Josef Newgarden is the newest winner on the IndyCar circuit, but that hasn't changed the way he goes into the biggest month of the year.
Josef Newgarden finally reached the top step of the podium at Barber following three years of close calls and what 'could have been.' The CFHR pilot enjoyed the spoils of victory after leading over half the race, but the 24-year-old is not letting that change the way he approaches the month of May.
Keeping the same mindset
"I don't think it changes it much for me. It gives confidence to our group, our guys doing the pit stops. It gives confidence to me too, knowing that we can get it done. That's about it. We got to reset. After you have one victory, it really doesn't mean anything in motorsports. Two weeks is a long time. Going into the GP, we just got to reset and try and do it again," Newgarden told Motorsport.com.
This merger has been a big deal for all of us ... We've had god groups, but putting them together made us even stronger.
Josef Newgarden on SFHR and ECR merger
With so many close calls in his career, was it even a shock when the 'W' came for Newgarden? Well, yes and no.
"I told the guys after Long Beach, before we headed into Barber ... Don't try to predict where we're going to win. It's going to happen where you least expect it. I don't know if that's where we least expected it, but we certainly couldn't predict it. For me, it wasn't a surprise but I couldn't foresee it either. It was going to happen at some point and it ended happening at Barber."
Merger a major role in newfound success
Just four races into Sarah Fisher Hartman and Ed Carpenter Racing's new joint effort, they are already victorious. It's obvious to think that the merger played a major role in their early success and Josef's strong position in the championship.
"Absolutely. This merger has been a big deal for all of us. CFHR is a really strong group now, but we were strong as separate operations too. We've had god groups, but putting them together made us even stronger. It gave us more resources and I've really enjoyed the process."
Outside of the added resources, having the two-time and defending pole-sitter of the Indy 500 in your corner has to be a great advantage and the Tennessee native could not understate his value to the operation.
"Ed is great to have around on the team and management side, but also from a teammate perspective. He's very fast around Indianapolis and there's a lot we can draw from Ed and it doesn't hurt that we're friends."
Chances at Indy
As for this race, the Chevrolet drivers have a visible edge over all those in Hondas, but where does CFHR stack up?
"We have a relatively fast race car. We weren't quite in the top group but we're trying to fix that for this morning and I think we'll have a good race."
In regards to the first test of the superspeedway aero kits, "It was interesting to check out the new aero kits last week but we got a lot more work to do with them. (The) speed was good. We're up a couple mph but hopefully we'll probably be able to up the pole speed by a bit."