This year’s biggest free agent in the Verizon IndyCar Series is staying put for the upcoming season.
Josef Newgarden had a breakthrough season in 2015, en route to two wins (Barber, Toronto) and leading more laps (345) than any other driver this past year. Newgarden finished in seventh place in the overall standings, but entered the final race of the season still mathematically eligible to win the series championship. He had two more runner-up finishes at Iowa and Pocono, and earned his first career Pole Award at Milwaukee.
In a conversation with Motorsport, Newgarden let his plans be known. “My future is where you expected it to be, and I’m happy about that. Obviously teams like Ganassi and Penske are appealing, given their heritage, but there’s also a lot of satisfaction from helping to take a younger team into the winner’s circle. It’s so fulfilling finding success in that way.”
The speculation surrounding Newgarden this off-season was that he would most likely stay at CFH Racing, given his success – and the lack of opportunities available for the 2016 campaign. It has also been mentioned that the 2011 Indy Lights Champion is hopeful that a seat will become available at Penske, Ganassi, or Andretti for the 2017 season.
The contract is likely a one-year deal for Newgarden to return to the No. 67 Chevrolet-powered car for Ed Carpenter, Sarah Fisher and Wink Hartman. An official announcement on the 24-year old driver from Tennessee is expected sometime this week.
Newgarden tested at Road America earlier this week (Tuesday) in his CFH Racing car, along with nine other drivers. Below you can watch a few laps around the famous road course with Josef’s visor cam, courtesy of IndyCar.