Josef Newgarden Thinks He Can Win the IndyCar Championship for Chevrolet

In his first season with Team Penske-Chevrolet, Josef Newgarden thinks he has what it takes to bring home the Driver’s championship as he sits just 23 points behind leader Scott Dixon. 

Newgarden’s second victory of the season came as title rivals Dixon, Pagenaud, Castroneves, and Power all finished well down the order. Despite some early season bad luck, Newgarden’s consistency has kept him in the title hunt.

“It’s a good day for us, specifically on the #2 car. I think for Team Penske as a whole, it’s a good day with where Scott finished [10th] I’m excited about that,” the 26-year-old told Motorsport.com.

“We’ve had some races that we’ve had to pick up from a deficit, and I think if those weren’t there, we’d probably be leading the championship. But other guys can say the same thing. They’ll say, ‘We had races like this, too.’ It kind of yo-yos back and forth for everybody. Everyone is going to have good races and bad races.

“We have to prioritize having solid finishes from here to the end. I think if we’re the most consistent, we absolutely can win the championship. It’s going to be the guy who does that the best.”

Strategy won Newgarden the race, with a brilliant call to come in for fresh rubber just as the caution was coming out for Tony Kanaan’s Turn 1 accident. Even so, he was quick to point out that he would have been able to compete for the win on race pace as well.

“The yellow for sure played a part in winning this race. It was a good call at the right time for the #2 car guys and Tim Cindric. That was the first domino for us to fall and after that it was a matter of managing a race, making good fuel mileage and driving fast.

“I think if it didn’t fall for us, we could still potentially come out victorious. It’s impossible to predict, if we didn’t catch the yellow, would we have won the race? I have no idea. Maybe we would have finished fifth or fourth or something.”

(Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

“After the first start, we found ourselves in fourth position after we missed Will [Power’s] and Scott’s incident, so it was a really good start for us. From there we still had a plan we needed to have track position. That was our go-to plan to differentiate ourselves between us and the leaders. If the yellow didn’t fall, we were still doing something like that. How it would play out, I have no idea. The yellow just worked perfectly.”

“We were still fast, still up there. Always will take a little bit of luck. I think we all would. It’s funny because Rick Mears told me one time, ‘You’ll have more days where you should have won the race and things go against you and you don’t win the race, than you have days where it go goes your way and you end up winning the race.

“So the days it goes your way and you get something lucky, you just take them. Because there’s more days where you could say, ‘We should have won that race.’ So I’ll take a lucky yellow any day of the week.”

The Verizon IndyCar Series will be back in action on July 30th when the series rolls into Lexington, Ohio for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

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