Josef Newgarden has been signed to drive the #2 Team Penske-Chevrolet for 2017, replacing Juan Pablo Montoya whose term with the iconic team lasted three years and included a championship runner-up finish and an Indy 500 victory.
Newgarden, 25, makes the switch from Ed Carpenter Racing, having finished the 2016 campaign in fourth, as best of the rest behind a Penske 1-2-3. He has three IndyCar victories to his name, on a road course, street course and oval.
“When you look at the top talent in the series, both from a driving and commercial perspective, Josef is near the top of the list,” said Roger Penske.
“We are always looking to build toward the future and when we had the opportunity to talk with Josef, we knew that he would be a great fit with our program.
“He’s a fantastic driver on the track and will be great with our partners off the track.”
Newgarden himself commented: “For any open-wheel racer – or any racecar driver in general – Team Penske is a dream job.
“Roger Penske is a legend in the motorsports community and his team has done just about everything they’ve ever set out to do.
“I look forward to working with all of Team Penske’s great partners. To get an opportunity to work with Simon [Pagenaud], Will [Power] and Helio [Castroneves], along with the rest of the team, will just help make me a better driver.”
Newgarden, who graduated to IndyCar in 2012 on the back of winning the Indy Lights championship, becomes the first American to race in Penske’s IndyCar team since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2007.
Montoya's destiny is still in doubt, with options believed to be at Carpenter, KVSH Racing, AJ Foyt Racing. Penske is also believed to have offered him the role of test driver for their rumored forthcoming IMSA Prototype project, together with the option of running a fifth Penske entry in the Indy 500.
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|Drivers||Juan Pablo Montoya , Josef Newgarden|