Newgarden Replaces Montoya At Team Penske

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, October 5 2016
Josef Newgarden will drive a Team Penske Chevrolet in the 2017 IndyCar Series.

Josef Newgarden will drive a Team Penske Chevrolet in the 2017 IndyCar Series.

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

As expected, Team Penske has announced that American driver Josef Newgarden will join the organization and will take the wheel of the No. 2 Dallara/Chevrolet in the IndyCar Series.

bugindycarNewgarden, who announced he was leaving Ed Carpenter Racing last week, will take the seat that had belonged to Juan Pablo Montoya.

Newgarden will join 2016 champion Simon Pagenaud, former champion Will Power and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves at Penske.

“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,” team owner Roger Penske said.  “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, who was born in Tennessee, finished the 2016 season with one win, four podiums and 11 top-10 finishes for ECR.  He placed fourth in the championship point standings after

Juan Pablo Montoya is out at Team Penske.

Juan Pablo Montoya is out at Team Penske.

finishing sixth in the season-finale at Sonoma Raceway last month.

His victory in 2016 came at Iowa Speedway, where he dominated the field, leading 282 of 300 laps.  Over the course of his IndyCar Series career – which began in 2012 – the 25-year-old Newgarden has earned three wins (Iowa, Barber and Toronto) and 10 podium finishes.  He’s led a total of 679 laps.

He began his career in karting, eventually moving to Skip Barber and various other road racing series in Europe before returning to North America to compete in the Indy Lights division in 2011, where he won in his series debut. He earned five wins en route to winning the Indy Lights title that season before moving to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2012 with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.

 “For any open-wheel racer – or any race car driver in general – Team Penske is a dream job,” Newgarden said.  “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.”

Montoya is now free to explore other opportunities. Some media outlets have spectulated the former Formula One and NASCAR driver, will reunite with Chip Ganassi Racing – the team for which Montoya drove in NASCAR.

Montoya is a former winner of two of the world’s most prestigious races – the Indianapolis 500 and the Grand Prix of Monaco.

 Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016, Team Penske earned its 14th IndyCar Series title with Pagenaud last month at Sonoma Raceway.

Along with Power and Castroneves, the team finished 1-2-3 in the point standings for the first time since they accomplished the same feat in 1994 with Al Unser Jr., Emerson Fittipaldi and Paul Tracy.  During the course of the 2016 season, Team Penske earned 10 wins – five for Pagenaud, four for Power and one for Montoya – 11 poles and 22 podium finishes. The team led 811 laps over the course of the season.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, October 5 2016
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