Newgarden steals Indy 500 victory

INDIANAPOLIS — Josef Newgarden walked into the DEX Imaging Media Center at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, talking about stocks.

No, I didn’t make that up.

“I am into finance,” he said. “I think it’s a great career path. It’s probably something I would be doing if I wasn’t driving cars. It’s kind of as simple as that. I won’t bore everybody, but I love that world. I think it’s super fun.”

As Newgarden says this, the video screens both in the deadline room and around the track play a highlight package of his Indianapolis 500 victory.

With one lap to go, Newgarden overtook Marcus Ericsson on the backstretch, using the same move Ericsson used to win in 2022.

And Newgarden knew exactly how he wanted to celebrate.

Go up in the stands.

INDIANAPOLIS – MAY 28: Josef Newgarden, driver of the #2 Shell Chevrolet, celebrates with the fans in the stands, after winning the NTT IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 28, 2023, in Indianapolis. Photo: Karl Zemlin/Penske Entertainment

He parked his car on the yard of bricks, exited his Team Penske Chevrolet and hopped through a crossover gate to celebrate with the fans.

“Yeah, I knew exactly where the gap was,” he said. “I’d been over there many, many years. I’ve seen that photo, whole spot, and really it’s just like an access point that you can crawl under. It looks like it’s closed but there’s a way to get through. I knew exactly where I was going at the end of this race.”

He wanted to go higher up, but thought better of it. So he hugged a couple of people and crawled back through the gap.

“But it was really cool,” he said. “You just can’t beat the Hoosier hospitality, the energy that people bring here. It is second to none when it comes to a sporting event.”

Meanwhile, his crew channels Helio Castroneves and hangs from the catch fence.

Visibly crying as his crew wheeled his car to victory lane, he climbed out and followed through the traditional victory lane celebrations, from the wreath to drinking the milk.

“The milk, I felt good about it,” he said. “It tasted so good. I love milk. I drink a lot of milk. So for me, the Indy 500 is kind of the greatest thing ever. Other people might not like to get milk after. That’s the choice I would have made, too. I love Louis Meyer. I love that he threw that up as a tradition. I’m a big milk guy.”

Compare this to his 2016 post-race interview, after he finished third. He was dejected, frustrated, and in despair.

Now, the newest Indianapolis 500 champion talked about how fascinated he is with finances.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I asked him what fascinates him about finances.

When Newgarden’s press conference wrapped up, he put the wreath back on and turned his focus to the rest of the season. As well as getting Roger Penske his 20th Indy 500 victory, next season.

“I put my hand on his shoulder in Victory Lane and said, ‘Now we got to get 20,'” he said. “He was the first one to go, ‘Absolutely.’ He didn’t even take a breath. He was ahead of me in the thought process, as you know.

“He’s eyes forward. It will be important. We need to come back. There’s still areas we can be better, so we’ll go and analyze after this weekend and see where we can improve. But we’ll come back ready to fight and get No. 20 for him.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2024, I'm on my ninth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Blazing Saddles" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."


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