Josef Newgarden earned the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series championship on the racetrack, winning four races in the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet on the way to his first title in his sixth season.
Newgarden thought he also earned the right to use the No. 1 on his car in 2018 – emblematic of the reigning series champion. But teammate Simon Pagenaud, who carried the No. 1 this season in recognition of his 2016 series championship, had additional tasks in mind for Newgarden, as evidenced by this video the team shared today on Twitter.
It’s 11/1. There’s just something about No. 1. #INDYCAR pic.twitter.com/EZnE1UMJKg
So Newgarden will indeed drive the No. 1 Team Penske Chevrolet in 2018. No word yet on what car number Pagenaud will drive.
Newgarden has also been nominated in the International Racing Driver of the Year category for the Autosport Awards 2017. Joining him as nominees are Formula One drivers Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso, as well as Formula E driver Lucas di Grassi.
Alonso was also nominated in the Rookie of the Year category for his standout effort at this year’s Indianapolis 500 that drew worldwide attention. For more information on the Autosport Awards voting, visit https://awardsvoting.autosport.com/.