Josef Newgarden is Indy 500 Certified in 2023
Josef Newgarden etched his name in the history books by becoming a first time Indy 500 winner this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after starting from P17. The win did not come easy as chaos would ensure during the closing laps of the race. During the final 16 laps of the race there were 3 red flags. Former F1 driver Marcus Ericsson held the lead during the start of the final lap of the race. Due to a controversial decision by the race steward to not allow the race to finish under a caution leading to a one lap shootout. Ericsson lost out on the final lap of the race allowing Newgarden to steal away the coveted win.
Newgarden only led the race for 5 laps but was able to work his way through the on track chaos to the last lap showdown that saw him victorious. “I was just trying to stay locked in,” Newgarden said. “I was emotional the last 10 laps because I knew we were in a position to fight for this win at the end. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew it was going to come to some last-lap shootout like it always is these days, which is exciting but stressful for us.”
Ericsson Disagrees with One Lap Shootout Call
Ericsson was furious with the decision. “It was an unfair, dangerous end to the race,” he said. “We’ve never done a restart out of the pits. We don’t get the tires up to temperature. We did everything right today. I did an awesome last restart. I caught Josef completely off guard, kept the lead into turn one which no one has done all day. I just couldn’t hold it on the back. I’m proud of us, congratulations to Josef, he’s a worthy champion. I’m just disappointed with the way that ended. I don’t think that was fair.”
A scary moment arose whin Kyle Kirkwood and Felix Rosenqvist crashed and sent a tire over the wall towards the stands. Luckily no one was seriously injured in the crash. Rosenqvist gave a recount of the incident. “I started pushing and pushing, and it got worse and worse and worse,” Rosenqvist said as he described the events leading up to the crash. “I thought I would make it, but the rear started coming around and I had to catch it and hit the wall. Really unfortunate I couldn’t stay up there, I knew I had a whole train behind me so I wanted to make sure no one else hit me, but something broke in the rear and I came back on the track and Kyle hit me.”
Newgarden will split the $20,000 winnings with Team Penske and his chosen charities, SeriousFun Children’s Network and Wags and Walks Nashville, for his victory as part of the PeopleReady Force For Good Challenge.
The next NTT INDYCAR SERIES race is the Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit presented by Lear on Sunday, June 4 on a new circuit on the streets of Detroit.