter than the NASCAR side, kind of late September,” Newgarden said during a recent interview. “So I’ve kind of taken the approach I’m going to wait until the end of the season. We have a shot to win our championship on the INDYCAR side, a little of an outside shot now, but we still have an opportunity so we’re focusing on that.”
Newgarden, who finished fourth last Monday in the rain-delayed ABC Supply 500 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, currently sits third in the point standings _ 100 behind leader Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske and 80 behind runnerup Will Power, also of Team Penske. Newgarden is among 15 drivers mathematically eligible for the 2016 championship. Saturday night’s race in Fort Worth, the Sept. 4 event on the Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International road-course and season-finale at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway on Sept. 18 remain. Read the full story »